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Even after visiting 50+ countries, Mexico is one of the most beautiful – and most surprising – countries I’ve ever been to.
Of course, I knew the food would be amazing and the streets would be colourful. But I simply had no idea that Mexico was home to so many beautiful waterfalls, hidden corners and barely visited historical sites. Mexico is a large country and, although it’s easy to get around, the sheer amount of things to see and do there can make it hard to plan a Mexico itinerary.
Here are some of the things you’ll want to think about when planning at trip to Mexico. Everything below can be mixed together to create your ideal Mexico itinerary, whether that involves history, beaches, food or anything else the country has to offer.
Putting together a Mexico itinerary
Before you can even begin planning out the details of your Mexico trip, you’ll want to think about what kind of experience(s) you’d like to have there. As we’ve already said, Mexico is an incredibly diverse country with a little bit of everything, which makes it an amazing travel destination – but also makes it hard to choose what to do!
Here are some of the things you’ll want to think about when piecing together your Mexico itinerary.
Why are you travelling to Mexico?
People visit Mexico for all different reasons. Some head to the coast to unwind on beautiful beaches while others want to see the rich history scattered across the country. There are so many reasons to travel to Mexico, so it’s important to think about your priorities.
In 2-3 weeks, you can see a significant portion of Mexico. We spent 3 weeks exploring Mexico City, Chiapas and Oaxaca, but we covered a lot of ground in those regions. If you just wanted to see the highlights, you could easily fit in even more regions. It really depends on how well you want to get to know a region, and that will depend largely on what your interests are.
Stay connected wherever you go with SkyRoam pocket WiFi. This handy little device will give you unlimited data for your trip to Mexico, so you’ll never be without maps, emails and a way to contact home.
Where to go in Mexico
Every part of Mexico has something unique to offer. Here are some of the ones I’d recommend looking into:
Mexico City is of course the capital, and has endless things to do and is a great place to learn about Mexican culture. There are also plenty of things to see and do just outside of the city, so you could easily spend a couple of weeks here.
Cancun and Playa del Carmen are home to some of the best beaches in Mexico. This is where you’ll find the all-inclusive resorts if you want to enjoy a little luxury and relaxation.
Oaxaca has an amazing food scene and is one of the places for trying mezcal, a tequila-like drink made from agave.
Chiapas is a nature lover’s paradise, with some of the most beautiful waterfalls I’ve ever seen and plenty of eco resorts.
Guadalajara is Mexico’s second largest city and is a growing digital nomad destination, making it a perfect spot for a Mexico work-cation. It’s not such a popular tourist spot, but it’s the home of mariachi bands and tequila.
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Solo trip vs tour
An organised tour is a great way to see some of Mexico’s highlights, but a solo trip will give you complete freedom to explore. Mexico is a fairly easy country to travel around, especially if you speak Spanish, but some of the lesser known sites can be tricky to get to.
We hired a car for our 3 weeks in Mexico and it enabled us to explore some of the most remote areas. We found very few tourists in most of the places we visited, which was a truly magical experience at the Mayan ruins site. However, we also struggled to find cell service a lot of the time and that meant being super organised.
Mexico isn’t the easiest country to drive in – especially if you’re not used to driving abroad – so an organised tours (or multiple tours) might be an easier way to explore. There are plenty of tours, at affordable prices, that will show you the best parts of the country without you needing to plan or worry about anything.
Alternatively, you could plan a few days in several regions, fly or take a bus between them, and book organised tours from each city. If you wanted to add a little bit of everything to your Mexico itinerary, you could book a week at an all inclusive resort, a week on an organised tour and some free time at the end for exploring once you have your bearings.
Adapting your Mexico itinerary
If you have 2-3 weeks in Mexico, I’d recommend focusing on one or two regions. In that time, you’ll be able to see a number of lesser known places and local favourites, as well as the more popular spots.
Of course, if you have longer than 2 or 3 weeks in Mexico, you can take it slower. I’d recommend exploring some of the harder to reach places, especially around the Chiapas region, because they’re well worth the journey. If you don’t know where to start, I put together these Chiapas tour ideas based on interests and travel preferences.
However long you have to spend to Mexico, you can be sure that you’ll leave wanting to plan another trip. It’s an easy country to love and an incredibly fun and eye-opening place to travel, no matter which region you visit.