colorful flags hung from one side of the street to the other in a colorful pueblo | best places to vacation in Mexico

10 Best Places to Visit in Mexico Right Now [2021]

Looking to discover the best Mexico vacation spots?

You’re in the right place, and with the right guide, because I live in Mexico! I know first-hand that there’s no shortage of colorful colonial cities, beautiful beaches in Mexico and pueblos magicos (magic towns), which madde it hard to narrow this list down to just the 10 best places to visit in Mexico.

While the list showcases just 10 places, Mexico is chock full of historic cities reminiscent of Europe, just much more colorful! The best places to visit in Mexico here showcase large- and medium-sized cities, but there’s also some smaller pueblos on this list.

Ready to discover the 10 best vacation spots in Mexico? Beyond their physical beauty, these best places to go in Mexico are also historic; many even designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site or Mexico pueblo magico (which means, “magic town”).

If you’ve been wanting to travel to Mexico, let’s get to the list, which will be all the inspiration you need to finally book that Mexico trip!

Best Places to visit in Mexico

1. Merida, Yucatan

Located in the Yucatan Peninsula, Merida, Mexico is not far from the popular Mexico places on the Mayan Riviera, like Cancun, Tulum, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen — though it feels a world away! Since it’s not as well-known (or crowded!) as those places, Merida has retained its charming small town feel.

Merda is known as the safest city in Mexico, and considered one of the best places to live in Mexico as well. For culture travelers, Merida is the best place to vacation in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, as it’s known as the Cultural Capital of Yucatan, rich in Mayan history and culture.

Located in the near-dead center of the Yucatan Peninsula, its location offers a great home base to take day trips from Merida and explore the surrounding area — like Chichen Itza Mayan Ruins, Merida cenotes (natural pools), and the beaches near Merida.

The Colonial city of Merida, Yucatan, is one of the top vacation spots in Mexico.

Within the city itself, there’s no shortage of amazing things to do in Merida. These include a visit to the amazing Merida museums, strolling Centro Historico (Historic Downtown) and seeing the monuments on Paseo de Montejo. About two hours away, you’re at the Mexico Mayan Ruins of Chichén Itzá!

Paseo Montejo is a beautiful tree-lined street with wide sidewalks. On it, don’t miss the Monumento a la Patria (Monument to the Fatherland), a large monument by Colombian artist Romulo Rozo, with 300 hand-carved figures that chronicle 1,000 years of Mexico’s history.

Mexico Travel Tip: When traveling and visiting places in Mexico, make sure you have valid Mexico SIM Card so you always have phone access and data!

In Centro Historico (Downtown Merida), the streets are lined with unique architecture that seamlessly blends Old World charm with New World vibes. See the museums, historic archways, art galleries and lush parks to relax in — all adding to Merida’s European feel.

Though more and more people discover Merida in beautiful photos on social media and videos on YouTube all the time, it’s still a Mexico hidden gem for now. As such, you can still rent an inexpensive Merida Airbnb or VRBO for relatively little money.

Colorful colonial buildings
Known as the safest place in Mexico to live, Merida is also one of the safest vacation spots in Mexico.

Best Places to visit in Mexico

2. San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato

San Miguel de Allende is located in Central Mexico, and about 3.5 hours from Mexico City by car or bus. In fact, it is one of the best day trips from Mexico City, especially for foodies, wine lovers and artists.

This Mexico UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in Guanajuato, a state known as the most colorful in all Mexico. The top travel destination in the state, San Miguel de Allende is also among the best places to go to in Mexico, in any state.

Join the San Miguel de Allende Day Trip from Mexico City — and don’t worry about driving or late-night buses!

In the last 15 years, many American, European and Canadian expats have relocated here. San Miguel de Allende is considered one of the best places to retire Mexico has; though there are others, like Ajijic (pronounced ah-he-heek).

Both are located in Central Mexico, a region blessed with what’s called “Eternal Spring” climate — making it the perfect year-round destination for any Mexico itinerary! This makes for an enticing reason to travel or move here, as you’ll enjoy cooler and mild temperatures for most of the year.

large pink gothic style church in san miguel de allende mexico in front of a well manicured park/garden with trees cut into topiary style circles and colorful buildings in colonial architecture styles surrounding the town square
Among the best places to visit, Mexico has many options, like the beautiful city of San Miguel de Allende!

