Mexico travel buddy

Skip the all inclusive trips to Mexico and indulge in a more flexible trip tour of your own with new travel buddies. Together, you can discover Mexico's ancient ruins, bustling cities, vibrant nightlife, beautiful beaches, and amazing cuisine.

Plan Your Next Trip to Mexico

You and your travel buddy have a lot to discover in Mexico! This young nation has a lot to offer. Its cities are bursting with color, world-class museums, Michelin-starred restaurants, thumping nightlife and innovative architecture mixed among well-preserved grand buildings. 

If you’re planning a trip you might be thinking… What are the best things to do there? How to get around? What foods should you try? Or when is the best time to visit?

Here is everything you need to know about traveling in Mexico!

Top Things to do in Mexico

Join festivals and celebrate! 

You’ll never experience a dull moment in Mexico, especially if you plan to visit when a festival is being held. Be part of the festivities and experience the vibrant and colorful side of Mexican culture. Here are a few of the best festivals to attend in Mexico!  

  • Carnaval and Mardi Gras in February / March 
  • Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) on the 2nd of November 
  • Guelaguetza Festival held in Oaxaca in July 
  • Festival Internacional Cervantino - a music festival in Guanajuato held in mid-October

Immerse in Natural Beauty

Let your stress melt away on one of Mexico’s many beaches with the Pacific Ocean on the west coast and the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. Further inland you can explore Mexico’s incredible mountain ranges, active volcanoes, a desert, mesas, a canyon, rainforests, glaciers, rivers and swamps.

Hiking in Mexico

Water Sports and Mountaineering

Mexico has endless miles of warm sandy beaches to enjoy. Scuba divers and snorkelers often travel to Mexico to see amazing sea life in the reef. Of course, hikers will find a variety of trail types and intensity throughout the country. Trails move through rainforest, the desert and  mountains.

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Explore Ancient Ruins

Thousands of years ago, the Maya had a flourishing society in North and Central America. For reasons researchers are unclear about, their cities were just abandoned. The Maya people continued to flourish with about 7 million living in North and Central America. Today, the pyramids in the crumbling stone villages of Chichén Itzá, Tulum, Uxmal, Coba, Calakmul, Xochicalco, Teotihuacan and other areas draw the curious.

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The Best Instagram Spots in Mexico

Catedral Metropolitana in Mexico City

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Casa de los Azulejos

‘‘Casa de los Azulejos’’, otherwise known as ‘‘House of Tiles’’, is a palace in Mexico City dating back to the 18th century.

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Tepozteco

Hike up the hills in Tepozteco National Park to be rewarded with stunning views of the city in the valley below and discover the ruins of a small Aztec temple dedicated to the god of an alcoholic drink.

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Playa del Amor - ‘‘Love Beach’’

This spot is well worth the trip not only for its unique natural beauty but also because of its location in the islands of Marietas National Park. Fortunately, fishing was banned on the island, so you can snorkel there and see a variety of sea life like sea turtles, manta rays, octopus, wild dolphins and tropical fish. A whale watching tour is also highly recommended.

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Mexico Travel Itinerary

If you're planning to travel to Mexico for a longer period of time, check out this travel guide to the Yucatan Peninsula.

Day 1: Arrive in Mexico City

Mexico City is still dotted with murals by Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, José Clemente Orozco and Aurora Reyes almost 100 years ago. Spend the day with your Mexico travel buddy searching for all the works by these pioneering artists.

Mexico City

Day 2: Teotihuacan Pyramids

History lovers flock to Mexico to see parts of the country’s past that remain well preserved. one incredible place to visit is the archaeological site of a pre-Columbian city known as the ancient Teotihuacan pyramids.

Teotihuacan pyramids

Day 3: Atlixco

This small town outside of Puebla is known for its flowers, but it is also a great place for sightseeing and activities. Visit the aquatic parks and trampoline zone for fun in the sun, stop at the Bonsai Museum, and the Ahuehuete Park. 

Atlixco

Day 4: Parque Nacional Pico de Orizaba

You and your Mexico travel buddy will find cool views from the peaks of Pico de Orizaba, Nevado de Toluca and La Malinche. Pico de Orizaba is the tallest and highest volcano in North America with a summit elevation of 5,685 meters (18,620 feet) above sea level. If you are looking for another adventure, then climb the 500 steps of ‘‘500 Escalones’’ in the nearby town of Orizaba and enjoy the view of the Elephant Waterfall. 

