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Mexico Travel Guide

Welcome to Mexico! A country with a rich heritage that blends indigenous cultures with Spanish influences, all set in some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world.

From the sun-kissed beaches of the Yucatán Peninsula, to the rugged Sierra Madre mountains, the cacti-studded deserts of the north, and the lush jungles of the south, Mexico is a country of striking natural beauty and biodiversity.

Add to this an impressive collection of archaeological sites, vibrant cities, delicious food, and warm-hearted people, and you have all the ingredients for an unforgettable trip. Our travel guide is here to help you navigate this diverse land and make the most of your Mexican adventure.

Quick Info

Capital city: Mexico City

Currency: Mexican Peso (MXN) – 1 USD = 16.72 MXN.

Electricity: Power voltage is 127 Volts. Power sockets type A and B.

Languages: Spanish is the official and most widely spoken language. Indigenous languages such as Nahuatl and Maya are also spoken.

Fun fact: Mexico is home to a tree that is believed to have the largest trunk in the world. The Tule Tree (Arbol del Tule), located in Santa Maria del Tule, is a Montezuma cypress tree with a diameter of about 36.2 feet, making it the “stoutest” tree known.

10 Handpicked Highlights of Mexico

With such a diverse array of attractions, narrowing down what to see in Mexico can be challenging. Here are ten handpicked highlights that nature lovers and cultural explorers alike should not miss when visiting Mexico.

Cancún’s Spectacular Beaches

Cancún, located in the Yucatán Peninsula, is famous for its stunning, crystal-clear turquoise waters and white-sand beaches. An iconic destination in the Caribbean, it’s the perfect place for sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, and diving.

Enjoy the sublime views of the Caribbean Sea, explore the breathtaking underwater world, or simply relax under the palm trees with your favorite drink. Cancún is also a gateway to other natural and archaeological sites in the region, including the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second-largest coral reef system in the world, and the ancient Mayan ruins of Tulum and Coba.

The Ancient City of Teotihuacán

Located just outside Mexico City, the ancient city of Teotihuacán is an archaeological marvel. Known for its immense Avenue of the Dead and the towering pyramids of the Sun and Moon, it provides a glimpse into the lives of one of Mesoamerica’s most influential civilizations.

Walk the same paths that ancient Teotihuacanos did, climb the steep steps of the Pyramids, and be rewarded with a breathtaking panoramic view of the city ruins. Teotihuacán is not just a historical landmark, but a journey back in time that will leave you in awe of the engineering prowess of the ancient Mesoamerican civilizations.

Mexico - Monarch Butterflies
Monarch Butterflies

The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve

Every winter, the mountains of central Mexico become the home of millions of Monarch butterflies making their annual migration from North America. This natural spectacle takes place in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Walking through the reserve, you’ll be surrounded by a sea of orange and black, as butterflies flutter around and blanket the oyamel fir trees.

This mesmerizing sight, coupled with the serene ambiance of the forest, creates an unforgettable experience. The Reserve also contributes to the conservation of these incredible creatures and their remarkable migration.

Chichen Itza

A visit to Mexico would not be complete without a trip to Chichen Itza, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. This ancient Mayan city, located in the Yucatán Peninsula, is a testament to the astronomical, architectural, and mathematical knowledge of the Maya.

The iconic Kukulkan Pyramid (El Castillo), with its precise alignment with the sun during the spring and autumn equinoxes, is a must-see. Alongside it, the Great Ball Court, the Temple of the Warriors, and the Sacred Cenote offer further insights into this fascinating civilization. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious, Chichen Itza is sure to impress.

Mexico - Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza

Copper Canyon

In northern Mexico, you’ll find a group of canyons known as the Copper Canyon, or Barranca del Cobre. These canyons are deeper and larger than the Grand Canyon in the U.S, offering an expansive network of valleys and crests with breathtaking views.

The area is also home to the indigenous Rarámuri people, known for their long-distance running abilities. A ride on the Chihuahua al Pacifico Railway, also known as El Chepe, is a great way to experience the beauty of these canyons. The train journey, recognized as one of the most scenic in the world, winds through tunnels and over bridges, presenting awe-inspiring views at every turn.

The Sumidero Canyon

Sumidero Canyon, located in Chiapas in southern Mexico, is a natural wonder that’s not to be missed. The result of a geological fault millions of years ago, the canyon’s walls reach up to 1,000 meters high. The Grijalva River that runs through the canyon is ideal for boat tours, offering chances to see crocodiles, monkeys, and a variety of birds.

Highlights of the canyon include the Christmas Tree waterfall, so-called because of its tree-like shape caused by deposits from the waterfall above, and the Sea Cave, which features fascinating rock formations.

Mexico City’s Historic Center

Mexico City, one of the world’s largest cities, is a bustling metropolis with a rich history. The city’s historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is filled with beautiful colonial buildings, ancient ruins, and impressive squares.

The Zócalo, one of the largest public squares in the world, is home to the majestic Metropolitan Cathedral and the National Palace. Nearby, the Templo Mayor, a significant Aztec temple, unveils the city’s ancient past. The historic center’s charming streets, abundant museums, and delicious street food also make it a must-visit destination in Mexico.

Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, whose name means “where the sky is born” in Mayan, is a nature lover’s dream. This UNESCO World Heritage site, located in the eastern part of the Yucatán Peninsula, is made up of tropical forests, mangroves, marshes, and a barrier reef. It provides a habitat for a remarkable variety of flora and fauna, including jaguars, pumas, and numerous bird species.