Beyond perfect weather, San Miguel de Allende is stunning and historic. The iconic Mexico architecture is well-preserved in San Miguel, and each home, building and street is prettier than the next. The iconic, Baroque-style Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel is a must-see.

This large, pink, San Miguel de Allende Cathedral is the centerpiece of town. It is located in a lovely and well-manicured park, Jardín Allende (Allende Garden), which serves as the town square, and is lively day and night.

As one of the safest cities in Mexico, spend some time with no agenda, simply wandering the cobblestone streets. Stop in at a casual cafe or make reservations for one of the fine dining San Miguel de Allende restaurants, as this city is a top Mexico foodie destination.

colorful street in San Miguel De Allende Mexico
San Miguel de Allende is one of the best vacation cities in Mexico, and ranks among the safest cities in Mexico.

Best Places to visit in Mexico

3. Tulum, Quintana Roo

In the last 10 years or so, Tulum, Mexico has become one of the top places for vacation in Mexico. This beachfront city is one of the most-visited and best places in Mexico for vacation for a variety of travelers, including those seeking Mayan ruins, and beautiful beaches (though Isla Mujeres also fits the bill).

Tulum is a pueblo magico located on the Caribbean Sea, about a two hour’s drive south of Cancun. It is known as one of the best beach towns in Mexico — and of of those special places of Mexico that seem to attract everyone: hipsters and yogis, backpackers and posh travelers, beach-goers and night owls, etc.!

If you’re wondering, What is a pueblo magico? In short, pueblos magicos, or Mexico magic towns, are small towns designated by the Mexican Tourism Secretary as unique and tourist-friendly. There are about 135 Mexico pueblos magicos in the country, including Tulum.

Looking to have one of the best beach vacations in Mexico? Look no further than this Tulum itinerary, which includes day trips to all the best locations in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

Tulum’s geography is part jungle, part beach. It is often called the “Bali of Mexico,” because it’s similar to Bali, in that way. Tulum and the surrounding areas have several Yucatan Mayan Ruins to explore, similar to the Hindu temples in Bali, Indonesia.

🏝 Looking for a quieter beach? Head to the nearby Costa Maya town of Mahahual, or even Lake Bacalar Lagoon, which isn’t technically a beach, but is known as the “Maldives of Mexico!”

Besides the beautiful beaches, there are Instagram-worthy Tulum art pieces all over town and beachfront Tulum hotels and resorts embodying the town’s boho style. Using reclaimed wood and bamboo, the Tulum look blends nature and building materials, for an echo chic vibe.

While there’s no end to the number of things to do in Tulum, it has become increasingly expensive in the last few years. However, Tulum on a budget is certainly possible if you’re determined to visit one of the top vacation destinations in Mexico!

Tulum has some of the safest resorts in Mexico, like the world-famous Azulik Tulum. (Photo: Austin Distel via Unsplash)


4. Mexico City

When making a Mexico Popular Destinations list, there’s no way to leave off CDMX! If you’re looking for a big city, Mexico City is one of the best places to travel in Mexico; though Guadalajara is another option. CDMX, as it’s known, is the country’s largest city, and the fifth largest city on Earth (by population).

Though some don’t think beauty and a big city can coexist, that’s not the case in Mexico City. Among one of the most visually-stimulating parrots of town, Centro Historico and the Zocalo (Historic Downtown and the Town Square) is also a Mexico UNESCO World Heritage Site.

European style Bellas Artes building
Iconic Bellas Artes is one of the best places to visit in Mexico City, located in Centro Historico (Downtown).

Besides that, the best neighborhoods in Mexico City, including Roma and Condesa, have tree-lined streets and vintage buildings in varied architectural styles. These also have beautiful street art to admire, hip sidewalk cafes and some of the best parks in Mexico City.

🏝 Wondering, What’s the closest beach to Mexico City? It’s Acapulco, located about five hours away by car or bus.

On the subject of parks, Mexico City has one of the largest urban parks on Earth, Parque Chapultepec (Chapultepec Park) — among the best things to do in Mexico City. In fact, CDMX is full of parks and outdoor green spaces, which comes at a shock to many visitors.

