While there is no quantitative data to proclaim the "best" vacation spot and cheapest places you can visit in Mexico, several destinations in the Yucatan peninsula do come highly recommended by publications and travel-specific websites. I have traveled to Mexico many times, and I can't get enough of the white sand beaches, crystal blue waters, and warm weather.
Mexico City Is The Perfect Place To Start
Mexico City, one of the world's largest cities and the capital of Mexico, is a captivating destination that boasts a historic metropolis, an abundance of art museums, picturesque parks, and a flourishing culinary scene. This vibrant city is an ideal choice for travelers seeking to learn some history, as it offers a multitude of tourist-friendly historical sites and attractions.
From exploring the enchanting streets of the historic metropolis to immersing oneself in the rich cultural heritage preserved in the city's art museums, Mexico City promises an unforgettable journey through time. The city's numerous parks provide an opportunity to unwind amidst lush greenery, while its diverse range of dining options ensures that visitors can savor the flavors of authentic Mexican cuisine.
Playa Del Carmen Is A Great Place For Budget Travelers
Nestled along the picturesque coast of the Riviera Maya, the resort town of Playa del Carmen offers an exquisite blend of luxury and affordability. With a wide array of exclusive hotels and smaller, more budget-friendly resorts, this charming city caters to its visitors' diverse needs and preferences. Playa del Carmen is renowned for its stunning beaches that stretch for miles, where powdery white sands meet crystal-clear turquoise waters.
Sun-seekers can bask in the warm tropical sun, indulge in water sports, or unwind with a refreshing swim. Adding to its allure, the city is also home to awe-inspiring Mayan ruins and archaeological sites, allowing travelers to explore the ancient wonders and delve into the region's fascinating history. Whether you seek relaxation, adventure, or cultural immersion, Playa del Carmen promises an idyllic vacation destination with its unmatched beauty and captivating attractions.
Cancun Is One Of The Affordable Destinations
Renowned as a popular spring break destination, Cancun is an excellent choice for those seeking a memorable and affordable getaway. With a range of competitively priced hotels and vacation rentals, this vibrant city caters to budget-conscious travelers without compromising on quality or experiences.
To make the most of your stay, many accommodations in Cancun offer enticing all-inclusive packages that provide access to local cuisine at the finest restaurants, refreshing drinks, and unbeatable deals on comfortable hotel rooms. Whether you're looking to unwind on pristine beaches, explore the vibrant nightlife, or indulge in water sports and outdoor adventures, Cancun ensures a fantastic time while keeping your budget in check.
Cabo San Lucas Is Filled With Outdoor Activities
Cabo San Lucas, much like Cancun, holds a strong allure for spring breakers and college-aged travelers seeking an affordable vacation. As one of Mexico's most popular destinations, Cabo San Lucas offers a wealth of attractions and amenities to cater to its diverse travelers. The city boasts a range of all-inclusive resorts and timeshares, providing convenient and budget-friendly accommodation options.
However, Cabo San Lucas's renowned nightlife truly sets it apart. The city comes alive after dark with plenty of energy, offering an array of bars, clubs, and entertainment venues that ensure an unforgettable party experience. With its affordability, beachside beauty, and thrilling entertainment, Cabo San Lucas is a top choice for young travelers looking to make lifelong memories.
Puerto Vallarta Should Be On The List Of The Best Places To Visit
Considering nearly half of this city's workforce is employed in tourist-related industries, Puerto Vallarta is unquestionably a travel hub. The city features historical landmarks, resorts aplenty, a booming nightlife scene, and miles of clean, sandy beaches.
Acapulco, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo. Yes, all of these historic cities are in Mexico and are wonderful tourist destinations with a rich history. But if you REALLY want to experience Mexico and all its charms, a great option is to venture inland. Mexico is a vast and diverse country with many ecosystems of natural beauty, ruins, and cultures. It only takes a bit of research to discover that Mexico has so much more to offer than just nice beaches and seaside resorts.
El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Conservation Area Is A Popular Place For Nature Lovers
In the state of Michoacan, near the town of Angangueo, one of the largest breeding areas in the world for monarch butterflies exists. Between the months of November and April, there can be found between 35 and 100 million monarch butterflies that have made their way south for the winter.
There is an audible sound in the air of millions of tiny wings flapping. The trees in the pine forest appear to be covered in thick, orange moss. It's only on closer inspection that it becomes obvious that the moss is alive. It is best to get to El Rosario earlier in the day when the butterflies are still in the trees.
Later on, as their wings thaw out after a cool night, they are more active, and it becomes more difficult to avoid stepping on them while walking through the forest. A well-marked trail will wind through some of the thickest butterfly areas. A trained guide will discuss the monarch's life cycle and answer any questions you may have.
