Mexico Travel Guides

Super useful and totally free travel guides to Mexico

View of the sunset in Myan Pyramid
Pyramids of Chichen Itza

Why We Love Mexico – Bring an open mind to Mexico. Because, whatever your expectations are, you’ll soon discover the reality: Mexico is a big country with diversity of landscapes, cuisine, people, activities, history, and more. Mexico is the popular Caribbean beach resorts along the Riviera Maya, sure. But Mexico is also the bustling megalopolis of Mexico City. And the arid back roads connecting Mezcal plantations in rural Oaxaca. And dusty surfer towns along the Mexican Pacific coast. Whether you want to discover Mayan ruins, dive in underground jungle cenotes, gorge on fine fusion cuisine, or just chill with some sand between your toes, you’re sure to find whatever your travel goals are in Mexico.

Best of Mexico

🏙️ Destinations

Aerial view of public beach in Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen Public Beach

Mexico is filled with places to visit for every type of trip. From beautiful white sand beaches to rugged mountains to bustling cities, Mexico has it all. Some of the most popular destinations in Mexico include:

  • Mexico City – One of the five largest metro areas in the world, Mexico City is home to incredible dining, nightlife, museums, parks, and tons of fun things to do.
  • TulumSure, it’s a little touristy (maybe too touristy), but there is no denying that Tulum has some of the best beaches – and luxury hotels – in the world.
  • Playa del Carmen – The digital nomad capital of the Yucatan, Playa del Carmen is a great base for exploring the many beaches, cenotes, and attractions around the peninsula.
  • Valladolid – Our favorite little town in Mexico. Home to some of the best cenotes in the country, plus very near to the famous ruins at Chichen Itza.
  • Puerto Vallarta – The most popular of the Pacific Coast Mexican destinations, Puerto Vallarta offers a stunning scene where mountains melt into the sea.
  • Cozumel – A quieter island (at least when cruise ships aren’t docked) just off the Caribbean coast. Come to snorkel or dive the world’s second biggest barrier reef.
  • Guanajuato – One of the most colorful cities you’ll ever visit.
  • San Miguel de Allende – A historic desert town that has become a haven for artists.
  • Oaxaca – The perfect place to go for mezcal, food, and history.
  • Cabo San Lucas – Located on the tip of the Baja Peninsula, this Pacific Coast destination offers incredible diving.
  • El Cuyo – A hidden gem on the Gulf Coast. This tiny fishing village sports incredible white san beaches. Like Holbox because it became popular!

👉 Read the full list of best places to visit in Mexico.

Things to Do

From hot air balloon rides over Mayan ruins to tequila trains to cenote diving, Mexico is filled with things to do and activities for every kind of traveler. Some of the best:

  • Cenotes – Stunning underground swimming holes you can find scattered throughout the Yucatan peninsula.
  • Tulum Ruins – Not as big as the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza, but you can’t beat the Instagram-perfect setting on a cliff over the sea.
  • Teotihuacan – Ancient ruins just outside Mexico City. For a real treat, try a sunrise hot air balloon ride.
  • Lucha Libre – High octane wrestling that is more performance than it is sport. Can be found all around Mexico, but especially popular in Mexico City.
  • Hierve el Agua – Swim in Instagram-perfect pools overlooking the Oaxaca countryside.
  • Street Food – Mexico is a culinary paradise, but some of the best food can be found on simple street stalls all over the country.

👉 Explore all things to do. 

View of the Teotihuacan in Mexico
The Teotihuacan in Mexico

✨ Hotels & Resorts

You’re probably traveling to Mexico for vacation, so picking a quality hotel, resort, or hostel can really make all the difference in your stay. Fortunately, Travel Lemming’s founder Nate and his partner Clara have spent most of the past year touring and photographing some of the best hotels in Mexico:

  • Tulum – A stunning beach destination home to some of the most famous (and expensive) beach resorts in the world. See our guide to staying in town vs on the beach if on a budget.
  • Playa del Carmen – Home to slightly more affordable hotels and resorts. If you’re looking for quiet, staying in Playacar or the surrounding complexes. If you want to party, stay in the town.
  • Mexico City – Most travelers to Mexico will pass through CDMX at some point. You’ll find hundreds of hotels to choose from. We suggest first time visitors stay in the Condesa, Polanco, or Roma Norte neighborhoods.
  • San Miguel de Allende – An artsy desert town with a funky vibe, the hotels here are some of the most unique in Mexico.
  • Guanajuato – The most colorful city in Mexico is filled with historic hotels to choose from.
  • Queretaro – A very underrated city with fewer tourists, but a great place to stay if you want to get off the beaten path.
  • Valladolid – Our favorite hidden gem in the middle of the Yucatan, you’ll find very affordable boutique hotels here.
  • Puerto Vallarta – A popular beach retreat for everyone from families to LGBTQ travelers, Puerto Vallarta offers resorts and hotels for all budgets. See our guide to where to stay in Puerto Vallarta.
Clara in a pool looking out at the sea at the Alea Tulum
Travel Lemming’s Photography Director Clara in the Alea hotel in Tulum

Mexico Travel Advice

🗓️ Best Time to Visit

December to April is typically high season for Mexico. In most of the country, these months correspond to drier and cooler weather. But Mexico has a wide variety of regions, altitudes, and climates, so it is possible to find somewhere to go in Mexico year-round.

👉 Read our full guide to the best times to visit Mexico.

⚠️ Safety

Despite what you may have heard, Mexico is generally safe destination for tourists. Just know have been some recent high profile safety issues in Playa del Carmen and in Tulum where tourists got caught in cartel crossfire. Practice common sense and caution, make sure you have travel insurance for Mexico, and check the latest US State Department travel advisories for your destination.

👉 Tips & Things to Know

  • 🚻 – Restrooms Marked “M” are for Women – A door marked “m” means the restroom is for mujeres (women). Men use restrooms with a C (caballeros) or H (hombres).
  • 🚗 – Mexico Drives on the Left – Like the United States, Mexico drives on the left and passes on the right.
  • 🧻 – Toilet Paper Goes in the Bin – Most places in Mexico do not have pipes that can handle flushing toilet paper. Instead, you’ll find a bin to put it in.
  • 🚘 – Watch Out for Car Rental Scams – A common one is to sell Mexico car rentals at too-good-to-be-true prices (sometimes even $1/day) and then upcharge for “mandatory” and very expensive insurance.
  • 💵 – Always Pay with Pesos – In tourist areas, you’ll find that US dollars are often accepted. But the exchange rate is terrible compared to paying with the local currency.

👉 See all Mexico travel tips.

🧳 What to Pack

  • ⛱️ Quick Drying Towel – Whether you’re on the beach, in a cenote, or a hotel pool, it’s always handy to have your own towel around.
  • 🦺 – Travel Insurance – Traveling is risky, especially these days. Be sure to get travel insurance covering Mexico to protect your trip.
  • 🌞 – Sunscreen – The sun does not kid around in Mexico. You’ll get burned quickly unless you bring sunscreen. If snorkeling, make sure it is reef safe.
  • 💊 – Travel Medicine – Montezuma’s revenge is a real thing. Bringing along a handful of basic medications will come in handy when needed.
  • 💧 – Water Bottle – The water is definitely not safe to drink in Mexico. You can buy plastic bottles, but to help the environment and save case, pack your own.

👉 See full Mexico packing list.

🤓 Facts & Info

  • Population – 129 million
  • Capital – Mexico City
  • Currency – Peso (1 usd = 20 pesos)
  • Language – Spanish
  • Plugs – Type A or B, 120V / 60Hz

💵 Budgeting & Money

Mexico is, generally speaking, a relatively affordable travel destination. Although prices can spike in popular tourist areas like Tulum and Puerto Vallarta, particularly during peak times, overall Mexico is very affordable. Credit cards are generally accepted in tourist areas, though many places still only take cash. ATMs are widely available.

📰 Mexico Travel Guides

Getting planning your trip to Mexico with all our Mexico travel guides: