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Where else can you explore Aztec and Mayan ruins one day and then party on the beach sipping margaritas the next? Mexico itineraries offer something unique for every kind of traveler, whether you want to climb to the top of Mayan pyramids in Cozumel, chow down on authentic Mexican food in Valladolid, or snooze in a hammock on the beaches of the Yucatan Peninsula. What's more, with cheap transport freely available in the country, it’s easy to get around so you don’t have to miss a thing. If you’re looking for the best Mexico itinerary, we’ve got something for you here.
- Georgina Lowe
- From England
When you’re looking at Mexico itineraries, it can be hard to figure out exactly how much time you should take to explore the country as there are so many things to see and do in Mexico. While you can cram the country’s highlights in over 7 days and will certainly find unique destinations to keep you busy, if you can, spend a few weeks slow traveling throughout the gorgeous countryside. 10 days is just about perfect for getting a real taste of the country and still leaving some surprises for your next visit!
A week is just enough time to fit some of the country’s most unique and fascinating destinations into your Mexico vacation itinerary. Start your trip in Mexico City with two days to get your bearings and eat your heart out. Enjoy chilaquiles from a street vendor in the morning and afternoon churros in the bustling La Condesa neighborhood. Fly or take a bus to the colorful (and decidedly Instagram-able) city of Guanajuato where you can spend some time hiking in the mountains or visit the surprising Museo de las Momias.
After you’ve enjoyed the mountains, head to the Yucatan Peninsula, home of legendary seaside party towns and sleepy beach resorts. If you’re in the mood for some secluded beach vibes, hop on a ferry to the gorgeous Isla Holbox where you can enjoy stunning beaches that aren’t packed with tourists (yet) and see massive whale sharks swimming in the sea. If you want to party all night head to Playa del Carmen where there’s a wide range of nightclubs and bars that cater to Western tastes with a Mexican atmosphere.
If you’re planning on staying a little longer, then there’s room on your Mexico trip itinerary to fit in a little bit of ancient culture. Set up a basecamp in Playa del Carmen for the last few days of your trip. No matter what your budget is, you can find accommodation ranging from cheap and easy to luxurious and pampering. And the food! Playa del Carmen has some of the best cuisines in the country. Whenever you’re not sure where to eat, look for the food stands with the longest line; you’re guaranteed a good meal.
From Playa del Carmen you can take day trips to Chichen Itza, Tulum, and Cozumel, two incredible sites of Mayan ruins. Tulum’s seaside ruins are perfect for a romantic sunset view and Cozumel has one of the only remaining Mayan pyramids that you can still climb. If including some firsthand ancient history in your Mexico itineraries is important to you, your trip will be incomplete without these stops along the way.
Take a look at our 10-day Mexico itineraries for more information.
With a little more breathing room on your Mexico travel itinerary, you can afford to spend some more time in Mexico City. Don’t forget to visit the Plaza de Constitution and check out the famous Metropolitan Cathedral; you can even climb up into the bell towers for a fantastic view of the city. You can spend a day checking out some sites just outside of Mexico City, like the enormous Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan. If you run out of time to get out of the city for a day trip, you can pay a visit to Tenochtitlan. This was the ancient capital of the Aztec empire and the ruins are actually located in Mexico City itself.
Once you arrive on the Yucatan Peninsula for the sun-soaked beach part of your trip, make some room in your Mexico itineraries to stop off in the city of Valladolid. If you’re heading to Chichen Itza to channel your inner Indiana Jones in some ruins, Valladolid makes a great getaway to escape the midday sun. In addition to snacking on some tasty tamales for lunch, you can go for a swim in the famous Cenote Zaci sinkhole where the blue waters and dripping stalactites create an otherworldly atmosphere.
Feeling inspired? Take a look at our 14-day Mexico itineraries!
With a full three weeks to spend in Mexico, you’ll have plenty of time to see everything mentioned in the previous itineraries plus more! You’ll find that few Mexico itineraries include a trip to the mountainous state of Chiapas and that’s a shame. Since you have a full three weeks to spend exploring, you can add this stunning area to your list. Rent a place in the gorgeous town of San Cristobal de las Casas with its cool mountain weather and uniquely European vibes. It’s a great (and super affordable) place to spend a few days away from the heat of the rest of the country.
Be sure to visit the ancient Mayan site of Palenque while you’re at it; if this massive compound was located in the Mediterranean, it would be considered one of the wonders of the world. While you’re in Chiapas, you can also pay a visit to the Agua Azul waterfalls located on the Xanil River. Their shockingly blue waters have made them a popular tourist attraction. You can enjoy a swim on a warm day and pick up some souvenirs, snacks, or drinks from the stands along the trail.
Don't be shy! Go through our 3-week itineraries for more information.