Mexico Itinerary: 3 Ways to Tour ‘Tierra Azteca’

If you’ve decided that your next vacation must be somewhere impressively diverse both in terms of geography and culture, look no further than Mexico, where ancient Mayan ruins often stand just steps away from luxurious beachside resorts. To help whet your appetite, we’ve compiled three comprehensive Mexico itineraries that will take you up, down, and around this fascinating land. Each trip offers a good blend of relaxation, activities, and culture, so you never feel rushed, bored, or overwhelmed. Rather do the planning on your own? Use Inspirock’s free Mexico trip planner to make a new itinerary from scratch.

The Classic 3-Week Mexico Itinerary

Castillo de Chapultepec y la Torre Mayor, Ciudad de México by: Aloud.. (CC)
Castillo de Chapultepec y la Torre Mayor, Ciudad de México by: Aloud.. (CC)

Let’s begin with the classic Mexico trip: a 3-week adventure that concentrates on the central and southern sections of the country, with some of the most popular vacation spots for foreign visitors. Naturally, this trip begins in Mexico City, where you can spend a few days soaking up the capital’s street culture, browsing hundreds of stores, searching for souvenirs at outdoor markets, and exploring world-class museums. Mexico City is so large and rich in terms of tourist attractions, you could easily stay there for the entire three weeks. Fight off that urge and head farther south to discover other worthy destinations. One is Cozumel, an offshore Caribbean island boasting some of the best diving options on the planet. On your way there, you’ll see places like Palenque and Chichen Itza, both known for World Heritage-listed Mayan ruins. A trip that combines shopping, diving, and ancient archaeological sites—can you think of anything better?

More action and relaxation on this 3-week Mexico itinerary:

The Mayan Route Mexico Itinerary

Palenque, Mexico by: Carlos Adampol Galindo (CC)
Palenque, Mexico by: Carlos Adampol Galindo (CC)

This trip is ideal for history buffs not likely to be satisfied with the smattering of Maya-related stops on the itinerary above. It’s an experience that easily fits into a 2-week schedule, but if you have the time, feel free to stretch it to three weeks or an entire month. The less time you take for this trip, the more quickly you’ll have to move from place to place, so keep that in mind as you plan your own itinerary. In addition to the aforementioned Palenque and Chichen Itza, this route covers places like Ek Balam, Uxmal, and Yaxchilan—magical locales that open a window into the past and let you glimpse the grandeur of the Mayan world. Many of Mexico’s ancient sites lie near big cities and are easily accessible by car, which makes sightseeing all the more pleasant and satisfying.

Look for more Mayan treasures on this 2-week Mexico itinerary:

The Great Outdoors Mexico Itinerary

Copper Canyon by: Brian (CC)
Copper Canyon by: Brian (CC)

Life is lived outdoors in Mexico, so wherever you choose to go, be sure to dine alfresco once in a while and stroll around a few of the country’s colonial-era towns. Mexico is also home to some of the world’s prettiest landscapes and stunningly varied ecosystems, and this itinerary lets you discover just what makes the country’s “great outdoors” so great. Start the trip in Baja, where you can watch the migration of gray whales and enjoy the amenities of popular vacation spots like Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. Farther south you can visit places like Costalegre and Jalcomulco, ideal for anyone into canyoning, climbing, kayaking, and whitewater rafting. In the north, Copper Canyon offers some of the best views in Mexico. You’ll recognize this frontier land from those Wild West movies in which a lone cowboy comes to save the locals from a villainous gunslinger.

Find more outdoor activities on this 2-week Mexico itinerary:

Land of Sun, Sand, and Sky

No matter how many times you visit Mexico, the country will always surprise you with something new. There’s always more to see here, from tiny villages and sprawling cities, to lush jungles and tropical coastlines. As you explore, take time to enjoy life’s little pleasures: chatting with the locals in Spanish, dining at a family-run restaurant, and attending a small town’s traditional festival. But before you do all that, use our free Mexico vacation planner to turn your dream vacation into reality.

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