Are you looking for some travel inspiration south of the border? If so, I’ve got a great big list of the best places to visit in Mexico for you. Ever since I first visited Mexico on a high school Spanish class trip way back when, it’s been one of my favorites countries. I love the culture, the food and drink and most of all – the people. Fast forward to now and I’ve visited Mexico plenty of times but like most travel obsessed people, I still have a huge list of places to visit in Mexico. So, here’s what on my personal Mexico bucketlist.
Table of Contents Show
- The Best Places to Visit in Mexico
- Which Part of Mexico is Best?
- Pueblos Mágicos Are Some of the Best Places to Visit in Mexico
- The States of Mexico
- My List of Best Places to Visit in Mexico
- Baja California
- Baja California Sur is One of the Best Places in Mexico
- Estado de Mexico
- Mexico City
- Nuevo Leon
- Quintana Roo
- San Luis Potosi
- When’s the Best Time to Visit Mexico?
- Is Mexico Safe?
- Do You Need Travel Insurance in Mexico?
- The Best Places to Visit in Mexico
The Best Places to Visit in Mexico
There are plenty of beautiful cities in Mexico so what makes a destination one of the best places to visit in Mexico? For me, the best Mexican destinations include places with compelling history, culture, gorgeous architecture, impressive art and the chance to learn about Maya or Aztec history….and the list goes on and on. My bucket list of the best places to visit in Mexico has a little bit of everything for anyone who wants to travel to Mexico.
Which Part of Mexico is Best?
Deciding which part of Mexico is best largely depends on you and your personal preferences. If you’re a beach person then Cancun, Puerto Vallarta or Cabo San Lucas might be the places for you. If you prefer museums and art – check out Mexico City, Guadalajara and Guanajuato. For foodies – Oaxaca or Puebla are popular destinations in Mexico for cooking classes and food tours. In you’re an outdoorsy person and into nature – try Chiapas or San Luis Potosi. The possibilities are endless.
Pueblos Mágicos Are Some of the Best Places to Visit in Mexico
Since Mexico is so full of interesting places, it’s hard to decide which ones to visit on a Mexico trip. A good place to start is by adding Mexico’s Pueblos Mágicos to your Mexico travels.
Pueblo Mágicos are “pueblos” – or small towns – that are unique. The government has given them special designation based on their cultural and historic richness. There’s no shortage of wonderful towns in Mexico but Pueblos Mágicos are just a bit extra special and should be at the top of anyone’s list of the best places to visit in Mexico.
As of 2022, Mexico has 132 named Pueblos Mágicos. A couple of the more recognizable ones are Tulum and Tequila. My favorite one by far though, is Taxco in the state of Guerrero. I visited that special town on my very first visit and I’ve never forgotten it. Adding a few of these magical towns will greatly enrich your trip to Mexico.
The States of Mexico
Mexico, which borders the United States to the south, is officially los Estados Unidos de Mexico or the United Mexican States. The 32 states of Mexico are made up of 31 states and the capital area of Mexico City. Below is a list of all of the states.
- Baja California ✔
- Baja California Sur ✔
- Campeche ✔
- Chihuahua ✔
- Guanajuato ✔
- Guerrero ✔
- Jalisco ✔
- Mexico ✔
- Morelos ✔
- Nayarit ✔
- Nuevo Leon ✔
- Querétaro ✔
- Quintana Roo ✔
- San Luis Potosi
- Quintana Roo ✔
- San Luis Potosi
- Sonora ✔
- Tabasco ✔
- Yucatan ✔
Southerner Says – the check marks are for the ones I’ve visited.
My List of Best Places to Visit in Mexico
Now that you know a little more about Mexican geography and states, here’s the rest of my best places to visit in Mexico list – listed by states and some interesting places, cities and towns to visit.
Aguascalientes state is located right in the middle of the of Mexico. It gets its name “hot waters” from all the hot springs found throughout the region. Even though Aguascalientes is one of Mexico’s smallest states, it’s large on diversity. Here’s what’s on my bucket list for this Mexican state:
- Aguascalientes City – the capital of the state by the same name. The city has thermal waters and spas in the city center.
- Ruta de vino Aguascalientes – I love visiting wineries when I travel and this one looks gorgeous. Mexico produces some very good wine.
