50 Ultimate Mexico Bucket List Things To Do! (2024)

White and Brown Concrete Building

Having visited Mexico six times, my love for the mesmerizing architecture – a passion stemming from my school days – keeps drawing me back. When it comes to the top Mexico bucket list things to see; Chichen Itza, Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, and Mexico City top the list.

Explore the stunning spots along the Baja Peninsula, Central Mexico, and the Yucatan Peninsula. With so many options in Mexico, it can get overwhelming. To make things easier, I’ve put together a list of must-see attractions. If you’re planning a trip to Mexico, this blog will be your go-to guide to the must-see sites.

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Map of Mexico Bucket List

Things To Do In The Baja Peninsula, Mexico

A School of Mado Fish Underwater

1. Cabo Pulmo National Park

The first on the Mexico bucket list is to dive with vibrant marine life in one of the oldest coral reefs in the Americas.

Ensure you bring your underwater camera to capture the colorful sensations.

This reef is over 25,000 years old, making it a living museum beneath the sea.

2. Cabo San Lucas

Sail into the sunset on a luxury yacht while sipping margaritas.

Booking in advance is recommended to secure the best experience.

This area is renowned for its stunning sunsets, making every evening sail a breathtaking event.

3. La Bufadora Blowhole

Feel the mist on your face as you witness the powerful natural phenomenon of seawater shooting into the air.

The best viewing times are during high tide for the most impressive displays.

La Bufadora is one of the largest blowholes in North America, shooting water up to 100 feet in the air.

4. Magdalena Bay

Next on the Mexico bucket list is to experience the thrill of whale watching and interacting with majestic gray whales up close.

Visit between December and March for the best chance to see these gentle giants.

Magdalena Bay is a critical breeding and birthing site for gray whales, offering unparalleled viewing opportunities.

5. Playa Balandra Beach

Kayak through crystal-clear waters to explore hidden beaches and mangrove forests.

Don’t forget your sunscreen and water shoes for the best experience.

Playa Balandra is famous for its shallow waters and stunning natural beauty, making it a paradise for explorers.

Interior of the Market in Todos Santos, Mexico

7. Todos Santos

Wander through art galleries and craft shops in this bohemian town known for its vibrant culture.

Check out the local festival schedules for a truly authentic experience.

Todos Santos is often called “the magic town” for its unique blend of natural beauty and artistic flair.

6. Sea of Cortez

Snorkel alongside playful sea lions and colorful fish in one of the world’s richest marine environments.

Remember to respect the wildlife and keep a safe distance.

Jacques Cousteau famously dubbed the Sea of Cortez “the world’s aquarium” due to its incredible biodiversity.

8. Valle de Guadalupe

Savor world-class wines and gourmet cuisine in Mexico’s premier wine region.

Nestled in the heart of Baja California, it’s a must-visit for wine lovers.

The valley is often referred to as the “Napa Valley of Mexico,” thanks to its high-quality wine production.

Things To Do In Central Mexico

9. Puerto Vallarta

Embark on a thrilling zipline adventure through the lush jungles of the Sierra Madre mountains.

This experience offers a unique perspective of the area’s natural beauty.

Puerto Vallarta is also known for its stunning sunsets along the Pacific coast.

Green Trees Near the Waterfalls

10. Chiapas

Next up on this Mexico bucket list, trek through dense rainforests to discover hidden waterfalls and ancient Mayan ruins.

Equip yourself with good hiking shoes for the rugged terrain.

Chiapas is home to the only Mayan city built on the water’s edge.

11. Copper Canyon

Ride the scenic Ferrocarril Chihuahua al Pacífico train for breathtaking views of this natural wonder.

The journey covers 673 kilometers and crosses 37 bridges.

Interestingly, Copper Canyon is deeper and larger than the Grand Canyon.

12. Guanajuato

Explore the underground tunnels and colorful streets of this UNESCO World Heritage city.

The tunnels were originally built to prevent flood damage.

Guanajuato is famous for its annual International Cervantino Festival.

13. Hierve el Agua Waterfall

Swim in natural infinity pools perched atop mineral-rich cliffs with panoramic valley views.