It may be possible to hire an English-speaking guide, but it will cost significantly more money. The trip to El Rosario is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is well worth the extra effort it takes to get there.
Taxco (Pronounced "Tass-Co") Is A Favorite Place Of Many A Silver Buff
It is nestled in the mountains, about 180 kilometers southeast of Mexico City. Taxco is a beautiful colonial city of white, arched buildings and terra cotta rooves. The federal government has declared it a historic monument and a law decrees all new buildings must be built in the colonial style.
It is picturesque unto itself, but it is also the silver mecca of Mexico. There are over three hundred silver dealers in this magic town, each offering something a little different. Hotels and restaurants are moderately priced, and there is something to fit any budget. Mariachis wander the cobblestoned streets in full, sombreroed garb, and colors from the dress of the handicraft peddlers assault you from every angle.
There are a few language schools for those who wish to stay a little longer, and some beautiful caves are not far outside the city known as Las Grutas de Cacahuamilpa. These caves are protected as a national park and are close enough to reach as a day trip from Taxco. They are beautifully formed with large, lit caverns. Even the most claustrophobic won't have a problem touring these caves.
The State Of Chiapas Is A Popular Destination
While some may be a little apprehensive about visiting Chiapas since the rebel uprising in January 1994, there has been little violence since. The state itself is amazingly diverse, with mountains, a beautiful canyon, and a fantastic jungle. Not to mention the colonial architecture and well-preserved indigenous culture. On top of all this, Chiapas is also home to one of the most spectacular examples of ancient Mayan architecture: Palenque.
San Cristobal Is A Top Attraction For Any Tourist
Probably the most interesting city in the state is San Cristobal de Las Casas, which lies in the valley of Jovel. It is a beautiful pine-treed valley that is neither too hot nor too cold. The main plaza and surrounding area house a lovely sixteenth-century cathedral with an interesting interior redone in the baroque style in the seventeenth century. The main plaza boasts charming arched buildings with a treed central area for sitting and passing the day away.
The houses of San Cristobal are amazingly colored. Each one seems to be just slightly brighter than the one before it. The indigenous people in the outlying hills often come to town dressed in traditional attire. The medley of reds and yellows is a symphony for the eyes.
Besides offering almost limitless wanders through twisting cobblestoned streets, the villages in the outlying areas make interesting day trips. Probably the most curious is the small town of Chamula with its multi-colored church. The Mayans who live there practice an interesting religion, a hybrid of Christianity and ancient Mayan rituals. The Chamulans, while poor, are very proud of their culture and rich heritage and will go to lengths to protect it.
Lacandon Jungle Is A Popular Vacation Destination
Moving south through Chiapas will bring you to the Lacandon jungle. This jungle holds a small group of the most traditional Mayans left in the world. They still hunt and sustain themselves with their own farms. It is difficult to enter their community for a visit, but there is a museum devoted to them in San Cristobal called Na-Bolom.
Palenque For The Cultural Attractions And Rich Culture
In the same jungle, it is possible to visit one of the most spectacular Mayan sites of ancient ruins that is still in existence. Palenque is quite possibly the brightest jewel and one of the most beautiful cities in the Mayan ruin crown for the Mexican culture. Its vast area and its jungle locale create a magical aura that many visitors claim has a calming effect.
Palenque was a thriving Mayan center for two hundred years, between 600AD and 800AD. The plazas and buildings seem to go on forever and are dotted with bas-reliefs that explain in detail the life of the rulers who presided there. Thirty-four of the buildings have been fully excavated.
Another four hundred-odd historic buildings lay partially buried throughout the jungle. What has been excavated is a spectacular sight. The temple of inscriptions rises 23 meters above the ground, and a staircase near the top will take you down into a crypt that once held an important Mayan ruler named Pakal.
Imagine mossy stony ruins where you can almost see the old rulers and their subjects going about their business. All with a backdrop of lush, green rainforest. The smell of antiquity and the howler monkeys loudly staking their claims in the higher branches of ancient trees. Palenque will leave you with a feeling of serenity that is difficult to equal.
About 60 kilometers from the town of Palenque, there is a not to be missed sight. A river winds through the hills and culminates in a series of waterfalls and pools with the most vibrant turquoise color imaginable. This remarkable scene is known as Agua Azul (this translates literally to Blue Water) and is easily accessible as a day trip from Palenque. It's a lovely place to spend a day, and many locals hold a similar opinion. It is a great way to see how Mexicans relax.
Mexico is probably one of the most diverse and interesting countries in the Western Hemisphere and should be thought of as more than just a place to get a suntan in the winter months. The climate, the landscape, the culture, and the wildlife make Mexico an ideal spot for an extended trip that promises to be full of adventure and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
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