A Mexico vacation can be a real highlight for anyone who loves variety.It is a great place to tour and has everything a visitor could ask for. From impressive Aztec and Mayan archaeological sites to beautiful beaches, traditional artisan markets and fascinating colonial towns.
Mexico is a very colourful country and is very easy for those in the States to get to, allowing for a cheap Latin American vacation.
It is a country of huge contrasts, where traditional farming areas and huge modern cities add to the diversity. Mexico really is a great choice for a vacation whatever your interests.Here are some of our recommendations for a Mexico vacation you will never forget.
Top Places to visit on a Mexico vacation:
Mexico City is a monster of a city with a population of around 21 million in the whole metropolitan area, making it the biggest city in Latin America and the 3rd biggest in the world by population. The capital of Mexico is quite a wealthy city in comparison with the rest of Latin America, trade being strong as it has relatively easy access to both the Pacific and the Atlantic. The main square of the city is huge and bustling, the traffic is crazy and markets abundant and confusing. The not to be missed day trip is the one to visit the old Aztec capital of Teotihuacan. The pyramids here are huge and the overall experience makes you realize what the center of the Aztec empire must have been like before Cortez got stuck into them.
Acapulco was the party town of Mexico before Cancun and Ixtapa swooped in and stole the title. Nevertheless, its gorgeous beaches and excellent nightlife have earned it the name ¨Pearl of the Pacific¨ and it has become a very popular destination for those taking a Mexico tour. Its beaches, which wrap around the Bahia de Acapulco, are perfect for relaxing in the sun and catching a great tan. While the center can present the normal hustle and bustle of city life, there are many places where vacationers can sit back, relax and enjoy the old town´s charm. There are gorgeous, romantic restaurants, a charming plaza, first class botanical garden and a 17th century fort, all of which are ready and waiting for you to explore and experience.
Baja is a magical, 1200km long peninsula (the second longest in the world) where tourists come to catch that perfect wave or hike through the incredible canyons. Beaches, parties and outdoor activities are all available here and renting a car here is well worth the money.
Campeche is like something out of a fairytale. The walled city is filled with pastel buildings, cobblestone streets and well-preserved mansions. The city was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in1999 and local government have worked painstakingly to restore the many rundown buildings. Nearly 2000 structures have been restored and it´s only when you step outside this dreamlike city and are bombarded by markets, old fishing docks and the waterfront that you´ll remember you´re in one of Mexico´s provincial capitals.
A perfectly warm climate, exceptional architecture and clean air have made Cuernavaca one of Mexico’s high society´s preferred locations. Sprawling estates, haciendas and excellent boutique hotels make Cuernavaca a top place to visit on your Mexico tour for even the most discerning traveler. The city has some fascinating pre-Hispanic sites, a vibrant nightlife and its fantastic atmosphere make it a must-see destination for those visiting Mexico´s Morelos state.
Chichen itza :
Chichen Itza is the most famous and best restored of the Yucatan Maya sites and an essential visit on any Mexico tour. One of the new Seven Wonders of the World, even the worldliest traveler will be struck by the beauty of this Mayan ceremonial complex. During the spring and autumn equinoxes (March 20-21 and September 21-22), the morning and afternoon light generates a light-and-shadow illusion of a serpent which appears to be ascending or descending the side of the El Castillo´s staircase. For those interested in the Mayan calendar, it is said that a visit to the temple will help one understand the design of the time temples and better understand the philosophies behind the calendar.
As you approach Taxco from Mexico City, the scene in front of you is utterly breathtaking. Nestled on a hillside and surrounded by mountains and cliffs, Taxco is simply beautiful. Together with its preserved colonial architecture and baroque work of art, the Parroquia Santa Prisca, it truly is one of the most captivating places in the central highlands. The city, which lies 160km southwest of Mexico City, has managed to maintain steady progress and development while still preserving its heritage. Taxco has been named a national historical monument and as a result new buildings have to conform to old ones in terms of style, scale and materials and thankfully, Taxco has not fallen into the trap of other colonial-era towns where industrial suburbs engulf the surrounding area. It´s a fabulous weekend getaway destination for those heading out of Mexico City, not to mention a geographically beautiful one as well.
