Table of Contents

15 Best Cities to Visit in Mexico

Beautifully mixing the old with the new, colonial architecture and modern buildings stand side by side next to spacious plazas and beautiful beaches in Mexico’s delightful cities. Lying near to incredible Mayan ruins, the lively streets are home to amazing restaurants and museums, as well as thriving nightlife and trendy shops.

Perfectly combining natural beauty with its rich and ancient culture, the best cities in Mexico really need to be seen to be believed.

Map of cities in Mexico

Map of cities in Mexico

© OpenStreetMap © MapTiler © Touropia

15. Zacatecas [SEE MAP]

Zacatecas

cnszym / Flickr

A wealthy city full of lavish buildings and delightful old colonial architecture, Zacatecas’ silver mines were deplorably the site of much suffering for the indigenous slaves. Visiting one of the city’s mines is a somber experience, reminding one that this city’s beauty came at a terrible price.

Scenically located between two hills, the city is fascinating to explore, conjuring up images of old Spain due to its lovely cathedral, amazing museums and picturesque winding streets. Beautifully preserved, the historic center takes you back to times gone by.

14. Zihuatanejo [SEE MAP]

Zihuatanejo

© R. Bruzas / Dreamstime

Although in recent years increasing tourism has changed the face of the city slightly, Zihuatanejo retains much of its charm and still appears in most places to be a laidback fishing village.

Its old streets have some lovely restaurants, bars and cafes tucked away in them, though they are often quite full of tourists, especially when cruise ships stop by. With picturesque beaches, a romantic waterfront along the bay, and fishermen peacefully trawling out to sea, head to nearby Ixtapa in the evening if you are after a livelier atmosphere.

13. Merida [SEE MAP]

Merida

© Korostyshevskiy / Dreamstime

Located on the Yucatan Peninsula, Merida has long been its cultural capital. It has a fantastic historic center, some lovely museums and colonial buildings, as well as picturesque plazas and narrow streets that make for delightful exploring.

A perfect mix of big city and provincial town, its proximity to several incredible Mayan sites makes it a great place from which to explore the rest of the peninsula. In addition to all this, it has numerous cultural events, markets and restaurants to enjoy.

12. Tijuana [SEE MAP]

Tijuana

© Czuber / Dreamstime

Lying on the border with the US, Tijuana is a gritty, crime-ridden border town where you can drown in booze, party until dawn and possibly visit its red-light district.

Claiming to be the ‘most crossed border’ on earth, the droves of visitors dropped due to an increase in violence from the drug war, although most of them have flocked back to the bustling city – it is now a lot safer. In recent years, a thriving arts and culture scene has developed, and there are lots of trendy restaurants and contemporary galleries opening.

11. Acapulco [SEE MAP]

Acapulco

Once nicknamed the ‘Pearl of the Pacific’ due to its majestic setting, the city used to attract the rich and famous, but now it is more often college students on spring break who visit this crazy party town. Due to the drug wars that have led to an increase in violence, in recent years many people have stayed away, although it is comparatively safe to visit.

Acapulco is still visually stunning – its towering cliffs give way to verdant hills, sweeping bays and idyllic beaches, and its famous cliff divers are exhilarating to behold. With a delightful old fort, some great restaurants and lively nightlife, Acapulco still has it.

10. Oaxaca [SEE MAP]

Oaxaca

© A. Pilarinos / Dreamstime

One of Mexico’s – and indeed Central America’s – prime destinations for culture lovers, Oaxaca has a rich cultural heritage that mixes the colonial with the indigenous. A beautiful place, the city is set in a picturesque valley.

The charming plazas and fine churches of the colonial center mix seamlessly with indigenous markets and the regional flavors of the city. Wandering its streets is an experience; you will pass interesting museums and galleries, provocative street art, atmospheric cafes and, if you’re lucky, amazing fiestas.

9. Puebla City [SEE MAP]

Puebla City

© Ciolca / Dreamstime

This fantastic colonial city is an absolute delight to explore. It has a lovely cathedral, over seventy old churches in the center and more than a thousand historic buildings.

