Gorgeous beaches, one of the world’s largest barrier reef, festive culture and ancient Mayan history all make Mexico a popular tourist destination. Mexico is a land of color and contrasts. Crowded beaches lead into quiet colonial towns while resort cities open gateways to jungles ringing with parrots and howler monkeys. Majestic mountains descend to remote deserts. Traditional pueblo houses sit near Spanish haciendas. Ruins of Mayan cities lie excavated outside of modern metropolises. An overview of the best vacation spots in Mexico:
Located in the Caribbean Sea on the Yucatan Peninsula, the thirty-mile island of Cozumel is one of the top diving destinations in the Western Hemisphere. For this reason, dive shops abound all over the island. Cozumel is also one of Mexico’s most visited cruise port-of-calls, and tourists will find the cruise docks bustling with vendors selling a variety of souvenirs from t-shirts to jewelry, tequila and Cuban cigars.
Nicknamed the “White City”, Merida is the capital of Mexico’s Yucatan state. Founded by Spanish Conquistadors in 1542 upon an ancient Mayan city, Merida features numerous colonial buildings including the palace of a former Conquistador leader. The city’s main plaza, “el Zocalo,” is the location of many historic structures such as a 16th century cathedral, the Governor’s Palace and Old City Hall.
A popular destination among spring breakers, Acapulco is situated on a semi-circular bay on the pacific coast. A must-do in Acapulco is watch the city’s famous La Quebrada Cliff divers plunge 147 feet into a shallow inlet. A tradition since 1934, this spectacle can be viewed from a platform on the cliff tops or from nearby restaurants.
Commonly referred to as simply “Playa,” Playa del Carmen is a lively resort town in the state of Quintana Roo on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Formerly a quiet fishing village of distinct European influence, the town has expanded in recent years into a vibrant resort town of beautiful beaches, entertainment venues and commercial buildings.
Named after the copper-green color of the canyon walls, the Copper Canyon is a network of six canyons that combined measures larger than the Grand Canyon in the United States. Located in the Sierra Madre of the state of Chihuahua, this canyon system offers some of Mexico’s most extraordinary scenery.
Situated on the Bay of Banderas along Mexico’s Pacific Coast in the state of Jalisco is the popular vacation city, Puerto Vallarta. Landscapes of gorgeous beaches and lush jungle mountains envelope this picturesque town of colonial landmarks, first-class resorts, gourmet restaurants, fabulous shops and dozens of nightclubs.
The capital of Mexico, Mexico City is one of the world’s largest cities comprised of many ethnic groups from all over the globe. Not only is this vast city the most important political, cultural and educational center in Mexico, but it is also one of the most important financial centers in Latin America.
The capital city of the state by the same name, Oaxaca is located in a valley below the Sierra Madre mountains. Colonial architecture, archaeological sites, a pleasant climate and tranquil atmosphere make it a popular tourist destination in Southern Mexico.
Regarded as the marlin sport fishing capital of the world, Los Cabos has rapidly gained popularity over the last few decades as one of the top places to visit in Mexico. Located in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur, Los Cabos is composed of two towns, San Jose and San Lucas, that are divided by twenty miles of scenic highway known as “the Corridor.”
A world famous tourist destination on the Caribbean coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Cancun presents a complete vacation package of fabulous beaches, a first-class hotel zone, Mayan ruins, modern attractions and an exuberant nightlife. But it is the year-round perfect weather and gorgeous beaches that make Cancun one of the best vacation spots in Mexico.
More great destinations can be found in the Explore Mexico page.