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The Top Six Places to Visit in Mexico

How to safely travel to and through your destination

When you picture Mexico, what do you see?

For many Americans, their exposure to the country of Mexico, its culture, and what it has to offer as a vacation destination is tied to the pop culture depictions of the United State’s southern neighbor. The truth is Mexico is a wondrous place filled with exciting adventures, irresistible foods, mind-blowing landscapes, and unbelievable historic sites.

There are many reasons to consider Mexico when planning your next trip, including the fabulous tropical beaches, the unique cultural experience, the local cuisine, and the bustling cities full of life and attraction.

In fact, the diversity of Mexico—from its stunning ocean-front getaways to its ancient ruins—is a primary reason to plan a trip. The experiences you can enjoy cover a vast array of topics, exposing you to both the familiar vacation vibes of soft sands and fruity drinks and to the unknowns of an unfamiliar culture, new cities, and foods you’ve never heard of.

With so many incredible sites to see, places to go, and new things to try, planning your foray into Mexico can be challenging. It’s understandable to feel overwhelmed with the possibilities and questions surrounding an international trip, including whether it’s safe to travel to Mexico in 2021 and, if so, what the best parts of Mexico to visit are.

Don’t worry, though—we’re here to help!

While you could pick just about anywhere in Mexico and have a good time, there are six fantastic locations we strongly recommend you consider. Once you’ve sorted through all of the pros and cons to select the best destination for you, we’ll give you a quick guide to traveling in Mexico during the era of COVID-19, choosing the best travel partner for our Mexico adventure, and enjoying your trip in a safe manner.

The Top Six Places to Visit in Mexico

Narrowing our list down to the top six Mexico travel destinations was a challenge. There are dozens of fabulous locations throughout the country that are worth visiting, so we highly recommend that you take our advice and strongly consider the destinations listed below, but also do a bit of your own research. Who knows, there may be a particular place that calls to you!

Cancun

As one of the hottest destinations for people who travel to Mexico, Cancun is well-known for being breathtakingly beautiful. Its pristine waters and popular beaches are reason enough to add it to your list of must-see locations, and the attractions don’t end there.

Aside from being a relaxing tropical paradise, Cancun offers a variety of alluring experiences that are sure to draw you in and make your journey unforgettable. There are underwater and Mayan museums, culture epicenters, epic water activities (like snorkeling), and enough resorts and restaurants to make your head spin!

Cozumel

For the adventurous ocean-goers, it will be difficult to find a more paradisal place than Cozumel. Because the island is largely undeveloped, the senses of exploration and tropical relaxation will be hard to beat.

Cozumel is one of the best destinations to experience the authentic, unblemished landscape of Mexico. From the natural beauty of the land to the unbeatable scuba diving off the shore, Cozumel offers visitors an off-the-beaten-path vacation. You can even see Mayan ruins that harken back to the region’s rich history!

Guanajuato

If you love architecture, history, and culture, Guanajuato may just be the best place in Mexico you can plan to travel. This city is overflowing with gorgeous historic buildings, sites of integral moments in Mexico’s history (including the Mexican War of Independence), authentic Mexican food, and traditional festivals that you simply can’t miss.

Even if you don’t consider yourself a history buff or someone who enjoys the artistic and cultural significance of architectural masterpieces, Guanajuato will appeal to your curiosity, your sense of fun, and your desire to partake of a true Mexican experience.

Mexico City

When it comes to cities, Mexico City is one of the most desirable destinations not just in Mexico but in the world. It has everything you would expect from an idyllic vacation spot and then some.

Whether you’re perusing the world-famous art scene, dining at a world-class eatery, or getting a little wild with the diverse nightlife the city has to offer, there’s a little something for everyone in Mexico City. After all, if you’re not the artsy, foodie, or going out type, Mexico City makes an excellent home base from which you can branch out to visit nearby ruins or go hiking!

Oaxaca

When we say Oaxaca is a food lover’s dream, we’re not exaggerating. While Oaxaca has a lot more to offer, such as holiday festivities, ancient carvings, and Monte Alban (a city founded in 500BC!), the tasty treats of the region are certainly a draw.