The fifth-largest city in Mexico has a lively arts and cultural scene, as well as some great nightlife to explore. With several worthwhile museums and a rich gastronomic history, Puebla City’s setting in beautiful mountainous terrain only adds to the attraction.

8. Taxco [SEE MAP]

Taxco

With beautiful mountains surrounding the city, delightful colonial architecture, and the distinctive twin spires of its baroque church rising above the rooftops, Taxco is a picture-perfect place to visit. It makes for a great weekend trip from Mexico City.

Built with the wealth that came from the silver mines, tourism is now the main breadwinner, although there are still lots of workshops where you can buy jewelry. With a timeless feel to it, wandering its narrow, cobbled streets amongst the old-style buildings is magical.

7. Guadalajara [SEE MAP]

Guadalajara

© Jcfotografo / Dreamstime

The second largest city in the country, Guadalajara is an expansive place that works at a slightly more relaxed pace than Mexico City. With a distinctly Mexican flavor about it, there is a rich cultural heritage, with sombreros and mariachi music originating from amidst its bustling streets.

Mixing the old with the new, the historic center with its fantastic cathedral and colonial architecture is a world away from other neighborhoods that are home to hipsters, trendy boutiques and pounding nightclubs. With a myriad of museums, galleries and theaters dotted amidst its numerous parks and squares, Guadalajara has a magnificent culinary scene and is a city on the move as it continues to modernize.

6. Puerto Vallarta [SEE MAP]

Puerto Vallarta

With stunning sunsets that bathe the mountains behind Puerto Vallarta in a golden glow and leave orange hues wavering in the ocean, the city is a delight to visit and attracts a diverse crowd of holiday makers.

Its endless beaches are the main draw, and the glittering waters that border them only add to Puerto Vallarta’s allure. Although expensive and quite touristy, the city has a nice old colonial center, with some trendy shops and upmarket restaurants.

The gay beach capital of the country has become more and more popular in recent years. As well as its pumping nightlife, there are lots of activities to help keep visitors entertained, such as horseback riding and boat trips.

5. San Miguel de Allende [SEE MAP]

San Miguel de Allende

One of the most popular destinations in Mexico, San Miguel de Allende is a picturesque and charming Mexican city that is magical to wander around. Looking out over the Rio Laja, the city is beautifully located on a steep hillside; its cobbled streets and delightful colonial architecture make it a treat to behold.

Due to the image of perfection that it gives off, it is now home to a large foreign population, who give San Miguel a cosmopolitan feel. Although there are no major attractions, simply being here is a treat. Whether it’s dining in the great restaurants, perusing the galleries or visiting the nearby hot springs, this city won’t disappoint.

4. Playa del Carmen [SEE MAP]

Playa del Carmen

© Enrique Gomez / Dreamstime

Located on the Yucatan Peninsula, Playa, as it is known to residents, is at the heart of the Mayan Riviera. It is a popular destination due to its proximity to Cancun and Cozumel. This trendy resort city is packed with holiday makers from both Mexico and abroad, with lots of cruise ship passengers dropping by.

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In addition to its lovely beaches and tranquil waters, the nearby reefs make for some fantastic diving and snorkeling. Based around Avenida 5 – the central street in town – there are lots of cafes, souvenir shops and upmarket fashion boutiques.

3. Mexico City [SEE MAP]

Skyline in Mexico City

This colossal capital city is home to over twenty-five million people; its vast size is staggering to behold and explore. Despite the endless sprawl, the fantastic metro system will soon have you shooting around in no time at all. While Mexico City still struggles with pollution, a lot of improvements have been made in recent years.

In a city of this size you can find almost anything imaginable. As such, some areas teem with life and energy while others are more quiet and laid back. A cosmopolitan place, the city center has some delightful colonial architecture on show. There are also some great museums to visit, with fantastic dining options and little old churches interspersed among more modern buildings. With so much to see and do, one could spend a lifetime exploring all this city has to offer.

2. Cabo San Lucas [SEE MAP]

Cabo San Lucas

© Leszek Wrona / Dreamstime

Located right at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, Cabo San Lucas has a myriad of activities to entertain tourists, with a raucous party scene amid a stunning setting of beautiful white beaches and amazing sea cliffs at Land’s End.

