From ancient sites, to outdoor adventure and beach resorts, there are many intriguing things to do in Mexico. If you’re planning a Mexico travel itinerary, put a few of these on your list.
Visiting Mexico? With the country’s palm-dotted beaches, mojitos, Mayan history and incredible culture and art, it’s a tempting tropical destination. If you’re planning a trip, check out this list of some top things to do in Mexico.
It was when I was getting cleansed by a witch in the Zocalo, the ancient central square of Mexico City, that I realized there is a lot more to Mexico travel than cocktails on the beach (though those have their place in a tropical vacation, too). Since then I’ve had the chance to explore some of the top sights in this fascinating (and blessedly warm) North American country. And while I would always advise caution when on the road, here are some of the top places to visit and things to do in Mexico:
Below ground in the Yucatan Peninsula, underground river systems snake a watery route through the limestone terrain. A cenote is a water-filled sinkhole that offers a door to this fascinating subterranean world. Considered sacred by the Mayan people, cenote adventures can be stunningly beautiful and well-worth a day trip from your resort in the Riviera Maya or Cancun, especially if you like adventure travel such as rapelling, swimming and snorkelling.
Once a powerful metropolis, the ancient site of Teotihuacán is now a magnificent ruin. Located about 50 km (30 miles) northeast of Mexico City, this vast archeological complex is known for its two great pyramids, the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon. Climbing the 243 steps of the Pyramid of the Sun, the largest building in the complex, is supposed to recharge your body. (It can also totally wilt your body in the heat. Just saying. Bring water!)
If you’re a first time visitor to Mexico City, you’ll be surprised to find out how culturally-rich and elegant Mexico’s capital city can be. From tracking down the political murals of Diego Rivera in the National Palace in the Plaza de la Constitucion and visiting the Blue House, the former home of Rivera and his talented wife, Frida Kahlo, to checking out the contemporary art galleries in the emerging area of Colonia Roma and the hip Condesa neighbourhood, Mexico City will take you on a whirlwind trip into its deeply artistic soul.
Chichen Itza, the most famous of all the great Mayan sights in Mexico, is a highlight of any Mexico travel itinerary. Located in the Yucatan Peninsula, it can be visited as a day trip from Cancun. Highlights here include the well-preserved Casa Colorada (the Red House) where hieroglyphs go back to 869 AD; the Temple of the Bearded Man; the ominous Temple of the Skulls and the most well-known attraction of all, the Temple of Kukulkan, which honours the feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl.
Sitting pretty in the highlands of central Mexico, the colonial town of San Miguel Allende, has attracted artists, writers and artisanal craftsmen for years. Declared a World Heritage City by UNESCO, this eye-catching town is an appealing mix of cobblestone streets, quiet courtyards and 17th and 18th-century buildings. If you’re looking for experiential and educational things to do in Mexico, this might be a good destination to look into. Popular with expats, it’s the perfect place to take a writing workshop, a cooking class or learn how to paint.
Since the 1930s fearless cliff divers have been performing death-defying leaps into the Pacific at La Quebrada, Acapulco. The 136 foot leap into the ocean is one of Acapulco’s classic sights, just as Acapulco is a classic beach destination. While it’s lustre has faded in recent years, it was one of the first Mexican beach resort to shoot to A-lister fame back in the 1940s and 50s when stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Rita Hayworth and John Wayne made it their tropical playground.
Primarily, of course, Mexico is famous for it’s beach resorts, and who can’t use a few days (or a few weeks) by the ocean? Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Tulum and so many more – these popular resort destinations will continue to draw sun seekers, water lovers and beach fans from all over the world. Click here for a few luxury all-inclusive destinations in Mexico and start dreaming of all the things you want to do in Mexico.