Mexico seems to be repeatedly bedeviled by headline-grabbing convulsions of violence, yet tourism continues to boom. And little wonder: Mexico has heart—more than enough to share with everyone who makes the effort to visit. Here are some of the Top Places to Visit in Mexico, plus tips about staying safe in Mexico and around the world.
Places to Visit in Mexico – Greatest Mexico Vacation Destinations
In the past decade, Tulum has grown into a coveted vacation for luxury travelers; however, it still tempts bargain hunters who remember when this tucked-away jewel of Mexico’s east coast was more of a secluded getaway. Here, you’ll find some of the best-preserved Mayan ruins in the Western Hemisphere, ruins that have the cerulean waters of the Caribbean Sea as a backdrop. And there are other out-of-this-world wonders, including several cenotes (or underground water-filled caverns) and bioreserves. As an added plus: Tulum continues to be the tiny, quiet alternative to the other Riviera Maya resort areas during the spring break season.
Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen boasts a hip food scene, with eateries dishing out everything from delectable tacos and tostadas to sushi and expertly cooked seafood, plus an even hipper bar culture. What’s more, this destination in the Riviera Maya beckons to vacationers with its soft sand blanketing its beaches and its stunning shoreline views. Visitors can also bike to a nearby cenote for a refreshing dip or hit the links at one of the upscale Playacar’s golf courses. All-inclusive resorts, vacation rentals, and boutique properties abound in this region, too, giving travelers plenty of options to suit their preferences and budgets.
Copper Canyon: Mexico’s Grand Canyon
Chihuahua, one of Mexico’s most northerly states-it shares the border with New Mexico in the US-is home to one of the country’s most visited natural attractions, the stunning Copper Canyon (Barranca del Cobre). Located in a region known as the Sierra Madre Occidental and consisting of a spectacular group of deep canyons, Copper Canyon is in fact larger and deeper than its better known cousin, the Grand Canyon. Taking its name from the distinctive copper green coloring along its steep canyon walls, these amazing natural structures were formed by six rivers that converge in the Rio Fuerte before draining into the Gulf of California.
Thanks to the area’s increased popularity as a travel destination, there are numerous options available to those wanting to explore this area of outstanding natural beauty, from scenic rail trips aboard the Ferrocarril Chihuahua al Pacífico to more adventurous excursions by bike or even on horseback.
Mexico City’s Historic Center
Mexico City (Ciudad de México) is not only the capital of the country and the seat of government, it is one of the country’s most popular alternative travel destinations thanks to its many world-class museums, art galleries, and attractions. Don’t be put off by its size. Instead, focus your efforts on the historic city center (Centro Histórico de la Ciudad), a 15-square-kilometer UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting more than 1,400 important colonial buildings from the 16th to the 19th centuries.
It’s here, you’ll find most of Mexico City’s major attractions, many within walking distance of Constitution Square (Plaza de la Constitución), the city’s bustling main plaza, including the National Palace, the Metropolitan Cathedral, and the Templo Mayor with its Aztec relics. Adding to the whole experience are the huge volcanic mountains overlooking the city, Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl, each over 5,000 meters tall and offering a perfect excuse to get out and explore the stunning scenery in this part of the Mexican Highlands.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Strolling, shopping, and sipping tequila along the Malecon boardwalk of Puerto Vallarta is the best way to kick off your vacation. Then hit the cobblestone streets of Old Vallarta to browse the flea market for handmade crafts. The calm, warm waters of the Bay…
Just as birds fly south to escape the cold of northern winter, Mazatlan is a popular destination for winter’s human snowbirds. Nicknamed “Pearl of the Pacific,” Mazatlan offers 11 miles of golden sand beaches, the largest boardwalk in Latin America, blue lagoons and water sports that draw tourists any time of the year, but especially during the winter. Located in Sinaloa Province, Mazatlan also offers travelers a chance to experience a more traditional Mexican lifestyle, since the historic old section of town still carries on much as it did before flocks of tourists arrived on its shores.
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