Top 10 tourist attractions of Mexico

Mexico is much more than the best known and visited by mass tourism attractions, like Acapulco or Playa del Carmen. If what you like most is to explore a bit beyond the “holiday resort”, what this country offers are unforgettable places: beautiful deserted beaches, ruins of ancient civilizations, magnificent natural parks and unrivalled wildlife. However, defining the top 10 tourist attractions of Mexico is a matter of taste. The classification can vary from person to person, depending on which are your likes; but these 10 destinations are surely part of the most rankings of the most beautiful destinations in Mexico.

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These are our top 10 tourist attractions of Mexico

1. Chiapas

Yaxchilan chiapas mexico


Chiapas is a subtropical paradise made of forests and rainforests. And one of the last places in the world where there still are undiscovered treasures. Indeed it is true that not all Mayan ruins already discovered: many of them are still hidden in the far entrails of the rainforest. In addition to the archaeological attractions in Chiapas also lovers of nature find their paradise, due to the great biodiversity of the forests and will also be possible to know more about Indian culture since Chiapas is one of the regions of Mexico with more indigenous populations.

The main destinations of interest Chiapas are:

Ancient Maya cities:
  • Palenque, today natural reserve located near the town of the same name and world Unesco heritage Site
  • Yaxchilan, near the town of Ocosingo, rival Mayan city of Palenque, together with Bonampak and nearby and Toniná
Palenque chiapas mexico


Natural Areas:
  • Sumidero Canyon, a narrow canyon along the course of Grijalva River, in the Tuxtla Gutierrez region, capital of Chiapas
  • Montebello Lagunas, a region full of lakes and lush nature
Sumidero Canyon

Sumidero Canyon

2. Tulum

tulum mayan riviera


Probably the most beautiful beach of Mexico and perhaps one of the most beautiful and photographed the world: this is Tulum, in the heart of the Mayan Riviera. All catalogues of Mexico travel agencies show at least a picture of the Maya ruins of Tulum, located in front of the Caribbean Sea, overlooking a beautiful white sandy beach. These ruins are not as nice as those of Chichen Itza or Palenque but have an added attraction that is missing the rest, which is being able to spend a day of cultural tourism on the beach.

Furthermore in the Tulum area is where there is the highest concentration of cenotes, beautiful lakes created by underground rivers, very interesting to visit, which can also be explored by scuba divers.

The most beautiful cenotes of Tulum are:
  • Cenote Cristal
  • Gran Cenote
  • Cenote Escondido
tourist attractions of Mexico: Cenote Mayan riviera


The city of Tulum, a couple of miles from the beach, offers a wide variety of hotels, villas and apartments, able to satisfy the most demanding, but certainly the most interesting is to find an accommodation on the coastline in one of the many cabins of all categories and prices. Very near the city of Tulum are also two other major attractions: the eco-tourism park of Xel Ha and the biosphere reserve of Sian Ka’an.

Xel -Ha is an eco-tourism park with beautiful beaches and a history that dates back to a pre-Hispanic era, located further north of Tulum. It is a cove located at the mouth of a river where meets the Carribean sea, where the biodiversity of fauna and flora is really impressive. Indeed Xel- Ha is known as the world’s largest aquarium and definitely one of the most beautiful tourist attractions of Mexico.

The Biosphere Reserve of Sian Ka’an is an area of pure nature, a part of the southern Caribbean coast of Tulum, where you can feel in full contact with nature. It has the largest barrier reef in the world, behind only Australian Great Reef, secluded white sand beaches, mangroves and jungle of unparalleled beauty. Furthermore, it has a wide variety of wildlife including crocodiles, dolphins, bats, pumas, tapirs and over 300 species of birds, including toucans and the famous and rare quetzal. A still untouched natural paradise.

3. Chichen Itza

chitchen itza

Chitchen Itza

ball game chitchen itza

Ball game chitchen itza

Chichen Itza is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the best examples of ancient Maya civilization. The imposing structure called “The Castle”, overlooks the archaeological area which covers an area of about 4 square kilometres. Given the magnitude of the archaeological zone, you need a whole day to fully enjoy these attractive ruins, which are visited each year by millions of tourists. Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to climb to the platform of the castle for safety reasons, but the show is equally impressive. Also beautiful are the Temple of the Thousand Columns, Temple of the Warriors and the Ball Game, a sort of ancestral basketball court. You should also make a stop at the Sacred Cenote of Chichen Itza, where you will feel chills if you think the Mayans performed human sacrifice by pulling people into the gorge.

Highly recommended is the sound and light show that takes place at night and will resume from the second quarter of 2014.

4. Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres Mayan riviera

Isla Mujeres Mayan Riviera

Near Cancun, accessible only by sea, lies the tiny Isla Mujeres, a tropical paradise island where the snorkelling is the main activity, together with lying on the beach and relax. Here there is not much more to do. The beaches are of fine white sand, crystal clear water and rich in fauna.

The name of the island is due to religion: in ancient times the island was sacred to Ixchel, goddess of the moon, love and fertility, which was adored by depositing female figures on its beaches, so when the Spanish conquistadors arrived and found these statues, they decided to call Isla Mujeres (Women Island).

5. Cozumel



In the coast in front of the popular tourist town of Playa del Carmen is the island of Cozumel, a popular tourist destination and well known in Mexico and out of it. The island has a beach of fine white sand and a coral reef very near to the shore, which can be reached without need any boats, just beware of strong currents. Cozumel is ideal for lovers of diving, snorkeling and sea nature.

6. Cabo San Lucas

Arch of cabo san lucas

Arch of Cabo San Lucas

In the region of Baja California South is located one of the most beautiful attractions of Mexico: Cabo San Lucas. In its rough waters find shelter numerous species of marine mammals such as the gray whale, which travels each year from Alaska to give birth here, dolphins, seals and sea lions. Cabo San Lucas is an ideal place for whale watching and swimming with dolphins or seals.

The original fishing village is no longer here, but Cabo San Lucas still preserved its charm and above all its culture. Its bay is small and is surrounded by crystal clear waters and can be seen even from outside the water the black corals and some underwater sand falls. Furthermore the beaches, also if Cabo San Lucas is already a popular tourist destination, are not very crowded and you can still find some deserted beaches.

The most known and the most beautiful of the area is the famous Arch of Cabo San Lucas, a natural arch carved into the rock by the action of the waves of the Pacific. Under the Arc of Cabo San Lucas you can see seals and sea lions rolling and sunbathing on the beach.

Cabo San Lucas also has a lively nightlife to entertain night.

Wildlife in Cabo San lucas

Wildlife in Cabo San lucas

7. Cola de Caballo Waterfall

Cola de Caballo waterfall

Cola de Caballo Waterfall

Waterfall Cola de Caballo is in the state of Nuevo Leon, near Monterrey and attracts many visitors for its charming beauty. There are many activities to do in this mountainous area of northern Mexico famous throughout the country for the beauty of its natural surroundings. The impressive waterfall Cola de Caballo is approximately 40 km from Monterrey, in the town of Villa de Santiago. The area is an important center for ecotourism: you can also rent horses to climb the water jump on the back of the animal or walk up. Apart from the waterfall in the region is very popular bungee jumping, hiking and canoeing.

8. Oaxaca

oaxaca mexico


Another of the most beautiful attractions to visit in Mexico is definitely Oaxaca. This region is located on the southern coast of Mexico, and its capital of the same name is a world heritage of UNESCO and offers history and colonial architecture. In the region you can relax on deserted beaches, hiking through the forests, caving and climbing its caves and mountainous areas, observe wildlife and endless flora.

The main attractions of Oaxaca are:
  • The colonial architecture of the capital Oaxaca
  • Natural Cuajimoloyas and Benito Juarez viewpoints in the northern highlands
  • Admire the biodiversity of Llano Grande, Ixtlan and Capulaplan
  • Try a shot of Mezcal, tequila version typical of this region, carrying a maguey worm inside to

9. Cancun



Cancun is well known as a leading tourist destination in Mexico. It has beautiful beaches, a perfect tropical climate and is also the Mexican capital of entertainment. There are many discos, clubs and bars. It is certainly one of the most beautiful destinations in Mexico, but we must also take into account that is not a destination that appeals to everyone. Cancun has a wide range of hotels: most of the hotels are located on the beach and are very high-quality category and fairly affordable.

10. Teotihuacán

Teotihuacan mexico


In Nahuatl means “place where the gods live”. Teotihuacan is one of the major Mayan archaeological sites where stand two of the most impressive pyramids of Mexico: the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon. The Pyramids of Teotihuacan are located on the Avenue of the Dead, the main “street” of the ancient Mayan town. Teotihuacan is located a few kilometres from the capital of Mexico City and a visit can be done in one day, being able to combine it with a stay of a few days in the capital.

These are just 10 of the most beautiful attractions of Mexico, a very large country that offers many tourism options for all tastes, from deserted beaches to high mountains, coral reefs and wildlife. However, there are hundreds of locations, most of which we have not spoken, as Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco and Merida …

And you, have you visited in Mexico?

What are the destinations in Mexico that you think should be in this top 10?