Baja California is an incredibly diverse region with endless towering peaks, barren desert and stunning coastline. In fact, Baja is the second longest peninsula in the world with endless beaches, hidden coves, and thousands of sea lions. For this reason, Route 1 provides the perfect excuse for a road trips as it twists and turns for more than 1,200km along the coast. Meanwhile, the peaceful valleys are home to several world-class wineries and some of the most impressive vistas in Mexico.
In case you might be asking yourself, this peninsula stretches from Tijuana all the way to Los Cabo’s. For this reason, the small villages in between offer a fantastic insight into the local culture and life away from the fancy resorts. And then there is the infamous azure waters, where surfing is popular and excited visitors can even go snorkelling with whale-sharks.
However, Baja California is also a place to indulge and whether you opt for fish tacos, local wine or tasty cocktails, the many experiences in Baja California are just as varied as the landscapes.
Let’s be honest, the stunning coastline and beaches in Mexico are worthy of their reputation. However, this is often a reason why many visitors miss out on the colonial attractions and local traditions in each destination.
You see, Mexico is such a cultured place to explore and the colonial cities provide a unique opportunity to step back in time. That is to say, these cities are overflowing with art galleries, museums, colourful faces, murals and ancient stories. Meanwhile, there are also colonial remnants in terms of the architecture and you will find a never ending lineup of mansions, cathedrals, monuments and theatres which were built during Spanish colonial times.
Whether you opt for the historic centres of Guadalajara, Morelia or San Miguel de Allende, these colourful encounters are intriguing in every way. In fact, these centres are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites and filled with enough art galleries, intricate architecture and iconic landmarks to ensure a memorable encounter with the colonial past of Mexico.
Don't forget the two attractions that made Colonial Mexico famous - Travel in style on the Tequila Express train to the namesake town of Tequila. Many of the distilleries host tastings where you can learn about the different types available. Then between November and March be sure visit to the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. Thousands to millions of butterflies congregate to this area on mass which is a sight to behold.
Located in the southeast corner of Mexico, Chiapas is home to a rich history with ancient ruins and fascinating culture at every turn. Featuring mountains, tropical forests and idyllic coastline, this is also a destination of diverse landscapes and natural attraction. In fact, these cool mountain forests and dense jungles are perfect for outdoor adventures while the beaches at Chiapa de Corzo are littered with sandy beaches.
On the other hand, Chiapas is where you can also find some of the most famous remnants of Mayan civilisation in Mexico. Yaxhilan and Palenque are prime examples of these ancient ruins and San Cristobal is one of many colonial towns overflowing with culture. As for the above-mentioned adventures, a day trip to the pristine Laguna Miramar is often a highlight and the Lacandón Jungle offers a primitive encounter with various species of wildlife including the spider monkey, crocodiles and even the elusive jaguar.
Mexico City is a city of contrasts and while many people tend to focus on the stunning coastline, it’s the kind of place which never fails to surprise. In other words, it may not have fancy ocean views but the colourful capital is a very interesting alternative to the beach.
It’s true, Mexico City is now a living, breathing organism and many revamped neighbourhoods have gone a long way to rejuvenating the city. What’s more, the beautiful canals and myriad of narrow streets make this an exciting place to explore. As if that’s not enough, the friendly faces, colonial facades and fabled history offer a very different perspective to the tropical coastline nearby.
On the other hand, the city is not short on attractions and Teotihuacan is a truly impressive archaeological complex which was once a thriving, ancient city with a heaving population. Meanwhile, Cahapultepec is one of the largest city parks in the world and offers a brief respite from the busy city streets outside. That being said, whether you use this time to try local food, visit museums or explore the landmarks, there is simply no end of attractions and things to do. From quaint cantinas and bustling markets to world-class restaurants and colourful bars, there is also a sense of vibrancy no matter where you roam.
Oaxaca is best characterised by its indigenous culture and towering volcanic peaks. You see, the stunning mountain forests in this state are interspersed with tradition, culture and authentic local experiences. In fact, both the city and surrounding region is arguably the most authentic travel destination in Mexico and this is certainly true about the art and craft scene. With this in mind, Oaxaca offers a little bit of everything with the usual busy markets and colonial structures in the city and stunning mountains to explore on the outskirts.
Golden sand beaches are a plenty here. They are not as busy as other beach areas at Mexico so it's very easy to find your own private area to relax in. For food lovers, Oaxaca should be the first stop when exploringMexico. Markets such as 20 de Noviembre sells things such as mole, chocolate, grasshoppers and traditional Mexican meals.
Monte Albán, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was the former ceremonial and military capital of the Zapotecs who settled in the Central Valleys of Oaxaca. There, you will find temples, tombs, courtyards, ball courts and more.