With a huge number of resorts to choose from, the city is becoming more and more popular and it’s easy to see why. Although most people come for the beaches and incredible nightlife, which includes fantastic restaurants, pounding clubs and lively bars, the natural beauty of the surroundings and the amazing array of outdoor activities alone make Cabo worth visiting.

Whether it’s taking a boat ride to watch dolphins frolic in the water, horseback riding among the cacti in the nearby desert, or scuba diving in the ocean and jet-skiing across its waves, Cabo is a dream to visit.

1. Cancun [SEE MAP]

Cancun

With its glittering turquoise waters, pearly-white beaches and fabulous party scene, Cancun’s idyllic setting and upbeat vibe makes it a fun and lively city to visit in Mexico. This huge resort city has two sides to it; the upmarket hotels, brilliant spas and expensive seafood restaurants contrast with the concrete buildings that are characteristic of the more residential neighborhoods. Both are worth exploring, however, as the latter is home to authentic salsa clubs, laid-back beach bars and a plethora of cheap eating options, while the local beaches remain untouched and beautiful.

While some may enjoy lounging on the beach and partying in the resorts’ endless discos, others will revel in discovering the Mayan ruins and pristine jungle habitats of nearby Coba or the more distant Chichen Itza. In any case, a fantastic array of day trips are available to you if you should ever feel the need to get out of Cancun for a bit of a break.

25 Top Tourist Attractions in Mexico

Mexico is one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations with over 20 million foreign visitors a year. Famous for its tequila, the Aztecs and the Mayas, Salma Hayek, Day of the Dead, drug wars, Lucha libre, Corona beer and the beach resorts on the Pacific and Caribbean side, Mexico can offer something for every sort of traveler. A list of the most amazing tourist attractions in Mexico:

25. Monte Alban [SEE MAP]

Monte Alban

Monte Alban, or White Mountain, was once the ancient capital of the Zapotec people. Overlooking the Valley of Oaxaca, Monte Alban is one of the top archeological sites in Mexico. In addition to spectacular views over the valley, visitors will be able to see the ruined buildings around a broad, flat hilltop terrace, the Gran Plaza, that runs north to south.

Two large pyramid mounds terminate the great plaza at the ends, and the sides of the space are lined with stepped platforms and terraces.

24. San Miguel de Allende [SEE MAP]

San Miguel de Allende

In the Bajio mountains of Central Mexico, there is a small colonial destination known as San Miguel de Allende. The city is bursting with history: It was founded by a San Franciscan Monk, played a big role in the war for Mexican independence from Spain and was a vital spot on the Mexican silver trail.

Today, it is best known for its colonial architecture and enchanting cobblestone streets. Historic buildings like the pink Teatro Angela Peralta and the Santuario de Atotonilco, an enormous church complex, are among the top attractions in the city.

23. Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve [SEE MAP]

Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve

Luna sin estrellas / Flickr

The annual Monarch butterfly migration is one of nature’s great spectacles and a top attraction for visitors to Mexico’s central highlands. Each year, millions of Monarch Butterflies make the journey from eastern Canada to the forests of western central Mexico, a journey that spans up to 3,000 miles.

The Monarch butterflies spend their winter hibernation clustered in small areas of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Michoacan, before they travel to the north again.

22. Great Pyramid of Cholula [SEE MAP]

Great Pyramid of Cholula

ogal / Flickr

Outside of Puebla is the Great Pyramid of Cholula, an archeological site that is home to the largest pyramid in the world. Also known as Tlachihualtepetl, the Great Pyramid of Cholula was built in four stages, the first of which began 2,300 years ago. Much of the pyramid is now overgrown though and appears to be a natural hill topped by a Catholic church.

This is the “Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios” which was built by the Spanish in 1594. Visitors are able to tour more than four miles of underground tunnels that showcase the sheer size and scope of this incredible landmark.

21. El Malecon [SEE MAP]

El Malecon

Mike Willis / Flickr

The boardwalk in Puerto Vallarta, also known as El Malecon, is a marvelous seaside promenade that border the blue waters of the Pacific. Most of El Malecon is exclusively for pedestrians, making it a safe place to take photos and admire the view.

