The home of the Mayans, fierce tequilas, mouth-watering burritos, and colourful ponchos, Mexico is instantly recognisable from its cuisine to its clothing. However, it has a lot more to offer than the stereotypical sombreros and searing chillies. A fascinating fusion of Spanish and Mesoamerican influences and cultures, modern Mexico offers ancient architecture and traditional festivals alongside modern cities and banging nightclubs. That means whether you’re here for the food or the history, the beaches or the family attractions, there’s plenty of things to do in Mexico.
Its landscape is as varied as the people who have lived there, ranging from the azure blue of the Caribbean and the Wild West-style, sun-bleached deserts in the north, to the ruined Mayan temples and the pristine, white-sanded beaches in the south. Whether you want to top up your tan, explore ancient villages, or kick up your heels at the Day of the Dead festivities, there are plenty of things to do in Mexico.
Swimming, Snorkelling, Turtles and Sharks
If you’re something of a water-baby, you’ll find an astonishing range of marine-based things to do in Mexico. The Mayan Riviera boasts the second-largest barrier reef in the world, home to a shimmering kaleidoscope of fish, corals and sea creatures. Swimming with Sea Turtles is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and there’s even the potential to swim with dolphins in their natural habitat.
Swap your snorkel for some scuba gear and you could find yourself in the Cave of the Sleeping Sharks, near Isla Mujeres. A submarine cavern, this is where huge numbers of whale shark come to rest. These magnificent (and endangered) beasts are gentle giants, with each individual instantly recognisable by the unique pattern of their spots. If you’d rather stay dry, take a tour on a glass-bottomed boat and observe the magic of the marine world, preferably with a cheeky cocktail in hand!
Visit the Temples of Doom
Making your way through a dense rainforest and coming across the remains of one of the world’s most innovative civilisations is a great way to unleash your inner Indiana Jones or Lara Croft. Perhaps the best of the Mayan ruins is Chichen Itza, once the Mayan capital and now almost fully restored to its former glory (but without the gory!). One of the most fascinating things to do in Mexico, you can explore the temples, passages and columned arcades and even pay a visit to the sacrificial cenotes and get a glimpse of their grisly pasts.
Music, Music, Music!
Beyond the beaches, the sea and the crumbling remains of an ancient culture, you’ll find Mexico has a vibrant party scene. If your idea of a break involves kicking up your heels into the early hours, head to Cancun or the Playa del Carmen. Here, you’ll find world-class clubs cranking out banging beats and putting on spectacular shows, night after night. There’s also the BPM Festival, where some of the leading lights from the worlds of DJing and electronic music take over the nightclubs and beaches for ten days; perfect for groups of friends who want the focus on fun.
However, one of the most popular things to do in Mexico is to unwind on a palm-fringed beach and listen to the sounds of the sea, while basking in the subtropical sunshine. Whatever ticks your holiday boxes, you’re sure to find it in this exciting and magical country.