Mexico is a well-known travel destination around the world and is full of diversity, delicious food, culture and life. The country is large and you can find a variety of options from beaches and temples to big cities or small colonial towns. Mexico is famous for many things including its food, music, and indigenous heritage, among other things. Check out some of our favorite destinations in this incredible country.

Mexico City

Mexico City is one of our favorite places in Mexico. It's one of the largest cities in the world and it has so much to offer, particularly in the Centro Historico. Like any major city, it's full of both rich and poor neighborhoods but is full of history and urban culture and life. It's a great place to explore urban Mexico, take Spanish classes or even visit the Aztec pyramids of Teotihuacan just an hour away from the city and one of the many cool day trips from Mexico City.

Isla Holbox

Isla Holbox is at the northern tip of the Yucatan peninsula and is a relatively unknown destination. It's just a two-hour drive from Cancun and is a paradise island full of stunning beaches, fresh seafood and a multitude of adventure and wildlife activities. You can go swimming with whale sharks or simply relax on one of the beautiful beaches. The island is similar to Isla Mujeres (closer to Cancun) but being farther away from the crowds offers a much more relaxed feel.

Holbox Island Near Cancan
Beach Hammocks on Isla Holbox


I've heard from countless travelers that Guanajuato is an amazing city to visit in Mexico. Our friend Jaime at Breakaway Backpacker raved about Guanajuato and couldn't say enough great things. The city is situated in a picturesque valley and its colonial center received the designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 


The city of Oaxaca is 5 hours driving south from Mexico City. It has a fascinating historical and cultural center and is a must-see destination in Mexico. Oaxaca is a place where you can explore the history of ancient civilizations, colonial art and architecture and experience the vibrant cultural traditions of the region. 

Riviera Maya

The Riviera Maya is a region in the Yucatan in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. It starts just south of Playa del Carmen and stretches just below Tulum, where you can find ancient Mayan ruins perched on the side of stunning beaches. The weather is warm year-round and it's a perfect place to learn a bit of history, explore the natural scenery and relax on the beach with a cocktail in the backdrop of ancient ruins.

Río Secreto in Cancun
Río Secreto in Cancun / image provided by Cancun CVB

Safety in Mexico

A quick word regarding travel safety in Mexico for those who have seen any of the bad press about Mexico. No matter whether you are backpacking Mexico or on your annual family vacation, it is recommended that you stick to the most popular tourist or vacation spots. Based on a mix of our research and own personal experiences, the destinations in this guide are well equipped for tourism and are deemed safe for travel in most cases.

Have you ever traveled to Mexico? What's your favorite destination?