The Hidden Gems of Mexico
For many people, their first thought of Mexico is always the beaches. Although stunning, Mexico is a huge country offering so much more than just beaches, from amazing architecture to unique nature sights, phenomenal eats, ancient historical ruins, and much more.
Let’s talk about some of the top destinations in Mexico that you might consider for your next adventure.
Mexico’s most visited region is undoubtedly Riviera Maya, with its hub as Cancun. You may have an image in your mind of Cancun as just crazy all inclusive resorts, but there is much, much more to this area than that. Here we are talking about the whole Caribbean coastline stretching 100 miles from Playa Mujeres, through Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and down to Tulum.
Some of my favorite experiences here include ferrying over to Isla Mujeres, a chill island that you can explore by golf cart, taking a tequila tasting tour to learn about the different local varieties, and swimming in cenotes, which are natural swimming holes that formed from the collapse of limestone. There are literally thousands of cenotes in this region! You can also visit the nearby Mayan ruins in the very boho chic town of Tulum or head further afield to the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza, one of the seven wonders of the world.
This area is also home to Mexico’s best beaches, and they are superb all along the coast. If you want to get off the beaten path though, make your way to Isla Holbox. This tiny, quiet island is accessible only by ferry, has no cars, and looks like something straight off a postcard.
San Miguel de Allende
If you are a lover of art, food, and culture, then look no further than the absolute gem of San Miguel de Allende, an incredibly charming small town lying in the center of Mexico in the state of Guanajuato. The entire town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the town has also repeatedly been named the best small city in the world by Conde Nast and Travel+Leisure. San Miguel has vibrant colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and picturesque churches. It’s also home to a thriving arts scene, some really fabulous boutique hotels, and a strong gastronomical scene. It’s a great place for a high quality, low key getaway.
This area is also a wine-producing region, so vineyard visits here are a must. And when you’re tired from all of the wining and dining, you can enjoy a soak in one of the town’s hot springs.
Plus, the weather is perfect here nearly all the time, meaning there’s never a bad time to head to San Miguel.
Food lovers, if your image of Mexico is tacos and mole, then look no further than Oaxaca. Ranked right up there with San Miguel de Allende as being one of the world’s very best towns, Oaxaca is also known as being a top culinary destination. Your itinerary here should be filled with lots of wining and dining, food tours, market visits, cooking classes, mezcal tastings, and restaurant hopping.
The town of Oaxaca is also lovely for wandering and enjoying the colorful colonial architecture, and there are some nice museums and historical sites here to visit.
After you’ve had your fill of good eats, you might even balance out your trip to this part of Mexico by heading to the beaches of Huatulco or Puerto Escondido, located along the southern Pacific coast.
If you are a city lover, then Mexico City won’t disappoint. This sprawling metropolis is home to just about everything, from street foods to fine dining and museums, shopping, and experiences galore.
I suggest taking a city tour to get your bearings and connect with the locals here, or take a food tour to uncover the best hidden eateries. Then, be sure to take some time to wander El Centro Historico, visit the Frido Kahlo museum, and explore the Bosque de Chapultepec, a nearly 3 square mile urban forest packed with a castle and multiple museums.
Mexico City has a huge range of hotels and accommodations to fit any style and budget. It’s also home to an expansive metro system, making it easy to get around and sightsee.
Nearby Mexico City, you’ll want to see Teotihuacan, the ruins of a city founded around 200 B.C. and now a collection of Pyramids. You can even take a hot air balloon ride over the pyramids. The pretty, colorful town of Puebla and the world’s largest pyramid in Cholula also make for a great day trip outside of the city.
Puerto Vallarta is a beach town located in western Mexico on the Pacific coast. It’s home to an array of top notch resorts ideal for a beach escape.
In addition to the beaches here, the town of Puerto Vallarta itself is a charming spot for dining, shopping, and nightlife. For active travelers, consider a whale watching cruise, cave exploration, or snorkeling on one of the nearby islands. Just inland from the city, you’ll also find the Sierra Madre mountains, a great destination for hiking, horseback riding, ATV rides, and zip lining.
Nearby Puerto Vallarta, you can also visit the town of Tequila, home to (you guessed it) tequila. And for those with more time, you might consider adding on some time in Guadalajara, a large but lovely city where you can enjoy mariachi music, more tequila, and a rich colonial history.
These places are really just the tip of the iceberg if we’re talking about Mexico travel, as the country offers an abundance of awesome destinations. I’ll help to match you with your ideal destination and curate for you a customized itinerary based exactly on your style and interests.
Where will you go on your next adventure? Contact me today to start planning your trip.
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