A little tip: it is much more than beaches!
Mexico is home to vibrant culture, salsa and, of course, tacos. The landscapes of this country are constantly changing and are simply incredible. Many see a vacation in mexico as just an all-inclusive beach vacation, which of course it can be. But the country also offers so much excitement for adventurers. Here are our top tips for mexico!
Enjoy the atmosphere in colorful mexico city
The food scene
Mexico city is an absolute gift for all city travelers on a budget. The city is full of color and life… And of course food. In fact, mexico city is the most densely populated city in north america. This will give you a whole lot of opportunities to lose yourself in the range of things the city has to offer.
One of the top tips for mexico is the food culture of the country. The never ending street food stalls (or even 5 star restaurants) will spoil you with all kinds of possibilities. How to get to know the authentic mexican cuisine. Also, don't miss the chance to try churros from el moro, this is a store in downtown mexico city. This has been in operation for 80 years, so it has a lot of experience with the delicious sweets. Other good places to go for your favorite mexican dishes include the following:
- Ricos tacos tolucas: the best tacos in town
- La tonina: a family restaurant that serves first-class guisados, or stews
- El cardenal: enjoy the best mexican breakfast there
- Jenni's street quesadilla: because quesadillas are insane!
So in mexico city you will never run out of options. Make sure you spend at least one evening at bar oriente to eat tapas and drink tequila. This place is perfect for a long night with some karaoke.
In addition to mexico city's never-ending food options, you'll also find many artistic masterpieces. For any art lover, mexico city is an absolute must-see. The contemporary art scene is an absolute wonder. You can explore them in the districts of san miguel chapultepec, roma and san rafael. Check out proyecto monclova and kurimanzutto to experience the best of contemporary art.
You will also find many cool urban murals in the city that show the street life of the country, making it one of the top tips in mexico. These beautiful works of art can be found in colonia roma and coyoacan. Other famous museums and art venues in mexico city include:
- Museo casa estudio diego riviera y frida kahlo: an iconic landmark
- Palacio de bellas artes: for architecture lovers
- Museo nacional de artes: houses the greatest masterpieces
- San miguel chapultepec: the botanical gardens you simply must see
There really is something for everyone in the corners of mexico city, but the city is still mostly known for its art and food culture. If you want to get an overview of the massive concrete jungle, you have the opportunity to get it on a free tour. You can also scout out your favorite places and discover them in detail later on. If you want to speed up your tour, renting a bike is the perfect solution.
Marvel at one of the 7 new wonders of the world
Chichen itza is known as one of the new 7 wonders of the world and definitely worth seeing. The ruins of this pre-columbian city are an amazing sight for historians and photographers alike. Remember, however, that it is recommended to take a guide here to really dive deep into the history of this wonder of the world. But you can also have a lot of fun discovering these sites on your own or with some like-minded tripmates!
The magnificent chichen itza
Especially mexican: go waterfall hunting
One of the greatest waterfalls in mexico that you must see is el chiflon, which is one of our top tips for mexico. We recommend to visit it as early as possible, because the crowd gets bigger and bigger during the day. If you rely on public transportation, you can take a bus from san cristobal to comian, where you can then hop on a colectivo, a minivan, that will take you directly to el chiflon.
The total cost of this trip offered to tourists is approx. 114 pesos or 4,77 EUR. You will also have to pay a small entrance fee of 30 pesos or 1.26 EUR to get into el chiflon park. Be sure to take the chance during the short hike to the waterfall to take a dip in the turquoise water along the trails! For a fee of 150 pesos (6,28 EUR) there is also the possibility to slide back from the waterfall with a zip line. This is guaranteed to be a unique experience!
Experience island atmosphere on cozumel
The island, located 20 kilometers from the yucatan peninsula, is a paradise for divers and snorkelers. Cozumel has so much to offer its visitors that they can easily spend two weeks here. The abundant marine life and beautiful coral reefs are definitely a sight to behold. Cozumel is also known as a top party destination in mexico, so you can be sure to enjoy a vibrant nightlife here. Also, hike to the top of el mirador, an arch carved into the rocks by the sea, eat your way through everything the island has to offer, and enjoy the spectacular sunsets with a margarita in hand. There's plenty to do in mexico, but cozumel still deserves one of the top spots.
Take the 'el chepe' into the copper canyon
Known as one of the greatest trips by train, this one is definitely a must do. El chepe' runs from chihuahua and los mochis for a distance of about 650 kilometers. This 'grand canyon' of mexico and the drive there are like a step back in time. A hot tip is to start the trip at the starting point, so you don't miss anything worth seeing. And always remember, it's the journey, not the destination! Although in this case it is both. 😉 this is why the copper canyon is one of the top tips for mexico!
Go cenote hunting
You may have seen pictures of the amazing cenotes in mexico and they seem almost too surreal to actually exist. But a cenote is just a natural pit formed by the collapse of limestone bedrock. This exposes fresh groundwater that forms secret little swimming caves. Cenotes are mainly found on the yucatan peninsula and are unique to the region. So go swimming in them or jump into the apparent nothingness (but always watch your safety). Some of the best cenotes in mexico can be found here:
- Chihuan (an underwater paradise)
- Yaxbacaltun (perfect for swimming)
- San actun (the most famous cenote in mexico)
- Calavera cenote (a bike ride away from tulum)
Diving in the canotes
Cenotes are an absolute must
Strolling through the colorful streets of colonial towns
There are pastel-colored colonial cities all over mexico, and you should visit at least one of them. There you can dance salsa with the locals under the moonlight and enjoy the street music. Visiting a colonial town is a true cultural experience, as many of them are the birthplaces of mexican traditions that still exist today. Don't miss these cultural centers…
- Guanjuato ('the most beautiful city in mexico')
- Taxco ( city of silver)
- Queretaro (quiet paradise two hours from mexico city)
- Merida (a UNESCO world heritage site)
Attend a carnival… Maybe even one with a death theme?
Mexico is known for its "day of the dead". This carnival will take place on 1. And 2. November instead. So if you happen to be in mexico at this time of year, don't miss out on the festivities. The entire carnival is a joyous celebration to gather and pray for family and friends who have passed away.
Mexico city is also known for its vive latino festival, an annual music festival that usually takes place in march and april. If you have the chance to participate, this one will definitely live up to the hype.
The feast of the dead is definitely something you have to experience
Last but not least… Enjoy the beaches of mexico
Of course we can't end our list of things to do in mexico without mentioning the beaches. Because that's what mexico is known for! There are a few beaches which deserve a notable mention. For example, puerta vallarta beach has something for everyone. Snorkeling, deep sea fishing, whale watching… Take your pick! Playa del amor or love's beach is also very popular due to its rock formations and pristine waters. The name alone makes it sound like a perfect destination for a short vacation with your partners! Tulum is also known for its white sand and turquoise water, which makes you dream of a short vacation, especially during the winter months. However, here are some more beaches which you should visit:
- Play del carmen (the beach bars are endless)
- Puerto escondido (enjoy cheap taquitos on the beach)
- Balandra beach (like being on a lagoon)
- Isla holbox (escape the tourists and go windsurfing)
Mexico's vibrant culture and endless landscape will keep you coming back for more… But luckily, you've got plenty to do now on your visit. Scroll down to see some fantastic trips to mexico with joinmytrip, or discover our other trips to some pretty amazing and great destinations. Best of all, you can experience them with other like-minded travelers. Or plan your own adventure as a tripleader!