Are you thinking about visiting Mexico anytime soon? Here are some of the most beautiful places to visit in Mexico. These pretty sights and destinations will blow your mind.
From sun-drenched beaches to majestic mountain ranges, and bustling cities to archaeological wonders, Mexico’s charm lies in its incredible diversity. Each location, whether a well-trodden hotspot or a unique place to visit in Mexico, offers a visual and cultural feast.
Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, a foodie, or a beach bum, visiting Mexico presents a myriad of unforgettable experiences. Every destination, a testament to Mexico’s rich tapestry of cultures, flavors, and landscapes.
This guide will help you discover where to go in Mexico. Exploring the best places in Mexico that cater to every traveler’s whim and fancy. Be it the tranquility of a seaside town or the pulsating energy of a city. Or the best places to visit in Mexico await your arrival. So, keep reading to unlock the treasures of Mexico’s beautiful places and uncover your next adventure!
The Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Mexico
Ready to dive into all the most beautiful locations in Mexico? As noted above, there’s something for every type of traveler in this diverse and vibrant country. So, keep reading to uncover the breathtaking beauty Mexico has to offer.
Are you in search of stunning cities packed with cultural attractions? Or perhaps you’re craving a serene retreat immersed in nature? Regardless of your plans, Mexico can cater to your desires. Here are all the must-visit spots in Mexico you should know about:
1. Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza is the awe-inspiring pre-Columbian city built by the Maya people. It stands as a testament to a civilization that once flourished in the region. It is crowned as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. This archaeological site is undeniably one of the best places to visit in Mexico.
Walk beneath the soaring El Castillo. Also known as the Temple of Kukulcan, which echoes the Mayan calendar’s intricacies with its 365 steps. During the equinox, witness the mesmerizing shadow display that gives the illusion of a serpent slithering down the pyramid. It’s a spectacle that captivates thousands each year.
Venture into the Great Ball Court where the Mayans engaged in a ceremonial game that was a mix of sport and ritual. Don’t forget to marvel at the remarkably preserved carvings on the walls that depict this ancient game.
Nearby, the Temple of the Warriors and the Group of a Thousand Columns give a glimpse into the grandeur of Mayan architectural prowess. From the intricately carved pillars to the expansive layout, these edifices will transport you back to a time of great empires and cultural sophistication.
No visit to Chichen Itza would be complete without exploring the Sacred Cenote. This natural sinkhole was once a place of sacrifice to the Mayan rain god. It offers an eerie yet fascinating insight into the religious practices of the past.
For any traveler, visiting Chichen Itza is a trip back in time. Offering a fascinating peek into an ancient civilization that continues to mesmerize the world.
2. San Miguel de Allende
Often touted as one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico, San Miguel de Allende is a captivating blend of cobblestone streets. And Spanish colonial architecture, and vibrant local culture. This UNESCO World Heritage site is an artist’s paradise, buzzing with art studios, galleries. And an annual art and music festival that attracts creatives from around the world.
As you wander through the narrow alleyways, past colorful facades adorned with blooming flowers, you’ll reach the heart of the city – El Jardín. This lively square is the perfect spot to relax and people-watch. Surrounded by historic buildings and the city’s main attraction, the iconic Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel. This neo-Gothic church, with its pink sandstone spires reaching skyward, is a postcard-perfect symbol of the city.
Indulge in the city’s vibrant culinary scene, which is among the best places in Mexico for food lovers. From mouth-watering street food to high-end gourmet cuisine, there’s something to satiate every palate. Be sure to try the local churros, enchiladas mineras, and a sip of the local pulque.
A must-see in San Miguel de Allende is the Sanctuary of Atotonilco. Often referred to as the ‘Sistine Chapel of Mexico,’ it boasts impressive murals and frescoes that depict biblical scenes.
With its charming atmosphere and cultural richness, it’s no wonder San Miguel de Allende consistently ranks high on the list of the most beautiful places in Mexico.