Statues line the boardwalk, there are often elaborate sand displays on the beach, and there are also countless local establishments that cater to visitors. It is possible to stroll along El Malecon and stop for handmade souvenirs, some fresh seafood or a few tropical drinks at a local bar.

20. Uxmal [SEE MAP]

Uxmal

The ancient Mayan city of Uxmal is one of the most historically and culturally significant attractions in Mexico. Roughly 55 km (35 miles) south of Merida in Yucatan, the city was constructed primarily in the ninth century. Uxmal was once the capital of the region, and it is a prime example of Puuc architecture.

Various stone levels, along with elaborate stonework, gives the pyramid structures a grand appearance. Not to be missed is the Magician’s Pyramid, the tallest of the pyramids at Uxmal.

19. Zipolite [SEE MAP]

Zipolite

mripp / Flickr

Along the Pacific Coast in the Oaxaca region is Zipolite, a one-mile beach that retains a progressive, hippie vibe. In decades past, Zipolite was a nude beach, although that is far less common today.

Zipolite attracts travelers in search of a counter-culture vibe, and it still retains an authentic Mexican atmosphere despite the tourists from all around the world. While the beach itself is the main attraction, Zipolite is also well known for Av Roca Blanca, a street just off the beach that offers bars, shops and cafes.

18. Museo Nacional de Antropologia [SEE MAP]

Museo Nacional de Antropologia

Dennis Jarvis / Flickr

The Museo Nacional de Antropologia, or National Museum of Anthropology, is both the largest and most visited museum in all of Mexico. Located in Mexico City’s Chapultepec Park, the museum boasts an enormous collection of artifacts and exhibits relating to the pre-Columbian heritage of the country. This includes Mayan and Aztec pieces, such as the famed Stone of the Sun, which is the original Aztec calendar stone.

17. El Tajin [SEE MAP]

El Tajin

Frank C. Müller / Wikipedia

El Tajín was an important gulf coast city, founded by the Classic Veracruz culture. Most of the buildings at the site were constructed between 600 – 900 AD. Surrounded by the green jungle, these ruins are believed to have been the political and administrative center of the entire civilization.

Today, visitors can see more than 150 identified buildings, although just a dozen are restored and open to the public at any given time. Of note is the Pyramid of Niches, the most impressive structure at the site.

16. San Ignacio Lagoon [SEE MAP]

San Ignacio Lagoon

ryan harvey / Flickr

There are several places to go whale watching in Mexico, but none is so spectacular than San Ignacio Lagoon. Located off the coast of Baja California Sur, the lagoon is the winter home to a number of Eastern Pacific gray whales.

During the winter months, gray whales come to give birth in the shallowest parts of the lagoon. San Ignacio Lagoon is now Latin America’s largest wildlife sanctuary, and there are many guided boat tours that allow visitors to get up close and personal with the gray whales.

15. Bonampak Murals [SEE MAP]

Bonampak Murals

Inakiherrasti / Wikipedia

Bonampak is an ancient archeological site in the state of Chiapas. While there are many Mayan structures at Bonampak worth exploring, the most famous is the Temple of Murals. This temple is where the Bonampak Murals can be found, a collection of ancient art that helps explain the history and culture of the Mayans. Hundreds of figures were painted in three different rooms, each of which tells a part of a narrative in bold turquoise, red and yellow hues.

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14. Isla Mujeres [SEE MAP]

Isla Mujeres

Brian Lauer / Flickr

Surrounded by the blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, just eight miles from Cancun, is Isla Mujeres. This island is a hotspot today, but it also has significance for the region’s cultural heritage. Isla Mujeres, which translates to the island of women, was sacred to the Mayan goddess of childbirth.

Today, travelers arrive by ferry from Cancun to relax on the scenic beaches, visit the local turtle farm, scuba dive or snorkel in the clear waters or just relax away from the Cancun beach crowds.