- Calvillo – (Pueblo Mágico) it’s known for its dishes made with guava and the museum of Pueblos Mágico of Mexico.
Since Baja California shares a border with California, it’s one of the easiest and best places to visit in Mexico. Baja is divided into two states, Baja California and Baja California Sur aka BCS. The entire Baja peninsula is gorgeous. From the – at times – snow covered mountains in the north to the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Sea of Cortez in the east – here’s where you should go in Baja:
- Tijuana ✔ – the capital of Baja and home to tasty tacos. Fun fact: the Caesar salad was invented in Tijuana. The city sometimes gets a bad rap but I love crossing the border and wandering around this rather large metropolis.
- Ensenada ✔ – a popular cruise port and an excellent spot for exploring the region’s natural landmarks like La Bufadora and beautiful beaches.
- Valle de Guadelupe ✔ Baja’s own ruta de vino or wine route. Who knew Mexico made wine?
- Rosarita – years ago, someone told me about the lobster in Rosarita. I’m still hoping to try some one of these days.
- San Felipe – a small town on the Sea of Cortez – known for it’s pretty beaches and awesome on the beach camping spots.
- Puertecitos – home to the beautiful hot springs of Bahia de los Angeles – a biosphere reserve and ecological wonder.
Baja California Sur is One of the Best Places in Mexico
The southern part of the Baja peninsula is called Baja California Sur. There you’ll find some of the most pristine beaches in all of Mexico. It’s a desert lover’s dream with large saguaros and other assorted cacti. Here’s what makes my list in BSC:
- Guerrero Negro – located on the Pacific side of Baja Sur and one of the best places to visit in Mexico to see whales.
- Loreto – is a small resort town and ex-pat community. It’s home to some of the clearest water in Baja Sur.
- La Paz ✔ – the capital of Baja Sur and one of my favorite places to visit in Baja Sur.
- Todos Santos ✔- a Puerblo Mágico that’s home to artists, yogis and creatives. And some of the best fish tacos I’ve ever tasted.
- Los Cabos ✔ – kind of the Miami of Baja. It’s made up of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose de Cabo and it’s probably the most Americanized area in Baja but the really really gorgeous natural features make it worthwhile visiting.
The state of Campeche is on the western side of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula on the Gulf of Mexico. It was an important port during Mexico’s colonial period and is home to beautiful coastline, ancient ruins, natural areas and interesting wildlife. Some other interesting areas include:
- Campeche ✔ – the capital and a walled port city that’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Chiapas is located in southeastern Mexico. It’s on the Pacific Ocean and borders Guatemala to the south. The state is celebrated for its many rain forests, archeological sites and native indigenous people. Here’s some other spots to visit:
- Tuxtla Gutierrez – the capital of Chiapas. Known for marimba, its coffee museum and the 16th century Catedral de San Marcos.
- San Cristobal de las Casas – was once the capital of Chiapas and is still considered the culture capital of the state.
- Palenque – a small Pueblo Mágico and UNESCO World Heritage site with famous Mayan ruins nearby and one of the best places to visit in Mexico.
- Calakmul – some of the most impressive ruins I’ve seen in photos.
Chihuahua is the largest state in the country of Mexico. It shares a border with the United States and is probably a recognizable name because of the desert of the same name. It also has more forests than any other Mexican State except Durango and is full of jagged mountains, lush valleys and the famous Copper Canyon. This is my list for Chihuahua:
- Chihuahua City – the capital city that has a gorgeous Baroque style church – the Catedral de Chihuahua.
- Copper Canyon – take a train through the Copper Canyon – Mexico’s grand canyon. Visit small towns along the way and see some of the natural wonders of the state.
- Cuauhtémoc – named after the only Aztec emperor. It’s the agriculture capital of the state and where many of the apples in Mexico are grown.
Located in northern Mexico, Coahuila de Zaragoza is the third largest state in the country. Its desert and mountain terrain make it very geographically diverse. Here’s a few places to include when visiting to Coahuila:
- Saltillo – the capital and the oldest city in northeastern Mexico. One of the things it’s most famous for is the colorful Mexican blankets that come from there.
- Parras de la Fuente – a Pueblo Mágico and the first wine growing region in the Americas.
- Cuatro Cienegas – a natural reserve that includes white dunes and wetlands.