If you’re looking for a place where ancient history and pristine beaches converge, look no further than Tulum. Tulum’s allure lies not just in its turquoise waters and powdery white sand beaches. But also in its proximity to some of the most well-preserved Mayan ruins. Making it one of the most scenic places in Mexico.
The Tulum Ruins, perched high on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea, offer a unique blend of natural beauty and historical significance. Stroll through El Castillo, the Temple of the Frescoes, and the Temple of the Descending God. While absorbing the fascinating stories of the Mayan civilization that thrived here.
Tulum is also home to some of the most beautiful cenotes in Mexico – natural sinkholes filled with crystal-clear freshwater. Cenote Dos Ojos and Gran Cenote are among the most famous and are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, or even diving.
When you’re not exploring ruins or diving into cenotes, unwind on the pristine beaches of Tulum. Paradise Beach and Playa Ruinas, with their white sands and clear waters, are two of the best.
Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in the vibrant local cuisine. From beachside shacks serving fresh ceviche to upscale restaurants offering contemporary Mexican fare, Tulum’s food scene is as diverse as it is delicious.
With its blend of natural beauty, historic attractions, and vibrant culture, visiting Tulum is a quintessential Mexican experience.
4. Oaxaca City
Nestled in the heart of a valley surrounded by the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains, Oaxaca City is a vibrant testament to Mexico’s rich culture and history. This UNESCO World Heritage site is known for its stunning colonial architecture and world-renowned cuisine. It is unquestionably one of the best places in Mexico to soak up the country’s traditions and flavors.
Begin your exploration in the city’s central square, the Zócalo, where locals and tourists alike gather for coffee, conversation, and occasional live music. Flanked by the majestic Oaxaca Cathedral and lined with vibrant cafes and shops, the Zócalo is the beating heart of the city.
Nearby, the Mercado Benito Juárez and Mercado 20 de Noviembre markets offer a sensory explosion. Whether you’re in the market for local crafts, fresh produce, or an adventurous taste of local delicacies such as chapulines (grasshoppers), these markets are a must-see in Oaxaca City.
Beyond its urban charm, Oaxaca City serves as a gateway to the archaeological wonders of Monte Albán. This ancient Zapotec capital, with its expansive plazas, pyramids, and tombs, showcases the grandeur of a civilization that predates even the Aztecs.
Back in town, don’t forget to savor Oaxaca’s world-famous cuisine. From the smoky allure of mezcal to the seven varieties of mole, a rich sauce with a complex blend of spices and chocolate, your taste buds are in for a treat.
Brimming with color, culture, and culinary delights, Oaxaca City captures the essence of Mexico in every way.
5. Guanajuato City
Stepping into Guanajuato City feels like walking into a vibrant painting. With its narrow winding lanes, colorful houses stacked upon each other, and charming plazas, it’s no surprise that this city is often named as one of the most beautiful places in Mexico.
The city’s vibrant heart is the Plaza de la Paz, surrounded by colonial-era buildings and the striking yellow Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato. Stroll through the plaza, take a leisurely coffee break, and soak in the lively atmosphere.
A few steps away is the famed Callejón del Beso (Alley of the Kiss). According to local legend, couples who kiss on the third step are guaranteed seven years of happiness, making it a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.
Be sure to explore the network of tunnels running beneath the city. Originally built to divert floodwaters, these subterranean passages are now unique roadways that give Guanajuato its unique character.
For culture buffs, the must-see in Guanajuato City is the Museum of the Mummies, home to a collection of naturally mummified bodies discovered in the city’s cemetery. Although not for the faint-hearted, it offers a unique insight into the city’s history.
In the evening, join a callejoneada – a traditional musical procession through the streets. As you follow the troupe of university students belting out traditional tunes, you’ll experience the city’s festive spirit firsthand.
With its rich history, artistic vibe, and lively street life, visiting Guanajuato City is a colorful feast for the senses.
6. Copper Canyon
Far larger and deeper than the famous Grand Canyon, the Copper Canyon (Barrancas del Cobre) in the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains is one of the most scenic places in Mexico. This series of six distinct canyons, named for their copper-green hue, offers breathtaking views and thrilling adventures for intrepid explorers.
