Discover the most popular things to do in Mexico to plan the best vacation possible.
Plan your trip to Mexico
👩🏻 Best guided tours in Mexico
- Chichen Itza, Cenote and Valladolid All-Inclusive Tour (⭐ 5/5)
- Historic Center Food Tour in Mexico City (⭐ 5/5)
- Whale Shark Adventure in Isla Mujeres and Cancun (⭐ 5/5)
🏡 Where to stay in Mexico
Mexico has to be one of the most amazing countries in the world.
I’ve made of list of the top things to do in Mexico that you shouldn’t miss on your trip.
Let’s dive in!
Mexico bucket list
Things to do in Mexico
1. Explore Chichén Itzá, the famous Mayan ruins
Chichen Itza – known locally as Chicken Pizza – is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
It might even be the most popular landmark in all of Mexico.
This ancient Mayan city is famous for the iconic El Castillo pyramid, and it’s important to get there early to beat the crowds. Don’t miss the Ball Court.
Book a guide – Chichen Itza, Cenote and Valladolid All-Inclusive Tour
2. Dive into the Cenotes of Yucatan
In Mexico’s beautiful Yucatan peninsula, you’ll find magical cenotes, which are natural swimming holes. So, make sure to bring your swimsuit and a towel!
Some cenotes are hidden in caves, others are open air. Each has its atmosphere, like the popular Ik Kil or the serene Cenote Azul.
Avoid the crowds – Private Cenotes tour from Playa del Carmen
3. Stroll through Mexico City’s historic center
Mexico City has a beautiful historic center.
I recommend starting at the Zocalo, the main square, and then checking out the Aztec ruins at Templo Mayor and the stunning Metropolitan Cathedral.
Street vendors and lively music add to the vibrant atmosphere.
Book a guided tour – Walking Tour of the Historic Center of Mexico City
4. Enjoy the beaches of Tulum
Picture soft white sand and turquoise waters and you’d still be amazed at how dreamy the beaches in Tulum are.
You can snorkel here or go paddle boarding. We spent most of our time swimming and tanning on the beach.
Oh, and don’t miss the Tulum ruins overlooking the sea!
Book here – Tulum Ruins, Reef Snorkeling, Cenote and Caves
5. Visit the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City
The Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City (also known as Casa Azul or the Blue House) is a deep dive into the artist’s life.
Once inside, you’ll see her art, personal belongings, and the vibrant blue walls. It’s a real window into Frida Kahlo’s world.
Book tickets in advance to skip the long lines.
Book a tour – Frida Kahlo Museum VIP: Skip-the-line & Bikes & Churros
6. Experience the nightlife in Playa del Carmen
We’ve been out a few times in Playa del Carmen, and it has always been super fun!
Start with a sunset beach drink, then head to Fifth Avenue for bars and clubs.
Whether you love live music, fancy cocktails, or dancing until dawn, there’s something for everyone.
7. Taste authentic tacos al pastor
Tasting authentic tacos al pastor is a must in Mexico!
Find a busy street vendor – the busier the better because then you know it’s the good stuff.
Watch them shave the marinated pork off the spit, top it with pineapple, and wrap it in a fresh corn tortilla. It’s a flavor explosion, especially when you add spicy salsa.
8. See the Monarch butterflies in Michoacán
Witnessing Monarch butterflies in Michoacán is amazing.
Go between November and March when millions migrate from Canada.
Seeing those orange and black wings fluttering around is like nothing else – truly a natural spectacle.
Book a tour here – Butterfly Monarch Tour from Mexico City
9. Kayak in the Sea of Cortez
Kayaking in the Sea of Cortez is a great adventure. You can either rent a kayak or join a tour. The water is usually calm, so it’s perfect for beginners.
When you’re there, paddle around, enjoy the clear blue sea, and keep an eye out for dolphins and sea lions.
Book a tour – Los Cabos Arch and Playa del Amor by Glass Bottom Kayak
10. Discover the colorful streets of San Miguel de Allende
In San Miguel de Allende, you’ll find some of the most beautiful streets. They’re super colorful, and the buildings are old and charming.
Duck into some art galleries or grab a snack from a street vendor.