Colima is in central western Mexico along the Pacific coast – bordered by the states of Jalisco and Morelia. It’s home to mountains, active volcanoes, pristine beaches and coffee. Much of the coffee in the country comes from Colima. I’d love to visit these places:
- Colima City – the capital and the second largest city in the state. It’s also only an hour from the beautiful beaches.
- Comala – a Pueblo Mágico called the White Village of America because of all the buildings painted white
- Manzanillo – Mexico’s answer to a Greek Island. Manzanillo sits on a busy port and is the sailfish capital of the world.
- Nevado de Colima National Park – located on the border between Colima and Jalisco – this national park is home to two volcanoes – Nevado de Colima and Volcan de Fuego de Colima.
Another Mexican state full of incredible natural sites – Durango, located in north central Mexico, is home to memorable landscapes from canyons to alpine forests. It’s easily one of the best places to visit in Mexico, Here’s a few destinations in Durango to consider:
- Durango City – the capital and a UNSECO World Heritage site for the amount of historic buildings in the old town. FYI – there are over one thousand.
- Mapimí – a historic mining town and Pueblo Mágico full of culture.
- Nombre de Dios – founded in 1563. it’s the oldest town in the state and another Pueblo Mágico known for a stunning waterfall nearby and fresh water springs.
Estado de Mexico
The State of Mexico, officially known as just “Mexico” but sometimes also called Edomex to distinguish it from the country. This state is the most populated state in Mexico. There are lots of mountains and natural areas found in the state but here are three places that are extra significant:
- Valle de Bravo – a colonial city located just a couple of hours west of Mexico City. It sits on Lake Avándaro and is known for the striking mountains, waterfalls, hiking and other outdoor activities. It’s also a Pueblo Mágico.
- Teotihuacan ✔ – if you can only visit one archeological site in Mexico, this is the one. A UNSECO World Heritage Site just 25 miles from Mexico City and an absolute must do.
- Toluca de Lerdo – or just Toluca and the capital of the state of Mexico. It’s easy to get to from Mexico City and that makes it one of the best places to visit in Mexico for some outdoor adventures near the big city.
A small central Mexican state, Guanajuato is known for its mining and the state where the first battle with Spain took place. It’s also home of El Pípila – a local hero of the city of Guanajuato City. There are so many good spots in Guanajuato but start with these:
- Guanajuato City ✔- the capital of Guanajuato and one of the most colorful cities in Mexico.
- San Miguel de Allende ✔ – a haven for expats. It’s a bit touristy but the town oozes with beauty, culture and art. The Parroquia of San Miguel Arcángel is the loveliest church in Mexico.
- Dolores Hidalgo – a Pueblo Mágico and of the birthplace of Mexican independence.
Guerrero is in the south of Mexico on the Pacific coast. Its most famous and recognizable city is Acapulco. It’s also the only Mexican state named after a president. Consider visiting these places in Guerrero.
- Acapulco ✔ – a popular beach town that sits on the Bay of Acapulco. Known for its cliff divers and stunning sunsets.
- Taxco de Alarcón ✔- one of the most stunning towns in Mexico. Taxco is a former silver mining town and a Pueblo Mágico.
- Pozas Azules de Atzala – gorgeous waterfalls just 35 minutes from Taxco. You can swim and hike arround these amazing blue pools of water.
- Zihuatanejo – I’ve been a bit obsessed with Zihuatanejo ever since The Shawshank Redemption. This fishing village has been on my list for a long time.
Hidalgo is a small central Mexican state north of Mexico City known for its mountains, mining and traditional pueblos. Some places to see in this state are:
- Grutas Tolantongo – a must see series of stunning waterfalls and water caves high in the mountains.
- Pachuca – the capital of the state that features the Monumental Clock, a neoclassical tower in the main square.
- Tula – an ancient archaeological site with pyramids and large stones that look like warriors is definitely one of the best places to visit in Mexico.
Ay Jalisco! No te rayas! Jalisco is the birthplace of mariachi, tequila and tortas ahogados. Located on the Pacific Ocean, Jalisco is a diverse state in Mexico’s Pacific Coast Region. It’s such a fun place to visit. The cities and places below – plus plenty of others but just too many list here – should be on anyone’s Mexico bucket list:
- Guadalajara ✔ – the capital of Jalisco and the second largest city in Mexico.