For the best experience of the canyons’ sheer scale, take the El Chepe train that travels from Los Mochis to Chihuahua. As you traverse bridges, tunnels, and the stunning landscapes, you’ll understand why this is often considered one of the world’s most scenic rail journeys.
Hiking enthusiasts will find plenty to enjoy here, with trails offering panoramic views of the deep gorges and rugged cliffs. The Urique Canyon, the deepest in the network, is a must-visit spot for its breathtaking vistas.
The canyons are also home to the indigenous Rarámuri people, known for their exceptional long-distance running skills. A visit to their communities offers an intriguing glimpse into their traditional lifestyle and culture.
Finally, thrill-seekers can enjoy a zipline adventure over the canyons or try the Cable Car ride, one of the highest aerial tramways in the world, offering unrivaled views of this natural wonder.
For those who love nature and adventure, the Copper Canyon is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Mexico.
Lost in the heart of the jungle, the ancient Mayan city of Palenque is a true archaeological treasure. Once a powerful city-state, today Palenque provides one of the most immersive experiences of Mayan history, making it one of the most beautiful places in Mexico for history lovers.
The most striking landmark is the Temple of Inscriptions, named for the hieroglyphic texts found within. It’s also the final resting place of Pakal the Great, one of the most notable rulers of the Mayan world, whose tomb was discovered beneath the temple in a dramatic archaeological find.
Nearby, the Palace with its distinctive tower offers a labyrinth of courtyards, corridors, and rooms to explore. Don’t miss the captivating bas-relief carvings depicting Mayan myths and rituals that adorn the walls.
The site isn’t vast compared to some, but its setting amidst lush jungle adds an aura of mystery. As you explore, you’ll likely hear the eerie calls of howler monkeys echoing from the treetops. This adds to the sense of stepping back in time.
Just a short drive from the ruins, the stunning waterfalls of Agua Azul and Misol-Ha provide a refreshing respite from your historical explorations. With their turquoise waters and lush surroundings, they’re a must-see in Palenque.
For those seeking a mix of history, culture, and natural beauty, visiting Palenque offers an unforgettable journey into Mexico’s rich past.
Known as the ‘Lake of Seven Colors’, Bacalar is a mesmerizing blend of hues ranging from deep blue to turquoise. This long, narrow lagoon, situated near the Belize border, is one of the most beautiful places in Mexico for water enthusiasts and those seeking a tranquil escape.
Bacalar’s star attraction is its stunning lagoon, filled with crystal-clear, freshwater fed by underground cenotes. The different shades of blue are a result of the lagoon’s varying depths and the sunlight reflecting off the white sandy bottom.
Enjoy a swim in the lagoon, or for a more active experience, rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore. The peaceful atmosphere and stunning surroundings make it the perfect spot for a refreshing dip or a boat ride.
Don’t miss the Cenote Azul, one of the deepest cenotes in Mexico, which is a paradise for snorkelers and divers. With its clear waters and abundant marine life, it’s a hidden gem that warrants exploration.
Also, a must-see in Bacalar is the Fort of San Felipe, a well-preserved 18th-century fort offering panoramic views of the lagoon and the town.
With its captivating natural beauty and peaceful ambiance, visiting Bacalar is a refreshing break from the bustling cities and crowded beaches.
9. Hierve el Agua
Off the beaten path in the state of Oaxaca, you’ll find one of Mexico’s most unique natural wonders, Hierve el Agua. This set of rock formations, resembling cascading waterfalls frozen in time, is among the most beautiful places in Mexico and a paradise for nature lovers and photographers.
The site’s name, which translates as “the water boils,” is derived from the mineral-laden water that bubbles up from the ground and over the cliff’s edge, depositing minerals to create the “petrified” waterfalls. These striking formations provide a stark contrast to the surrounding landscape.
A dip in the mineral-rich pools at the top of the cliffs is an absolute must. The pools, naturally formed in hollows in the rock, provide stunning panoramic views of the valleys and mountains beyond. It’s the perfect spot to soak, relax, and take in the breathtaking views.
