Mexico is a great country to backpack, drive, or take a vacation. The activity options and friendliness of the locals are unmatched anywhere else in the world.
From Mayan ruins to lush jungles, Mexico City’s artsy food scene and beautiful Oaxaca, not forgetting delicious tacos, tamales, soups, seafood, and mole (just a few of Mexico’s many traditional dishes), there’s plenty what to gorge on during your stay here. .
I could go on and on about why I love this nation, but I’ll just say that any amount of time you plan to stay here is insufficient! You’ll want more after you’re gone.
Here are some other things to do in Mexico.
1. Take a walk through Mexico City’s Chapultepec Park.
Chapultepec is one of the largest urban parks in the world, with an area of almost 700 hectares. It includes the Mexico City Zoo, La Feria amusement park, and the Museum of Anthropology. The museum houses an extensive collection of sculptures, jewelry, and artifacts from ancient Mexican civilizations. The entrance to the museum costs 70 MXN.
2. While you’re here, check out the markets
Almost every Mexican city has a bustling and varied market where you can try traditional cuisine, find bargains and buy souvenirs. Mercado Ciudadela in Mexico City (for handmade textiles and artwork) is one of the best, as is Oaxaca’s Mercado Benito Juárez (for local foods like freshly ground coffee beans, juices, and grasshopper tacos). ). In Mérida, be sure to try the Yucatecan dishes at Mecardo Santa Ana. The slow-cooked pork dish cochito horneado is a local favorite, or you can head to El Mercado Lucas de Gálvez for their specialty seafood cocktails.
3. Zócalo Tour (Constitution Square)
Zócalo is the main square of Mexico City, dating back to the Aztecs. It encompasses both the Templo Mayor (an ancient Aztec temple) and the Palacio Nacional (a colonial palace with offices for the president of Mexico). The Metropolitan Cathedral, a beautiful cathedral with a gold altar, is just a short walk from the Zócalo. This iconic structure is considered a perfect example of Spanish colonial architecture.
4. Dive in!
The seas of Mexico are home to some of the best diving sites in the world due to their wide range of aquatic species, enormous coral reefs (including the second largest reef system in the world, the Great Mayan Barrier Reef), and high visibility. The Gulf of Mexico is home to five different species of sea turtles, blue whales, lemon sharks, and dolphins, among other things. Aside from scuba diving, the water is popular with snorkelers, sport fishermen, waterboarding, surfing, and a variety of other water sports activities. A one-day diving trip costs 2,400 Mexican pesos. Discovery Bay, Cenote Dos Ojos (the Two Eyes cenote), the Revillagigedo Islands and Isla Mujeres are some of the best places in Mexico to dive.
5. Relax in Cancun and enjoy the beauty of Mexico.
Depending on your goals, Cancun can provide you with a wild party in the sun or some quiet, unspoiled local markets and restaurants. On the one hand, there are spas, resorts and beautiful beaches. On the other side of the coin are the Mayan ruins, archaeological sites, and small villages that dot the landscape.
6. Lose yourself in the streets of Guadalajara
Guadalajara is the second largest city in Mexico, known for its tequila and mariachi. It has a plethora of museums, including Cabañas (a UNESCO building with incredible murals), MUSA (paintings and sculptures by local artists), and Páramo Galeria (contemporary art); nightlife spots; and old colonial streets. Visit the Hospicio Cabañas, a hospital built in the 19th century; then explore the gothic interior of the Guadalajara Cathedral with works of art by famous Mexican artists like Murillo.
7. Hang out in Oaxaca
Oaxaca is a state recognized for its artisan culture, food and mezcal. Oaxaca City is an old colonial city with many excellent restaurants, bars, and cafes frequented by locals and expats alike. I thoroughly enjoyed myself while adventuring around the city! If you’re heading to the coast, be sure to visit Puerto Escondido and Mazunte; two towns famous for their surfing, seafood and idyllic lifestyle.
8. Teotihuacan is a great ancient city in Mexico.
Visiting the ancient Aztec pyramids of Teotihuacan is a must do in Mexico. These huge structures date back to 400 BC. C. and are located just 30 miles from Mexico City. The ancient city of Teotihuacan, which means “House of the Gods”, is one of the most important archaeological sites in Mexico. It was founded around 100 CE and is best known for its three colossal pyramids, each named after a sun god: the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of the Moon, and the Temple of the Feathered Serpent. If you only have time to visit one Aztec site, this should be it. There is no shelter here, so bring sunscreen and a hat. Admission costs 75 MXN.