Orizaba National Park

 

Day 5: Tehuacan 

There’s so much to do in Tehuacan! Besides the water parks, you can visit the ruins of Ndachjian, the Cathedral of Tehuacan, the museum and Pyramids of Tehuacan. Located just outside the town is the Biosphere reserve of Tehuacán-Cuicatlán, which is dotted with cacti and hills that look spectacular when they're lit up at sunset.

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Day 6: Oaxaca 

Anyone planning a trip to Mexico should check out Oaxaca. The city features a botanical garden with native plants, the museum of cultures, bustling markets with local foods and crafts, and a historic cathedral. Not far from the town is the archaeological zone of Monte Alban where you can walk around the ruins.

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Day 7-9: Puerto Escondido to Salina Cruz

Take your time exploring the stunning coastline between Puerto Escondido to Salina Cruz. Here you will find gorgeous beaches, national parks, ruins of ancient settlements and fortifications in the port cities. 

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Day 10: Vera Cruz

Head north to Vera Cruz where you will find the spectacular sights of the Cascada El Salto de Eyipantla, Playa Escondida and the Reserva de la biosfera Los. From here, you can drive along the coast back to Mexico City or spend a couple of days exploring the Yucatan Peninsula.

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Best Time to Visit Mexico

The best month to visit Mexico is in November before the peak tourist season begins. Since Mexico is a great place to visit anytime of the year and the country is so big, you can easily plan your trip according to the changing seasons and see the best places at the best time of the year. Most tourists choose to visit the coast from December to February, explore cities from March to May and go north between June and August to avoid rain on the coast. 

Hidden Gems of Mexico

Are you curious about the secret spots to visit in Mexico? Here are a few hidden treasures you can find on your trip! 

Las Pozas 

This sculpture garden was designed by an eccentric 19th century poet who was a patron of the surrealist movement. You can wander through this strange landscape in the La Huasteca region.

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Calakmul Ruins 

In the jungles of Campeche, Mexico, lies a hidden treasure - the abandoned city of Calakmul. Discovered in the 1930s, the ruins were declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993.

Calakmul ruins

The World’s Aquarium

Baja California attracts surfers from around the world, but the real treasure is hidden in the Gulf of California. With more than one thousand species of fish, the area between Baja California and Mexico's mainland is one of the world's most biologically diverse areas. Take your Mexico travel buddy to experience the country’s best snorkeling and diving in these waters. 

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Akumal

On the Yucatan peninsula, vacationers are drawn to the small town of Akumal for snorkeling spots that turtles and stingrays call home. The name ‘‘Akumal’’ is Mayan for “place of the turtle.”

Sea turtle

Getting Around Mexico

Mexico has 10 cities with at least 1 million residents, including Guadalajara, Juárez, Monterrey and Puebla. You and your Mexico travel buddy can experience the different ways of Mexican city life. Some areas like Yucatan or Mexico City are already very popular with tourists so transportation will not be a problem. 

By Plane

Nearly every city in Mexico has an airport so there are many options for international and regional flights. Most international travelers fly into Mexico in Mexico City or Cancun. 

Cancun - Cancún International Airport (CUN)

Mexico City - Licenciado Benito Juarez International Airport (MEX)

For cheap flights, the most affordable airlines are Aeromexico, Interjet, and Volaris. At certain times of the year they have big discounts on flights. Be sure to check for inexpensive flights if you’re planning to travel long distances. A short and cheap flight is better to take than a long bus ride if you want to save time and energy on your trip. 

Train

There are no passenger trains in Mexico, but there are three trains that are specifically designed for tourists. These trains offer passengers the experience of riding in luxury with fine drinks, food and views of the untouched landscape, of course these tours are pricier than regular transportation. 

  • Chepe Train
  • Tequila Express 
  • Jose Cuervo Express

Bus 

Buses are a reliable mode of transport in Mexico. They are typically comfortable, inexpensive and fast. You can catch a bus at bus stops but you can even stand on the road and wave then they will pick you up. The bus route is usually on the windshield of the bus or you can ask the driver. 

