If there’s anything I’ve learnt over the past 3 weeks, it’s that there is so much more to Mexico than the tourist hot spots.
Yes, the Mexican coast is pretty great, but did you know there’s also a bunch of crazy amazing stuff inland?
Once you decide to explore the parts of Mexico that don’t appear in the glossy travel brochures, you’ll discover some adorable townships, some majestic landscapes, and the true cultures of traditional Mexican people.
I’d like to share my discoveries of Mexico’s best kept secrets!
How to see the best of Mexico:
We decided to visit Mexico on this Mexico Unplugged tour with Intrepid. It was such great value and an amazing way to see all that the country had to offer, as the tour took us to places that we would never have visited if we had have done Mexico independently. I would definitely recommend it!
1. The pyramids
Mexico isn’t usually the first thing to come to mind when pyramids are mentioned, but stand aside, Egypt! Mexico has pyramids that are (in some ways) much better than their Egyptian counterparts.
You can find pyramids at most of the Mayan ruins scattered throughout Mexico. Pictured above are the monstrous ancient step pyramids that make up Teotihuacan, which is only an hour out of Mexico City.
2. The small towns
Mexico is packed full of super cute small towns. The pretty coloured buildings and boutique souvenir stores will have you squealing in delight (…yes, this may have happened to me).
Above is the small town of Cholula, where you’ll find over 365 churches and some of the best helado (Mexican ice cream) your taste buds have ever dreamed of sampling.
3. The mountains
Mexico does have some of the classic desert/cactus/rattlesnake landscapes that you’ve seen depicted in every movie that includes Mexico, but contrary to popular belief, that’s not all it is.
In the area around Oaxaca (pronounced wa-ha-ka… I know, right) you’ll find some pretty sexy looking mountains. Hidden away between them is Hierve El Agua, a solidified waterfall made from deposits of carbon from underground water sources, slowly created over thousands of years.
4. The highland towns
In the mountain range that heads right down through the middle of Mexico, you’ll come across San Cristobal.
Traditionally dressed Mexican women are everywhere you look, as well as pastel houses with the cutest window frames you’ve ever laid eyes on. Wander through the narrow streets of this mountain town and you can experience the highland town’s charm for yourself.
5. The cenotes
The state of Yucutan has thousands (that’s right, thousands) of sink holes known locally as cenotes. Created by the deterioration of the surrounding limestone, the sink holes are filled with water from underground sources.
To sum it up, you get to swim in a crazy awesome cave with the clearest blue refreshing water you’ve ever had the honour of dipping your body in. Sound’s great, right? It was. It really was.
6. The jungle
Another thing that isn’t usually associated with Mexico – the jungle. But seriously, Mexico is way up there on the scale of awesome jungles, if such a thing exists. No need to head to the expensive Amazon for your fair share of monkeys, toucans, boa constrictors, and (apparently) jaguars. You can find them all here in southern Mexico!
7. The beaches
You might have heard of Tulum, Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, and Puerto Vallarta. Those places where you (and every other tourist) would like to spend a week drinking cocktails by the beach. But what about Akumal (where you can swim with turtles!), Bonfil, or Xph Ha?
Grab a Cancun car rental and drive 15 minutes along the coast from the tourist hot spots, and you’ll likely be treated with your choice of smaller beaches that are so much quieter and nicer than the popular ones. And yes, you can still drink cocktails on these beaches, you’ll just have less tourists to elbow out of the way.
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