9. Visit the strange Island of the Dolls.
“Isla de la Munecas” or “The Island of the Dolls” in English, is one of the most chilling tourist attractions that exists, if not the most chilling. An individual by the name of Don Julián Santana moved here many years ago after learning that a girl drowned in a lake nearby. In an attempt to please her spirit, he began collecting and hanging dolls all over the island. It’s creepy and beyond disturbing, definitely not for the faint hearted! To get there, he will have to rent a boat from Xochimilco, which usually costs around 200 MXN (Mexican pesos).
10. Celebrate the Day of the Dead!
On November 1 and 2, Mexico celebrates the annual festival of the Day of the Dead. The event is a vibrant and lively affair with parades in colorful costumes to commemorate those who are no longer with us, including graveside processions. Families also erect altars with images of the deceased, candles, yellow marigold petals, and food as an expression of sorrow for their deceased relatives. It was designed to bring the dead back to life so they could join in the festivities. Oaxaca or Mexico City are two of the best places to witness this ritual.
11. Visit the UNAM Botanical Garden in Mexico City.
The Botanical Garden of the National Autonomous University of Mexico is a perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. In keeping with Aztec tradition, this garden focuses on medicinal and ornamental purposes as well as conservation and environmental education. Located on the slopes above and around the Xitle magma formations, visitors can explore the naturally formed caves, ponds and waterfalls. This plant has the largest variety of cacti in the world (800 different types!), as well as ponds full of koi and turtles, an orchid garden and a therapeutic garden. It’s free to enter.
12. Relax on Holbox Island
If you’re looking for a place to truly relax and IMMERSE YOURSELF IN NATURE, look no further than Holbox Island on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. With its white-sand beaches, jungles teeming with life, and incredibly clear waters, it’s easy to see why this hidden gem is becoming more popular by the day. Whether your idea of relaxation means lounging on the beach with a book or staying active by swimming, snorkeling, or hiking, there’s something for everyone on this beautiful island paradise! The bioluminescent waters here are a must see. You can take a bus from Cancun that will take you to the ferry port in about two hours. The ferry ride itself is only 25 minutes and costs 220 MZN.
13. Visit Merida.
Mérida is one of my most beloved places in Mexico, for its safety and beauty, its interesting history, its trendy mezcal bars, and its exceptional cuisine. Some notable restaurants and drinking places are La Chaya Maya Casona, Acervo Mezcalero, La Negrita Cantina, and Café Créme. Don’t forget to add the nearby archaeological zone of Uxmal, which is only an hour’s drive away. There are also some excellent museums in this area, including the Yucatan Museum of Popular Art, the Yucatan Music Museum, and the City Museum (which has a variety of Mayan relics).
14. Take a tour of the architecture of San Cristóbal de las Casas.
Don’t miss out on the fascinating history of Nuevo Progreso, a coastal town known for its beautiful colonial architecture. There are winding cobblestone streets, local artisan markets, and the entire region is surrounded by pine forests. The city’s 16th-century cathedral is well worth seeing, as well as taking a boat trip down the Sumidero Canyon to see the surrounding nature. You will see many birds, monkeys and crocodiles. Visit the Church of Guadalupe for a panoramic view of the city and surroundings for 5 MXN.
15. Take a trip to the Cenotes of Yucatan and try them out.
Cenotes are sinkholes filled with groundwater that were used by the Mayans as sources of fresh water. Today, they are popular swimming holes for locals and tourists (you can even dive in some). There are tons of them around the Yucatan Peninsula. Some are completely exposed, while others have surrounding walls or ceilings created by caves. Calavera, Cristalino, Casa Cenote, Yaxmuul, Choo-Ha and Cenote Escondido are some of the most popular cenotes in the region.
16. Visit Sayulita
On the Pacific coast, you’ll find Sayulita: a trendy beach town with a passionate expat and surfer population. The community here creates a carefree atmosphere, which is perfect for anyone who wants to try surfing or yoga (or both!). And if that doesn’t interest you, don’t worry, there are plenty of other activities available like zip-lining, ATV riding along the coast, jungle treks…really anything your heart desires. No matter what you choose to do during your visit to Sayulita, we guarantee that you will not be disappointed.
17. Explore Campeche
Campeche is located south of Mérida in the Yucatán. It has more than 2,000 historic structures and UNESCO World Heritage-listed colonial architecture, including fortified walls, making it a must-see for history and archeology buffs. The Museum of Mayan Architecture houses Mayan history and antiquities; see the Mayan ruins at Edzná (which is 45 minutes away with few tourists) and tour the old city wall to get a sense of what Campeche was like before it became a tourist destination.