In addition to the pools and petrified waterfalls, there are several hiking trails around Hierve el Agua that allow you to explore the surrounding landscapes and take in different perspectives on the waterfalls.
Despite its relative remoteness, Hierve el Agua’s combination of unique natural beauty and tranquil ambiance. This makes it one of the best places to visit in Mexico.
10. Mexico City
No list of Mexico’s beautiful places would be complete without mentioning its dynamic capital, Mexico City. One of the largest cities in the world, it offers an intoxicating blend of history, culture, and modernity that will captivate any traveler.
The city’s historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is home to a wealth of architectural treasures. At its heart is the Zócalo, one of the largest city squares in the world, flanked by the imposing Metropolitan Cathedral and the National Palace, adorned with murals by Diego Rivera.
Just a short walk from the Zócalo, you’ll find the ancient Aztec temple complex Templo Mayor. In contrast, the sleek and modern Soumaya Museum showcases one of the most important art collections in Latin America.
The green lungs of the city, Chapultepec Park, is one of the largest city parks in the Western Hemisphere, housing a zoo, several museums, and a castle with panoramic city views.
For a different taste of the city, explore the canals and floating gardens of Xochimilco on a brightly colored trajinera (flat-bottomed boat). This is a unique and fun way to experience this must-see in Mexico City.
Visiting Mexico City, with its rich history, vibrant arts scene, and world-class cuisine, is an adventure you won’t soon forget.
11. Todos Santos
Todos Santos, which is located on the Pacific Coast of the Baja California Peninsula, is a beautiful combination of rural charm, cultural diversity, and scenic splendor. Frequently named one of the most beautiful places in Mexico, this quaint town is a haven for artists, surfers, and anyone seeking a relaxed, authentic Mexican experience.
Walk along the town’s cobblestone streets, lined with colorful colonial-era buildings, art galleries, and charming boutique shops. Visit the iconic Hotel California, which, despite the rumors, isn’t the inspiration for the famous Eagles’ song. However, it is still a charismatic place to stop for a drink or a meal.
Todos Santos is also a paradise for surfers. With several fantastic surf spots nearby, like San Pedrito and Cerritos, the town has become a magnet for those chasing the perfect wave.
Nature lovers will enjoy the town’s serene beaches such as Playa Los Cerritos and Playa La Cachora. Each beach is ideal for sunbathing, whale watching, and turtle releases. A hike to Tropic of Cancer Monument is another must-see in Todos Santos. It offers a panoramic view of the beautiful surroundings.
In summary, visiting Todos Santos is all about soaking in the laid-back atmosphere, enjoying the natural beauty, and immersing yourself in the local art scene.
12. Isla Mujeres: Mexico’s Slice of Paradise!
Imagine a place where the Caribbean Sea’s azure waters meet powdery white sands, where palm trees sway to the rhythm of gentle breezes, and time seems to slow down. Welcome to Isla Mujeres, a sun-kissed gem just a short ferry ride from Cancun, which is one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico. However, it’s truly worlds apart from its bustling energy.
This tranquil island promises an authentic taste of Mexican beach life. Dive into the mesmerizing underwater world at the MUSA. This is an underwater sculpture museum, or swim with the gentle giants of the sea during the whale shark season. For history buffs, the remnants of the ancient Mayan temple at Punta Sur beckon, offering panoramic views of the vast ocean.
As the sun sets, stroll down the vibrant streets lined with colorful boutiques and tantalizing eateries, savoring the taste of fresh ceviche and zesty margaritas. Isla Mujeres is not just a destination. It’s an emotion, a call to the soul seeking serenity and adventure in one breathtaking package. Dive in; paradise awaits!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about beautiful places in Mexico to visit
Want to learn more about Mexico’s most beautiful locations? The following are some frequently asked questions concerning the top Mexico sights and activities.
What is the best time to visit Mexico?
