Mexico is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world and our experiences are for people looking to take a meaningful break, escape the tourist resorts doing something more benefical than just sunbathing. From exploring ancient temples to relaxing on gorgeous beaches going to Mexico will turn out to be a very good decision.
Find inspiration for the best things to do if you would like to book a holiday, travel, go backpacking or take a gap year in Mexico.
Get information, tips, itineraries and inspiration for visiting Mexico.
There are so many reasons why you might want to travel to Mexico, here are some:
You can enter Mexico through international flights from worldwide destinations and also overland via bus or car from the USA, Guatemala and Belize.
You will not need to apply for a visa prior to arriving in Mexico if you are a British Citizen and the tourist visa they grant you on arrival means you can stay and travel in Mexico for upto 180 days. Also unlike other countries you do not need to provide proof of funds in your bank account or show an outbound ticket.
Mexico enjoys a warm climate nearly all year round and there is no best time to visit.
Mexico is a large country and there are so many different places to visit. Here are some places you might want to add to your itinerary:
Cancun is famous for beaches and resorts but there is a lot more to this region and also lots of day and longer tours available. You could spend a full day sightseeing in the Cancun area is well worth it, you could take the boat to Isla Murejes, visit the sculpture park at Punta Sur which is something unique, El Rey Ruins, Playa Delfines and the new Cancun Museum. If you visit the Old Town you will get an authentic experience away from the huge tourists resorts there are local parks, areas for food. Lots of stalls, music etc going so that was cool.
Merida is a 4 hour bus journey from Cancun and is a colonial city which is sometimes describes as the most beautiful city in Mexico - it certainly wont't disappoint. There ares of plazas, churches and other historical buildings. Everything seems to have plaques around to explain the significance which is good for foreign tourists. Everything can be seen on foot which is a lot of walking, if you are looking for something a little different there is also a chocolate factory and a tequila place. You could join a free historical walking tour and then to check out the ruins of Dzilchultum or visit a nearby town like Izamel which has various churches, ruins and colourful buildings which are yellow and white.
2.5 hour bus ride to the city of Valladolid which is like a smaller version of Merida. There is also a free tour of this private house which has the largest privately owned collection of Mexican folk art by this American couple. This is the most amazing house which took 10 years to renovate from when the owner bought it as an abandoned dump, you will be in total awe of the owner who is so down to earth about explaining everything. This might even turn out to be on the most unexpected highlights of your trip.
Most tours of the East Coast of Mexico will take you to see Chichen Itza which are some of the best ruins in the world, you can spend hours here and take a million photos! Chichen Itza is a spectacular temple which has recently been re-built and modernised, there are lots of ruins on this site but aim to arrive early as it get very touristy. Chichen Itza is one of the new wonders of the world and its easy to see why it was given this status.
Playa del Carmen
Playa Del Carmen is very touristy and not for anyone seeking the authentic Mexican experience. Expect spectacular beaches and Western fast food joints and a Cinemex where it's only £2 for a ticket! There are lots of places to buy souvenirs on 5th avenue and also a stunning beach and great nightlife.
Further down the coast from Playa Del Carmen and Cancun is Tulum which is a popular tour stop off point on the East Coast, the ruins here are very special because although it's quite small, it's right on the coast with a beach below.
Expect a buslting city with temples, museums and lots of bars, restaurants, cafes and shops to walk around. This city is a lot safer and more interesting than you might think.
On the Pacific coast you could visit Mazatlan which has a great atmosphere and beautiful beaches. Acapulco is great beach destination, if you are looking for a quiet experience don't visit during Spring Break. Guadalajara is a city where you can embrace Mexican culture and see beautiful colonial buildings. If you are crossing the border from the US, you might pass by Tijuana which has lots of things to do and place to see.
Mexico is a huge country and if you just want to see as much as possible you need to put together a structured itinerary. If you are flying into Mexico City we recommend traveling overland to Oaxaca, Palenque, Merida, Cancun, Isla Mujeres and then down the East Coast to Playa Del Carmen and Tulum.
Here are some of our top rated things to do in Mexico...
Mexico is a huge country which offer lots of different experiences, this means you have a lot of choice when it comes to what to do. We have programs for students, graduates, career breaks and people looking to discover. Expect a warm climate, friendly locals, tasty food, amazing beaches, fantastic ancient ruins, parties and a whole range of international travellers. If you are looking for the best things to do on a gap year in Mexico you can find opportunities on our guide,
Mexico is full of culture, history and colour and great if you have never been to Latin America before. This is a really big country, you will need around 4 weeks to see as much as possible and try to take a phrase book if you do not speak Spanish. Mexico is a great value destination but more expensive than most others in Central America. Be open to the local culture and try the local food which is very tasty. Mexico also has some of the best nightlife and clubs in Latin America, you can find all night parties and also packages which include accommodation and entry to clubs. Don't leave the country without seeing the Aztec Ruins and also Chichen Itza.
You might want to visit Cancun is probably the most popular and well known destination in Mexico. Cancun has the uncanny ability to attract people from all walks of life and offers tourists a chance to witness ancient buildings that have been standing for many centuries. The beaches at Cancun are breathtaking. Many visitors enjoy the bungee jumping contests near the beach. There are tourist information available on how to participate in exciting bungee jumping activities. One will always want to spend hours on the beaches of Cancun after their first visit to this beautiful location.
Mexico has a relible bus service connecting the whole country. Mexico is a large country so flying can be a good option, most airports in Mexico are connected via worldwide flights. Public transport is cheap but there are also upgrades with air conditioning or geared more towards tourists. The bus service in Mexico is very reliable and fast. If you are nervous about traveling solo you could join a gap year experience, this is a safe and easy way to see more places off the beaten track in a group of around 12 people. On our website you can search gap year adventures which are a popular way to travel. Try to give yourself flexible time to explore the best that Mexico has to offer, get advice from other travellers / locals about where to visit / avoid. If you would like to see the East Coast as quick as possible there is a bus from Chetuman to Cancun which takes 6 hours. This will be a long day of traveling.
"Some areas of Mexico are super touristy and avoid places like Playa del Carmen and Cancun if you would like an authentic experience. Both these locations are very expensive. But if you are looking to keep your Western comforts and also party you will love them." - Paul, UK
"Mexico was one of the best places I visited in Latin America. I participated on a volunteer program helping sea turtles then after I did overland tour. It was an incredible experience. Don't believe all the horror stories you read in the press, Mexico is safer than you might think." Mark, USA
"Mexico was absolutely incredible in fact I’m going back! Everything from the people, culture, scenery and food exceeded expectations! I was lucky to be apart of such a muti-national group of people and I think we all earned a lot not only about Mexico but about our various countries. The way of life is so relaxed, there is no schedule but everything still gets done! I would highly recommend this project and any project that is based in Mexico." - Carol, environmental project in Mexico
View our Central America backpacking guide.