Mexico Travel Guide
This crossroads of Western, Mesoamerican, and a of myriad cultures, a cradle of civilization and center of sports, music, and entertainment, is blessed with a vast and beautiful scenery. Set your sights on the nature, expression, action, and people of this vast nation. Whether relaxing on warm, sunny beaches with great food, exploring ancient ruins, wandering diverse ecosystems, or thriving in some of Latin America's largest and most vibrant hubs of entertainment and commerce, Mexico has so much to offer. Read on for some of our highlights of travel across this nation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to get tested for COVID-19 when traveling?
Mexico does not require a negative COVID-19 test for entry. However, your airline(s) might require a negative result, as may any transit countries if you are flying through another country (or multiple) before entering Mexico. As such, we encourage checking with the airline and transit country's requirements for testing.
Will the US lift COVID test requirement?
The CDC no longer requires air passengers traveling to the United States to produce a negative COVID-19 test result. However, the origin country or transit countries might have requirements for negative COVID-19 results.
Can I travel during the coronavirus disease pandemic?
This is an important decision that can only be answered by each individual, considering their health history, status and situations regarding citizenship, employment, health, finance etc. Regarding Mexico, it seems that while wearing masks and frequent hand washing is encouraged for the safety of others, there are few restrictions against travel and tourism in Mexico.
Are foreigners required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel to the US?
While negative test results or mask wearing is not required by the United States Government to enter the country, non-citizens over the age of 18 must be fully vaccinated to travel to the US.
Can you return to the United States after traveling to Mexico during COVID-19?
Yes, visitors can freely return to the United States after traveling to Mexico currently during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Will I be quarantined if I travel to Mexico?
Mexico does not require that fully vaccinated travelers quarantine themselves upon arrival to the country.
What are the restrictions, requirements for traveling to Mexico during COVID?
While Mexico does not require a negative COVID-19 test result to enter the country, visitors are required to be fully vaccinated. Petitioning to enter without being fully vaccinated on any grounds is possible but involves many more steps and usually a five-day quarantine upon arrival.
Is Mexico safe to visit?
According to the Mexico Travel Advisory as issued by the United States Government, this is highly dependent on which area(s) you plan to visit. There is a detailed list of those states of Mexico categorized from Do Not Travel to “Exercise Normal Precautions”. However, in general, it is advised that travelers do not display signs of wealth or stray too far from the police presence. Refer to the following website for more in-depth information regarding the specific parts of Mexico you are considering.
Combining a lush, verdant and rich wilderness, diverse local fauna, massive ruins, and the famously exciting beaches of Cancun, Yucatan is Mexico's happy face of the Caribbean with so much to offer travelers of all ages and interests.
Wander one of the largest surviving pre-Columbian cities of the Americas, and walk back in time through the heyday of the Mayan empire. Here, carved out amid the tropical forests is Chichen Itza, the cosmopolitan hub for centuries here on the Yucatan peninsula. Take a picture with the mighty heads of Kukulcan, brave the massive staircases of the temples and gaze out over the site, spectate the off-season Grand Ballcourts, explore the pyramids and witness Mayan civilization all in this historical heavyweight of Mexico. Intricate temples, columns and walls await visitors, as well as a formidable cave and cenote system in the area, making this also a great location to witness the natural beauty of the Yucatan. Make for Chichen Itza during your trip to Mexico, and meet wild Yucatan and the ancient Maya.
A name widely recognised across America that evokes images of spring break, cruises, parties, and balmy beaches, Cancun is one of Mexico's great destinations for those who just want a getaway to sun, fun and delicious food. A series of luxury hotels and residences equipped with all the wonderful amenities such as full baths, beach access, massive pools, rooftops, and views out on the Caribbean are here to make your stay as comfortable as possible here in festive Cancun. There is also the world's second-longest coral reef and connections to plenty of snorkeling, scuba diving, and hiking tours to enjoy the rich wildlife and natural beauty around the area. Those who enjoy nightlife and the party will find no shortage here, with the strong center on tourism for the millions of visitors each year. Cruises also frequently have Cancun as a port on their voyages, making this a great addition to any larger, multi-leg Caribbean journeys, start, end, or as an intermediate destination. Of note is also the growing local chocolate industry, both a delight for visiting foodies and a souvenir to take home to share.