Tlaxcala is the capital of Mexico´s smallest state and is a wonderfully calm, traffic-free destination where visitors are immediately taken by the charming atmosphere. The area is definitely one of the capital´s least discovered places and as a result, visitors fall in love with the area as it is not swamped with tourists and has a magical atmosphere.
Founded in 1559 as a result of the region´s rich silver and gold deposits, the magnificent city of Guanajuato has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Perhaps best known for its international arts festival ¨Festival Cervantino¨, the city is filled with gorgeous plazas, vibrantly colored houses and lavish colonial buildings. The main road wraps around the hillsides and the brilliant selection of museums, theaters and marketplaces mean that you will not have a shortage of things to do while visiting the city.
A visit to Puebla will make you feel as though you have stepped back into the colonial era where a superb colonial center, magnificent cathedral and a myriad of exquisite churches are waiting to be explored. With over 70 churches in the center alone and more than 1000 colonial buildings, each covered in painted ceramic tiles (azulejos), Puebla is well worth a visit. On top of its wealthy colonial past, there are excellent culinary options available and the city´s pride in its heritage makes it all the more attractive.
Oaxaca must be one of Mexico´s most beautiful and effervescent cities. The city lies at the heart of the region´s contemporary arts and crafts scene and as a result has an excellent array of top class museums. While the city is known for its easy going nature, the streets will frequently come alive with some fiesta or another and is a superb place to try some authentic Mexican cuisine. What make the area even more attractive are the surrounding archaeological sites, traditional villages and small towns. The striking landscape provides an abundance of outdoor activities which include horseback riding, climbing, hiking and biking. While Oaxaca is one of Mexico´s poorest states, its wealth of activities, arts and crafts, as well as the pristine Pacific coast, mean that it really has everything a traveller could want or need. Offshore, one can go sailing, diving, snorkelling and sport fishing or if one heads inland, white water rafting and organic coffee farming are a must for anyone on a tour to this part of Mexico.
Merida has long been considered the cultural capital of the Yucutan Peninsula. The town has some of the region´s best museums and its narrow streets and grand central plazas make it a picturesque and charming place to visit. Cheap food and accommodation, booming markets and an active nightlife also make it the perfect place to kick start your travels into the rest of the Yucatan State.
Cancun is a city that just keeps going and going and going. In fact, one could call it the Ibiza or Las Vegas of Central America and with nearly four million visitors a year is one of Mexico and the Western hemisphere´s biggest tourist draws. The beach scene is massive and all consuming, if you want beaches, parties, bars and restaurants this is the place. it is also a hub for international flights for Mexico and is well located for Yucatan tours of Chichen itza and Tulum.
Tulum´s magnificent green waters, cool breeze and sunny weather make it one of Mexico´s top beach destinations. On top of it all, you can also reach one of the most dramatically situated Mayan ruins. Diving, snorkeling and a variety of accommodation choices to suit each budget make Tulum a must see destination on your tour through Mexico.
Uxmal has been ranked among the top Maya archaeological sites and is definitely one of the most serene and tranquil. Uxmal´s setting in the Puuc region only add to its appeal and the well-preserved structures made of pink-hued limestone are a fascinating site to see on your tour through the multitude of Maya ruins throughout Central America.
Zihua (as it is affectionately known) has managed to retain its lovely, historic charm while incorporating modern boutique shops with artisan studios. Situated next to the beautiful Pacific coastline, you will still find fishermen meeting every morning by the Fisherman´s Passage to sell their catch of the day to the highest bidder. Young lovers take strolls along the boardwalk as families share the warm, evening air before heading out to one of the fantastic local restaurants. Zihua is a Pacific paradise and its friendly people and laidback atmosphere may make you stay longer than expected.