The water’s high mineral content has created unique rock formations.

It’s one of the few places in the world where you can swim in petrified waterfalls.

14. Huasteca Potosina Waterfalls

Dive into turquoise pools beneath cascading waterfalls in the heart of the Huasteca region.

The area is accessible by a short hike, ideal for nature lovers.

The water’s vibrant color comes from the limestone bedrock.

15. Islas Marietas

Snorkel through hidden caves and archways to discover the iconic hidden beach.

Access to the beach is tide-dependent, so timing your visit is crucial.

The islands are a national park and were famously used for military testing.

16. Lagunas de Montebello

Now on the Mexico bucket list, you want to kayak across serene lakes surrounded by pine forests and Mayan ruins.

There are over 50 lakes, each with unique shades of blue and green.

The area was declared a national park in 1959.

17. Las Grutas Tolantongo Hot Springs

Soak in thermal pools nestled within a dramatic canyon landscape.

The hot springs are naturally heated by the earth’s interior.

The site also features a series of caves and a tunnel to explore.

The Mexican national monument is a must-see on your winter travel bucket list, especially when it is lit up at night.

18. Mexico City

Wander through the historic center and marvel at the grandeur of ancient Aztec temples and Spanish colonial architecture.

The city was built on the ruins of the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan. It’s one of the largest cities in the world.

Close-Up Photo Of Butterfly Perched On A Flower

19. Monarch Butterfly Migration

Witness millions of monarch butterflies blanket the forests of Michoacán during their annual migration.

The butterflies travel from Canada and the United States to spend the winter in Mexico.

This phenomenon is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Morelia Cathedral Towering above Tree Line

20. Morelia

Indulge in traditional Michoacán cuisine and savor the flavors of authentic street tacos and regional delicacies.

Morelia’s historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The city is renowned for its music, particularly the Morelia International Music Festival.

Street in Old Town 

21. Oaxaca

For this Mexico bucket list item, you can immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Oaxaca during the colorful Day of the Dead celebrations.

Oaxaca is known for its indigenous peoples and cultures.

The Day of the Dead festival here is one of the most authentic and lively in Mexico.

Palenque Ancient Monument in Mexico

22. Palenque Zona Arqueológica

Explore the mystical ruins hidden deep within the lush jungle of the Chiapas region.

Palenque is considered one of the most important Mayan archaeological sites.

It’s known for its intricate carvings and fine sculptures.

23. Paricutin Volcano

Hike to the top of the world’s youngest volcano and witness the awe-inspiring lunar-like landscape.

Paricutin erupted in 1943 and its growth was witnessed by humans. Earning it as one of the 7 natural wonders of the world.

The lava fields and buried villages are a stark reminder of nature’s power.

Townscape of San Miguel de Allende in Mexico

24. San Miguel de Allende

Attend a traditional Mexican fiesta and dance to the rhythm of live mariachi bands in the charming cobblestone streets.

The city was an important hub during the Mexican War of Independence.

Its Baroque/Neoclassical colonial structures earned it a UNESCO World Heritage designation.

25. Sayulita

Learn to surf or perfect your skills in this laid-back surf town.

It’s known for its bohemian vibe and welcoming locals.

Sayulita attracts surfers from all over the world due to its consistent waves.

26. Sumidero Canyon

Cruise along the towering cliffs of this breathtaking canyon.

Keep an eye out for wildlife such as crocodiles and monkeys.

The canyon walls reach heights of over 1,000 meters, making for spectacular views.

27. Taxco

Explore the silver-lined streets and admire the colonial architecture.

Taxco is renowned for its silver jewelry production.

The town’s winding streets and white buildings with red-tiled roofs offer a picturesque setting.

28. Teotihuacan

This extreme Mexico bucket list item is to climb the ancient pyramids of the Sun and Moon.

These structures offer panoramic views of the majestic Avenue of the Dead.

Teotihuacan was once one of the largest cities in the world during its peak.

29. Tepozteco Archaeological Zone

Hike through lush forests to this ancient pyramid’s summit.

The site is known for its mystical energy and stunning landscape views.

It’s said that Tepozteco was built in honor of the Aztec god of the harvest, Tepoztecatl.

