So, you’ve decided to visit Mexico but don’t know where to start? Maybe you’re thinking about going there during summer, but you’re waiting for that last nudge? Say no more. Get ready to drink as many Paloma cocktails as your heart desires, eat the freshes dragon fruit and watch the sunset over former Mayan cities. We’ll take you through a list of the most popular attractions in Mexico that should find their spot on your itinerary. Here’s a little taste of what’s to come:
- Unique tourist attractions in Mexico - Cancun underwater museum
- Doj Ojos cenote
- Popular tourist attractions in Mexico - Xcaret park
- Tourist attractions in Mexico through a map
Man-made tourist attractions in Mexico - Chichen Itza
If you still haven't started your collection of visits to the New Seven Wonders of the World, we suggest making Chichen Itza your first wonder. It is believed that Itza stands for water magicians. This is actually a Mayan city that was living and thriving in the 9th and 10th centuries CE. Its center is adorned with La Pirámide, and no, you cannot climb it. Admiring it from afar is going to do the trick tho, no worries. Mayans' deep admiration and knowledge of astronomy influenced the construction plans, from building a round-shaped observatory to making 365 steps on the main pyramid. This pyramid, also called Kukulkan Pyramid, contains two smaller ones inside, which technically makes it the biggest Russian doll ever built. At least we like to view it that way.
Doj Ojos cenote
One of the largest underwater cave systems in the world is situated in the Yucatan peninsula, and boy is it worth your time. Let’s start with what cenotes are - a naturally-formed sinkhole that exposes huge water pits underground, perfect for swimming and deepwater exploration. Mexico is filled with these natural phenomena which have become popular among tourists for obvious reasons. Dos Ojos cenote got the name due to its look, as it creates an eye-looking shape with the neighboring cave system. Throughout the year water in this cave maintains the temperature at 72 F (26 C), and it has 2 main caves for the divers to enter, The Bat cave line and the Barbie cave line. Even if you don’t intend to go deep diving, you should give this tourist attraction in Mexico a chance and explore it via boat ride.
Popular tourist attractions in Mexico - Xcaret park
A theme park like no other, Xcaret park manages to pack as many essential Mexican experiences as possible. Privately owned, this eco-archaeological park stretches over 200 acres (80ha) and is a whole workout to tour. The best way to explore it all in one go is to divide and conquer. It's located in the Riviera Mara and gets a nice portion of the Caribbean coastline to itself. Xcaret park includes nature-based attractions that will take you swimming with dolphins, sharks, and stingrays, show you the life cycle of butterflies and sea turtle nesting sites, let you hold a macaw in the bird sanctuary, and even put you close to jaguars. If adrenalin is what you seek, there are fields for monster truck riding, zip lines that fly over replicas of Mayan villages, shallow and deep pools and natural rivers, white-water rafting, speed boating, you name it. Give our Xcaret Park page a visit to learn all the specifics, from ticket prices to names of the attractions.
Bosque de Chapultepec
How would you feel about taking a stroll in one of the oldest urban parks in the world? Bosque the Chapultepec gives you just that, surrounding you with a thick forest jet keeping you in the urban epicenter of the city. This one gives Central Park a run for its money! The green oasis of Mexico city surrounds Chapultepec Hill, a rock formation, and branches into four sections filled with vegetation and must-see spots. The so-called lungs of Mexico cover around 1,695 acres (686ha), making it one of the largest city parks in the Western Hemisphere. It is home to some of Mexico City's most prominent tourist attractions, plus the location is divine.
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This is where you'll find The Castillo de Chapultepec, the only castle in North America that served as an official royal residence, alongside not one but nine museums. The National Museum of Anthropology may be the most visited one, so if you don't have much time, this is the one to see. Bosque the Chapultepec is also home to Alas de la Ciudad, a statue of wings perfect for your next best Instagram photo, and an area dedicated to music, relaxation, and colorful benches. The ultimate way to explore this park is to go on a bike tour with other tourists and soak up all the sights.
Famous tourist attractions in Mexico - Uxmal
Now, constructions in this cluster of buildings you can climb—all except one, the Adivido pyramid. We are going back to Yucatan Peninsula to visit one of Mexico's most popular tourist attractions, the former Mayan city of Uxmal. The name and origin of this city remain a mystery, and that's what makes it fun. As always, astronomy heavily influenced the positioning of properties; the central doorway of the Governor's Palace is aligned with Venus, and the staircase on the west of the Temple of the Magician pyramid faces the Sun during the Summer solstice.
Now a World Heritage site, it once was one of the area's biggest cities with a population of around 20.000 Maya. Of all the places that cover approximately 150 acres (60ha), you must at least climb the 90 steps of The Pyramid of the Magician and visit The Nunnery Quadrangle right next to it. Be prepared for 60-degree slopes and 328 feet (100m) high walls, but the payoff is spectacular. More than 100 stone masks, intricate ornaments typical of Puuc architectural styles, serpents, we love it all.
