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When searching for places to visit in Mexico, it can be overwhelming with so many search results that it’s hard to know where would be best. We’ve created this list from first-hand experience after visiting 9 states of Mexico and more to go in the future. These are only 3 of the best places to visit in this wonderful country but it will make your trip to Mexico even more special.
Table of Contents
1. Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres, translating to ‘The Island of Women’ is one of the most beautiful spots in Mexico. You can get there from Cancun by catching a 30 minute ferry where you can sit on the top deck, enjoy the sea air and scenery. It easily makes our top spot on best places to visit in Mexico because it is simply paradise on an island!
It’s a small island and in honesty, there’s not a huge amount of things to do but that is one of the beautiful things about it. You will find a lot of US travellers here taking a vacation but it is nowhere near as touristy as Tulum. Don’t get us wrong, it is still quite Americanised but it is an absolute haven.
Amy completed her diving course here with Sea Hawk Divers and it was one of the best things she has ever done. Not only that but she got to tick off swimming with Whale Sharks from her bucket list. What an experience! If you’re visiting the island, make sure that it ties in with Whale Shark season. It will take your breath away to see these magnificent creatures close to the surface feeding on the plankton.
If you’re looking for chilled island vibes, some great live music bars and lots of sea adventures then Isla Mujeres is the perfect place for you. There are plenty of gorgeous beaches to choose from. Whether you’re a backpacker or a family looking for a holiday, we would recommend anyone visiting here for some much needed TLC.
Island Life Mexico has an ultimate guide which gives you many amazing tips whilst you’re on the island. If you’re planning a trip then make sure to check our their guide here.
When you’re travelling around different areas in Mexico, you meet a lot of people. You’ll even end up bumping into the same people in a different destination. Not one of these people that Amy met, mentioned that Campeche was a good destination to visit. We feel that Campeche is truly an underrated destination. She ended up visiting here to break up the journey on her way from Guatemala to Isla Mujeres.
There is something about Campeche that makes you feel safe and at home. Matter of fact, it is ranked as one of the safest cities in Mexico. Wandering down Calle 59, you can feel the buzz in the air. Tourists and locals alike will congregate for dinner and late-night salsa parties.
Campeche is a great stop if you want to find a city similar to Merida with less hustle and bustle. You will feel nothing but safety, community and peace by the time you leave.
There are plenty of Mayan ruins around Campeche, similar to the rest of Mexico. You can easily venture out to soak in some more Mayan history. There is plenty to do within the city if you’ve had enough of ruins by the time you get here. You will find that it is filled with cobblestoned streets, mansions and churches with huge grandeur.
If you’re thinking about visiting Palenque then you probably have San Cristobal de las Casas on your itinerary. Our first piece of advice is don’t do all the early morning tours in San Cristobal. This includes visiting Agua Azul, Mayan ruins etc. Instead of doing these in San Cristobal, journey to Palenque instead. You will save yourself some long days and enjoy the beauty of the jungle whilst you’re at it.
This is one of Amy’s favourite destinations within Mexico because it is so unlike the rest of the touristy spots. You can stay in Kin Balam which is in a cabana in the jungle and listen to the howling monkeys at night. More accurately, listen to them after they wake you up making you feel like a demon is possessing the jungle. Yes, they really do sound that creepy but it is an awesome experience all the same.
Palenque is hugely underrated especially as there is so much to do. Even though you will most likely be staying in the jungle, there are plenty of easily accessible day trips. It feels like more of an authentic experience in Mexico and you’ll meet some amazing people along the way! If you’re planning your visit, make sure to stay in Kin Balam Cabanas and listen to the monkeys howl!
If you end up visiting one of these places tag us on Instagram and we will share on our story. We LOVE hearing from our readers and seeing what you think!
Love, Amy & Liam
Visiting Mexico on a budget? Our tips on how to pack for hand luggage only will help you maximise minimal space. Read more about it here!