Many people still think of Mexico as the Latin American country known for violence, drugs and poverty. While in some parts of the country that’s true, there are dozens of safe, friendly and very beautiful places to see throughout Mexico.
With a range of activities on offer, a variety of landscapes and vibrant culture, there’s plenty of reasons to visit this diverse country. To help you see the magic of Mexico we’ve listed five places you need see during your time there.
Mexico City really revived itself before its bicentennial celebrations a few years ago, and since then many new developments have been made to this vast city. The nation’s capital is home to over 21 million people, so you can be sure there’s plenty to see and do here. From the Plaza Garibaldi, which is a square that’s filled with Mariachi and other performers to plenty of gardens, outdoor eateries along the Aztec canals, chic bars, evening spots and ancient buildings that have been restored to their former glory. Regardless of what you’re looking for on your travels, Mexico City has it – even pyramids!
Playa Del Carmen
If you’ve Googled Mexican vacations, the chances are you’ve already seen the white sandy beaches of Playa del Carmen. The area has become increasingly popular as the numerous resorts here, shine where the hoteliers and tourism trade of Cancún fall short.
This is the perfect location to explore on foot with many remote beaches on the north side providing watersports such as diving, sailing, jet skis and snorkelling to make sure you get your fill of the crystal clear waters – there’s also plenty of boat trips and tours to nearby Cozumel Island.
Several blocks over from the water you’ve got La Quinta, a bustling avenue filled with bars, restaurants, street food and nightclubs.
A picturesque hill town with many cultural activities and points of interest. Music, art, performers, museums and the 16th-century Cathedrals are a big part of life in Guanajuato. In October, Festival Cervantino brings together all these cultural aspects and more such as the ballet folklórico and renowned Mexican orchestras – the best part is most of these events are free.
Guanajuato is a hospitable place all year round, offering a relaxed environment with cobbled streets and brightly coloured homes and buildings lined with laurel trees on the plaza, many of these homes are available to rent for a relaxing break.
San Miguel de Allende
One of the most popular towns with American expats in the central highlands north of Mexico City. This is a very safe place with a friendly atmosphere, the town became a Unesco World Heritage site in 2008 and is filled with local craft shops and fabulous restaurants nestled among the weaving streets.
The botanical gardens are not to be missed, while many luxury guest houses and homes make for the perfect retreat from the street markets after tasting the local cuisine. Or perhaps you’ve had a little too much wine on the terraces at lunch and you need a little siesta!
San Miguel de Allende is only 30 minutes from Guanajuato so you could easily visit both. Given the large expat community, there’re many classes available from cooking and crafts to helping you brush up on your Spanish.
Situated 4 hours from Cancún and known as ‘real Mexico’, Mérida is far more than a city to visit as part of a resort or beach vacation. The area alone offers at least several days worth of amazing day trips.
The city is best taken in on the weekends; I bet not many places can say that. This is because the historical center of Mérida closes to vehicles, so you’re free to take in the greatest of the Mayan Cathedrals while the area fills with stages for performances, markets and some great taco stands. The surrounding streets are full of restaurants, from traditional style cafes to fine dining.
There’re many great boutique hotels and rental homes available, and many come with pools and other premium amenities. To the north-west of the city, you can take tours of flamingo filled mangroves at the fishing village of Celestún.
It’s always worth remembering that if you decide to travel abroad you may find yourself in a position where you have to transfer money back home, or have money transferred to you on holiday. Ria Money Transfer is one of the most trusted and used money transfer companies when sending to Mexico.