To see a video of me covering this topic you can scroll down below this article
I’ve been riding my bicycle through the Center and West Coast of Mexico for the last 4 months and I could easily do another 4. Mexico stunned me with the sheer amount of places worth visiting. Whether you like history, culture, geography or food Mexico has a lot waiting for you. Here are my favorite places I’ve visited in Mexico thus far
When talking about colorful towns nestled in the mountains, most people will think of somewhere in Europe. But if you’re an American or Canadian why not save yourself from a long expensive flight (and trip!) and go to the lovely town of Guanajuato. Guanajuato’s Downtown Area is surrounded by mountains and is an amazing place to walk around and enjoy colonial architecture, perhaps from one of the many quaint coffee shop or restaurant terraces. Guanajuato also has artsy charm thanks in part to being a college town which also accounts for some pretty good nightlife that can be enjoyed in the town’s many bars. You can read and see more about Guanajuato here.
San Pancho, Nayarit
Puerto Vallarta, Nayarit is one of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations. And for good reason, it’s bay may be like no other with majestic mountains sitting in your peripheries as you relax on the beach. But if you’re looking for somewhere a little quieter and less touristy I highly recommend that you check out San Pancho. San Pancho (San Francisco) is a small beach town an hour’s drive north of Puerto Vallarta. The streets are lush with vegetation and small restaurants and shops. The relatively uncrowded beach is fantastic for chilling out or exploring. You can read more about San Pancho here.
Mazatlán has everything you would ever want from a coastal destination: Amazing beaches that can be enjoyed by strolling the awesome Malécon (Boardwalk) and great places to enjoy seafood and cervezas while watching jaw dropping Pacific Coast Sunsets. The kicker is that despite it’s lack of drawbacks Mazatlán is one of the cheapest beach towns in Mexico. What’s more is that Mazatlán’s climate is cooler (still warm but not deathly hot like some most mexican beach towns are in the summer) and less precipitous than other coastal areas in Mexico. Even though I really enjoyed walking the Malécon and hanging out in the Historic Center, my favorite part of my time here was hiking to the top of El Faro which gave me incredible views of Mazatlán and beyond.
San José Del Pacifico, Oaxaca
If you’re more of a mountain person than a beach person you may want to consider the tiny town of San José Del Pacifico situated way up in the Oaxacan Mountains. This is definitely not a place for fine dinning or high end shopping but rather sitting in a hammock and enjoying amazing views. In fact, the view here is so good that on a clear day you can see the Pacific Ocean. In the summer many people come to San José for a spiritual journey thanks to the magic mushrooms that grow wild in the mountains surrounding the town. Although you may never want to leave (dorm beds are less than a 100 pesos a night!) San José is well located for exploring the great state of Oaxaca. A three hour collectivo (group taxi) can take you to the state’s capital Oaxaca, or to the coast for laid back beach towns like Puerto Escondido (world renowned for surfing) or Mazunte.
I’m not really sure what I was expecting but I was a bit disappointed with Mexico City. Although Mexico has great food, museums and nightlife it felt too close to a big Canadian or American city for my liking (I am Canadian). Even though Puebla was one my way I was contemplating skipping it since I had heard some less than stellar things about it. Boy am I glad that I did stop by. Puebla has fairly large Downtown area that has a beautiful and cohesive aesthetic with many buildings have tilled walls. Something I had never seen before. Puebla also has some awesome museums such as the Amparo Museum (that has the best terrace in town) which I loved. While staying in Puebla I also made a day trip to the lovely town of Cholula where you can see a pretty awesome archaeological site. I ended staying in Puebla for week (partly because I met a cute Peruvian girl) which is a long time for my restless cyclist legs.
San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas
Chiapas is a beautiful and unique place. Chiapas is home to a large population of indigenous people that have a unique culture, language and way of life. San Cristóbal is the economic hub for these people to come sell and trade their goods. Many of these indigenous villages are a stone throws away and definetly worth a day trip. San Cristóbal itself is a beautiful city surrounded by moutains and with awesome pedestrian streets lined with great restaurants, shops and bars. San Cristóbal’s central location also makes it a great home base for numerous amazing trips to ruins, waterfalls, canyons etc.
These we’re my subjective favorites of my time in Mexico. While cycling through Mexico I saw many many more places (that I’ve made videos of) that perhaps you would like more than the ones I just mentioned. To see a map of everywhere I went and the videos I made of these places you can click here.
Feel free to comment with questions or your favorite spots in Mexico 🙂
Here’s the video version of this article