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Top Mexico


With sunny beaches, excellent food, desert mountains, lush valleys one of the biggest cities in the world and charming colonial towns with history dating back thousands of years, Mexico has it all. A trip to Mexico will offer visitors a little taste of everything, catering to a wide range of tourists: from adventure travel enthusiasts, beach bums, history buffs and cosmopolitan shoppers. And who doesn't love Mexican food? The regional cuisine is as varied and as it is tasty, with spicy Tex-Mex in the north, fresh seafood on both coasts and traditional chocolate molé sauces in the central region.

The Regions of Mexico

The arid deserts, beautiful beaches, sunny islands, dense forests, deep canyons and clear blue rivers of Mexico were the home to ancient cultures such as the Olmecs, Aztecs, and Maya long before the New World was discovered in 1492. The climate, topography, culture and even language vary greatly from one region to another.

The North-Central Region

The North-Central Region of Mexico is defined as several states in the northern part of the country that do not border either the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans. It includes the states of Coahuila, Nuevo León, Zacatecas, Aguas Calientes and San Luis Potosi. Although it is one of the more sparsely populated zones of Mexico, it has much to offer the visitor, including adventure travel, historical sites and indigenous culture.

The Baja Peninsula

The Baja Peninsula is a long stretch of land bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortés. It attracts many visitors every year to its peaceful beach resorts and scenic coastline.The peninsula is so long (1,300 km, or, 800 miles) that for a long time people believed it to be an island. The climate of the Baja peninsula is also one of the driest in the world and the population is still very small. The peninsula is divided into two states: Baja California and Baja California Sur. The region is known for good beaches and fishing.? It is furthermore where you’ll find the city of Tijuana as well as resorts such as Ensenada and Cabo San Lucas.

The Yucatán Peninsula

The Yucatán Peninsula juts out into the Gulf of Mexico on Mexico’s eastern coast. It is comprised of only three states: Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatán. It is a fascinating mix of Ancient Maya culture and modern beach resorts. The peninsula was home to the Maya for centuries, and you can still visit ruined cities such as Chichén Itzá and Tulum. Their descendants still live in the area and Yucatán is a great place for native handicrafts and markets. The Maya now share their peninsula with beach vacation paradises such as Cozumel and Cancún.

Central Mexico

Central Mexico was home to the mighty Aztec empire and their vassal states. The best ruins in the nation, along with some spectacular Spanish colonial structures, are to be found in the center, and almost every major city is within range of at least one ruin complex. Most of the cities have restored their historic areas and encourage people to visit. The architecture is gorgeous, and many of the baroque churches and monasteries can be visited. In addition, the region is home to the Distrito Federal (the federal district), seat of Mexico’s government and location of Mexico City, one of the largest cities in the world. The region is comprised of the states of Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Mexico, Morelos, Puebla, Queretaro and Tlaxcala.

Northwest Mexico

The Mexican Northwest is formed by the states of Chihuahua, Sonora, Durango and Sinoloa. It is known for natural beauty, some nice beaches, and charming towns and cities. The region is also home to the stunning Copper Canyon.

The Western Pacific

Mexico's Western Pacific is known for beaches; Acapulco is a world-class resort. But, if Acapulco is too big and touristy for your tastes, there are a number of alternatives, such as Puerto Escondido or Mazatlan. Mexico’s Western Pacific region includes the states of Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima and Michoacán.

The Pacific South

Comprised of the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Guerrero, Mexico's Pacific South is a popular region for visitors. Whereas Mexico’s northern and central areas were dominated by the Aztec culture when the Spanish arrived, these southern states were inhabited by the Maya, as well as older cultures such as the Zapotecs and Mixtecs, who built the magnificent city of Monte Albán, near present-day Oaxaca. Some of Mexico’s best beaches can also be found in this area, including the legendary Acapulco.

The Gulf of Mexico

The Gulf of Mexicoregion is comprised of the states of Tamaulipas, Veracruz and Tabasco. The region is known for many things, including history: the Spanish invaded Mexico from Cuba and the Caribbean, and they landed and built bases along this coast.