Playa del Carmen
Aquamarine seas, white sands, dense rainforests and charming, sun-soaked streets, Playa del Carmen is a quaint, quieter escape to Mexico's Caribbean without the spectacle and action of Cancun. Those wanting a calmer escape to the beaches and nature of Yucatan will enjoy the water resorts, golfing, and outdoors activities galore here just a few hours south of buzzing Cancun.
This sprawling highland capital of the nation boasts a vibrant empire of industry, commerce, the arts and a major importance throughout Mexico, Latin America and the Spanish-speaking world, home to many chief institutions, studios, universities, and record labels. Also to this heavyweight city's name is a number of gorgeous parks, landmark buildings, museums, art galleries, and surviving ruins of ancient Tenochtitlan.
The National Museum of Anthropology and ruins of the Templo Mayor Museum are illuminating windows into the Aztec and Maya histories of Mexico, with vast collections of the artwork and records of life in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. This is a great way to meet Mexico's past and indigenous heritage up close, and lends itself to exploring other giants of Mexico City…such as the Ornate Palace of Fine Arts, a showcase of some of the best of Mexican art and creative expression, where visitors can tour the fusion of Native Mexican symbology and the fervor of the Art Nouveau movement, with the works of Diego Rivera, David Siquieros, Jorge Gonzalez Camarena, Gerardo Murillo, Geza Maroti, and more!
In addition, the Palace also frequently exhibits temporary displays and performances by big names such as the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico. Neighboring the impressive Zocalo, these are two great additions to any trip to Mexico to gain a bold and exciting introduction to the range and depth of Mexican arts and expression.
Majestic Chapultepec Castle is another sight to behold, gracefully looking over Mexico City in revered beauty. It is also the current home to the National Museum of History, where travelers can learn about and follow the journey of the Mexican people in one of the most enchanting corners of the capital. Nearby is the forest of Chapultepec, one of the largest city parks in the Americas, and a collection of distinguished museums amid a verdant escape from the urban world of Mexico City.
Guadalajara offers an eclectic mix of lively markets, dramatic landscapes, and relics of colonial Mexico, a varied and colorful destination for your travels. The Guadalajara Cathedral and Templo Expiatorio del Santísimo Sacramento are ornate windows into the Catholic religion and some of the nation's most esteemed works of architecture, with towering overlooks, bells, and masterpieces of stained glass. Meanwhile, the Mercado Libertad - San Juan de Dios is a rainbow of flavors, scents and sights boasting over 2900 stalls and vendors as the largest indoor market of Latin America! A great place to tour and wander the traditional food, diverse produce and browse local wares as souvenirs to take home.
Along this side of Mexico is an exciting world of surf, virgin coastline, opulent resorts, and dramatic landscapes to tour. Acapulco has captured the attention of audiences around the world with the wealth of outdoor activities, nightlife, and natural beauty here.
La Quebrada's seaside cliffs host daring diving shows not for the faint of heart, with a talented community of diving families who dive distances of 40 and 80 feet with precise timing. There is also the Revolcadero, where all will delight in the surf, watersports and ample beachfront to spend their stay. Meanwhile, nearby escapes such as Isla de La Roqueta offer delicious eateries and quieter forests and beaches.
Puerto Vallarta is another gem of the nation, with so much to see and do on this part of Mexico's Pacific coast. The Puerto Vallarta Malecon offers a romantic and indulgent waterfront walk accompanied by views over turquoise waters, the Malecon Lighthouse, the Cuale River, and an interesting mix of sculptures.
The Marietas Islands are a sanctuary for marine life, a hotspot for watching colonies of birds, breaching whales, tranquil beaches, coral reefs, and a thriving community of sea turtles, manta rays, dolphins, and tropical fish.
Los Muertos Beach offers a mix of shopping and restaurants and a love for watersports, from surfing to windsurfing to jet skiing and beach volleyball, a destination for a full day and night of sports, shopping and fine dining.
Here along Mexico's Gulf Coast, visitors will discover captivating landscapes ranging from volcanic peaks to coral reefs and pyramids, all along a series of inviting port cities. Here, travelers will find abundant natural beauty and history everywhere they turn, whether it is climbing massive ruins, scaling volcanoes, or just a destination free from the commotion of their favorite tourist destinations.