Back in Mexico City’s Centro Historico, you’ll find the city’s most beautiful and iconic buildings. Perhaps the most photographed in the city, Palacio Bellas Artes is an Art Deco theater built in 1904, and located next to the beautiful Parque Alameda (Alameda Park).

European style Bellas Artes building
Iconic Bellas Artes is one of the best places to visit in Mexico City, located in Centro Historico (Downtown).

Right across the street from Parque Alameda, is Barrio Chino (Mexico City Chinatown). Though not as big as some Chinatowns by any means, it is certainly a pretty one worth seeing to photograph the pretty parasols and paper lanterns hung from one side of the street to the other.

In terms of beauty, Mexico City is just visually striking that it’s impossible to ignore. There’s everything from opulent cathedrals and Aztec Ruins (including Teotihuacan), to tree-lined avenues with cafes covered in unique street art, and so many more beautiful things to see in Mexico City.

🦋 Known as “the Hamptons of Mexico City,” the nearby pueblo mágico of Valle de Bravo is a gorgeous lakefront town with a lot to offer. From November to March, you can visit the Piedra Herrada Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary to see millions of monarch butterflies in Mexico during their annual migration.

colorful trajineras, gondola-style boats, at Xochimilco.
Enjoy a Xochimilco boat ride in Mexico City — one of the best vacation cities in Mexico! With so many tourist attractions, there’s no shortage of things to do for anyone who visits Mexico City.


5. Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco

Located on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, Puerto Vallarta is among the safest beach towns in Mexico. It has been one of the Mexico vacation destinations for decades now, welcoming everyone from Average Joes and Joannas, to Hollywood movie stars to some of the best beaches in Mexico!

The backdrop for 1964 film, The Night of the Iguana, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, the two acting legends moved their on-screen romance off-screen after filming. They bought a home (now the Kimberly Hotel & Spa), and lived together in Puerto Vallarta for years.

Their home-turned-hotel is just one of the many beautiful, classic buildings in Puerto Vallarta. The two main areas in downtown, Zona Romantica (Romantic Zone) and Viejo Vallarta (Old Town) have well-reserved architecture that’s reminiscent of an Old Hollywood film.

Undeniably among the best Mexico beach destinations, there are so many things to do in Puerto Vallarta!

While famous for its beautiful beaches on the Bay of Banderas, that’s only half of Puerto Vallarta’s story. Located just behind the beaches you’re in the Sierra Madre mountains, where you can hike up to unique pueblos (small towns), hidden waterfalls and natural pools.

🏝 Looking for more Mexico beaches to check out? Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo, located in Guerrero State, are two great options. There’s also the Riviera Nayarit beach paradise of Sayulita, located only one hour by car or bus from Puerto Vallarta.

As far as vacation places in Mexico that check off a lot of boxes, Puerto Vallarta is ideal for your Mexico vacation. It has everything from beautiful beaches and nature, amazing food, authentic culture, colonial architecture — and there’s even chic Puerto Vallarta all-inclusive resorts.


6. Guanajuato City, Guanajuato

Guanajuato City is the capital of Guanajuato State. One of the most beautiful places in Mexico, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, complete with cobblestone streets and narrow winding alleyways. Note: For a similar vibe, but more off the beaten path Mexico trip, check out Morelia, Zacatecas and Taxco.

There are colorful plazas (called plazuelas) all over downtown, as well as historic buildings, colonial churches and more. Unlike nearby San Miguel de Allende, with a large expat population that some say has led to a watered-down cultural feel, Guanajuato oozes Mexican culture.

brightly colored home and buildings in the colorful colonial town of Guanajuato City, Guanajuato, Mexico, located in central Mexico, and a safe place for female solo Mexico travel
Looking for the best cities in Mexico to vacation? Look no further than Guanajuato City, one of the best Mexican vacation spots.

Guanajuato City is more popular with national tourists, versus San Miguel which sees a higher number of international visitors. There are quite a few universities and art colleges in Guanajuato, which gives the town a youthful, lively feel.

It also has some actual festivals, including the Cervantino Festival, one of the biggest performing arts festivals in the world. It takes place each year in Guanajuato in mid-October. Immediately following is Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead), Mexico’s large country-wide festival.

