The birthplace of tacos, guacamole, sombreros and cheap tequila, Mexico invites you to explore the wilderness of the forests, the tranquility of stunning palm-lined coastlines, exciting fiestas, and the inspiration that created the works of great masters, like Frida Kahlo. There are several different areas of Mexico that you can visit, each with its own vibe and experiences.
Mexico offers great diversity and it is a fascinating melting pot of Spanish culture and Mesoamerican traditions, which play out beautifully alongside its stunning palm-laced beaches, and agave farms. In this article, we will walk you through a comprehensive guide to help plan your itinerary for Mexico.
The Island of Dolls is by far the most bizarre and creepiest attractions to explore islands of Mexico, but it is certainly an experience of a lifetime. The island was erected by Don Julian Santana, a gypsy who upon learning the story of a little girl who drowned in the adjacent lake, started hanging dolls all across the island. The experience is fascinating, and chilling to the bone.
Mexico’s second largest city, Guadalajara is immensely popular for the pleasures of mariachi and tequila, and truly one of the best cities to enjoy Mexican nightlife. Its traditional colonial streets offer much to the historical tourist who is interested in exploring cultural avenues, museums, and heritage architecture. You absolutely must visit the Guadalajara Cathedral to feast your eyes on the most impressive Gothic interior.
The power seat of the Aztec empire, Teotihuacan is home to the most fascinating Aztec pyramids and structures that date all the way back to 400 BC. It is located just outside Mexico City, and attracts scores of tourists who come to visit the enthralling pyramids, the Temple of the Sun, and the Temple of Moon.
The thriving hub of Mexico’s indigenous culture, Oaxaca begs to be explored with its strong artistic influence and a vibrant community of local artisans and handcrafters. It is the ultimate city to explore traditional Mexican festivals, and of course, the tranquility of the Pacific Coast beaches, and the wilderness of the Sierra Norte mountains.
The Mexican cuisine is brimming with chili-rich sauces, herb-infused beans, rice, avocados, colorful peppers, tomatoes, corn, and a plethora of fish. It is the ultimate heaven to feast on rich and spicy salsas, enchiladas, burritos, tacos, saucy mole, tamales and of course, guacamole. Street food and treats in the local marketplaces will typically cost you less than USD $0.50 a piece, and these include delicious tostadas, tacos, tamales and more.
If you want to enjoy fine dining Mexican restaurants, be sure to reserve a budget of around USD $21 a day. Beachside restaurants tend to cost a bit a higher, while cocktails and bear tend to cost around USD $4 and $0.85 respectively. Many travelers prefer shopping for groceries from the vibrant Mexican markets and preparing their own meals, which typically costs around USD $30 a week.
Mexico is an ideal country to explore a diverse range of experiences, including cultural explorations, wilderness adventures, beach bumming and water sports, and much more. However, the Mexican clubs and beaches are roaring with an insanely exciting nightlife, and you can catch some of the best events if you plan ahead. Cancun is famed for its Spring Break, Puerto Vallarta for its LGBT nightlife and Mexico City for its New Years celebrations. Going out in Mexico is relatively inexpensive, drinks are cheap and nightclub options are plenty, with the favourable Mexican Peso / U.S. dollar exchange rate softening the blow to your wallet.
Mexico has plenty of resort options to chose from, whether that is private villa's, quaint hotels or large all-inclusive resorts. Areas like Cancun and Mayan Riviera are known for their all-inclusive mega resorts, whereas Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific side are more traditional style hotels with shared beaches and plenty of restaurant options outside of the hotel to explore.
If you are focused on renting the cheapest hostel rooms, private hostel rooms tend to cost USD $30 a night, while the rates for dorm rooms in popular tourist attractions tend to range between USD $9 to $15. Private hostel rooms tend to cost at least USD $20 per night, and they come with free breakfast and Wi-Fi. However, given the prevalence of petty theft and minor crimes in hostels, we suggest booking a regular hotel room, staying at a 3-star rating or higher.
Summer in Mexico lasts from June to October, and these are the rainiest months across the country, with intense humidity and soaring temperatures. The months September and October are highly ill-advised as these are the designated months of the dreaded hurricane season.
The chilly months of December until April are the best time to visit Mexico, and the temperatures are surprisingly warm, which makes the coastal regions immensely popular with tourists. If you want to bask under Mexico’s tropical sun, this is the best time to visit.
The easiest ways to get to Mexico is by air, with most major American airports offering nonstop flights. If you live on the west coast of the USA, you can also head to places like Tijuana, by simply driving across the border. Whichever destination you are going, packaged vacations that include flight and hotel are still the best option. Several cruise lines like Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Carnival offer cruises in the western Caribbean that include Mexican ports of call, or Mexican Riviera cruises along the pacific coast, departing from the ports of Los Angles and Long Beach.
Travelling within Mexico is extremely easy and convenient, as you simply have to hop aboard one of the many camiones (public buses) circulating through the cities and towns. These are indeed the cheapest mode of traveling within the country, and in some remote locations and smaller cities, the bigger buses are placed by smaller microbuses. You can hop between major destination in Mexico with the help of low cost airlines like Interjet and Viva Aerobus. Explore Mexico City and Guadalajara with its impressive subway systems, and taxi fares also are surprisingly cheap, costing around USD $0.85 to $1.30 in most cities. You can easily find an Uber across 30 cities in Mexico.
The local currency is the Mexican Peso. The strong U.S. dollar and relative low cost of living in Mexico give you significantly more buying power than in the United States. A luxury budget to travel across Mexico would be around USD $310 per day, which would include a room at a five-star hotel, fine dining, cocktails at fancy clubs, guided tours, and taking uber everywhere. Backpackers travelling across Mexico need a minimum budget of USD $48 a day, which would include a hostel dorm, street-side treats, and the cost of daily visits to tourist attractions across the country. If you want to add a budget hotel to your itinerary, and explore more attractions, use public transport and Uber, alongside feasting at local restaurants, you will have to increase the daily budget to at least USD $85.
If you decide to go away, book your hotel, flights and activities through our trip concierge for discounts and benefits. We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts, free hotel credit and VIP gifts at many luxury hotels for the same price as the hotel’s own websites. (Book direct and you don’t get these benefits so why would you?). Our packaged vacation prices tend to be considerably cheaper than flight and hotel prices available online.