By Christopher Minster
I am a writer and editor at V!VA Travel guides here in Quito, where I specialize in adding quality content to the site and also in spooky things like...
27 Mar 2013

Discover Mexico's Most Fascinating Ruins

The Great Pyramid

127735Covered in grass and crowned by the Catholic shrine to La Virgen de los Remedios, the Great Pyramid, built in 200 BC, initially resembles a big hill. Upon closer inspection you´ll be able to see ...
Cholula, Mexico

Teotihuacán Ruins

107393One of the country's cultural highlights, these impressive ruins can be visited easily in one day even if your base is Mexico City. Dating back to the days of the Maya, this former urban center has ...
Mexico City, Mexico

Chichen Itza trip

107040This is a must-do if you are in this area and trips are offered not only from Playa but also Ancun and Tulum. Organised tours usually put small groups into minibuses but do not befooled by the ...
Cultural Tour, Ruin, Adventure Tour
Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Tulum Ruins

107068This is one of the prettiest Mayan sites you can visit, neatly cared for with trimmed grass and palms surrounding well-restored ruins. The buildings themselves may not be as impressive as somewhere ...
Ruin, Cultural Tour
Tulum, Mexico


Maya legend tells of a dwarf in the ancient city of Uxmal, who claimed to have magical powers. Uxmal’s ruler, confident that the dwarf was a fraud, made a foolish wager that if the dwarf could ...
Merida, Mexico

Ruins of Cholula

127728The ruins of Cholula, constructed between 200 BC and 800 AD, are the bread and butter of the town´s tourist industry. Once a majestic city of 400 temples and rival to the mighty Teotihuacan, the ...
Cholula, Mexico

Ruinas Veracruz

Another casualty of the 1979 bombardment, these are probably the most impressive, intact ruins in Leon. The most likely reason for this is that they have been fenced-off, preventing people from ...
Barrio Sutiava, Leon, Nicaragua

Forteleza la Pólvora

122933This 250-year-old fort was built by the Spanish. It was later used as a torture and interrogation center during the Somoza dictatorship. The fort was rebuilt in the 1990's, and now houses a small ...
Granada, Nicaragua


122892Although the historical ambience of this old fortress is largely ruined by the prodigious graffiti covering its walls, it's still an interesting place to visit. For one thing, it offers a beautiful ...
Masaya, Nicaragua

Ball Courts

The presence of two ball courts in the ceremonial center of Tula is the biggest ace in the hand of the “Toltecs fled to Chichen Itza and established a regime there” camp of historians. Although ...
The Archaeological Site, Tula De Allende, Mexico

Visit Mexico's Top Destinations


103616The city of Oaxaca is one of the treasures of Mexican colonial architecture. The gorgeous city center, or Zócalo, is a haven of peace and tranquility. Tall trees cast shade on locals and visitors ...
Oaxaca, Mexico

Mexico City

101880Mexico City, one of the largest cities in the world, is a modern, cosmopolitan city with excellent hotels, restaurants, and nightlife. While it has its fair share of problems - pollution and crime ...
Mexico City, Mexico


Acapulco…even the name conjures up images of sandy beaches, tall cliffs, beautiful young men and women in swimsuits sipping piña coladas. This world-class beach resort has been a visitor ...
Acapulco, Mexico

San Cristóbal de las Casas

The spiritual capital of the southern state of Chiapas, the city of San Cristóbal de las Casas is a friendly town known as a good base from which to explore the wonders of the state of Chiapas, from ...
San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico


Located on Mexico’s west coast in the state of Guerrero, nestled into a quiet bay area, Zihuatanejo is a popular vacation destination for Mexicans, people from all over the world, and Spring ...
Zihuatanejo, Mexico


127039The city of Puebla is famous for many things, including adding chiles to chocolate and pouring it over chicken, unceremoniously ejecting the French from the city at the Battle of Puebla (and ...
Puebla, Mexico


Guadalajara, one of Mexico’s most important cities, is also the home of many of its most important traditions, such as mariachi and tequila. This bustling city is also known for colonial ...
Guadalajara, Mexico