Visitors can explore the reserve’s natural beauty through guided tours, which may include boat trips, bird watching, and even encounters with dolphins and sea turtles. Sian Ka’an is truly a paradise for those who love wildlife and untouched landscapes.

Mexico - Ferocactus in Baja California
Ferocactus in Baja California

Baja California

Baja California, extending down the western peninsula of Mexico, offers an extraordinary landscape where the desert meets the sea. Its arid plains are populated by the towering cardón cacti, the world’s tallest cacti species, some reaching heights of over 20 meters.

These cacti forests create a surreal and unique sight, especially when contrasted against the azure backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. Baja California is also a renowned location for whale watching. Between December and April, gray whales migrate from the Arctic to the warmer lagoons of Baja to breed and give birth, providing an unparalleled opportunity for close encounters with these magnificent creatures.

The Cenotes of Yucatán

The Yucatán Peninsula is famous for its cenotes, natural sinkholes formed by the collapse of limestone bedrock, revealing a secret world of underground rivers and freshwater pools. These stunning natural formations, steeped in Mayan history and considered sacred by the ancient civilization, offer a unique opportunity for swimming, snorkeling, and even scuba diving.

Some of the most famous cenotes include the Ik Kil Cenote, with its cascading vines and crystal-clear waters, and the Samula Cenote, known for its distinctive root system descending from the hole in the cave’s ceiling. Exploring these magical underwater worlds is undoubtedly a highlight of any visit to Mexico.

Mexico's Geography & Landscapes

Mexico’s geography is incredibly diverse, boasting everything from towering mountains and steamy jungles to sprawling deserts and beautiful coastlines. Here are the major geographic regions:

  • The Northern Desert: This region includes the Baja Peninsula and is characterized by its arid climate and sparse, rugged terrain dotted with cacti.
  • The Central Plateau: Also known as the Mexican Altiplano, this area is a high plateau flanked by the Sierra Madre mountain ranges, home to many of Mexico’s largest cities including Mexico City.
  • The Pacific Coast: Stretching from the US border to Guatemala, this region features stunning beaches, cliffs, and the Sierra Madre del Sur mountain range.
  • The Gulf Coast: Known for its humid climate, lush vegetation, and fertile plains.
  • The Yucatán Peninsula: A flat, forested region known for its Mayan ruins and impressive network of cenotes.
  • The Bajío: A region of rolling hills and fertile plains, this is Mexico’s breadbasket.
  • The Southern Highlands: Including Chiapas and Oaxaca, this region features rugged highlands, deep valleys, and a significant indigenous population.

Best Time To Go To Mexico

Mexico is a vast country, and the best time to visit can vary greatly depending on where you plan to go.

  • Dry season (November to May): Generally, the dry season is considered the best time to visit. The weather is warm, and there’s less rain, especially in beach areas like Cancun and the Yucatán Peninsula.
  • Rainy season (June to October): This period sees higher temperatures and more rainfall, particularly in the afternoons. However, the showers often pass quickly, and everything is lush and green. This is also the best time to see wildlife in many parts of the country.
  • Hurricane season (June to November): Coastal areas, especially the Yucatán Peninsula and the Gulf Coast, can be affected by hurricanes during this period. Always check weather advisories if planning a trip during these months.
  • High-altitude areas: Mexico City and other high-altitude areas can be chilly in the winter (December to February) but are pleasant for most of the year.
Mexico - Sumidero Canyon
Sumidero Canyon

Traveling in Mexico

Staying Safe

Mexico is a popular travel destination known for its vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and delicious cuisine. However, as with any travel, it’s essential to be mindful of safety. Here are some tips to ensure a safe trip:

  • Stay informed about the areas you are visiting – some regions may have higher crime rates than others.
  • Avoid flashing expensive belongings or large amounts of cash.
  • Travel in groups, especially at night, and stick to well-lit areas.
  • Only use licensed taxis or reputable ride-sharing services.
  • Be wary of petty crime, such as pickpocketing, especially in crowded areas.
  • Ensure your travel insurance covers your destination and planned activities.
  • Stay hydrated and use sunblock to protect from the intense Mexican sun.
  • If you are traveling during hurricane season, stay updated with the weather forecasts.
  • Always respect local customs and laws.
  • Keep a copy of your passport and important numbers somewhere safe.

Getting to & Around Mexico

Mexico is well connected with international and domestic flights. The busiest airports are Mexico City International Airport and Cancún International Airport. Interjet, Volaris, and Aeroméxico are some of the main domestic airlines.

For long-distance travel within the country, Mexico’s extensive bus network is reliable, with services ranging from economical to luxurious. Some popular bus companies are ADO, Primera Plus, and ETN.

For short-distance travel, taxis and ride-sharing apps like Uber are available in most cities. Alternatively, you can rent a car, though be aware that driving in Mexico can be challenging due to heavy traffic and different road rules.


Accommodation in Mexico varies greatly in terms of price and comfort level, suiting a range of travel budgets. Luxury resorts are common in beach destinations like Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

Cities offer everything from high-end hotels to budget hostels. Airbnb is widely used and offers a chance to stay in unique, locally-owned properties.

For a more traditional experience, consider staying in a ‘posada’ or a ‘hacienda’ – these often provide a more personal and authentically Mexican experience.

Prices can range from as little as $10 USD per night for a hostel, up to hundreds of dollars for luxury resorts or boutique hotels. Always check reviews before booking.