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Top Trip Memories

  • Exploring the vast complex of Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza in the Yucatan, where ancient people created a sophisticated civilization. 
  • Wandering the Zocalo -- the colonial-era central square in Mexico City – an impressive historic and architectural landmark in the heart of a huge, sprawling city. 
  • Watching for whales and dolphins on a small-chip cruise in the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California). 
  • Feasting on freshly caught lobster or a fish taco in a seaside village along Mexico’s Pacific coast. 
  • Taking the train through Copper Canyon.
  • Shopping at the public markets in Oaxaca for crafts, souvenirs, and local culinary specialties.
  • Lingering over coffee or a margarita at an outdoor café in the village of San Miguel de Allende. 
  • Practicing your Spanish as you stroll through a small village, conversing with the locals (with hand gestures, if necessary). 
  • Sampling wine in Baja.
  • Climbing the extraordinary Mayan ruins at Tulum, overlooking the Caribbean Sea, and the mysterious ancient pyramids near Mexico City.  
  • Discovering the exotic rainforests and indigenous cultures of Chiapas in far southern Mexico.  
  • Stopping at a roadside stand to buy some grilled Mexican chicken served with fresh tortillas – an unforgettable culinary experience.
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Tour Tips

  • Mexico is large and diverse enough to warrant multiple tours; the Yucatan peninsula alone can easily fill more than one tour itinerary. 
  • If you’re concerned about safety, check U.S. State Department warnings about which areas to avoid; though most of the country is perfectly safe for travelers. 
  • If you want a taste of the “real Mexico,” choose a tour that includes accommodations in one or more of the country’s old haciendas, many of which have been renovated and reopened as luxury hotels. 
  • Some tours include immersive Spanish lessons where you can learn the language as well as explore the region.
  • A good tour of ancient history and culture might take you to Mexico City (for the pyramids outside town), the Yucatan (for the ruins at Chichen Itza and Tulum), and to Chiapas for the ruins at Palenque. 
  • Guides at archaeological sites have special certification issued by INAH - your tour operator should take advantage of their services
  • Be aware that Mexico is not necessarily ADA friendly. If you need special assistance, please ask the tour operator for details on how they will accommodate you
  • If meals are included on your trip, ask if they are local specialities or prepared to cater to a foreigner's palate. The former will provide a more authentic experience, especially for regional fare - much of what you may think of as “Mexican” is actually heavily Americanized.
  • If you choose to stay in an All-Inclusive, check that there are day tours that will suit your preferences
  • Remember that standards for lodging are different than in other countries. What a tour operator might call 5-star may be different than what you would call a 5-star. Authentic accommodations are often a real treat, but some guests feel more comfortable staying with familiar international chains
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Mexico Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.7 out of 5

99%

recommend

405 Reviews

  • Excellent 284
  • Great 112
  • Average 6
  • Disappointing 0
  • Terrible 3

Rating Details

  • Value
    4.7
  • Guide
    4.7
  • Activities
    4.7
  • Lodging
    4.7
  • Transportation
    4.7
  • Meals
    4.7

Tour Reviews

The flexibility to select your own tours at each town, while having the guidance of the experienced CEO was great!

Mexico–Cities, Cuisine & Ruins

5.0
December 2016
G Adventures
Recommend: No
The trip was fantastic. We had a wonderful group and an experienced CEO who provided plenty of local knowledge and recommendations. I enjoyed the flexibility of selecting my own daily activities, and he balance between group and individual activities, dinners, etc. I feel like the tour was well described and lived up to the high expectations. I would travel with G Adventures again and will certainly recommend Mexico as a travel destination!
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Great trip, great company

Isla Espiritu Santo Kayak Sojourn

4.0
November 2016
G Adventures
Recommend: Yes
Despite the very windy conditions and therefore less paddling time than I would have liked, I had a great time. Our guides did an awesome job, were very concerned with safety, very knowledgeable and great cooks. One of them even caught fresh fish for dinner!!