Even on just an average day of the year, Guanajuato is a beautiful city. It’s a great Mexico vacation destination to visit with no plans at all, so you can just wander the streets, take photos, spend some time people watching in the plazuelas and sipping a coffee at a sidewalk cafe.


7. Los Cabos, Baja California Sur

Los Cabos actually encompasses two cities, Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. Cabo San Lucas is the more visited of the two destinations, but the airport, Los Cabo International Airport (code: SJD) is in San Jose del Cabo; though there’s only about 45-minutes between them.

🤿 Looking to go snorkeling or diving in Mexico? Check out Cabo Pulmo on a day trip from Los Cabos.

The two “Cabos” are in the state of Baja California Sur, located on the West Coast of Mexico. The entire Baja Peninsula has a similar climate to Southern California, and is said to have had years with 350 days of sunshine (though it averages closer to 300), and some of the best scuba diving in Mexico.

beautiful white homes with pink roofs and large white rock formations behind on the beach in cabo san lucas, one of the Best Mexican Beach Towns
For the Baja Peninsula, many consider Cabo San Lucas to be the best vacation spot in Mexico on the West Coast.

Cabo San Lucas is one of the top tourist destinations in Mexico, known for gorgeous beaches and natural areas, like nearby Isla Espíritu Santo. The can’t miss Cabo site is El Arco de Cabo (Cabo Arch), a natural stone arch at Land’s End, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California).

San Jose del Cabo is also a beach town, but with a much more laid feel. There are quite a few art galleries, a monthly art walk, and an overall focus on the arts and culture. Learn about a bit on both on the Historical Walking Tour with a Local, which benefits the local community.

During the winter, many head to Baja California for whale watching in Mexico. Take a boat tour just off the coast of Cabo San Lucas and you’re in one of the best places to see humpback whales in Mexico, though you can also see killer whales, grey whales and more, in Baja.

beautiful blue water and homes on the beach in san jose del cabo, one of the Best Mexican Beach Towns
For one of the best tropical places in Mexico, San Jose del Cabo is a great option that combines beach with desert.


8. Oaxaca City, Oaxaca

Oaxaca City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the capital of Oaxaca State. The entire state is known as one of the top places in Mexico for culturally-minded travelers, and Oaxaca City is considered the cultural epicenter of it — though the beaches of Oaxaca, like Huatulco and Mazunte, are also amazing!

Besides all the amazing Oaxaca food, the city hosts some of the most colorful, fun and culturally-rich festivals in the country. In July, there’s the Guelaguetza Festival (pronounced geh-la-getz-uh), which is considered the largest folk festival on the entire Americas Continent. 

Day of the Dead in Oaxaca

Each November 1-2, there’s the Oaxaca Day of the Dead festival. This holiday’s origins date back to the ancient Aztecs, though some traditions changed after the Spanish Conquest. What remains today, is a beautiful city-wide celebration and party in tribute to deceased loved ones.

Centro Historico (Historic Downtown), the most visited part of the city, is lined with historic churches and colorful buildings. The beautiful Oaxaca Botanical Garden is a must-see, and one of the best things to do in Oaxaca.

Oaxaca City is among the most popular Mexican destinations for culture travelers who want to enjoy the best Mexican food!

Besides downtown Oaxaca City, there’s also the Xochimilco (so-chee-mill-co) and Jalatlaco (ha-lat-lack-oh) neighborhoods. Xochimilco is the city’s oldest neighborhood, and Jalatlaco is an artist’s paradise, complete with funky shops and cafes, cool art galleries and great street art.

The pueblos (small towns) just outside Oaxaca City are great to explore, especially for shoppers who want to buy Mexican folk art, and those interested in seeing Oaxacan art made. There are a few well-known Oaxaca art towns, with each town only producing one specific type of art.