Vintage Toy Shop

30. The Island of the Dolls

Explore the eerie island adorned with hundreds of hanging dolls.

The island is a tribute to the lost soul of a young girl, according to local legend.

It has become a curious attraction for those fascinated by the paranormal.

31. Tlaxcala Firefly Forest

Experience the enchanting spectacle of thousands of fireflies illuminating the night.

The best time to visit is during the firefly mating season in early summer.

This natural phenomenon creates a magical atmosphere that feels like stepping into a fairy tale.

32. Puerto Escondido

Catch the perfect wave or learn to surf on the legendary Mexican Pipeline.

Surf lessons are available for all levels, from beginners to advanced.

Puerto Escondido hosts one of the top surfing competitions in the world, also attracting surfers from across the globe.

Things To Do In Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

33. Akumal Bay

An easy Mexico bucket list thing to do is snorkel with sea turtles in crystal-clear waters and stay at one of its nice resorts.

This idyllic bay is a sanctuary for marine life.

Fun fact: Akumal means “Place of the Turtles” in Mayan.

34. Bacalar

Kayak across the mesmerizing shades of blue in the “Lagoon of Seven Colors”.

Remember to bring sunscreen and hydration.

The lagoon is named for its varying depths creating different hues of blue.

An aerial view of a beach in Yucatan, Mexico with people on it.

35. Cancun

Party the night away in the city hosts world-renowned Hotels.

Various clubs and beach bars cater to a wide range of preferences.

Cancun’s Hotel Zone is actually shaped like the number “7”.

People swimming in a pool with vines.

36. Cenote Ik Kil

Dive into the sacred waters of this cenote, surrounded by lush vegetation.

Access involves descending a wooden staircase, which can get slippery.

It was considered sacred by the Mayans who used it for both relaxation and ritual sacrifices.

Also see: 15 Best Cenotes In Yucatan You Need To Visit!

A person standing on a platform in the Yucatan Mexico cave, checking it off their Bucket List.

37. Cenote Suytun

For this Mexico bucket list, you get to witness the natural light show created by the sun through the cenote’s opening.

Best viewed between 11 am and 1 pm.

The cenote has a central platform that makes for iconic photographs.

Also see: 4 Day Yucatan Itinerary: The Best Complete Guide

A woman in a red dress standing in front of a pyramid in chichen itza, mexico.

38. Chichen Itza

Explore the ancient Mayan ruins and the iconic Kukulkan Pyramid.

It is the last to be named as one of the 7 wonders of the world so arrive early to avoid crowds.

The pyramid is known for the serpent shadow that appears during equinoxes.

Also see: Chichen Itza Entrance Fee + Everything You Need To Know

A boat docked in the water.

39. Cozumel

Next on the Mexico bucket list dive into the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the world’s second-largest coral reef.

Diving certification can be acquired on the island.

The island is also a sanctuary for endangered sea turtles.

40. Isla Holbox

Swim with gentle whale sharks or relax on pristine beaches.

The island is car-free, promoting tranquility.

It’s known for its bioluminescent waters at night.

Also see: Is Yucatan Expensive? My Affordable Budget Breakdown

A group of statues under the water.

41. Isla Mujeres

Snorkel in the Underwater Museum of Art among stunning submerged sculptures.

The museum aims to protect the coral reefs.

Golf carts are a popular mode of transport around the island.

A woman sitting on a stone ledge in front of a yellow building.

42. Izamal

Visit the “Yellow City” and climb the Kinich Kak Mo pyramid.

The entire city is painted yellow. It’s one of Mexico’s “Pueblos Mágicos” or Magic Towns.

Also see: 12 Yucatan Travel Tips You Need To Know Before Going!

A woman sitting on sand near pink water.

43. Las Coloradas

Visit the pink-hued waters of these salt lakes.

Sunglasses are recommended due to the bright reflection.

The pink color comes from red-hued algae and shrimp mixed with the high salt contents.

Also see: How To Visit The Pink Lakes Las Coloradas In Yucatán

A wooden table with a bottle of wine and a wooden plaque.