You can sample everything from mezcal to mole in Oaxaca. Part of the diversity and deliciousness of the local cuisine is thanks to a strong sense of culture that Oaxaca is proud to put on display. You’re sure to see bustling marketing, religious ceremonies, and traditional cooking, all of which will give you a truly authentic glimpse into Mexican customs.

Tulum

We started with the famous beaches of Cancun, so it only seems fitting that we close with another area that offers stretches of open sand and endless ocean—Tulum. In fact, Tulum could be compared to a less developed Cancun, and that sounds like paradise to us.

As with other Mexican destinations, Tulum gives visitors access to tremendous food, mind-boggling vistas, and even Mayan ruins. While it is less developed than other nearby tourist centers, it still has plenty to explore in terms of nightlife.

If you want a well-rounded Mexican travel experience that includes everything from sinkhole swimming and blissful time on the beach to ancient ruins and authentic food, Tulum should be on your radar!

Traveling in Mexico During COVID-19: Things to Prepare For

You’re probably ready to pack your bags and catch the next flight to your dream destination in Mexico. Trust us; we understand the feeling!

However, traveling—especially internationally—has become slightly more complicated as of late due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It’s no secret that the emergence of this virus has altered life around the globe, and it’s certainly something that should be considered when planning your travel to Mexico.

Now that we’ve burst your excitement bubble, you probably have questions, like “is it safe to travel to Mexico in 2021?”

The answer is yes, but you will have to consider more variables than would have been necessary in years past.

What You Should be Aware of

The burden of COVID-19 is more than just getting sick and traveling to a foreign country can accentuate the difficulties associated with the illness. That’s why being aware of the potential risks is important.

  • Infection and Sickness – When traveling, there is an increased risk of being exposed to the COVID-19 virus. As such, you run the risk of getting sick, which is not a pleasant experience in general, let alone in an unfamiliar place.
  • Quarantine – If you should test positive for COVID-19, you will have to quarantine. This could extend your trip far longer than you had planned, be expensive, and otherwise put a damper on your vacation, schedule, and more.
  • Paperwork – The paperwork associated with traveling internationally usually doesn’t pose a problem. With the additional documents related to COVID-19 and tests for the virus, there’s an increased potential for mistakes that can cause complications and delays.

What You Should do to Prepare

When considering Mexico travel safety—both in general and in relation to COVID-19—there are a handful of steps you can take to ensure your trip lives up to expectations. Some of these precautions are common-sense measures, such as checking travel advisories, being aware of travel warnings, exercising increased caution, and even staying home.

Rather than bogging yourself down with the details of more complex issues and letting concerns of safety and security deter you or impact the enjoyment you experience during your travels, place your confidence in travel experts who will assist you with your in-country needs.

Working with a reliable team of experienced, in-country experts is a surefire way to make your trip as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Choose a Reliable Travel Partner for Your Mexico Adventures

Traveling to Mexico with a partner will benefit you in several ways, including giving you someone to share the experience with and a safety net should anything unplanned occur.

Of course, even the best friend or loved one in the world cannot provide the comprehensive expertise to guide you through safe, secure international travel during a time of a pandemic. The unique challenges associated with this type of travel require a dedicated team of professionals that have the experience necessary to help you navigate the treacherous waters of foreign policy, language difference, legal issues, and more.

US Travel Assist is your number one safety and emergency resource partner when you travel abroad. With in-country experts at the ready, we ensure advice, guidance, and help when you need it most. From legal insights to safety-related recommendations, we’re there to support you when things go right and assist you when the unexpected happens.

Our global network of former Senior US Embassy Officials is committed to getting you the help you need when you need it. With immediate feedback from your designated travel partner and their contacts, even unforeseen safety incidents can be addressed promptly rather than being delayed by 1-800 calls and middlemen.

US Travel Assist is more than your international travel safety net; it’s peace of mind in any situation, and that is worth more than words can describe.

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