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Travel Rankings & Advice

Best Places to Visit in Mexico

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 for everything from Mayan archaeological sites to tranquil waterfronts. Select your favorite destination below to help us tally next year's scores. 

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1112 395

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 also helping to distinguish the area as a great golf getaway. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Playa del Carmen

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#2
Oaxaca
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1062 206

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.

#3
Cozumel
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894 289

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. The island's San Gervasio and El Cedral ruins are just a couple can't-miss sites here.  Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Cozumel

#4
Tulum
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963 367

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 parts of Playa del Carmen. But hurry up: This off-the-beaten path spot won't stay secret for long. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Tulum

#5
Guadalajara
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832 195

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.

Belongs on list?
1683 655

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 sets "PV" apart from Cancún, Cabo San Lucas and other packaged tourist centers. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta

#7
Zihuatanejo
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1633 248

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.

Belongs on list?
801 347

Why go: After falling off the tourist map in the 1970s and '80s, Mazatlán is once again living up to its former glory as an enviable beach getaway renowned for its star-studded shorelines. Meanwhile, the Centro Histórico boasts renovated museums and historic sites. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Mazatlan

Belongs on list?
815 411

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 lovers of the links. 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»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Cabo San Lucas

Belongs on list?
826 249

Why go: Strolling along the cobblestone 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 upscale shops. Split your time between beloved sites like the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel church and urban markets. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in San Miguel de Allende

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