In San Bartolo Coyotepec, it’s barro negro (black clay pottery), while Teotitlan del Valle artisans craft hand-woven Zapotec rugs. Alebrijes (al-lay-bree-hays), colorful hybrid animals said to act as spirit guides, are made in San Martin Tilcajete. You may have seen alebrijes in the Disney movie, Coco!

white dome church with gold trim on the dome and building of this colonial church with red, white and green flags (bunting, streamers) hung from this building in san cristobal de las casas, , one of the most unique places to visit in mexico
Another great option for Mexico culture travel is the pueblo magico (magic town) of San Cristoabl de las Casas, located one state over from Oaxaca, in Chiapas State, where you’ll also find the Palenque Mayan Ruins.


9. Puebla City, Puebla

About three hours south of Mexico City, you’ll arrive at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ciudad de Puebla de Zaragoza (AKA Puebla City, Mexico). Puebla City is the capital of Puebla state, a fascinating city and one of the top places to visit in Mexico.

Puebla state in general is considered by some as the safest place to visit in Mexico. It has the most pueblos magicos (Mexico magic towns) of any state in the country, with 10 so-called magical towns, including Cholula, one of the most unique places to visit in Mexico.

Puebla City is known for its colorful buildings and an abundance of churches. Urban legends say there are 365 churches and chapels in Puebla, one for each day of the year, but the city also has amazing food and the country’s largest Cinco de Mayo celebration.

One of the most underrated foodie destinations in the world, sampling authentic Puebla Mexican food and Mexico drinks is reason enough to visit this historic city! However, one particular day of the year is more festive than many others.

Stroll the Callejón de los Sapos in Puebla, one of the most beautiful places to visit in Mexico!

Cinco de Mayo in Puebla, Mexico

A popular weekend trip or Mexico City day trip all year-long, many visitors will head to Puebla for Cinco de Mayo, or May 5th. A very popular holiday commemorated in the U.S. and a few other countries, in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is rarely celebrated outside of Puebla.

Historically, Puebla is the only city in the country with real ties to Cinco de Mayo. Though the holiday is often mislabeled as Mexico’s Independence Day holiday, that actually takes place on September 16th, not May 5th.

The holiday, rather, is in honor of May 5, 1862; the day Mexico declared victory over France at the Battle of Puebla to end the Franco-Mexican War. As this event took place in Puebla, Mexico, the city hosts battle reenactments and elaborate festivals during their annual celebration.

Cinco de Mayo aside, Puebla is among the best cities to visit in Mexico any day of the year. Downtown is lined with colorful buildings, especially on the Callejón de los Sapos (Frog Alley), where you can buy some talavera, a colorful Mexican tile and pottery art from Puebla state.

the colorful colonial town of Cholula, one of the most unique places to visit in mexico
Located just 30 minutes from Puebla, don’t miss Cholulaand you’ll see two beautiful places in Mexico to visit on one trip!


10. Valladolid, Yucatan

Though you won’t find the pueblo magico (magic town) of Valladolid, Mexico on all “Popular Vacation Spots in Mexico” lists, for those visiting the Yucatan Peninsula, this is a charming town. This colorful city is a top destination for European visitors, with U.S. visitors starting to catch on.

For visitors headed to the big-name beach towns of Cancun, Tulum, Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen who want to experience authentic Mexican culture, Valladolid is it. Still relatively off the beaten path, it has remained affordable yet still one of the best places in Mexico to vacation.

At only two hours from both Tulum and Merida, it makes for a great day trip from either. However, staying overnight is even better as that’s so many things to do in Valladolid. For fans of Mexico folk art, the Casa de los Venados has the country’s largest private collection. 

Besides this house-slash-museum, check out the Zocalo (Town Square), where you’ll find the Parque Principal (Main Park). The iconic Iglesia de San Servacio Valladolid church, a beautiful cathedral built in 1545, is also in the Zocalo.

best places to visit in mexico, valladolid calzadda de los frailes
Calzada de Los Frailes (AKA Calle de Los Frailes) in Valladolid, Yucatan — one of the best vacation destinations in Mexico.

Only about 20 blocks away, the historic Convento de San Bernardino de Siena is one of the oldest Franciscan missions in Mexico, and a must-see. The convent sits at one end of the Calzada de Los Frailes, the prettiest street in Valladolid, lined with cafes and boutique shops.

Valladolid is also the closest city to Chichen Itza Mayan Ruins, and many of the best cenotes in Mexico! If you’re wondering, What is a cenote? — They are essentially natural jungle pools with freshwater, found almost exclusively in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.

