central mexico travel

Mexico is always a good idea!
mexico Cityguanajuato

Mexico Regions: Central Mexico

🗣 Mexico Language

Spanish — Though you’ll hear indigenous languages in some places

💰 Mexico Currency

Mexican Peso — Exchange rates vary, but hover around $18 pesos to $1USD

📍 Central Mexico States

Mexico City (DF), Puebla, Guanajuato, Queretaro, Hidalgo, Morelos & more

📍Top Central Mexico Destinations

Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato City, Guadalajara, Puebla

Central Mexico Map

Central Mexico travel

Central Mexico consists of 11 states: Estado de Mexico (Mexico State), Puebla, Tlaxcala, Morelos, Hidalgo, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas, Queretaro, Guanajuato, Aguascalientes, and of course, Mexico City.

Central Mexico, particularly the areas surrounding Mexico City, is one of the cultural capitals of the country. While it’s still unclear exactly when Mesoamericans settled this area, archeologists have found 21,000-year-old campfire remains in the Valley of Mexico, located around Mexico City 🤯

Today, ancient history, Aztec culture, mouth-watering food (including tacos 🌮), beautiful nature, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and more, make Central Mexico a must visit for nearly every kind of traveler.

Central Mexico Travel FAQ

Is Central Mexico safe for travel?

According to experts, you are statistically quite safe while visiting Mexico; but here is a rundown of the most visited states in Central Mexico.

• Mexico City
For the most part, Mexico City is safe for travelers. Keep in mind, though, that CDMX is a big (huge) city — the 5th largest on Earth according to Wiki — and as with all big cities, Mexico City has good and bad areas.

If you stick to these best neighborhoods in Mexico City, and avoid ones like Tepito and Doctores, you should be very safe in Mexico City. As with traveling anywhere, do follow these General Travel Safety Tips and pack these safety items for additional peace of mind.

• Guanajuato state has both safe and unsafe parts. If you’re sticking to the main areas in this state, namely San Miguel de Allende, Dolores Hidalgo and Guanajuato City, you should be totally safe. If you venture off the beaten path, exercise caution or go with a group tour.

• Puebla is among the safest states in Mexico. A very popular destination for Mexico City day trips, Puebla is really worth spending some time in, though so few do. It’s cuisine rivals that of Mexico’s “foodie capital,” Oaxaca, and the capital of Puebla City is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

• Morelos state has good and bad parts. If you’re sticking to the main areas in this state, namely Tepoztlan and Cuernavaca, you should be totally safe. If you venture off the beaten path, exercise caution or go with a group tour.

The last state on the list, Queretaro, is one of the safest in Mexico. Generally overshadowed by its neighboring state of Guanajuato, those in the know won’t skip over Queretaro City and the Sierra Gorda, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and the pueblos magicos (magic towns) of Bernal and Tequisquiapan, home to the Mexico Wine & Cheese Route.

Check out these podcast episodes with solo female travel tips, and tips on how to stay safe during Mexico solo travel.


Is Mexico safe for solo female travel?

As this question doesn’t have a yes/no answer (I wish it did!), I do my best to answer it in depth in this blog, Safe Travel in Mexico: 20 Tips for Solo Female Travelers. However, for the most part, Mexico is actually statistically quite safe for travelers.

Mexico is a big country, and it has plenty of amazing solo female travel destinations — from the beautiful beaches of the Yucatan Peninsula and culturally-rich Southern Mexico, to the charming colonial cities in Central Mexico and laid-back Baja California — there’s a perfect place for every solo traveler in Mexico.

Top 20 Solo Female Travel Destinations: Head to this article to discover the 20 best places for solo travel in Mexico, recommended by solo female travelers who have actually visited them.

🎧 Click the links below to listen to podcast episodes with solo female travel tips.


What's the best time to visit Central Mexico?

Weather-wise, this region of Mexico has what’s called “Eternal Spring” weather, meaning you can expect mild springtime temperatures year-round. There is, however, a few months during the rainy season, April-October, when you can expect heavy and heavier rains.

If possible, plan to visit from mid-October to March, during the dry season. As this area is often cooler, especially in winter, than many associate with Mexico weather, make sure to check this Mexico packing guide so you know what to bring — and what NOT to pack!

Day of the Dead: Each year, on Nov. 1-Nov. 2, much of Mexico celebrates the annual Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead holiday. For a truly epic experience, head to Mexico City or Guanajuato City, which both host large-scale and festive celebrations.

What airports do I use for Central Mexico?

• Mexico City: Mexico City International (code: MEX)

• Guanajuato City and San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato: Leon/Guanajuato International (code: BJX)

• Puebla City and Cholula, Puebla: Puebla International (code: PBC)

• Queretaro state: Queretaro International (code: QRO)

• Morelos state: Cuernavaca International (code: CVJ)

• Estado de Mexico (Mexico State): Mexico City International (code: MEX)

Is it safe to rent a car and drive in Mexico?

As the country is quite large, road trips are a great way to see a lot in a little time. To answer the question, Is it safe to drive in MexicoYES, it’s considered safe to rent a car and drive in Mexico, though do avoid driving at night.

Beyond that, another one caveat to safety is that you’ll obviously be driving in a foreign country, and won’t be familiar with local road customs and driving laws. Head to this article for 12 Useful Mexico Driving Tips to get a better understanding of driving in Mexico.

🚙💨 Looking to rent a car? Discover Cars works with several agencies in Mexico to get you the best price.

Do I need a visa to visit Mexico?

No — U.S. passport holders do not need a visa to travel to Mexico. This is just one of the 5 Reasons Mexico is the Perfect Travel Destination for U.S. visitors.

When you go through Immigration at the airport, cruise port or land border, you’ll receive your FMM 180-Day (6 month) Tourist Card at no charge. Keep in mind that though it’s called a “card,” it’s actually just a small piece of paper.

Be sure to keep track of your FMM, as you’ll have to give it back to an Immigration officer when you’re leaving the country. If you lose your FMM, there is a $600 peso ($30USD) cost to replace it, and some paperwork you’ll need to fill out at the airport before you can leave the country.

In short: Don’t lose your FMM!

Do I need to speak Spanish to visit Mexico?

As a general rule, you’ll want to know at least a few words of Spanish when visiting anywhere in Mexico. This is both a sign of respect, and will also help you have a better trip.

If you’re wondering what constitutes “basic Spanish,” check out the infographic below — you’ll be surprised at how much you know already!

If you stick to the more touristic places where you’re headed, you should be fine with very basic Spanish. If you want to venture off the beaten path, be advised most people in the pueblos (small towns) speak little to no English.

🗣 Pro Tip: Download the Spanish Words & Phrases list below and save it on your phone as an image. This way, you have access to these most common words even if you’re off-WiFi.


List of useful spanish words and phrases

Mexico Travel Podcast

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Dream To Destination

A solo travel podcast, a Mexico travel podcast… and a podcast about solo travel in Mexico.

Listen to more episodes on your favorite podcast provider.


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