It’s a chill place, great for just hanging out and seeing what’s around the next corner.
11. Snorkel in Cozumel’s coral reefs
Cozumel is one of the best places to snorkel in Yucatan. You can rent gear or join a snorkeling tour.
The water is crystal clear, and the coral reefs are full of colorful fish and even sea turtles.
12. Hike the Copper Canyon
In the north of Mexico, you’ll find the Copper Canyon. It’s larger and deeper than the Grand Canyon!
There are trails for every level, so pick one that suits you. Just remember to bring water and good shoes because it can get pretty rugged.
Book here – Adventure tour from Creel Pueblo Magico
13. Attend a traditional Day of the Dead
The Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) is Mexican culture at its best.
Streets are lively with parades and music. People wear colorful costumes and skull makeup.
Visit the candlelit cemeteries at night, and make sure to try the special bread, Pan de Muerto.
Visit Lake Patzcuaro for the Day of the Dead
Lake Patzcuaro is the place to be for the Day of the Dead. Expect traditional dances, locals in elegant costumes, and striking skull make-up.
14. Visit the pyramids of Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan is an ancient Mesoamerican city near Mexico City and it’s home to massive pyramids. It’s over 2,000 years old.
The Pyramid of the Sun, one of the largest in the world, offers a killer view. Climbing those pyramids is a workout but totally rewarding – just see the view in my image below.
Head out early, wear good walking shoes, and a hat, and don’t forget water – it gets scorching hot!
Book your tour here – Teotihuacan Private Tour from Mexico City
15. Relax in the hot springs of Hierve el Agua
Hierve el Agua, known for its natural hot springs and petrified waterfalls, is a must-visit near Oaxaca. It’s about a two-hour drive from the city.
The springs are great for a relaxing dip with an incredible view. So, remember to bring a swimsuit, sunscreen, and water.
Book a tour – Hierve el Agua and Mezcal Distillery Tour
16. Shop at the markets of Oaxaca
The markets in Oaxaca are a feast for the senses.
Try local specialties like mole, tamales, and Oaxacan cheese. Don’t miss the handcrafted textiles and pottery.
Haggling is part of the fun, but remember to do it respectfully.
Book here – Oaxaca Food & Markets Tour
17. Explore the Mayan ruins of Palenque
Palenque is an ancient Mayan city that’s over 1,000 years old. The ruins are hidden in the jungle, so it has that Indiana Jones vibe.
Plus, it’s not as crowded as other sites, which is awesome.
The main palace and the Temple of the Inscriptions are must-sees. And I really do recommend going with a guide so you can get the history behind the places.
Our guide also took us through the jungle where we got to taste termites and avocados, fresh from the tree.
18. Experience a traditional Temazcal ceremony
A Temazcal ceremony is a traditional Mexican sweat lodge experience. You can find them at some resorts or local villages.
It’s like a sauna but with rituals and herbal steam, and they’re used for spiritual healing.
Be prepared for heat and tight spaces!
Get the luxury edition – Temazcal Ancestral Healing Ceremony
19. Relax at Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres is a small island off Cancun that means “Island of Women” in Spanish.
Catch a ferry from Cancun – it’s a short trip, and trust me, it’s worth it!
After you’ve arrived, make sure to rent a golf cart to explore the island. Don’t miss the beautiful Playa Norte for beach time, the sea turtle sanctuary, and the scenic views at Punta Sur.
Take a day trip to Isla Mujeres – Catamaran Tour to Isla Mujeres from Cancún
20. Join a food tour
Taking a food tour is a must if you like Mexican food (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?).
Join a guided tour or just hop from one local eatery to another. They have the best street food, too, so make sure to try it – it’s a delicious way to learn about the city’s rich culinary history.
Book here – Historic Center Food Tour in Mexico City
21. Watch a Lucha Libre match
Lucha Libre is professional Mexican wrestling, and the atmosphere is electric, with masked wrestlers and loud crowds.
Get into it – cheer, boo, and laugh. It’s not just a sport, it’s a whole entertainment experience.
Either head to Arena Mexico or Arena Coliseo or book a tour in advance. Tours also come with tacos, beer, and mezcal.
