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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 essential travel factors (plus the insight of experts and user votes) to bring you 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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Why go: "Playa" boasts a hip food scene and an even hipper bar scene — that is, if you can tear yourself away from the breathtaking beach. 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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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

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Why go: It's not just a set of Mayan ruins anymore; now, 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: The empire is expanding. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Tulum

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Why go: This Yucatán island is probably best known for two things: coral reefs and cruise boats. But Cozumel is also a quiet spot to learn about Mayan culture. Visiting the island's San Gervasio or El Cedral ruins should be high on your list of things to do here. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Cozumel

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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

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Why go: Acapulco may have been the hotspot in the 1950s, when stars like Frank Sinatra and John F. Kennedy flocked to its glamorous beaches, but don't think this site has lost its allure. Sun-worshipers can take advantage of the soft Playa Icacos sand while history buffs explore the Fort of San Diego. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Acapulco

#7
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Oaxaca

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

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Guadalajara

Why go: One of Mexico's largest cities, Guadalajara has all of the draws of an urban getaway — diverse dining and accommodations, an abundance of museums and cultural sites, and a buzzing nightlife. And given that both mariachi and tequila were born in Guadalajara, you'll expereince an authentic twist on the familiar.

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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

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