Magic in the Sea of Cortez

Islands of Loreto Bay Kayak Tour

5.0
November 2016
G Adventures
Recommend: Yes
We spent 6 days kayaking between the mainland of Baja from Loreto to two different Islands in the Sea of Cortez. The guides were amazing- extremely knowledgeable, passionate about the area and great fun to be around (let alone awesome cooks)! We paddled around the Island of Danzante and Carmen and saw tons of manta rays, dolphins, birds and more. The snorkeling was spectacular on these two islands. The beaches felt untouched and we never saw another human besides those (12 people) on tour with us. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience- I would highly recommend touring in Baja with Sea Kayak Adventures!
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Wonderful Trip, every day was amazing

Beyond the Mayan World

5.0
October 2016
G Adventures
Recommend: Yes
The trip was great from the first day until the last, It was like traveling with a family more than anything else. We were well taken care of with recommendations for what to do with spare time, restaurants, rest stops, we were all on this adventure together.
This is hard to say but we visited a small Mayan site on the trip to Guatemala that was on an island in the river that bordered with Mexico, we were there with only a handful of other tourists and because of this were able to spot monkeys and other animals on our walk through the site that would normally be scared away by the crowds. The site was great because you felt that you were seeing a unique site in a remote setting like it was when it was first discovered.

Eduardo (Lalo) was probably the best tour leader I have had contact with in my many years traveling, he was completely attentive, made sure the bus rides were broken up with rest stops for bathrooms and snacks, if he didn't know something he would find out and let us know, if we wanted more information about something he would make sure he got that information to us. When things went wrong he made decisions and kept the trip moving. He is a great tour leader.

When you get to the southern part of Mexico it will be Hot Humid and Buggy, be prepared, but the hotels are all great (except one was ok) they all have wifi and AC, have fun and go with whatever happens.

We were all of course concerned with the water and every Hotel had a sign warning you not to drink the water. The bus driver in Mexico had arranged a 5 Gallon water cooler jug of water in the bus with a pump on top so we always had good water to drink every day, no hunting for bottled water each morning, Lalo called the driver in Guatemala and had him buy the same setup so our bus there had it as well. This should be standard on EVERY bus tour that is run, very simple and cheep and we could fill our bottles without having to buy disposable bottles at every stop.

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Beyond the Mayan World

Beyond the Mayan World

5.0
August 2016
G Adventures
Recommend: Yes
A great range of sites and activities. The hotels were all good and several were characterful and attractive. The food exceeded expectations, particularly in Guatemala. The whole experieice was made even better by the group we were with who were all great company.
There were so many great moments it's hard to pick out the highlights but the pyramids at Tikal, in the jungle, complete with a family of spider monkeys, and the scarlet macaws flying around the Mayan remains at Copan will live long in the memory. The optional boat trip up the canyon, with close-up sitghtings of several crocodile as well as numerous birds was also a highlight.

Our leader, Eduardo, was knowledgable, very helpful and extremely concientious. His obvious sincere concern for everybody's wellbeing and enjoyment of the trip helped to make it particulary special.

Be prepared for some early starts, long drives and heat and humidity at jungle sites.

We flew out on a direct filght with British Airways and back via Mardid with Iberia rather than using the group flights - Exodus were happy to book these alternate flights fo us. This avoided a stopover in Houston and gave us an extra half day in Antigua at the end. It's worth flying out a day early if you can so you can visit the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.

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Top Tour Operators and Travel Companies


Mexico Trips & Tour Advice

More Americans visit Mexico than any other country. And no wonder. It’s close by with warm weather and delicious food, and offers a wide variety of attractions: everything from Mayan ruins to golden-sand beaches, cobbled colonial-era villages to vibrant cities, atmospheric haciendas to seaside resorts – as well as good value and friendly people. America’s southern neighbor is worthy of multiple tours – diverse, affordable, and easy to reach.

Stretching from the far northern Sonoran deserts to the far southern Chiapas rainforests, and from the deep blue Pacific Coast in the west to the turquoise Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea in the east – with innumerable cultural, artistic, historic, and culinary treasures in between -- Mexico offers a lifetime of memorable travel experiences.  