Metro

One of the best ways to get around Mexico City is by the metro since you can skip getting stuck in traffic and the subway has connections to almost everywhere in the city. 

Car

Why not have an adventurous road trip through Mexico? All you need is a valid driver’s license and Mexican insurance. Then you’re free to explore at your own pace and see everything you want to see. But, many tourists underestimate the distances between cities and driving conditions so be prepared to drive for longer than Google Maps says the trip will take. 

Taxi

When you arrive at an airport in Mexico it is best not to take a random taxi outside but to get help ordering a taxi from one of the service desks in the airport. Again, you can ask your hotel to order a taxi for you or call a local taxi agency to collect you.

Must-Try Foods in Mexico

Mexico is a complex blend of Native American, Spanish, French, German, African and Lebanese cultures. These nations’ influences can still be experienced in the music, architecture, language and of course, the food! 

At home, on the street and in restaurants, Mexican cooks combine fresh, natural products, like beans, pork, beef, spices, cheese, corn and vegetables, to make delicious dishes.

Taste food from around the world in the Mexican kitchen! 

Chilaquiles

Start your day off with a traditional Mexican dish for breakfast or brunch. Chilaquiles are made from soft tortillas that are fried and then cut into pieces and topped with salsa, scrambled aegg and pulled chicken. 

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Gaucamole 

Guacamole is a fresh, spicy and flavourful side dish that is a favorite for most travelers in Mexico. It is made from chopped onions, tomatoes, mashed avocados and seasoned with lemon juice, chili and garlic. 

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Tamales 

This traditional dish is made of corn dough stuffed with fillings like meat, vegetables, cheese and wrapped in a banana leaf before it is steamed. 

Tamales

Enchiladas

Enchiladas make an excellent dish to have for breakfast or at any other time because they are so delicious. Tortillas filled with meat, cheese, vegetables and beans are covered with a chili tomato sauce, topped with cheese and baked in the oven.

Enchiladas

Taco al pastor 

This dish descends directly from the shawarma, which the Lebanese brought with them when thousands immigrated to Mexico between the 1890s and the 1930s.

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Cost to Travel to Mexico

Traveling around Mexico can be quite affordable, it always helps to prepare a travel budget before your trip. Here's a breakdown of the average costs for a trip to Mexico:

Accommodation

Budget-Friendly: €11 (hostel/hotel) per person per night

Mid-Range Budget: €30 per person per night

High Budget: €65+

Food

Budget-Friendly: €3 per meal

Mid-Range Budget: €11 per person

High Budget:  €22 per person

Transportation

Local buses - €3 per day

Car rental - €15 per day

Taxi ride - €1.67

Travel Tips to Mexico

Visit the Mayan ruins

You and your Mexico travel buddy will find most of these ruins, especially Chichén Itzá and Tulum, filled with visitors, so arrive early. The small entrance fee doesn’t cost much. There are usually no bathrooms, tour guides or maps at the site of the ruins - these are usually found somewhere near the entrance of the ruin complex. Once inside the ruins, people are normally allowed to scrabble up the steps, explore caves and wander about the area but please remember to be mindful of your impact as a visitor.

Road Maps

If you’re thinking of taking a road trip around Mexico, there are a few road maps that you can rely on to guide you during your trip. 

The best maps to help you navigate roads in Mexico are:

  • Globetrotter (1:3,500,000), 
  • GeoCenter (1:2,500,000), 
  • Hallwag (1:2,500,000)
  • Freytag & Berndt (1:2,000,000)
  • Guía Roji

Altitude changes

When you arrive in Mexico City (2240m), the high altitude may make you feel weaker, additionally the air is thin because of pollution, so take a little time to acclimatize before you do any strenuous activities. If you plan on going mountain climbing at higher altitudes, be cautious of mountain sickness, you may feel dizzy, nauseous or struggle to breathe, but going back down slowly will help you feel much better. 

Water

Remember to drink plenty of water as the climate in Mexico is hot and being at a higher altitude means that your body needs more water so that you don't get dehydrated. Typically, people don’t drink tap water, even if it is drinkable, it is better to avoid it and drink bottled or purified water just for safety.

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