- Tlaquepaque ✔ – a colorful town renowned for its beautiful pottery and artesanías. The name means “place on knolls of clay land”.
- Tequila ✔ – a Pueblo Mágico at the foot of an ancient volcano that produced the fertile ground perfect for growing agave plants.
- Puerto Vallarta ✔ – my second home and where my heart is most happy.
- Yelapa ✔ – small coastal town south of Puerto Vallarta famous for its pie. It can only be reached by taking a boat down the coast.
- Islas Marietas ✔ – commonly referred to as Mexico’s Galapagos, these islands that were formerly used by the Mexican army for target practice.
What can I say about Mexico City other than it’s like no other city anywhere. Everyone should visit it at least once. It’s huge, somewhat complicated and maybe even a little – okay a lot – overwhelming but still welcoming all at the same time. You could spend years there and never see it all. Although, to get you started check out these Things to do in Mexico City.
Bordered by Jalisco and Colima, Michoacán is a very unique Mexican state. It’s home to colonial cities, mountains and even has a small coastline with amazing beaches. It’s famous for its food, festivals and butterflies. Add these of places to your best places to visit in Mexico travel list:
- Angangueo – one of the best places to observe the annual migration of the monarch butterflies.
- Morelia – the capital of the state. Known for its historical beauty and its 17th and 18th century buildings built from the region’s characteristic pink stone.
- Pátzcuaro – a lovely Pueblo Mágico that was founded in the early 1300’s famous for its nieves or sherbets.
Morelos is a landlocked state located in South Central Mexico. It’s small but has a lot of charm. It’s full of nature and has many archaeological sites. Check out these don’t miss destinations in Morelos:
- Cuernavaca ✔ – the capital city of Morelos – nicknamed the city of eternal spring because of its mild year round temperatures.
- Tepoztlán – a city well known for its art and handicraft. The National Viceroyalty Museum displays colonial art in a former Jesuit College. Also a Pueblo Mágico.
Nayarit is a small state in western Mexico lying between the green forested mountains of the Sierra Madre Occidental and the Pacific Ocean. It’s full of gorgeous beaches, islands, lagoons and plenty of rich history. I’ve visited a few places in Nayarit but here’s the rest on my wish list:
- Jala – a small picturesque town – and Pueblo Mágico – with cobblestone streets near the Ceboruco volcano.
- Punta de Mita – a peninsula just north of Puerto Vallarta on the Bahía de Banderas. Known for its stunning beaches and landscapes.
- Sayulita ✔ – another Pueblo Mágico and a hip small town known for its surfing waves.
- San Blas – the busy historic port that’s perfect for a laid back vacation.
- Tepic ✔ – the capital of Nayarit and a bustling cultural city with amazing archquetecture and churches.
- Zitácua ✔ – a small Pueblo Mágico in the mountains outside Tepic. It’s home to a group of indigenous people that produce beautiful handicrafts.
Nuevo León is a state in the northeast region of Mexico. Named after the Spanish Kingdom of Leon. Nuevo Leon is a mountainous state with something for everyone. It has both modern cities and traditional towns – a mix of old and new. These cities are a good start for visiting Nuevo Leon:
- San Miguel de Bustamante – a Pueblo Mágico and “the garden of Nuevo Leon”. It’s famous for its forests, amazing views and its must try homemade bread.
- Cerro de la Silla – a unique mountain formation that can be seen from Monterrey.
- Grutas de García – take a cable car to 60 million year old rock formations.
- Monterrey ✔ – the capital city and home to the best goat tacos in Mexico.
- Santiago – another Pueblo Mágico located near Monterrey. It’s best known for it colonial buildings, streams and waterfalls. Located in Cumbres de Monterrey National Park.
Oaxaca is home to many indigenous peoples and cultures. Popular for its mole – and food in general – Oaxaca is located in the southwest region of Mexico and is where Mezcal is made. I can’t wait to visit Oaxaca and these destinations top my list:
- Hierve de Agua – unique natural pools with clear waters and unique petrified waterfalls.
- Manzunte – a small coastal town famous for sea turtles.
- Monte Alban – pre-Columbian archaeological site.
- Oaxaca City – the capital and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its known for colonial buildings built out of green volcanic stone.
- San Jose del Pacifico – a tiny village in the mountains known for its “magic mushrooms”.