Some Yucatan cenotes are fully open on top like a swimming pool; while some are partially exposed with a rock-roof covering; and others are located underground in a cave. You can see all three types in Mexico cenotes in and around Valladolid.

One of the best cenotes in Valladolid, Cenote Zaci, is only about a 10-minute walk from downtown. This partially-open cenote is the perfect place to cool off after a few hours of exploring, and like something straight out of a movie that’s set in a tropical paradise.

natural swimming pool with waterfall - day trips from Merida
Still wondering where to vacation in Mexico? Perhaps this image of Cenote Zaci will make you choose Valladolid!


Mexico Travel Guide & Mexico FAQ

Is Mexico safe for travel?

If you’re wondering about Mexico travel safety, or even Is Mexico safe for travelers? the short answer is Yes, by and large, it is; though you must prioritize your own safety.

As Mexico travel safety is a complex topic, head to Is Mexico Safe? 25 Tips to Stay Safe in Mexico for an in-depth explanation on Mexico safety. 🎧 Prefer podcasts? For for more tips, check out the Mexico podcast below titled, 50 Mexico Travel Tips from a Longtime Resident.

While Mexico is generally quite safe for visitors, do keep in mind that no place on Earth is 100% safe. For this reason, you’ll want to follow the 10 General Safety Guidelines and other travel safety suggestions below. These are the same ones you’d follow when traveling anywhere, and they will suffice in Mexico.

Mexico Travel FAQs

Should I get travel insurance for Mexico?

Want an added level of security and peace of mind during these strange travel times? Just as you insure your car, home and body, you can also insure your luggage, belongings and health while traveling.

I’ll be honest, when I first started traveling solo, I wasn’t insured. However, after years of solo traveling, I wised up… Now, I even have a whole page of this website dedicated to travel insurance, because it’s just that important!

If Mexico and Mexico City travel safety are on your mind, get your free quote below now!

Do I need a visa for Mexico travel?

No, U.S passport holders do not need a visa to travel to Mexico from the U.S. This is another reason why, in general, Mexico is one of the best travel destinations from the U.S.

When you arrive in Mexico and go through the Immigration line, you’ll receive a 180-day (6 month) FMM tourist card. Though it’s called a card, this is really just a small piece of paper you’ll need to hold on to so you can give it back to Immigration when you leave the country. 

There is no charge for the FMM, but if you lose yours, there is a charge of about $550 pesos ($27) to replace it. You’d also need to get to the airport about an extra hour earlier than you’d normally have to in order to do the lost visa paperwork… the bottom line: Don’t lose your FMM!

Do I need to learn Spanish to travel to Mexico?

While you don’t “need” it, knowing a little Spanish goes a long way — and the more you know, the better, of course.

If you want to feel confident in Mexico, Rocket Spanish has a well-structured program that will have you conversational in only a few modules. A Spanish Phrasebook also comes in hand.

You can also pin the image below, or even save it as an image on your phone so you’ll always have to the most basic words and phrases, even if you’re off-WiFi.

🎧Check out Episode 13 of the podcast with travel blogger Elizabeth of Adventures In Fluency. In it, she talks about how she learned eight languages, and gives great tips for how to learn language basics in easy, fun ways.

List of useful spanish words and phrases
Register for the STEP Program

Make sure you enroll in the FREE STEP Program before your trip. The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, or STEP, allows U.S. citizens traveling to Mexico to document your trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

After you’ve registered, the nearest U.S. Embassy in Mexico can contact you in the event of an emergency, including natural disasters, civil unrest, etc. STEP can also put you in touch with your family and friends back home in the event of an emergency while abroad.

