If you can’t decide between charming towns, historic landmarks, or tropical beaches – don’t worry! In Mexico, you can have all those things and more. This fascinating country is rich in culture, landscapes, and history, pleasing all types of travelers and tourists.
While there are numerous reasons to head south of the border, here are a few of our favorite things you won’t want to miss during your trip to Mexico.
Why is Mexico worth visiting?
Visitors from all over the world love Mexico because it offers delicious food, charming towns, great weather, and wonderful natural features, not to mention the amazing history and festivals, all for a relatively affordable price. Mexico is a great destination if you know where to go.
If you’re still on the fence about whether or not a cheap Mexican vacation is really going to be worth it in the end, keep reading for a full breakdown of just why you won’t be disappointed with your next trip to Mexico.
If you’re looking for an international destination that won’t break the bank, then Mexico is one of your best options. Between the cheap eats, affordable hotels, and cost-saving travel packages, you can easily visit Mexico on a budget.
Accommodation in Mexico is relatively affordable, especially if you’re willing to venture off the beaten path. Dorm rooms can cost as low as $15 a night, while mid-range hotels will be around $50 to $70. Beach resorts will be more expensive, ranging anywhere from $100 to $500 a night.
But if you’re determined to visit these areas, you can still score great deals on all-inclusive packages where food, drinks, and entertainment are bundled with the hotel cost.
Mexico is also known for its cheap eats. Street food can cost as low as $2 or $3, while sit-down restaurants average around $5 to $10 per meal.
So even if you splurge on a higher-end restaurant, you’ll still be paying far less than you would in the States.
Transportation around the country is also affordable.
Taxi rides in town can cost around $2 per trip, while long-distance bus journeys range from $10 to $15. You can also hop on a colectivo, a shared minibus that costs anywhere from $2 to $4 per trip.
The Delicious Cuisine
If one thing is guaranteed about your trip to Mexico, it’s that you won’t go hungry. Mexico is known for its varied and flavorful cuisine, with regional dishes and delicacies that will delight all types of eaters.
Northern Mexico is cattle country, so beef dishes (especially meat wrapped in tortillas) are very common. The South Pacific coast around Oaxaca and Guerrero relies heavily on chili peppers, fragrant herbs, and mole sauces.
In the Yucatan region, you’ll find foods that are heavily influenced by Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean.
If you’re a foodie, then Mexico City is one of the best places to visit. Here, you’ll find street food stalls for tacos, tortas, and tamales, as well as upscale, fine dining restaurants.
Popular foods machaca (shredded beef), pozole (meat stew), frijoles (fried beans), and gorditas de nata (cream pancakes).
Need to satisfy your sweet tooth? Mexican desserts rely on simple yet flavorful ingredients like nuts, fruits, and chocolate.
Try the crispy plátanos fritos (fried plantains), doughy churros (cinnamon dough sticks), or a mouthwatering slice of tres leches (sponge cake made with three types of milk).
The Charming Towns and Villages
Big cities like Mexico City and Guadalajara should be on every traveler’s bucket list. However, there are numerous small towns and villages that are also worth visiting on your trip.
Here, you’ll get to experience a different side of Mexico that most tourists don’t see.
Skip the crowded resort towns of Cancun or Tulum and head to Izamal instead. The entire cobblestone town is painted yellow to honor the Mayan sun god. Other nearby towns to include on your visit include Merida and Valladolid.
In the southern highlands of Chiapas sits San Cristobel De Las Casas, a small mountain town known for its colonial architecture and traditional Tzotzil indigenous culture. You can also drive an hour east to Chiapa de Corzo, one of the first towns in Mexico to be colonized by Spanish explorers.
If you’re visiting Guadalajara, drive further into the head of Jalisco to see some of the charming villages nearby. Mazamitla is called the “Switzerland of Mexico” after the rustic hut-style accommodations in the nearby forest
In Jalisco, you can also visit Tequila, the birthplace of the famous alcoholic drink. The blue agave plants and tequila distilleries in the outskirts of town.
The Perfect Year-Round Weather
When most people picture Mexico, they picture sunny days and warm weather. And they aren’t wrong – the temperature in Mexico hardly fluctuates throughout the year.
That makes it a desirable destination for beachgoers, city dwellers, and outdoor adventure enthusiasts!
Although the climate varies from city to city, the weather is typical for a tropical country. And as with most tropical countries, there are only two seasons – rainy and dry.
If you do visit during the rainy season, you can still expect warm and sunny days with just showers that clear quickly.
The Caribbean coast can be pleasantly warm all year, with an average summer temperature of 84 °F and an average winter temperature of 74 °F. Pacific coast cities and beaches are also perfect for a vacation, with an average low of 70 °F.
If the weather gets too hot, you can always escape inland to the mountains. Chihuahua City, Toluca, Los Lamentos, and Ciudad are some of the coldest cities in the region.
Just be prepared if you come during winter when the temperatures can slip below freezing.
The Festive Holidays
If you want to experience authentic Mexican culture, then make sure to visit during one of the many festival holidays that happen throughout the year.
Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is one of the most famous festivals in the country. From October 31 to November 2, locals celebrate the passing of loved ones with parades, elaborate costumes, and festive meals and décor.