Veracruz is a great location to consider, frequently earning the reputation of one of Mexico's friendliest cities, the first harbor, oldest post-Columbian city and start of Spanish civilization in the nation dating back to the excursions of 1519.
The streets come alive with ample music, dancing, street performances and an animated boardwalk, great for those nights out strolling or for the more impromptu plans. Veracruz is also notably home to one of the largest aquariums in all Latin America, a convenient and accessible way to tour and learn about the marine and aquatic biodiversity of Mexico and its many biomes.
The countryside of this state is also of note, with rich agriculture of coffee, vanilla, and tropical flowers, of interest to foodies, chefs, and those traveling on their stomachs. Rural towns and villages just off the beaten path are energetic and charming hubs of traditional Mexican culture, as are the revered ruins of El Tajin with its towering pyramids.
Wilderness here in Veracruz is a great canvas for those sporting enthusiasts visiting Mexico, the Pico de Orizaba being Mexico's highest, with snow capped peaks and some 5.6km above sea level, proving to be quite the formidable (albeit rewarding) climb to the summit.
Amid the Sierra Madre Oriental mountains, lush, emerald forests offer abundant hiking and bird watching expeditions next to whitewater rafting, kayaking and canyoning courses and tours.
Located about 80 miles southeast of Mexico City, Puebla is a cultural mecca unlike anything else. In Mexico's City of Angels, Spanish Catholic churches coexist with a vibrant contemporary art scene.
Puebla, the source of such Mexican traditions as mole and Cinco de Mayo, is a distinctive cultural center that combines native customs with Spanish colonial influence. With over 1,000 colonial structures covered in the city's signature painted Talavera Poblana tiles, 70 churches in the historic center alone, and a rich gastronomic heritage that can be discovered at restaurants and food carts alike, it is definitely worth a visit. Puebla has a much more laid-back, almost beach-like atmosphere than one might anticipate from a bustling city.
Of note is the Archaeological Zone of Cholula, now a site of the ruins of a large pyramid and commemorating the pre-columbian heritage of the area, while the Museo Amparo is another showcase of the city's strong diverse heritage, displaying indigenous and Modern Mexican artwork from throughout history.
We end our guide with Mexico's northernmost shores, the dry, sun-kissed land of Baja California. One of the most alluring and well-liked travel locations in Mexico, blessed with enticing desert vistas, lush oasis, and a wealth of aquatic life. Its human history is equally captivating, leaving behind a legacy of far-off cave drawings, dilapidated Spanish missions, opulent beach resorts, and mouthwatering seafood. However, Baja still exudes a strong sense of seclusion from the rest of Mexico.
The yearly migration of the gray whales, which takes place in Baja from December to April, is one of the region's most captivating views. The lagoons surrounding San Ignacio, where the town itself is a draw, and Laguna Ojo de Liebre are the greatest spots to see the whales. The Sierra de San Francisco, between Bahia de los Angeles and Loreto, was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993 because of its 500 very vivid rock-art sites. The peninsula is also home to some of the most captivating and thought-provoking cave art in the world. White sand beaches and turquoise waters can be found all along the coastline, and the majority of Baja California Sur's communities provide excellent chances for kayaking, fishing, and diving.
Mulegé offers a number of cave art tours up to the Sierra de Guadalupe, aside from using it as a jumping-off point for the beaches to the south. At La Trinidad (29 km west of town), this range has some of the most accessible rock art in Baja, with round-trip travel times of as little as five hours (including 6.5km on foot). In the height of the season, organizing a group to share expenses shouldn't be a problem, but you should still compare prices because the trips vary greatly. There are also options for overnight excursions, such as spending the night at two different caves and a ranch that dates back 260 years.
Loreto was the first permanent colony in the Californias and is a well-liked getaway for fisherman and divers. Before a severe hurricane ravaged the California territory in 1829 and La Paz took over as the administrative center, Juan Maria Salvatierra's first Jesuit mission to the area, Loreto, was established in 1697. Today, Loreto is once again thriving; part of the center is devoted to craft stores and galleries, many of which sell silver, and both the main Plaza Civica and the seaside malecón have recently undergone renovations.