- Zipolite – a Pacific costal town and Mexico’s only nude beach
Puebla is a state in the highlands of south-central Mexico near Mexico City. It’s best known for it’s food and its Talavera ceramic tiles. Puebla is another Mexican state I’ve planned to visit for awhile now. This is where I want to go:
- Atilixco – a small Pueblo Mágico at the foot of the Popocatépetl volcano. It’s known for its cultivation of flowers and ornamental plants.
- Cholula – one of the world’s largest pyramids.
- Puebla City – the capital and the birthplace of mole – a chocolate based poblano sauce.
- Popocatépetl – or “Popo” for short. One of the most famous – and active – volcanoes in Mexico.
Located in the northern central part of the country, close to Mexico City, Querétaro is full of natural beauty and plenty of history. It’s been named a Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Here’s what to add to your best places to go in Mexico list:
- El Cerrito – an archaeological zone near the capital that’s home to one of the largest pyramids in the region.
- Santiago de Bernal – a colonial village founded in 1642. The name comes from the Basque word for “place of boulders”. It’s a Pueblo Mágico and is a great place to spend a weekend.
- Santiago de Querétaro ✔ – the capital of the state known for its Spanish colonial architecture and its striking pink stone aqueduct.
- Tequisquiapan – a Pueblo Mágico with mineral spas and part of Querétaro’s wine and cheese route.
Quintana Roo is a young Mexican state on the Yucatán Peninsula on the Caribbean Ocean. It’s full of unique natural area with jungles, underground rivers, cenotes, beaches and an abundance of archaeological sites. Mayan culture abounds and much can be learned about the history of Mexico in Quintana Roo. Next time I visit, I’m going here:
- Bacalar ✔ – a Pueblo Mágico and a “Lagoon of Seven Colors” due to the blue and turquoise hues of the water.
- Cancun ✔ – who doesn’t know the famous Cancun? Even with it’s party reputation, it’s a gorgeous area and when there’s no seaweed, the ocean is divine.
- Isla Holbox – if you want to swim with whale sharks then Isla Holbox is the place in the Caribbean to do it.
- Playa del Carmen ✔ – or simply Playacar – located between Cancun and Tulum. What once was a small seaside village has grown into a huge city. People come from all over to experience the beaches and cenotes in the area.
- Tulum ✔ – a popular destination famous for its well-preserved ancient Mayan ruins and white sand beaches.
San Luis Potosi
San Luis Potosí is a large state in north-central Mexico. Culturally and geographically diverse, it has an abundance of natural wonders with waterfalls, rivers and mountains. It’s one of the states I most want to visit along with these places:
- Aquismón – a Pueblo Mágico and one of the most culturally important villages in San Luis Potosi. It’s inhabited by the Teneek Indians who make handicrafts and goods.
- La Huasteca Postosina – a cultural region once inhabited by the Huastec people, now a popular destination with river rafting waterfalls, rappelling and climbing.
- San Luis Potosi City – the capital known for being a mining city and important hub along the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro trade route.
- Real de Catorce – a spiritual destination and Pueblo Mágico sitting on one of the highest plateaus in Mexico. The only way into town is via a cobblestone road and the Ogarrio Tunnel which only accepts vehicles one way.
Sinaloa lies on the Gulf of California – or the Sea of Cortez – and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It has a long coastline and beaches and fabulous seafood. Here’s few of the most popular places in Sinaloa:
- Cosalá – a Pueblos Mágico and charming historical mining town.
- Culiacán – the capital and the largest city in Sinaloa. It’s a warm city with many of fun activities and the producer of best known norteño and banda musical groups
- Mazatlán – named the “Pearl of the Pacific” because of its friendly people, Mazatlán with it’s beach boardwalk – the second longest in the world – should be on your list of places to visit in Mexico. It’s historic center is a nationally recognized heritage site.
Sonora is a large desert state, located in the northwestern part of Mexico. It’s bordered by Arizona to the north and by Sinaloa to the south. When I get the chance to travel to Sinaloa, I’m starting with these sites:
- Gran Desierto de Altar – the archaeological remains from twenty thousand years ago. This area was designated a UNESCO designated Biosphere Reserve.
- Hermosillo – the capital and one of the fastest growing cities in Mexico.