44. Merida

Taste the flavors of Yucatecan cuisine and explore the city’s colonial charm.

It’s known as the White City due to its buildings.

Explore the many markets and the Grand Plaza.

Also see: How To Spend One Day In Merida! Mexico’s Safest City

45. Playa del Carmen

Enjoy the vibrant nightlife and live music on Fifth Avenue.

The area is a mix of local culture and international flair.

Playa del Carmen is a hotspot for digital nomads.

A group of thatched umbrellas on the beach in Yucatan, Mexico.

46. Progreso

Relax on the longest pier in the world and enjoy peaceful beaches.

Ideal for a day trip from Merida. It’s a gateway to the Mayan archaeological sites.

A group of pink flamingos in the water.

47. Rio Lagartos

Take a boat tour through mangrove forests to spot flamingos and crocodiles.

The area is a biosphere reserve.

It has one of the largest populations of flamingos in Mexico during summer.

Also see: The Best Beach In Yucatan A True Hidden Gem!

A statue of a man in the Yucatan Mexico forest.

48. Tulum

Explore the ruins overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

Make sure to witness the sunrises here.

Tulum was one of the last cities inhabited by the Maya civilization.

The breathtaking Yucatan Mexico Pyramid of Teotihuacán is a must-visit attraction for any avid traveler checking off their bucket list.

49. Uxmal

Wander the ruins of this ancient Mayan city, admiring the architecture.

It’s considered one of the most important archaeological sites of Maya culture.

Uxmal means “built three times” in the Mayan language.

Also see: Is Yucatan Worth Visiting? Honest Perspective From A POC!

A picturesque church with palm trees in front of it, nestled in the breathtaking landscapes of Yucatan Mexico.

50. Valladolid

Swim in the sacred Cenote Zaci and stroll the charming colonial streets.

The cenote is right in the heart of the city.

Valladolid is known for its “Sisal” industry, which was vital in the 19th century.

Also see: 59 Amazing Yucatan Mexico Bucket List Things To Do!

Final Thoughts-

Exploring Mexico’s vibrant destinations like Chichen Itza, Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, and Mexico City tops the bucket list for any traveler. Because I visited Mexico 6 times due to my passion for architecture, especially from my studies, it has truly enriched my experiences. Share in the comments how many out of the 50 places in Mexico you’ve explored!

Happy exploring!

Kaylee Janell's signature

Read More on Mexico!

59 Amazing Yucatan Mexico Bucket List Things To Do!

4-Day Yucatan Itinerary: The Best Complete Guide

How To Visit The Pink Lakes Las Coloradas In Yucatán

Chichen Itza Entrance Fee + Everything You Need To Know

How To Spend One Day In Merida! Mexico’s Safest City

The Best Beach In Yucatan A True Hidden Gem!

Is Yucatan Expensive? My Affordable Budget Breakdown

15 Best Cenotes In Yucatan You Need To Visit!

Is Yucatan Worth Visiting? Honest Perspective From A POC!

12 Yucatan Travel Tips You Need To Know Before Going!

How To Get From Merida To Chichen Itza + The Best Tour!

Hotel Maria del Carmen Review: Everything You Need To Know!

Find Your Next Vacation Destination Here!

What Are My Recommended Resources For Planning A Trip?

When planning my trip, I use my trusted trio of CheapOair, Viator, and Booking.com to provide a comprehensive solution for everything I need.

CheapOair is a go-to resource for affordable flight tickets. With its extensive network of over 600 airlines, it offers a wide array of choices, enabling you to easily compare prices and select the best deal that suits your budget and travel schedule.

Viator on the other hand, is an excellent platform for booking tours and activities. It provides access to thousands of sightseeing tours, attractions, and events in over 1,500 locations worldwide. It ensures you don’t miss out on the unique experiences each destination has to offer.

Booking.com is your reliable partner for accommodations. With over 28 million listings including hotels, apartments, and hostels, you can find the perfect place to stay that fits your budget and preference.

Together, these platforms make trip planning convenient, cost-effective, and fun. They ensure you have everything you need, from flights and accommodations to activities – at your fingertips.

Check Out My Resources Page For All My Recommended Travel Tools!

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