13. Santa Prisca Church in Taxco [SEE MAP]

Santa Prisca Church

El Templo de Santa Prisca, or the Santa Prisca Church, is a magnificent Baroque structure located in the city of Taxco. Built in the 18th century, the church is a colonial landmark that was commissioned by a prosperous Spanish mine owner.

Made from pink stone, boasting large twin towers and decorated with tiles, this is an ornate monument that no architecture enthusiast would want to miss. Inside, nine enormous altarpieces stretch from the floor to the ceiling, and each is covered in gold.

12. Acapulco Cliff Divers [SEE MAP]

Acapulco Cliff Divers

Prayitno / Flickr

Acapulco is the original Mexican resort town which came into prominence by the 1950s as a getaway for Hollywood stars and millionaires. No visit to Acapulco is complete without watching the cliff divers perform their impressive jumps into ocean.

They have been doing it since the 1930s, although today the divers are professionals. You can see the dives from a small platform by the cliff for a small entrance fee, or eat at the La Perla restaurant which offers a good view of the divers.

11. Cenote Dos Ojos [SEE MAP]

Cenote Dos Ojos

Guillen Perez / Flickr

Just outside of Tulum is Cenote Dos Ojos, one of the country’s largest underwater cave systems. The name means the cavern of two eyes, referring to the two sinkholes connected by a long passageway.

The water in the caverns is filtered through limestone, making it exceptionally clear. As a result, Cenote Dos Ojos is wildly popular with both snorkelers and more serious scuba divers, some of whom head deep into the underwater cavern.

10. Catedral Metropolitana [SEE MAP]

Catedral Metropolitana

decar66 / Flickr

There is no shortage of things to do, see and explore in Mexico City, but a top attraction is unquestionably the Catedral Metropolitana. It is the oldest and the largest cathedral in Latin America, and the 16th century structure dominates the city’s central plaza, known as the Zocalo.

The architecture is a blend of styles, including heavy influences from baroque and Mexican churrigueresque design. In addition to the architecture, the Catedral Metropolitana boasts an extensive art collection as well as catacombs beneath the main structure.

9. Guanajuato [SEE MAP]

Guanajuato

Nestled in the mountains of the Sierra de Guanajuato lies the beautiful colonial city of Guanajuato. The city was founded in 1554 next to one of the richest silver mining areas of Mexico. The 16th-century mining boom led to the construction of beautiful haciendas and fine colonial buildings.

Guanajuato streets and many colorful alleyways spread out in every direction while most of its traffic is served by a network of underground tunnels making it an excellent city for pedestrians.

8. Dias des los Muertos, Oaxaca [SEE MAP]

Dias des los Muertos, Oaxaca

Cidades para Pessoas / Flickr

The city of Oaxaca is well-known for having one of the best Dia de Los Muertos festivals in Mexico, a holiday celebrated in many parts of Latin America. In Mexico the festival can be traced back thousands of years ago to indigenous cultures such as the Zapotec and Aztec.

In Oaxaca the Day of the Dead Festival starts at the end of October when families prepare the tombs for the return of the spirits. During this time tombs and home altars are decorated with flowers and families leave offerings for the spirits in the cemeteries.

7. Cozumel [SEE MAP]

Cozumel

Grand Velas Riviera Maya / Flickr

Located just off the Yucatan Peninsula, Cozumel is a popular destinations for scuba diving and snorkeling. The underwater world around Cozumel was discovered by Jacques Cousteau in 1959 who called it one of the best diving areas in the world. Since that time Cozumel has become a National Marine Park to protect the delicate balance of it’s beautiful coral reefs and amazing variety of tropical fish.

6. El Arco [SEE MAP]

El Arco

D&S McSpadden / Flickr

El Arco is an incredible arch found in Cabo San Lucas. This unique rock formation marks the spot where the Pacific Ocean becomes the Gulf of California. The arch has become an icon of Cabo San Lucas, and it can be viewed from several angles.

A stroll along the beach gives the opportunity for amazing pictures of El Arco, not to mention views of the blue waters, the gray whales that frequently frolic in the ocean and additional rock formations along the coastline.