- Puerto Peñasco – also known as Rocky Point – a Mexican fishing and resort city on the Gulf of California famous for the dune-backed Sandy Beach and many tidal pools. It’s a haven for tourists and those that live in the southwestern United States.
- San Carlos – located on the Sea or Cortez near Guaymas, this beachfront, port city is known for its clear, warm swimmable water and its welcoming people.
Tabasco is a Mexican state with a northern coastline on the Gulf of Mexico. It borders the states of Campeche, Chiapas, and Veracruz too. With plenty of natural areas and parks – it’s a nature lover’s paradise. I’ve added these places to my best places to visit in Mexico list:
- Cascadas de Agua Blanca – a state park and a natural protected area with stunning waterfalls and wooded areas.
- Centla – home to the largest wetland in North America.
- Tapijulapa – is a city named as a Pueblo Mágico for its white houses with red tiles roofs.
- Villahermosa ✔ – the capital of Tabasco known for its lively zoo and unique large stone sculptures from the Olmec civilization – the earliest known major Mesoamerican civilization in Mexico.
A border state, located on the Gulf of Mexico, Tamaulipas is part of the fertile lowland area known as La Huasteca. It’s an agricultural state and produces many of Mexico’s crops, including sorghum. More than half the state’s land area is devoted to raising livestock. It has way more natural areas like waterfalls that I had imagined. I’d like to visit:
- Ciudad Victoria – the capital and an ideal base for nature and outdoor activities near Lake Vicente Guerrero
- Tula – a Pueblo Mágico and ancient capital of the Toltecs – a pre-Columbian Mesoamerican culture – that ruled in Mexico.
Tlaxcala is one of the smallest states in central Mexico. It’s also one of the most densely populated. All of these places seem very unique:
- Bosque de las Luciérnagas – the Forest of the Fireflies is a special place to visit in the summer months when the fireflies shed their light and the entire forest is lit up.
- Cacaxtla – an archaeological site located near the southern border of the state. The site has many vibrant Mayan murals and ancient pyramidsof Xochitecatl.
- La Malintzi – a volcano and the fifth highest elevation in Mexico.
Veracruz is on the Gulf of Mexico and served as an important port in colonial times. A producer of Mexican coffee and home to one of the country’s oldest and largest ports. I’d like to visit Veracruz and spent some time in:
- Heroica Veracruz – the historic port city of Veracruz founded in the 16th century by Spanish settlers.
- San Juan de Ulúa – a colonial fortress and former prison complex that’s now a history museum.
- Xalapa – the capital city ringed by volcanoes and a cloud forest. Visitors can see Mexico’s highest mountain, Pico de Orizaba, from nearby Parque Juárez.
Yucatan State is on the Gulf of Mexico. It’s famous for its gorgeous beaches, cenotes and incredible Mayan ruins. Probably one of the most popular states in all of Mexico. Start by visiting these areas:
- Merida ✔ – the capital city known for its gorgeous archquetecture and colonial heritage. It’s Yucatán’s capital and the largest city. You can see the Spanish colonial history reflected in buildings everywhere and especially at the 16th-century Mérida Cathedral.
- Valladolid ✔ – a colorful colonial town known for its 16th-century buildings, Mexican folk art and stunning cenotes in the area.
- Chichén-Itzá ✔ – complex of Mayan ruins with a massive pyramid called el Castillo or the Temple of Kukulcan. This area is old! It once thrived from around 600 A.D. to the 1200s.
- Parque Nacional los Petenes-Río Celestún – a coastal corridor of wetlands and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This region is home to hundreds of pink flamingos that feed on the brine shrimp in the marshy areas. There’s also 304 species of birds
Zacatecas is a state in north-central Mexico that’s home to archeological sites, mining towns and plenty of historic colonial buildings. It has six Pueblos Mágicos in total. I’ve had Zacatecas on my radar for a while now and really want to see:
- Jerez – known for its fruit trees and dairy production, Jerez de Garcia is a Pueblo Mágico with traditional food, colonial architecture and native handicrafts.
- Pinos – founded in 1594 this Pueblo Mágico is famous for its chimneys from its time as a mining town. It’s popular today for its Lantern Festival, that’s been held every year since 1601.
- Sombrerete – another important mining town with colonial buildings and multiple churches known for Brujitas – corn tortilla taco filled your choice of filling and then fried.