Mexican Independence Day is another fun event that occurs on September 16. The streets become alive as the city transforms into a giant celebration filled with live music, dancing, and national pride. It’s best celebrated in Mexico City at the Zocalo plaza.
If you’re visiting in late February or early March, you’ll also be in town for Carnaval. While parties happen around the county, they are the largest in La Paz and Veracruz.
Make sure to bring your costume and dancing shoes – Carnaval is guaranteed to be a wild party!
The Sun-Soaked Beaches
With over 6,000 miles of coastline, Mexico is home to some of the world’s finest beaches. From white-sand shores with swaying palms to rugged coastlines with crashing waves, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to finding a sandy destination.
The beaches along the Yucatan Peninsula are arguably the most famous in all of Mexico. That also means they are the most crowded, especially during summer or spring break.
Further south, you’ll find the Riviera Maya, another stretch of white sand popular with out of town visitors.
The Pacific Coast also has its fair share of beautiful beaches. Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas, and Puerto Vallarta are great escapes for warm weather and refreshing waters.
And let’s not forget about the islands. Cozumel, Isla Holbox, and Isla Mujeres are just a few places where you can enjoy a laid-back beach vacation.
Surrounded by the blue Caribbean waters, these islands are also known for boating, swimming, and snorkeling.
The Historic Ruins
Mexico has a rich history that dates back more than 13,000 years. This area was known as Mesoamerica, a pre-Columbian civilization that expanded from Mexico down through Central America.
The Olmec, Mayans, and Aztecs have all left their mark on the land in the shapes of pyramids, temples, and ruins that still exist today.
One of the most famous Mayan ruins in Mexico is Chichen Itza. Located in Yucatan, the ancient city was one of the largest and most populated places of its time. It features many different architectural ruins, including the iconic El Castillo pyramid.
Nearby in Tulum stands another historical masterpiece. The main structure (also called El Castillo) is perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean.
With a white sand beach below it, the ruins are popular for both history lovers and beachgoers.
At Calakmul, you’ll find 6,750 ancient structures from Mayan civilization, including the tallest pyramid pyramids in the country. If you dare, you can climb to the top of the 148-foot tall structure for a 360-degree view over the forest canopy.
The Stunning Landscapes
With mountains, beaches, valleys, and rainforests, Mexico has some of the most diverse landscapes in the Americas. Nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts will have plenty to explore during their visit.
Nearly 1/3 of the entire country is covered in forest. The Lacandon Jungle is one of the largest sections of natural rainforest, home to 25% of all Mexican animal species and 44% of Mexican butterfly species.
Cloud forests can also be found in 20 different places around the country.
Although they are in danger of deforestation, visiting the cloud forests will allow you to see some of the most diverse flora and fauna life in Mexico (over 2,800 types of trees have been documented in the cloud forests).
The Popocatépetl Volcano in Puebla is one of the county’s most iconic natural wonders. With a snow-capped peak towering over 17,000-feet above ground, this active volcano has erupted several times in the last few years.
The Copper Canyon in Chihuahua is another breathtaking sight, with tree-covered cliffs, hidden waterfalls, and bubbling hot springs.
The Yucatan Peninsula also attracts visitors due to the number of natural cenotes (sinkholes) which are perfect for swimming. Cenote Manatí, Cenote Calavera, Cenote Yaxmuul, and Cenote X’Canche are known for their lush setting and impeccably blue waters.
The Yucatan is also home to the Pink Lakes of Las Coloradas. And yes – they are actually pink!
The Exhilarating Activities
While most visitors come to Mexico to relax on the beach, others come to partake in heart-racing adventure sports. And for a good reason – Mexico is a wonderland for adrenaline junkies.
Snorkeling and scuba diving are great activities to do on vacation. But if you’re looking to take water sports to the next level, then consider cave diving.
You’ll descend into the middle of a cenote, where you’ll see underwater rock formations and intricate cave systems. Other exhilarating water sports include kitesurfing, white-water rafting, and shark cave diving.
There’s just as much fun on land as there is on water. Hike to the top of the Nevado de Toluca volcano, rappel 75-feet down the El Salto waterfall, or sandboard down the sandy dunes in La Paz.
Mexico is also home to the longest and highest zipline course in the world. Head to the Copper Canyon and whirl past mountains, valleys, and lakes as you reach speeds up to 85 miles per hour in the sky.
When is the Best Time to Visit Mexico?
As mentioned earlier, there are two main seasons in Mexico. The dry season (December to April) is a popular choice for travelers.
The weather is pleasantly warm, and you’ll have endless hours of sunlight for exploring attractions or lounging on the beach. The rainy season also has its advantages.
If you can put up with a few hours of sprinkles during the day, you’ll be blessed with lush, green surroundings and fewer crowds. Shoulder season (May or November) is also a good time for cheaper travel and warm temperatures.
How Many Days Do I Need in Mexico?
Mexico is a large and diverse country, so it’s worth spending as many days as you can. If you’re only in town for a beach getaway, then 3 to 5 days should be sufficient. This would allow you to leave the resort to make a day trip to visit a cenote or ruin.
More adventurous travelers may want to spend a week or two traveling through the country.
That way, you can visit three or four different regions without being pressured to see too much in one day. City dwellers traveling to Mexico City should spend at least 3 or 4 days to hit the major highlights and attractions.