Visiting Mexico can be fun – if you know what you’re doing, that is. While places like Cancun and Cabo San Lucas are popular with the Spring Break crowd, they’re not exactly off the beaten path and won’t give you an authentic taste of everything Mexico has to offer. Here, we present our list of the top eight underrated Mexican vacation destinations that are off the beaten path but still safe to explore. Ready for a vacation? Let’s go!
Number Eight: Huatulco
Though Huatulco does feature several resorts, it still has the authentic feel of a smaller Mexican town. Huatulco used to be a fishing village but has since transformed into an adorable beach town that features snorkeling, surfing, and rafting. Be sure to tour the nearby coffee farms when you visit!
Number Seven: Merida
Merida is located four hours away from Cancun and has a population of fewer than one million people. Visitors can explore cathedrals from the 17th century, undisturbed beaches, and flamingos in the fishing village of Celestun nearby.
Number Six: Todos Santos
Todos Santos is perfect if you don’t need many luxuries to have fun. There are lots of art galleries and plenty of bodegas, and it has a surf town vibe. Todos Santos is also known as “unspoiled Mexico” and has been thus far unmarred by unsightly resorts, so check it out while you still can.
Number Five: San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende has a rich history – literally. The city dates back to the 1500s and has a history in the silver trade. Today, you can watch the sunset from one of the city’s many rooftop bars.
Number Four: Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen is like Cancun’s older, more mature sister. The town feels touristy, but not overwhelmingly so. There are still parts where it’s best to keep an eye on your belongings; however, tacky souvenirs are rarely more than a block or two away.
Number Three: Guanajuato
Guanajuato is a colonial city in Mexico, and what makes it special is that it’s surrounded by mountains and mines nearby. The mountains and mines are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so you can explore the surrounding area without ever feeling like you’ve left the city.
Number Two: Puebla
Puebla is sort of like a smaller version of Mexico’s capital but is just as culturally rich. The city features cathedrals, a well-curated museum, and lots of authentic eateries. This is the perfect vacation for history buffs and adventurous travelers alike.
Number One: Mexico City
Mexico City was named the number one place to visit in 2016 by the New York Times, so you might not call it underrated, but it’s been underrated so long that we had to include it on this list. The Mexican capital features gorgeous palaces and a bustling population that make it feel like Washington, D.C. – but better. Happy traveling!