The best time to visit Mexico largely depends on the regions you plan to explore and the activities you want to do. However, the period from December to April, during the dry season, generally offers pleasant weather throughout the country and is considered a good time for most tourist activities.
What’s the prettiest part of Mexico?
Mexico is a vast and diverse country with myriad beautiful landscapes, historic sites, and charming cities. Determining the “prettiest” part is highly subjective, but several areas consistently stand out for their beauty:
- Oaxaca: This region boasts a mix of natural beauty and cultural richness. The city of Oaxaca is known for its well-preserved colonial architecture and vibrant arts scene. Nearby, Hierve el Agua offers petrified waterfalls and natural mineral pools. While the coast provides stunning beaches like Zipolite and Mazunte.
- San Miguel de Allende: This city in Guanajuato is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s known for its well-preserved Baroque and neoclassical structures, cobbled streets, and artsy atmosphere.
- Copper Canyon (Barrancas del Cobre): Located in the state of Chihuahua, these series of canyons are deeper and more extensive than the Grand Canyon in the U.S., offering breathtaking vistas.
- Isla Mujeres: A short ferry ride from Cancun, this island boasts Playa Norte. It’s often cited as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
- Pueblos Mágicos: These “Magic Towns” are designated by the Mexican government for their cultural, historical, or natural importance. Examples include Taxco, known for its silver and colonial architecture, and Valle de Bravo, a charming town by a lake.
- Yucatán Peninsula: Besides Tulum, this region offers other gems like the colonial city of Mérida, the pink lakes of Las Coloradas, and numerous cenotes (natural sinkholes) and Mayan ruins like Chichen Itza and Uxmal.
- Baja California: The peninsula is renowned for its beautiful deserts, beaches, and the unique Valle de Guadalupe wine region.
Every region in Mexico has its distinct beauty, whether in landscapes, architecture, or cultural sites. The “prettiest” part often depends on individual preferences and the experiences one seeks.
Is it safe to travel to Mexico?
While certain areas in Mexico have been flagged for safety concerns, the majority of tourist destinations are generally safe. However, like any travel destination, it’s important to stay informed, be aware of your surroundings, and follow local advice. It’s always recommended to check the latest travel advisories from your home country before you travel.
Where is the nicest place in Mexico?
One of the nicest places in Mexico is San Miguel de Allende, known for its well-preserved colonial architecture, vibrant arts scene, cobbled streets, and rich cultural ambiance.
Do I need a visa to visit Mexico?
Visa requirements for Mexico vary by country. Citizens from the United States, Canada, the European Union, and several other countries can enter Mexico without a visa for up to 180 days for tourism purposes. However, it’s best to check the latest visa regulations with your local Mexican embassy or consulate before you travel.
What is the currency in Mexico?
The official currency in Mexico is the Mexican Peso (MXN). Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in cities and tourist areas. However, it’s a good idea to carry some cash, especially when visiting smaller towns or rural areas.
What is the main language spoken in Mexico?
The main language spoken in Mexico is Spanish. However, English is commonly spoken in most tourist areas, hotels, and attractions.
Final Thoughts on Visiting Pretty Places in Mexico
From sun-kissed beaches to lush jungles, bustling cities to serene lakes, and imposing mountains to fascinating archaeological sites, Mexico is an explosion of diversity waiting to be explored. Its rich tapestry of cultures, flavors, and landscapes offers something for every traveler. And the sites listed above are just the tip of the iceberg.
The most beautiful places in Mexico go beyond aesthetic appeal. They offer unique experiences, treasured memories, and a deeper understanding of this vibrant country. Whether you’re an adventure-seeker, a history buff, a culture enthusiast, or someone in need of relaxation, you’ll find your paradise in Mexico.
Remember, the best way to travel is responsibly and respectfully. As you step into these beautiful locations, do so with consideration for the people who call these places home and the environment that cradles these wonders.
Traveling is not just about seeing new places. It’s also about experiencing them and leaving them as beautiful as you found them. As the old saying goes, “Take only memories, leave only footprints.” Now pack your bags and get ready to uncover the beauty that awaits you in Mexico.