Teeming with rich history and oodles of cultural heritage – not to mention awe-inspiring natural beauty – Mexico is an amazing place to go on holiday. With so much to see and do, you’ll never be bored whether you want to visit all the tourist attractions or simply enjoy the white sandy beaches, you’re sure to have an incredible experience.
But, much like just about every other country, there are some attractions that are overrated. And when you’re on holiday and you have limited time (and money!), the last thing you want to do is waste a day doing something that just isn’t worth it.
So, to help you avoid doing that, I’ve put together a list of 10 things that were totally worth the time, and one that I simply wouldn’t recommend.
Here are ten things that are worth doing in Mexico:
1. Chichen Itza
Built by the ancient Mayan people during the Terminal Classic period, Chichen Itza was one of the largest Mayan cities of its time. Full of a variety of different styles of architecture, the city had an astoundingly diverse population that tourists can appreciate today by means of the old buildings and artifacts left behind.
Chichen Itza is a super popular tourist attraction, but it’s worth every minute.
2. Tulum Archeological Site
Tulum Archeological Site is one of the most visited archeological sites in the world, but for good reason. It’s not the biggest of all of the ancient Mayan cities we know today, but it’s the location of the city that makes it so astounding.
Perched atop Tulum’s soaring cliffs, with azure turquoise waters below, the site is absolutely beautiful – visiting the ancient city, it’s amazing to realise ancient Mayans enjoyed the same views.
3. Zona Arqueologica Teotihuacan
Zona Arqueologica Teotihuacan is absolutely worth a visit, but it’s a massive site with plenty to see – so it certainly isn’t for the faint of heart! Located just northeast of the Valley of Mexico, make sure you visit la Calzada de los Muertos, la Ciudadela, el Templo de la Serpiente Emplumada and las Pirámides del Sol y la Luna. There are also two cultural centers on-site where you can learn about the area’s history.
4. Museo Nacional De Antropologia
Given the country’s incredible ancient history, it’s no wonder that the National Museum of Anthropology is a fascinating place to visit. Located in Mexico City, the museum is home to a huge variety of incredible artefacts – some of the most famous ones include “the Stone of the Sun” and the Aztec Xochipilli. There’s a lot to see (and read), but it’s totally worth it.
5. Rio Secreto
Mexican scenery and landscapes are generally pretty incredible, but Rio Secreto is just something else entirely. Explore this ancient underground river, made from unusual geological rock formations, and filled with stalagmites and stalactites. Rio Secreto is simply spectacular and unlike anything else you’ll experience in the world.
6. Zona Arqueologica De Coba
Located in the southeast of Mexico, Zona Arqueologica De Coba is another incredible ancient Mayan city that can be explored on foot. It’s home to the Ixmoja Pyramid – a 138-foot-tall structure that provides awesome views of the surrounding jungle. Reasonably close to Tulum, Zona Arqueologica De Coba is fairly easy to get to and is very much worth the time.
7. Cancun Underwater Museum
With more than 450 life-sized statues and sculptures under the water, the Cancun Underwater Museum is unlike anything you’ve experienced before. They’re strategically designed to encourage a symbiotic relationship between the artwork and the natural environment (both animals and coral reefs), and your visit to the museum contributes to environmental efforts in the area.
Teotihuacan was one of the earliest inhabited settlements in ancient Mexico, having been built for the Christian era. It went on to become one of the most populated cities, with more than 25,000 people – but only between the 1st and 7th centuries AD.
It’s easily one of the coolest and most interesting ancient cities to visit, as it has both natural and urban elements integrated into its design. Wandering around the city today is incredible as you get to see the phenomenal architecture, city planning, and ancient paintings.
9. Isla Mujeres
If you’re looking for a seaside paradise that isn’t completely overrun with loud, busy tourists, Isla Mujeres is the place to go – and, it’s only about eight kilometers from Cancun. The island itself is small – there aren’t even any cars – and you’ll be able to enjoy gorgeous beaches, natural parks, and even a temple.
10. San Miguel De Allende
Known for its Baroque Spanish architecture, San Miguel De Allende is a colonial-era city with an iconic cobblestoned center. The city is renowned for its rich culture and thriving art scene, and the city itself – the houses, buildings, and towers – are vibrant and colorful! It boasts an awesome, upbeat atmosphere, and it’s just extraordinarily pretty – very much worth a visit.
Where Would I Avoid in Mexico? Cabo San Lucas
Cabo San Lucas is frequently recommended as the top place to go in Mexico, but in reality, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. It may be beautiful in terms of scenery, but these days, it’s so busy and crowded – not to mention full of bars and nightclubs – that it’s lost its charm and authenticity. Of course, it’s not all bad, and there’s still a lot to enjoy there, but if you’re looking for a beautiful beach location in Mexico, there are plenty of other incredible options that are more worth your time.
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