5. Palenque [SEE MAP]

Palenque

Palenque is an archaeological site that was located on the western edge of the Maya empire in the present-day state of Chiapas, Mexico. Palenque is much smaller than some of its Mayan neighbor cities, but it contains some of the finest architecture and sculptures the Maya ever produced. Most structures in Palenque date from about 600 AD to 800 AD including the Temple of Inscriptions, the only Mesoamerican pyramid built as a funerary monument.

4. Copper Canyon [SEE MAP]

Copper Canyon

The Copper Canyon is in fact a network of canyons which together are several times larger than the Grand Canyon. The most popular way to explore the Copper Canyon is on the “Chihuahua al Pacifico” Railway. The track passes over 37 bridges and through 86 tunnels, rising as high as 2,400 meter (7,900 feet) above sea level featuring spectacular views of the canyons below.

3. Tulum [SEE MAP]

Tulum

Tulum is situated on the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula. It once served as the major port of the Mayan city of Coba. Tulum was built around 1200 AD when the Mayan civilization was already in decline and therefore lacks the elegance of some other famous sites.

The tropical beach backdrop however makes this a stunning top attraction which should not be missed. Accommodation can range from simple cabanas to 5 star luxury resorts.

2. Chichen Itza [SEE MAP]

Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza is the largest of the Maya cities in the Yucatan Peninsula and one of Mexico’s most visited tourist destinations. The most famous landmark of Chichen Itza is the temple-pyramid of El Castillo. The design of the temple has special astronomical significance.

Each face of the pyramid has a stairway with 91 steps, which together with the shared step at the top, add up to 365, the number of days in a year. Other highlights of Chichen Itza include the Great Ballcourt and El Caracol, a circular temple which served as an astronomical observatory.

1. Teotihuacan [SEE MAP]

#1 of Tourist Attractions In Mexico

ZeroOne / Flickr

In the 2nd century BC a new civilization arose in the valley of Mexico. This civilization built the flourishing metropolis of Teotihuacán and it’s huge pyramids. The Pyramid of the Sun was built around 100 AD and is the largest pyramid in Teotihuacán and all of Mexico. The construction of the smaller Pyramid of the Moon started a century later and was finished in 450 AD.

Seven centuries after the demise of the Teotihuacán empire the pyramids were honored and utilized by the Aztecs and became a place of pilgrimage. Mesoamerica’s greatest city is just 31 miles (50km) northeast of Mexico City and can be reached by bus or taxi.

15 Best Cities to Visit in Mexico

Beautifully mixing the old with the new, colonial architecture and modern buildings stand side by side next to spacious plazas and beautiful beaches in Mexico’s delightful cities. Lying near to incredible Mayan ruins, the lively streets are home to amazing restaurants and museums, as well as thriving nightlife and trendy shops.

Perfectly combining natural beauty with its rich and ancient culture, the best cities in Mexico really need to be seen to be believed.

Map of cities in Mexico

Map of cities in Mexico

© OpenStreetMap © MapTiler © Touropia

15. Zacatecas [SEE MAP]

Zacatecas

cnszym / Flickr

A wealthy city full of lavish buildings and delightful old colonial architecture, Zacatecas’ silver mines were deplorably the site of much suffering for the indigenous slaves. Visiting one of the city’s mines is a somber experience, reminding one that this city’s beauty came at a terrible price.

Scenically located between two hills, the city is fascinating to explore, conjuring up images of old Spain due to its lovely cathedral, amazing museums and picturesque winding streets. Beautifully preserved, the historic center takes you back to times gone by.

14. Zihuatanejo [SEE MAP]

Zihuatanejo

© R. Bruzas / Dreamstime

Although in recent years increasing tourism has changed the face of the city slightly, Zihuatanejo retains much of its charm and still appears in most places to be a laidback fishing village.

Its old streets have some lovely restaurants, bars and cafes tucked away in them, though they are often quite full of tourists, especially when cruise ships stop by. With picturesque beaches, a romantic waterfront along the bay, and fishermen peacefully trawling out to sea, head to nearby Ixtapa in the evening if you are after a livelier atmosphere.

