Cantinas and cathedrals. Art and archaeology. Mariachis and mountains. Ruins and rainbow reefs. Mexico makes a mesmerizing escape for lovers of adventure, romance, history, culture, food, and fiery festivals. Then there are the much-lauded beaches with clear, blue waters you’ll want to step right into and silent paradise islands without a soul in sight. From the deep canyons of Chihuahua to the peaks of Veracruz, these are a few of the best places to visit in Mexico.









Mexico City

Best place for art and vibrant culture


Wondering where to go for your first trip to Mexico? Start in the bustling capital that brims with skyscrapers, markets, gardens and parks, awe-inspiring museums and more than 22 million residents.

Top Mexico City sights include “Casa Azul,” better known as Museo Frida Kahlo, where the celebrated artist lived and died. High-spirited high jinks and chihuahua-sized micheladas are on offer when catching a lucha libre (Mexican wrestling) match at the sprawling Arena México.

For artsy folks, Mexico City is where many of the country's top muralists left behind their most important works. Peruse Diego Rivera's cinematic murals in the Palacio Nacional and the social-realism work of José Clemente Orozco in the Palacio de Bellas Artes.

For a taste of culture, float along the ancient canals of Xochimilco with a mariachi band serenade, or savor piping-hot tacos from the many street-food stalls in the downtown areas before catching a show at one of the city’s 160-odd theaters. You might be lost for words, but you’ll never be short of things to do in Mexico City.


Isla Holbox

Best island for bioluminescence and flamingos


For its size, Isla Holbox packs a strong biodiversity punch. Only a mile wide and 26 miles long, this is one of the best places to visit in Mexico to see bubblegum-pink flamingos in the wild (head to Punta Mosquito), catch a glimpse of whale sharks (between mid-May and mid-September), and witness the mesmerizing show of bioluminescent phytoplankton glimmering in the water. Comparable to sparkling underwater fireworks, these glowing micro-organisms are best seen on moonless nights.

Holbox (pronounced hol-bosh) is a laid-back dream of an island off the northern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula.

With no vehicles to disturb the peace (cars are banned), sandy streets lead to endless beaches with warm, inviting water that’s waist-deep at most for adults. The island’s one alleged drawback? Questionable wi-fi, which encourages travelers to disconnect.


San Miguel de Allende 

Best place for craft shops and folk art


This Mexican beauty has it all: a fantastic spring-like climate, extraordinary light, breathtaking architecture, superb handicraft shopping, and well-attended art workshops. With a high gallery-to-resident ratio, San Miguel de Allende is one of the best places for creative types to visit in Mexico.

The cobbled city has been luring retirees and bewitching artists since the first art institute opened in a former convent back in the 1930s. It then enticed Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Neal Cassady, who came to drink, write and read poetry in the 1960s (the latter stayed there until his death).

Today, San Miguel de Allende’s narrow, sloped streets house boutiques and cafes that dangle multicolored ribbons from wrought iron window bars, and its vibe is akin to a sepia-toned postcard from the past.

Buildings in the historic district adhere to a color code of saffron, rusty orange, ochre, terracotta, and mustard yellow. Grab a birdseye view of them from one of the city’s numerous rooftops, like Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar at Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, a firm favorite.


Reprint from Lonely Planet 

We release a new travel inspiration article on this page once every 2 weeks, so please visit often! Use the link above to gain even more inspiration from our previous articles!

We need your consent to load the translations

We use a third-party service to translate the website content that may collect data about your activity. Please review the details and accept the service to view the translations.