Frida Kahlo Museum
Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón, an icon of artists, feminists, and queer people, has intended for her beloved Blue house to be a museum after her death. Everything you need to know about her life, passion, and nature is in this quote:
They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t.
I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.
La Casa Azul is where she spent most of her life, sharing it with her family and later, her husband Diego Rivera, who we have to thank for the existence of this museum. Poet Carlos Pellicer, a close friend of theirs, carefully curated the museum to capture the true essence of her life, art, and Mexican culture as well.
Today, you’ll get to see the walls decorated with paintings that both Kahlo and her husband created, Kahlo’s personal belongings, original furniture, pre-Columbian sculptures, photographs and documents relevant to their lives, and many art supplies. You mustn’t miss the exhibition Appearances Can Be Deceiving: The Dresses of Frida Kahlo. This exhibit gives you an intimate look into beloved Frida's style from the well-known looks she was photographed in, to her personal day-to-day garments.
Natural tourist attractions in Mexico - Barranca del Cobre
Copper Canyon of North America is huuuge, and we mean it. It covers 37.000 miles (59.546km) of space in the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains, attracting hikers and nature lovers to its sunkissed boulders. Meeting you at the entry point, a small town of El Fuerte overlooks the El Fuerte River and a couple of natural lakes perfect for bass fishing. What makes this canyon so spectacular is the variety of ecosystems scattered all over due to its vertigo-inducing heights and depths. At the bottom, cacti and palm trees await all of you hungry for suspension bridges, rock climbing terrain, and abseiling. As you move upwards you'll be met with thick forests of oak, palm, and alder trees. To witness most of the canyon go on a scenic 4-hour train ride through breathtaking scenery. The Chihuahua al Pacífico goes over 39 bridges and crawls through 86 tunnels on its way to Barranca del Cobre's rim.
If there is one region of Mexico you cannot miss, that is this colorful wonder. Guanajuato in central Mexico is mainly appreciated for its baroque and colonial architecture, not only by visitors but also by UNESCO, making it one of the World Heritage Sites. No matter the time of the year of your visit, there's a big chance you'll catch a festival rolling down the streets and stopping for a party. We hear that Callejoneadas in Guanajuato are *chef's kiss*. This may also be the best place in the whole of Mexico for you to witness Día de Los Muertos festivities, where locals gather in song and color to celebrate the memory and lives of the ones that have passed on. If you wish to continue visiting World Heritage sites, find 20 more of them in our blog.
Unique tourist attractions in Mexico - Cancun underwater museum
Trust us, it doesn't get more unique than this. Just imagine yourself swimming alongside 500 sculptures that look almost too real. A passion project of Jaime Gonzalez Canto and Jason deCaires Taylor, Cancun Underwater Museum became a reality in 2010. It was designed with the purpose of preserving the coral reefs in this part of Mexican waters by giving interested divers a specific place to explore. It’s needless to say, they’ve outdone themselves.
If you decide to visit this exciting museum in Cancun (do it!), you’ll get to see the sculptures of humans in many poses and stages of evolution with eerily delicate detailing on their faces and the everyday items that accompany them. All of these were made from pH-neutral marine concrete and put in place with an anchor. And don’t even get us started on a life-sized car that is now home to marine life of all shapes and sizes. The best way to experience it all is to go up close and personal with the statues on a carefully guided tour, snorkeling, or diving. Be mindful of the environment - start with wearing eco-friendly skincare and avoid touching the sculptures.
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We cannot miss mentioning the 9th most beautiful beach in the world, ranked by travelers alike for many years in a row. Daily boats from Cancun will take you to Isla Mujeres, where Playa Norte is located, and that is where 2250 ft (686m) of white smooth sand paradise awaits. It may not drip in luxury as Monaco does, but Playa Norte still gathers yachts as fun. Thanks to the shallow water in this bay yachts and other party boats will dock here, letting you choose whether you'd like to get off and explore the beach on foot or stay on and dance the day away. The water may be shallow but the undertows can be quite strong. Even though it's great for beginner swimmers and kids, some caution is of great necessity. Speaking of luxury, give our blog about most luxurious vacation spots a read, maybe you'll find your next destination in it.
Tourist attractions in Mexico through a map
Is there a better way to prepare for a trip than following a carefully curated map? We don't think so. We created this overview of the attractions mentioned in the blog to make your Mexico sightseeing adventures easier. Feel free to use it for trip planning, calculating your driving distances, or creating an even more detailed map of your own.
Our road ends here, but yours is just starting. Whether you decide to tour the whole country or plan to keep coming back to it, you'll always find something new to amaze you. Don't forget to be mindful and respectful of the culture and the locals, embrace the warm climate, and wear SPF at.all.times. Viva la Mexico indeed!