10 General travel safety tips
  1. Always listen to your intuition — because your intuition is always right.
  2. If you get a sketchy or uneasy feeling about a person or place, get away from that person or place asap. Don’t worry about making a kind, nice or politically correct exit from a creepy person or bad situation — Just get away fast.
  3. Don’t walk home alone at night.
  4. Don’t keep your phone, keys, wallet, passport, or anything valuable in your back pocket.
  5. Learn some basic Spanish. If you can’t learn it, save this infographic as an image on your phone so you have something to use even if you’re off-WiFi.
  6. Take all of your belongings into the bathroom with you, rather than asking a cafe/bar neighbor to watch your things. This is annoying, for sure, but it works to not get your stuff stolen.
  7. Speaking of bar neighbors… don’t take drinks from strangers and/or leave your drink unattended.
  8. Don’t wear flashy clothes, expensive jewelry, designer sunglasses, etc.
  9. Keep some cash in your pocket so you don’t have to pull your whole wallet out every time you need to pay.
  10. This should be a no brainer, especially in the current travel climate — but get Travel Insurance from World Nomads, one of the biggest names in Mexico travel insurance. Get your free travel insurance quote below.
After determining which of the above beautiful places in Mexico to visit, you’ll need to know what to pack for Mexico.

What do I include on my Mexico packing list?

Mexico is a big country and has varied climates. While most Mexico beaches and beach towns have warm (even hot!) temperatures year-round, you’ll want to double check the weather in the specific place you’re headed — as there’s more temperature fluctuations than most people realize when they travel Mexico.

As a general rule, Mexican tend to dress on the conservative side. Even in hotter places and pueblos (small towns), jeans and long sleeves are the norm. While on beaches it’s normal to see shorts and sandals, in cities you’ll definitely stand out.

FREE Printable Packing List for Mexico

Head to, Ultimate Packing List for Mexico + FREE Checklist Download, or download your FREE printable packing list for Mexico below! This multi-page Mexico packing checklist covers Mexico beach packing and Mexico city packing, so you know want to bring, and more importantly, what not to bring to Mexico.

Final Thoughts: Best Places to Visit in Mexico Right Now

While many think Mexico is just one giant beach, there are amazing and historic vacation cities in Mexico as well. Now, with 5,800-miles of coastline, if you’re looking for a beachfront vacation place in Mexico, you have no shortage of those either. Hopefully, this list well represents both!

🚂 For a truly unique experience, check out the Copper Canyon AKA “Mexico’s Grand Canyon.” The El Chepe Express Train takes you through the second biggest Canyon in North America on a scenic nine-hour journey. It’s one of the best places to visit in Mexico from Texas.

To classify the “Best Places in Mexico to Visit” or “Best Part of Mexico to Visit” is impossible, as they are subject to each individual traveler. However, rest assured all destinations featured above are among the safest places to vacation in Mexico. In short, you can’t go wrong with any of them!

So what are you waiting for? Book your Mexico flight below, and start making your Mexican travel dream come true ⤵

Have questions about these Mexico vacation cities?

I’d love to hear from you! If there was anything — or anywhere — not covered in this article, please join the conversation in the comments below.

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  1. Your post is incredibly detailed and helpful. Thank you so much for including everything I need to know about each place in Mexico. I will be referring to your post before my travels to Mexico 🙂

  2. As a Canadian we have often headed south to Mexico in the winter to escape the cold. Generally we wanted beach destinations. But you have given me some idea for places to visit with lots to see and do. I love the variety in these places.

  3. What a great and detailed post. Mexico (Mexico City and Puerto Vallarta) was our last trip before covid and we are very much looking forward to going back.

  4. These are all really great picks! I (sadly) haven’t been to any of them yet but would love to get to check em’ out someday (especially Tulum)! Your photos are gorgeous! :]

  5. Wow! These are all amazing places. If I ever visit Mexico, my first stop will be San Miguel de Allende! I fell in love with it without being there.

  6. I really appreciate this post so much! Thank you for all of the ideas. I’m looking for a place to spend the winter months writing and being summer sunny and you’re really helping me out!

  7. I have literally always wanted to visit Mexico, and dang, it looks so beautiful!! I love your photographs 🙂

  8. Gosh it all looks so beautiful – I love all the bright colours. And I especially love the photo of San Miguel de Allende

  9. Great ideas for Mexico. Can’t wait until we can travel internationally again.

  10. San Miguel de Allende is very pretty. I read once that is one place to see Europe in North America. However, I don’t think I will like visiting Puerto Vallarta during vacation time. Too many people.

  11. All these places sound amazing! I can’t wait to visit Mexico. I would love to explore Merida, Yucatan. I’m saving this post for the future 🙂