Mexico is a geologically diverse country, with rainforests, beaches, deserts, lowlands, high plateaus, rugged mountains and volcanoes. It is also an incredibly biodiverse land, with over 200,000 different species of both flora and fauna. The people are warm and welcoming, with rich history, traditions, and culture. So it’s no wonder that Mexico ranks worldwide in the top 10 in tourist visits per year. With so many reasons to visit Mexico, it’s hard to keep this list to just five. H
With its vibrant architecture and art scene, outstanding cuisine, and rich history, Mexico City is quickly rising in rank on more than a few places-to-visit-in-2018 lists (indeed, in 2016 it was named the top global destination). From epic street art, to outrageous street food, to fantastic nightlife, Mexico City remains a dreamy must-visit destination. Make sure to pay a visit to Museo Frida Kahlo, the birthplace of Frida Kahlo, which has transformed into a museum featuring her iconic work.
Tulum continues to be a trendy hotspot for tourists, with resorts, chic restaurants and nightclubs, and beaches that stretch for miles for sunbathing and relaxation. But it’s Zihuatanejo, or Zihua, that has our heart. Stay in a locally-owned hotel, sling back some mezcal, and leave the dolphins to swim by themselves for a true, authentic Mexican beach vacation experience (trust us on the dolphins—it’s no bueno). With plenty of less populated beaches on which to sunbathe, you’ll be happy you grabbed your trendy resort swimwear regardless of where you choose to stay.
Want an experience rich in Mexican history? Don’t leave out Oaxaca. Travel to this colonial city in southern Mexico for a full immersion into Mexican culture. Situated more than 5,000 feet above sea level and surrounded by the Sierra Madre del Sur mountain range, Oaxaca is the place to experience native customs, visit vibrant markets and dine on some truly outstanding Mexican cuisine. Make sure to leave time to wander the nearly 2.5 acre botanical garden, Jardin Etnobotanico de Oaxaca, for a stunning look at Mexico’s gorgeous flora.
Situated on the Baja California Peninsula, Loreto is a tiny beach town that packs a big punch. History comes alive with a visit to Mision de Nuestra Senora de Loreto, a centuries-old church. Explore cave paintings in the Sierra de la Giganta mountains, or hang on the gorgeous beaches for pelican, dolphin, or whale sightings. Explore Bahia de Loreto National Park for a more active, nature-inspired trip.
Cabo is a seaside paradise escape, famous for its beaches, nightlife, and celebrity sightings. But if you’re really wanting a true paradise, hop on a boat (the only way to get there!) to Yelapa. Said to be the last true Mexican beach town, this place almost didn’t make our list because we want it to remain that way. There are no chain restaurants or gargantuan hotels; everything is locally run. Enjoy the beach, the laid-back nightlife, and all of the delicious, fresh ceviche you can muster.