Cabo San Lucas

107543Cabo San Lucas is a resort town located in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur, on the tip of the Baja Peninsula.  It has a population of roughly 40,000. Originally known as a relaxed ...
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico


134541A 50 minute bus ride from Cuernavaca takes you to the crisp mountain town of Tepoztlan, where you’ll need the day to savor exotic ice cream and check out some crafts in a new age atmosphere. Best ...
Tepotzlan, Mexico

Relax on Mexico's Beautiful Beaches

Acapulco Beaches

107432Acapulco offers beaches for all tastes and all are easily accessible from anywhere along the Costera road. West of town are the small bay beaches of Caleta and Caletilla, both of which are tightly ...
Acapulco, Mexico

Refugio de Vida Silvestre La Flor

El Refugio de Vida Silvestre, located 21 kilometers south of San Juan del Sur, is one of few in the world where you can witness massive congregations of endangered Olive Ridley turtles (called ...
San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Lands End and Lover's Beach

107555Take a trip to Lover's Beach by water taxi and you get a tour of the fantastic Lands End headland thrown in. Visit Pelican Rock, where a family of Pelicans pose for photos, and also stop off at a Sea ...
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

El Ostional

If you’re in the mood for a tranquil experience away from all the tourists, take a trip to El Ostional. Staying at this quiet and indigenous fishing village is like taking a peek into the San Juan ...
San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Playa Del Palmar

This beautiful white sand beach is lined with all of the area’s big resorts. Resort-goers are plentiful, and the chairs set up along the beach are for them. There are public entrances to the beach, ...
Ixtapa, Mexico

Isla Ixtapa

The beach at Isla Ixtapa is Ixapa’s version of Playa Las Gatas in Zihuatanejo. It is very popular and filled with restaurants, beach chairs, umbrellas and families having a good time. Because it ...
Ixtapa, Mexico

Playa Las Gatas

Based on the crowds, this is easily Zihuatanejo’s most popular beach both in and out of tourist season. Water taxis from the downtown pier at Playa Municipal only cost $3.50 roundtrip. This is the ...
Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Playa Linda

This  beach in Ixtapa is frequented by the locals. Busses go back and forth all day for about sixty cents. Patio chairs, tables, and beach umbrellas can be rented for about $5 to $10 for the ...
Ixtapa, Mexico

Playa Angelito

This is definitely the kiddie beach of Puerto Escondido. Lots of locals bring their families here, and you can see everyone from infants to the elderly enjoying themselves. Bring your inner tubes ...
Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Altragracia Beaches

The most popular beach near Altagracia is called Punta Taguizapa, and it's located just to the east of the city. If you head north towards the ferry about 2 kilometers out of town you'll pass a ...
Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua

Playa el Yanke

This beach is a bit farther from the other beaches, but definitely worth the trip. The water is clear and the sand is white. For surfers, this is one of the best beaches in the area. Depending on the ...
Around San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Peruse Mexico's Top Museums and Galleries

Diego Rivera House and Museum

This restored house and museum is a tribute to Guanajuato’s favorite son, muralist Diego Rivers. He was born and spent his youth at this home, located at 47 Positos Street. It has been restored to ...
Guanajuato, Mexico

Museo Casa Del Risco (Centro Cultural Isidro Fabela)

San Ángel’s Museo Casa del Risco, or House of the Cliff, is an 18th century palace, once the family home of Don Isidro Fabela and Dona Josefina de Fabela. Now it is a free museum, located on ...
San Ángel , Mexico City, Mexico

Museo Amparo

A treat for those who love art, archeology and history, Museo Amparo is one of the highlights of Puebla. The museum’s mazes lead (or lose) visitors in changing exhibitions of modern art and ...
Centro Histórico, Puebla, Mexico

Guanajuato Mummy Museum

Aficionados of the spooky, gruesome or simply bizarre will not want to miss a trip to the Mummy Museum in Guanajuato. Unlike most of the other mummies housed in museums around the world, the ones in ...
Guanajuato, Mexico

Museo De Arte Carrillo Gil

The Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil in San Ángel occupies an important place in México City’s modern art world. The museum houses 1,775 works, most of them from the personal collection of Dr. ...
San Ángel , Mexico City, Mexico
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