Watch in Mexico City – Lucha Libre Tickets & Tacos & Beer & Mezcal
22. Visit the Guanajuato Mummies Museum
There a real-life mummies at the Guanajuato Mummies Museum in Guanajuato City.
These naturally preserved mummies were discovered in a local cemetery and they’re super creepy but also intriguing!
Just a heads up – it’s a popular spot, so be ready for some crowds.
23. Explore the colonial city of Merida
Wander the colorful streets of Mérida, and check out the grand Plaza de la Independencia and Mérida Cathedral.
Don’t miss the local markets for some authentic Yucatecan food.
Book a food tour – Merida Street Food Walking Tour
24. Swim with whale sharks in the Yucatan Peninsula
Swimming with whale sharks in the Yucatan Peninsula is one of the best adventures I’ve had.
The tour is safe and guided, and seriously, how cool to swim with the biggest fish in the ocean!
Book here – Whale Shark Adventure in Isla Mujeres and Cancun
25. Take a cooking class for Mexican cuisine
Taking a cooking class in Mexico is a great way to dive into the culture. You’ll find classes in most tourist towns.
They often start with a market visit to pick fresh ingredients, and then you’ll cook dishes like mole or tamales. It’s hands-on, and fun, and you get to eat your dishes!
26. Visit the Sumidero Canyon
You can take a boat tour through the massive canyon walls, and they’re up to 1,000 m high!
The views are incredible with waterfalls and wildlife, like crocodiles and monkeys.
Book a tour – Sumidero Canyon – Lookouts – Chiapa de Corzo
27. Huasteca Potosina waterfall
Huasteca Potosina is in San Luis Potosi, and you can drive or take a bus there.
Once you’re there, hike or swim up to the waterfall. It’s a nice spot for a swim and some photos.
28. Visit the pink lake of Las Coloradas, Yucatán
Did you know that there’s a pink lake in Mexico?
Las Coloradas is located in Yucatán, close to Merida, and it’s pink due to algae and shrimp.
You can’t swim here, but the view is Instagram-worthy. Tours are available, and they sometimes include a visit to a nearby flamingo sanctuary.
29. Grutas Tolantongo, Hidalgo
Grutas Tolantongo in Hidalgo is the most beautiful hot springs and caves – it reminds me of Pamukkale thermal pools in Turkey.
The place has pools built into cliffs and a warm river. You can stay overnight in a cabin or camp to enjoy it.
Book a tour from Mexico City – Tolantongo Caves Hot Springs & Waterfalls
30. Playa Balandra and El Arco de Cabo San Lucas
Playa Balandra has got super clear water, perfect for swimming, and nearby is El Arco in Cabo, which is this amazing rock arch you gotta see by boat.
Both are in Baja and totally worth the visit for the views and beach vibes.
Book here – Horseback Riding on a Punta Cana Beach
FAQ – Things to do in Mexico
What activities are done in Mexico?
In Mexico, you can explore ancient ruins like Chichen Itza, relax on beaches in Tulum, snorkel in Cozumel, taste street food in Mexico City, hike in Copper Canyon, and experience vibrant local fiestas.
There’s also kayaking in the Sea of Cortez and visiting the colorful streets of San Miguel de Allende.
What are 7 things Mexico is famous for?
These are some of the things Mexico is known for:
- Ancient Mayan and Aztec ruins like Chichen Itza and Teotihuacan.
- Beautiful beaches like Cancun and Playa del Carmen.
- Delicious cuisine, especially tacos and mole.
- Lively Day of the Dead celebrations.
- Mariachi music.
- Tequila and mezcal.
- Colorful handcrafts and vibrant art, including Frida Kahlo’s works.
What can tourists do if they visit Mexico?
Tourists in Mexico can explore ancient ruins, enjoy beautiful beaches, sample delicious local cuisine, visit colonial cities, snorkel in coral reefs, experience vibrant cultural festivals, and shop for unique handicrafts.
They can also hike in natural reserves and learn about traditional arts and crafts.
What is the number 1 tourist attraction in Mexico?
Chichen Itza, the ancient Mayan ruins, is often considered the number 1 tourist attraction in Mexico.
It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site and renowned for its historical significance and architectural beauty, particularly the iconic El Castillo pyramid.
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