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13. Merida [SEE MAP]

Merida

© Korostyshevskiy / Dreamstime

Located on the Yucatan Peninsula, Merida has long been its cultural capital. It has a fantastic historic center, some lovely museums and colonial buildings, as well as picturesque plazas and narrow streets that make for delightful exploring.

A perfect mix of big city and provincial town, its proximity to several incredible Mayan sites makes it a great place from which to explore the rest of the peninsula. In addition to all this, it has numerous cultural events, markets and restaurants to enjoy.

12. Tijuana [SEE MAP]

Tijuana

© Czuber / Dreamstime

Lying on the border with the US, Tijuana is a gritty, crime-ridden border town where you can drown in booze, party until dawn and possibly visit its red-light district.

Claiming to be the ‘most crossed border’ on earth, the droves of visitors dropped due to an increase in violence from the drug war, although most of them have flocked back to the bustling city – it is now a lot safer. In recent years, a thriving arts and culture scene has developed, and there are lots of trendy restaurants and contemporary galleries opening.

11. Acapulco [SEE MAP]

Acapulco

Once nicknamed the ‘Pearl of the Pacific’ due to its majestic setting, the city used to attract the rich and famous, but now it is more often college students on spring break who visit this crazy party town. Due to the drug wars that have led to an increase in violence, in recent years many people have stayed away, although it is comparatively safe to visit.

Acapulco is still visually stunning – its towering cliffs give way to verdant hills, sweeping bays and idyllic beaches, and its famous cliff divers are exhilarating to behold. With a delightful old fort, some great restaurants and lively nightlife, Acapulco still has it.

10. Oaxaca [SEE MAP]

Oaxaca

© A. Pilarinos / Dreamstime

One of Mexico’s – and indeed Central America’s – prime destinations for culture lovers, Oaxaca has a rich cultural heritage that mixes the colonial with the indigenous. A beautiful place, the city is set in a picturesque valley.

The charming plazas and fine churches of the colonial center mix seamlessly with indigenous markets and the regional flavors of the city. Wandering its streets is an experience; you will pass interesting museums and galleries, provocative street art, atmospheric cafes and, if you’re lucky, amazing fiestas.

9. Puebla City [SEE MAP]

Puebla City

© Ciolca / Dreamstime

This fantastic colonial city is an absolute delight to explore. It has a lovely cathedral, over seventy old churches in the center and more than a thousand historic buildings.

The fifth-largest city in Mexico has a lively arts and cultural scene, as well as some great nightlife to explore. With several worthwhile museums and a rich gastronomic history, Puebla City’s setting in beautiful mountainous terrain only adds to the attraction.

8. Taxco [SEE MAP]

Taxco

With beautiful mountains surrounding the city, delightful colonial architecture, and the distinctive twin spires of its baroque church rising above the rooftops, Taxco is a picture-perfect place to visit. It makes for a great weekend trip from Mexico City.

Built with the wealth that came from the silver mines, tourism is now the main breadwinner, although there are still lots of workshops where you can buy jewelry. With a timeless feel to it, wandering its narrow, cobbled streets amongst the old-style buildings is magical.

7. Guadalajara [SEE MAP]

Guadalajara

© Jcfotografo / Dreamstime

The second largest city in the country, Guadalajara is an expansive place that works at a slightly more relaxed pace than Mexico City. With a distinctly Mexican flavor about it, there is a rich cultural heritage, with sombreros and mariachi music originating from amidst its bustling streets.

Mixing the old with the new, the historic center with its fantastic cathedral and colonial architecture is a world away from other neighborhoods that are home to hipsters, trendy boutiques and pounding nightclubs. With a myriad of museums, galleries and theaters dotted amidst its numerous parks and squares, Guadalajara has a magnificent culinary scene and is a city on the move as it continues to modernize.

6. Puerto Vallarta [SEE MAP]

Puerto Vallarta

With stunning sunsets that bathe the mountains behind Puerto Vallarta in a golden glow and leave orange hues wavering in the ocean, the city is a delight to visit and attracts a diverse crowd of holiday makers.

Its endless beaches are the main draw, and the glittering waters that border them only add to Puerto Vallarta’s allure. Although expensive and quite touristy, the city has a nice old colonial center, with some trendy shops and upmarket restaurants.