- Teul – a charming Pueblo Mágico in the valley of the Sierra Madre Occidental. It features cobblestone streets, fruit trees and blue agave fields for making mezcal.
- Zacatecas City – the capital and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pink quartz buildings and streets make it very special.
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When’s the Best Time to Visit Mexico?
There really is no bad time to visit Mexico. The weather is mild in the majority of places for most of the year. The biggest weather challenge is in states that experience a rainy season – which usually is during the summer months. That doesn’t mean you can’t visit at that time. It just means being a bit more prepared with better shoes, rain jackets and umbrellas for those pop up thunderstorms and rain.
Another thing to keep in mind is that many of the coastal areas of Mexico have a hurricane season that generally runs June through November. It’s common for places like Puerto Vallarta, Cabo and Cancun to experience some sort of hurricane occurrence annually.
Is Mexico Safe?
One of the things I’m asked about most when traveling in Mexico is do I feel safe? Is Mexico safe? The answer is yes. Although, and this is a big although, safety is relative and what’s safe to one person might not feel safe to someone else. That being said, Mexico has experienced it’s fair share of crime and I don’t want to downplay that.
Officially, in 2022 Mexico overall has a Level 3 travel advisory according to the State Department. Level 3 means reconsider travel. This is mostly due to crime and kidnapping. Some states – Colima, Tamaulipas, Sinaloa, Michoacán, Zacatecas and Guerrero are listed as do not travel.
However, if you look at the State Department website, you’ll see that there are some areas, even in the reconsider travel states, that are listed as safe. Also, in most of these reconsider areas, the U.S. government hasn’t pulled their officials from there. That’s is a big indicator of when trouble might be brewing. The State Department has a lot of useful info on it’s website and I urge everyone to read the travel warnings before traveling anywhere. Not just Mexico.
As far as staying safe in Mexico – take precautions just like you would in any big city or basically anywhere. Don’t flash money, jewelry or phones. Pay attention and be situationally aware at all times. Especially solo females. Don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know and don’t invite trouble by drinking too much or using illegal drugs. You can find more suggestions in my 15 Travel Safety Tips article.
Do You Need Travel Insurance in Mexico?
Yes! You absolutely need travel insurance. Everyone needs travel insurance when visiting other countries. Mexico has excellent health care but in recent years there have been more and more reports of private hospitals practically holding travelers “hostage” until they paid for a hospital stay or surgery. One way to protect yourself is with travel insurance.
Most travel insurance companies will arrange for care and even negotiate prices and bills on your behalf. Even if you – by chance – have an excellent insurance policy that covers outside the U.S. and Canada, a travel insurance policy is important. Why?
The biggest reason is that in case of emergencies, having travel insurance helps cover the cost of being air-lifted to another hospital for treatment or even air-lifted back to the states. An air ambulance can cost thousands of dollars and most regular insurance carriers will not cover this. That’s why it’s so important you have a plan to cover in case of a crisis.
Not all travel insurance is the same so you have to do your research. One of my favorite websites to compare different policies is TravelInsurance.com. Simply input a few trip details and in seconds have a list of policies to check out. There are policies with trip cancellation and trip interruption and just policies with medical coverage.
The Best Places to Visit in Mexico
Mexico is a beautiful and unique country and in many way vastly underrated and underappreciated for what it offers. The purpose of this list is if to inspire you to visit Mexico and see for yourself. Even if you are a long time traveler to Mexico, maybe you’ll find a new place to add to your own travel bucketlist. Keep in mind, this list is only a fraction of all the best places to go in Mexico. I had to stop somewhere before it became a ten thousand word article.
Do you have a suggestion for the list? If so, I’d love to hear it. Let me know in the comments. Ahora, vamos a México! Te veo! I’ll see you there!
Need help planning a Mexico trip? These are my favorite websites for the best deals and info:
- For flight info and tickets prices use Skyscanner.com.
- To book a package with a flight and a car all at once use Expedia.com.
- My absolute favorite website for hotels, hostels and even some long term stays is Booking.com.
- To check out home stays and long term places try VRBO.com.
- For cars and vehicle rentals – Rentalcars.com.
- See real reviews and what other travelers are saying at Tripadvisor.com.
- For local tours & experiences use the helpful Viator.com
- And finally, one of the most important items in your travel plans is travel insurance. Browse a variety of coverage options at TravelInsurance.com.