What are the best place to visit in Mexico?
1. Mexico City
No one can really claim to have an idea about Mexico as a foreigner living there or tourist without them having been to Mexico’s capital. And this is coming from a outdoorsy guy that frowns upon city life. But if I would go on a city trip anywhere in the world - it would be Mexico City.
Check out its marvelous museums, breathtaking archaeological sites, exciting mural arts, its interesting architecture and colorful colonial past. Some of the best food the world has to offer!
And of course the Basilica of Guadalupe with its authentic popular religiosity of countless pilgrims. Do not miss visiting the big cathedral and the huge “zocalo”, both in the very center of this sprawling metropolis. For another day, head out to Chapultepec park and its namesake castle placed on a hill within the park.
It is the only castle in the Americas that was actually occupied by a real monarch, Emperor Maximilian von Habsburg. Everybody with a faint interest in pre-colombian cultures in Mexico should plan for a day at least in the Museo de Antropologia.
2. Oaxaca, Michoacan and Chiapas
Here you find the ancient Mexico with its rich Native American heritage that is alive and well to this day. Day of the Dead celebrations are most colorful here, and overall, some of the most beautiful landscapes of Mexico will be found here.
There are also fabulous beaches to be enjoyed such as Huatulco on the Pacific, less crowded with international tourism than Cancun or Puerto Vallarta. Chiapas is also one of the most beautiful of all Mexican states with deep canyons, mighty rivers, deep blue waterfalls and steaming jungles and many interesting small towns with their distinct, still authentic native cultures
3. Sierra Madre Occidental/Gulf of California.
This is up north, a seldom visited area of Mexico by international tourists. This vast area encompasses some of the most breathtaking and remote lands of North America. Nature is appetizer, main course and dessert here, an all-you-can -eat buffet of natural beauty eyecandy!
A good way to explore this is by means of the only passenger rail service in Mexico, The Chihuahua al Pacifico railroad. Still the best train ride I have ever been on - and I been on many, including all railroad attractions in Switzerland.
Whereas the mountains are a hiker’s paradise with its formidable canyons that get up to 6500 ft (almost 2000m) deep, the waterfalls, pristine forests old mining towns and rugged rock formations, these same mountains are also home of a major Indian tribe of Mexico, the Raramuri or Tarahumara.
The coastal areas around the Gulf of California and its islands offer lonely, sandy beaches, some of the most beautiful deserts of the entire world and an unique botanical treasure with a plethora of beautiful but often weird and quirky plants. If you travel in Spring, do not miss some of the best whale watching anywhere around, over in Baja California, out of Guerrero Negro.
4. Merida and the Yucatan
Back in the tropics! This areas harbors some of the very best ancient ruins, most notable Chichen Itza. Instead of diving into spring break fever over at Cancun, discover quaint and beautiful Merida and dive into the spicy world of original Yucatan cuisine.
Another often overlooked place is Villahermosa in Tabasco and the unknown state of Campeche with a lot of still pristine areas, away from the large petroleum operations. Close out with a visit to the always boisterous port city of Veracruz with its iconic music style.
Both are states in Central Mexico and also their respective state capitals. Both are well worth a longer stay. Guanajuato is known for its rather grisly museum of locally found mummies, but also for a large, yearly Cervantes festival.
Other things to explore here are several museums, among them Alhondiga de Granaditas. This building played a major role in the war for Independence in Mexico, starting 1810. The Old Town of Guanajuato by itself is quite unique as well.
Over in Aguascalientes (“Hot Waters” meaning hot mineral springs) you probably want to visit around April 25th, feast day of San Marcos, center of a 3–4 week big “fiesta”: Feria Nacional de San Marcos! During these 3–4 weeks, you can experience about anything traditional Mexican culture and way of living has to offer.
Besides that, Aguascalientes is getting renowned for their wines, so you might want to try some of it while visiting. To close it off, pay a visit to the Museum of Death!