Well-publicized incidents of gang-related violence along some northern border towns and certain resort areas (such as Acapulco) have deterred some travelers from visiting Mexico, but the vast majority of the country’s regions are safe. Reputable tour operators know to avoid problem areas, so there’s no need to deprive yourself of visiting some of North America’s most alluring attractions. Here are some highlights:

Visiting Mexico City

While this is one of the world’s largest cities, Mexico City has a manageably sized historic center that draws travelers to its Spanish-colonial architecture, museums, cathedrals, cafes and restaurants. The huge square known as the Zocalo is the heart of it all. North of the city you can visit the Teotihuacán Pyramids, which date from 300 BC, predating the Aztecs by a millennium The Pyramid of the Sun there (flanked by the Pyramid of the Moon), is one of the world’s largest pyramids. Teotihuacán, once one of the world’s largest cities in its own right, is Mexico’s most visited archeological site. 

The Yucatan Peninsula

The Yucatan is a big, diverse peninsula that sticks up like a giant thumb into the Gulf of Mexico and also borders the Caribbean Sea. The peninsula is the site of multiple Mayan ruins, any of which are worth seeing. But the jewel in the crown is the huge complex at Chichen Itza, where you can view some 18 structures that date from around 600 AD and display a sophisticated knowledge of astronomy hundreds of years before Europeans did. The giant Pyramid Kukulcan is the star of the show: at sunset on the spring and fall equinoxes, shadows on the pyramid’s steps resemble a snake descending from top to bottom.  You can also see the ball fields where games were played resulting in the sacrifice of the losing team captain – or perhaps, according to new theories, the winning team captain. 

Another ancient highlight is Tulum, a smaller Mayan complex where the tropical heat is mitigated by its splendid location right on the Caribbean.  Near Tulum are other ruins set deep in the rainforest. The coastline north of Tulum has been dubbed the Mayan Riviera, culminating in the popular and sometimes rowdy resort town of Cancun. Along the way lies the quieter, pretty beach town of Playa del Carmen. 

Touring Central Mexico

Here you’ll find some of the most charming cities and villages in the country. Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city, is known for its colonial architecture, attractive plazas, huge public market, moderate temperatures and mariachi bands. San Miguel de Allende is a mountainous colonial-era village with cobbled streets, striking architecture, and an arts scene that has attracted a steady stream of expats drawn to its beauty, culture, and, again, moderate temperatures. 

The Pacific Coast

Mexico’s lengthy Pacific coastline encompasses the west coast of the 750-mile-long Baja California peninsula in the far north and leads south all the way to Guatemala. The golden-sand beaches here are some of the most beautiful in the world, and you can have your choice of small fishing villages or the more developed and popular resort towns such as Mazatlan, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, and Puerto Vallarta. Many are loaded with unspoiled charm, while others offer luxury accommodations -- and most are wonderful places to relax after a heavy round of touring. 

Baja California, with the resort town of Cabo San Lucas at its tip, is an ideal place to take a small-ship cruise in search of whales and other marine mammals in the Sea of Cortez. Separated from the ocean by the peninsula, the calm sea waters are good for swimming, Scuba diving, and snorkeling. 

The Gulf of Mexico Coast

The port city of Veracruz isn’t as widely visited as many Pacific coast resorts, but it has an interesting history (with Spanish, native Mexican, and African-Caribbean influences), some notable architecture, a long promenade for strolling the waterfront, Latin America’s largest aquarium, a big annual Carnaval celebration, good seafood, and some decent beaches. 

Colonial History in Oaxaca

Located about 300 miles south of Mexico City, Oaxaca is one of the finest examples of Spanish colonial cities in the country, with exceptional architecture and a rich cultural tradition that features native Mexican as well as Spanish influences. Two big public markets are excellent places to buy crafts and try some of the local food specialties, while various ancient archeological sites dot the region. 

Chiapas Rainforests

This state in far southern Mexico is wild and untamed in spots, a place to take guided rainforest hikes but also to visit Spanish colonial towns and encounter a number of indigenous cultures. It’s home to the Palenque archeological site, one of the finest ancient Mayan ruins in the country, dating back two millennia or more.


Related Guides

Continent:             

North America

Local Attractions:  

Teotihuacan, Los Cabos, Chichen Itza, Copper Canyon, Mayan Riviera, Guanajuato and Many More

Top Activities:      

Hiking, Exploring Culture, Visiting Ruins & Relaxing 

Similar Destinations:                    

Costa Rica, Belize, Peru

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