6 Mexico Destinations for Your Next Vacation 

tower in mexico city

Want to visit Mexico but don’t know where to go? We get it. There’s no shortage of options. Each city has something unique, from ancient ruins whispering of long-gone civilizations to sprawling white sand beaches with crystal clear water. The best destination for your vacation depends on what you want to do and see. 

If you need a beach reset, Tulum, Puerto Vallarta, Playa del Carmen, and Los Cabos are great destinations. Or, if you enjoy the business of city life, Mexico City is a great place to go. 

6 Places to Visit in Mexico

There are so many places to visit in Mexico, each with something different to offer. Whether you want an oceanside vacation with days spent lounging on pristine white sand beaches or a trip to the hustle and bustle of a massive city, Mexico has something for everyone. Here are six of our favorite destinations in Mexico. 

1. Tulum

Known for its picturesque ruins perched atop cliffs standing guard over the Caribbean Sea, Tulum is a great place to visit. These ruins, remnants of the once great Mayan civilization, make a dramatic statement on those cliffs and are an intriguing place to visit while you’re here. We love to visit ruins like these whenever we travel – it’s such an interesting way to peel back the curtain and peek through centuries to see a long-gone civilization. 

Beyond those very famous ruins, though, Tulum has much more to offer. It has some of the prettiest beaches we’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. The pristine white sands offer a soft underfoot feel (perfect for sprawling out and taking an afternoon nap), while the crystal clear waters offer respite from the sweltering sun. 

We liked Playa Pescadores and Playa Paraiso for sunbathing, but if you want a more entertaining, adventurous experience, take a detour to visit nearby cenotes. These natural sinkholes are full of crisp, chilly freshwater, perfect for a refreshing swim in eerie, almost otherworldly surroundings. 


When you’re not soaking up the sun or exploring archaeological sites, be sure to sample all of the eats. Mexico has incredible, perfectly seasoned food made with fresh, local ingredients. We absolutely love chilaquiles, made with leftover fried tortilla chips and salsa and often served with chicken, avocado, onions, radishes, and queso fresco. 

2. Oaxaca 

If Tulum isn’t your jam, spend some time in southern Mexico in the city of Oaxaca. This city, located further inland than other options, is a fun option for those who want to immerse themselves in Mexican culture. The city is about three hours from the coastline, so if you want to visit Mexico for its beaches, this might not be the best fit. 

But if you want to enjoy historical landmarks, archaeological sites, delectable culinary delights, and cultural festivals, this is the place to go. Just outside the city sits Monte Alban, a fascinating archaeological site that used to be the capital of the Zapotec civilization. When we visited, we were in awe of the impressive pyramids, temples, and tombs (not to mention the panoramic views of the surrounding valley). 

Beyond the ruins, this area is known for its incredibly flavorful cuisine that showcases its indigenous heritage and Spanish influences. We enjoy tlayudas, which are Oaxacan-style pizzas made with asiento (the bits of meat and fat remaining after making chicharron), refried beans, and quesillo atop a giant tortilla (tlayuda). Tamales, a traditional Mexican dish made with a corn-based dough filled with meat or beans and cheese, are another one of our favorites to eat when we’re in Mexico. 

If you visit at the right times of year, you might be able to catch a festival. These celebrations showcase the region’s cultural heritage and are a great way to learn more about Mexico and its history.

For example, we happened to be in Oaxaca for the Guelaguetza (which means “offering” in Zapotec) Festival, which is typically held in mid-July between the two Mondays after July 16th. This festival celebrates the independence of the people of the community, featuring a captivating assortment of music, costumes, dances, and food. It was an incredible experience and such a grand celebration. If you’re in the area during this celebration, you’re in for a treat!

3. Puerto Vallarta

As one of Mexico’s most popular vacation destinations, Puerto Vallarta was a must-add on this list. This area has some of the prettiest beaches in the country, many featuring pristine golden sands and sparkling clear blue waters. 

We absolutely loved these beaches! We spent hours soaking up the sun, meandering into the ocean to cool off every now and then. A few people were out on the water in boats and jet skis, so that’s always an option if you want to spend some time doing your favorite water sports.

When you’re not soaking up the sun, you’ll find plenty of things to do. Puerto Vallarta is such a charming city, complete with its cobblestone streets and historic architecture. We thought the Malecon boardwalk was well worth the stroll. It’s lined with colorful sculptures and artwork, and that in itself is a sight to behold, but the shops, nightlife, and restaurants make it a must-add to your itinerary. 

If you’re looking for more of an adventure, meander into the surrounding area to experience its natural wonders, including lush jungles, rugged mountains, and pristine rivers. If you’re up for it, explore the Sierra Madre mountains on a hiking or ATV tour, a ziplining tour through the treetops, or a jungle canopy tour. 

If you don’t mind heights, we thought ziplining through the jungle was an incredible experience. It’s so exhilarating, zipping through the greenery with an excellent view of the happenings below. 

