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U.S. News Best Vacations Badge

Best Places to Visit in Mexico

U.S. News Best Vacations Badge

To choose your next vacation destination in Mexico, rely on our list of the country's best places to find beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife and worthwhile cultural attractions. U.S. News considered these factors, along with insight from industry experts and traveler votes, to bring you a roundup of the top spots. Select your favorite destination below to help us tally next year's scores. 

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Gold Badge #1 Oaxaca

Oaxaca

Gold Badge #1 in Best Places to Visit in Mexico

Why go: Situated 5,000 feet above sea level, this colonial city is centered around a traditional town square and surrounded by the Sierra Madre del Sur mountain range. Mexican cuisine, vibrant markets and native customs make Oaxaca ideal for immersion in the country's culture.

Oaxaca
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Tulum

Gold Badge #2 in Best Places to Visit in Mexico

Why go: Once renowned for its Mayan ruins, today Tulum is the new frontier of Riviera Maya beaches. And luckily, the area hasn't succumbed to the mega-resort influences that have overtaken Cancún, Cabo and Playa del Carmen. But hurry up: This spot won't stay secret for long. Read More

Tulum View 15 photos
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Playa del Carmen

Gold Badge #3 in Best Places to Visit in Mexico

Why go: "Playa" boasts a hip food scene and an even hipper bar culture – that is, if you can tear yourself away from the sand. The nearby community of Playacar is a golfer's paradise. You can even save some coin by booking a vacation rental rather than a hotel. Read More

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#4 Zihuatanejo

Zihuatanejo

#4 in Best Places to Visit in Mexico

Why go: With secluded sands, brilliant sunsets and laid-back vibes, Zihuatanejo offers an authentic experience that sets it apart from its Mexican Riviera peers. Here, divers and snorkelers can pick from more than 30 dive sites, while foodies indulge in fresh fish tacos and ceviche along the beach.

Zihuatanejo
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Cozumel

#5 in Best Places to Visit in Mexico

Why go: This Yucatán island is probably best known for two things: coral reefs and cruise ships. But Cozumel is also a quiet spot to learn about Mayan culture and to relax on the beach with a good book. The island's San Gervasio and El Cedral ruins are just a couple can't-miss sites. Read More

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#6 Guadalajara

Guadalajara

#6 in Best Places to Visit in Mexico

Why go: One of Mexico's largest cities, Guadalajara has all of the draws of an urban getaway – diverse dining, an abundance of museums, plentiful cultural sites and a buzzing nightlife. And given that both mariachi and tequila were born in Guadalajara, you'll experience modern local charms with twists of tradition.

Guadalajara
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Puerto Vallarta

#7 in Best Places to Visit in Mexico

Why go: Puerto Vallarta gets more rave reviews than most other Mexican vacation spots. The blend of excellent beaches, authentic regional cuisine and its quaint setting along Banderas Bay sets "PV" apart from other packaged tourist centers. Read More

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San Miguel de Allende

#8 in Best Places to Visit in Mexico

Why go: Strolling along the streets of San Miguel de Allende, you may think that you've stepped back in time. Here, colonial buildings rub shoulders with trendy galleries and shops. Split your time between beloved sites like the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel church and urban markets. Read More

San Miguel de Allende View 14 photos
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Cabo San Lucas

#9 in Best Places to Visit in Mexico

Why go: Cabo is party central in the Baja peninsula but it's also an enclave of some of Mexico's most luxurious resorts and a haven for golf lovers. Stay in nearby San José del Cabo if you're looking for some respite from the area's busy beaches and loud parties. Read More

Cabo San Lucas View 15 photos
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Cancun

#10 in Best Places to Visit in Mexico

Why go: Sand, bars and inexpensive flights from the USA make Cancún one of the go-to spots for spring break. But these factors have also contributed to the area's party-hard reputation. Visiting in winter will ensure you see this town in its best – and most tranquil – light. Read More

Cancun View 14 photos
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Mexico City

Mexico City

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Acapulco

Acapulco

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Mazatlan

Mazatlan

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