The gay beach capital of the country has become more and more popular in recent years. As well as its pumping nightlife, there are lots of activities to help keep visitors entertained, such as horseback riding and boat trips.

5. San Miguel de Allende [SEE MAP]

San Miguel de Allende

One of the most popular destinations in Mexico, San Miguel de Allende is a picturesque and charming Mexican city that is magical to wander around. Looking out over the Rio Laja, the city is beautifully located on a steep hillside; its cobbled streets and delightful colonial architecture make it a treat to behold.

Due to the image of perfection that it gives off, it is now home to a large foreign population, who give San Miguel a cosmopolitan feel. Although there are no major attractions, simply being here is a treat. Whether it’s dining in the great restaurants, perusing the galleries or visiting the nearby hot springs, this city won’t disappoint.

4. Playa del Carmen [SEE MAP]

Playa del Carmen

© Enrique Gomez / Dreamstime

Located on the Yucatan Peninsula, Playa, as it is known to residents, is at the heart of the Mayan Riviera. It is a popular destination due to its proximity to Cancun and Cozumel. This trendy resort city is packed with holiday makers from both Mexico and abroad, with lots of cruise ship passengers dropping by.

In addition to its lovely beaches and tranquil waters, the nearby reefs make for some fantastic diving and snorkeling. Based around Avenida 5 – the central street in town – there are lots of cafes, souvenir shops and upmarket fashion boutiques.

3. Mexico City [SEE MAP]

Skyline in Mexico City

This colossal capital city is home to over twenty-five million people; its vast size is staggering to behold and explore. Despite the endless sprawl, the fantastic metro system will soon have you shooting around in no time at all. While Mexico City still struggles with pollution, a lot of improvements have been made in recent years.

In a city of this size you can find almost anything imaginable. As such, some areas teem with life and energy while others are more quiet and laid back. A cosmopolitan place, the city center has some delightful colonial architecture on show. There are also some great museums to visit, with fantastic dining options and little old churches interspersed among more modern buildings. With so much to see and do, one could spend a lifetime exploring all this city has to offer.

2. Cabo San Lucas [SEE MAP]

Cabo San Lucas

© Leszek Wrona / Dreamstime

Located right at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, Cabo San Lucas has a myriad of activities to entertain tourists, with a raucous party scene amid a stunning setting of beautiful white beaches and amazing sea cliffs at Land’s End.

With a huge number of resorts to choose from, the city is becoming more and more popular and it’s easy to see why. Although most people come for the beaches and incredible nightlife, which includes fantastic restaurants, pounding clubs and lively bars, the natural beauty of the surroundings and the amazing array of outdoor activities alone make Cabo worth visiting.

Whether it’s taking a boat ride to watch dolphins frolic in the water, horseback riding among the cacti in the nearby desert, or scuba diving in the ocean and jet-skiing across its waves, Cabo is a dream to visit.

1. Cancun [SEE MAP]

Cancun

With its glittering turquoise waters, pearly-white beaches and fabulous party scene, Cancun’s idyllic setting and upbeat vibe makes it a fun and lively city to visit in Mexico. This huge resort city has two sides to it; the upmarket hotels, brilliant spas and expensive seafood restaurants contrast with the concrete buildings that are characteristic of the more residential neighborhoods. Both are worth exploring, however, as the latter is home to authentic salsa clubs, laid-back beach bars and a plethora of cheap eating options, while the local beaches remain untouched and beautiful.

While some may enjoy lounging on the beach and partying in the resorts’ endless discos, others will revel in discovering the Mayan ruins and pristine jungle habitats of nearby Coba or the more distant Chichen Itza. In any case, a fantastic array of day trips are available to you if you should ever feel the need to get out of Cancun for a bit of a break.

Source https://www.touropia.com/best-cities-to-visit-in-mexico/#:~:text=One%20of%20the%20most%20popular%20destinations%20in%20Mexico,,colonial%20architecture%20make%20it%20a%20treat%20to%20behold.

Source https://www.touropia.com/tourist-attractions-in-mexico/

Source https://www.touropia.com/best-cities-to-visit-in-mexico/

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