There are plenty of things to do here, whether you’re craving relaxation or adventure. We happen to like a balance of both (after all, aren’t vacations supposed to be a break from real life?), so we spend some of our time in the city’s luxury resorts, spas, and wellness retreats for a soothing massage. 

4. Mexico City

If you appreciate the hustle and bustle of city life, Mexico City is a wonderful destination for your Mexican vacation. This sprawling city has so much to offer travelers, including world-class museums, architectural marvels, and historic landmarks. We spend a few days in Mexico City on many of our trips, going back to our favorite spots and enjoying the best local eats. 

There are all sorts of sights to see and things to do. If you’re a history buff or art fanatic, visit the National Museum of Anthropology or the Frida Kahlo Museum. The Palacio de Bella Artes is another beautiful place to see. There’s a coffee shop called the Finca Don Porfirio on top of a shopping mall that offers incredible views of the palace below (but you’ll have to wait a while to get in to see the view). 

If you don’t mind heights, take a hot-air balloon tour over a local landmark. We took a hot-air balloon tour over Teotihuacan, the remnants of a once-great city. It was such a fascinating experience! You get a breathtaking bird’s-eye view of the sights below, floating a few thousand feet above the ground below. 

When the sun went down, we found that there was no shortage of nightlife and entertainment options. There are bumping nightclubs in neighborhoods like Polanco and Condesa, rooftop bars with panoramic views of the city skyline, and live music and performances at cultural venues like the Palacio de Bellas Artes and the Auditorio Nacional. We thought the views from the rooftop bars were absolutely incredible, and with a few delicious cocktails, it was the perfect nightcap. 

5. Playa del Carmen

Known for its absolutely stunning beaches, intriguing attractions, and charming atmosphere, playa del Carmen is another place worth visiting. It’s the perfect destination for those who want a beach vacation, as it has some of the most picturesque beaches in the Caribbean. The soft white sands and clear turquoise waters look unreal (no editing necessary for that perfect social media picture). 

When we’re here, we always go snorkeling in the coral reefs. We’ve spotted sea turtles and all sorts of brightly colored fish, all easily visible in the pristine waters. If you’ve never snorkeled before, it can feel a bit weird to breathe solely through your mouth, but once you get the hang of it, it’s an incredible experience! 

While you’re in town, take a stroll down Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue). This is the pedestrian thoroughfare, lined with shops, restaurants, bars, and boutiques. It’s the perfect place to shop, stroll, and people-watch. Pick up a few souvenirs for your friends and family back home, grab a bite of delicious Mexican cuisine, and sip a cup of authentic coffee from one of the cafes. 

If you’re a nature enthusiast, explore the Riviera Maya. You can go on a solo exploration of the Mayan ruins of Tulum, the eco-archaeological park of Xcaret, or even swim in the underground rivers. Or, you can take a guided tour for help finding some of the best spots while learning all about the history of the area. 

6. Los Cabos

Take a trip to the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula and spend your time in Los Cabos. It’s a stunning destination favored for its dramatic desert landscapes, gorgeous beaches, and world-class resorts. 

After visiting cities all over Mexico, we think this area has some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country. The contrast of the dramatic rock formations, rugged desert terrain, and stunning ocean views makes for a captivating photo (even though photos just can’t capture the jaw-dropping beauty). 

If you’re a golfer, this area has some of the finest golf courses in Mexico. Tee off on stunning courses designed by legendary architects (think Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman) with panoramic views of desert mountains and ocean vistas.

If you’re up for an adventure, explore the surrounding area. Take a guided ATV tour through the desert, or even go on a camelback tour (this one is one for the books). For a bit of an adrenaline-pumping experience, go for a zipline adventure. The lines take you zinging through canyons and valleys of the Sierra de la Laguna mountains (an absolutely extraordinary view). 

We also like exploring through Cabo Pulmo National Park, a stunning scenic nature reserve in the area. This area sits in the transition zone between tropical and temperate environments, joining the Sea of Cortez with the Pacific. Years ago, coral in the area was dying and fish populations were wearing thin, but after community leaders put protective measures into place, it has since thrived. 

Enjoy All Mexico Has to Offer With Caravan

If you’re ready for a trip to Mexico packed with sights and activities that will create lifelong memories, come on a tour with our friendly team at Caravan. We offer three Mexico tours: Colonial Cities, Ancient Civilizations, and Copper Canyon Train


Each has something unique to offer, catering to different interests. If you’re a history buff (we are, too), the Colonial Cities and Ancient Civilizations tours are an excellent option. Or, if you want to explore the magic of a world-famous canyon system, take our Copper Canyon Train tour. Each tour is packed with entertaining activities, good eats, and cozy hotels, all planned out to ensure you can make the most of your vacation. 


Ready to book a trip? Call us at 1-800-CARAVAN or 1-312-321-9800.