Mexico offers a wide array of rich cultural traditions, beautiful natural landscapes, and delicious foods. If you have Mexican ancestors, one way to discover your heritage is to visit the best places while in Mexico. You can engage in Mexico’s fascinating history and indulge in native culture with some of the top best places to go in Mexico listed below.
Learn more about what it means to connect with your cultural heritage and how to do it, or discover more about Mexico’s history and culture as you seek to understand your Mexican heritage.
Cultural Experiences and Festivals in Mexico
Embracing cultural celebrations and activities can help you feel connected to your ancestors in a new way because many celebrations and activities date back generations.
1. Fiesta de la Candelaria
For the Fiesta de la Candelaria, thousands flock to Tlacotalpan at the beginning of February for a religious celebration featuring the Virgin of Candelaria floating down the river. As an added bonus, a 3-day music festival called Son Jarocho coincides with the Fiesta de la Candelaria.
2. Palacio de Bellas Artes
This domed palace located in Mexico City features Mexican and international artists. It is the perfect place to immerse yourself in Mexican fine culture.
3. Las Posadas
For the nine days leading up to Christmas Eve, posadas celebrate and honor the birth of Christ. Posadas are filled with traditional food, reenactments of religious scenes, socialization, and piñatas.
4. The National Museum of Anthropology
The National Museum of Anthropology holds an invaluable collection of historical artifacts from Mexico’s history.
5. Día de Muertos
For two to four days at the beginning of November, Mexicans honor and celebrate their deceased family members. This colorful celebration is the perfect time to remember and honor your Mexican ancestors.
Historic Sites in Mexico
Some of the best places to go in Mexico include its well-preserved ancient architecture and top archaeological sites.
This ancient Mayan city rests on the Yucatȧn Peninsula. The largest network of Mayan roads meets here, and the city contains ceremonial engravings and a climbable pyramid.
Tulum is the site of ruins of an ancient Mayan port city. A large, stone building called “El Castillo” sits atop a rocky cliff and looks out over white sand and a turquoise ocean.
3. Centro Historica de Morelia
Pink-stone buildings from the 1500s fill this city center, which serves as a cultural hub, with theaters, museums, cathedrals, and more.
This ancient Mesoamerican city is estimated to have been the sixth-largest city in the world at its height. It covers eight square miles and features multiple pyramids.
5. Chichėn Itzȧ
Chichėn Itzȧ, one of the largest Mayan cities, is famous for its multiple architectural styles. Experts speculate that its population was the most diverse out of the Mayan cities, and the diverse architecture hints at cultural diffusion.
6. Metropolitan Cathedral
This impressive cathedral located in Mexico City features multiple styles of architecture and took over 200 years to build. Sadly, it sits atop the sacred grounds of the ancient Aztec Templo Mayor, which was destroyed during the construction of the cathedral.
Nature in Mexico
Mexico offers a diverse set of natural landscapes and parks. Here are some of the top choices to see.
1. Isla Espiritu Santo
These protected and uninhabited islands can be reached by boat from La Paz. They boast diverse sea life, gorgeous beaches, and birds.
2. Santa Rosa Wall
The Santa Rosa Wall is a popular dive site near Cozumel that features a steep drop-off, cave, reef, and tunnels, along with amazing marine life.
3. Huasteca Potosina
This region is filled with tropical landscapes, stunning waterfalls, swimming holes, rivers, slopes, and gardens. It is a must-see for its diversity and beauty.
4. Cenote Chaak Tun
Located near Playa del Carmen, this cenote was believed to be a sacred portal to the underworld by the Mayans. It features impressive stalactites, a swimming hole, caves, and more.
5. Parque Ecologico Chipinque
This mountainside park near Monterrey offers everything from hikes to biking to a museum and insect house. It is favored for its breathtaking views.
6. El Arco de Cabo San Lucas
This distinctive rock formation rests at the tip of the Baja California Peninsula and marks the beginning of the Gulf of California.
Food is an integral part of almost any culture, and Mexico is no different. Wherever you go in Mexico, don’t forget to savor the food on your visit to taste a piece of Mexico’s culture. Some of the best places to go in Mexico will be the ones where you try some of the delicious, top must-have cuisines:
Elote, or corn on the cob, is ever-popular in Mexico and can be found on virtually every corner. It’s traditionally boiled and served on a stick with chili powder, mayonnaise, Cotija cheese, lime, butter, salt, sour cream, and other toppings.
Famous as the spicy chocolate sauce from Mexico, mole actually doesn’t always include chocolate. Rather, the staples of a traditional mole sauce are chilis, fruits, nuts, and spices. Chocolate, when used, is added at the end.
Tamales are stuffed doughs that have been steamed in either corn husks or banana leaves. You can find both savory and sweet varieties of tamales.
Thought to originally have been used in ritual sacrifices, pozole is a soup made from corn, meat, and spices that have been stewed for several hours. The result is an irresistible stew that can be topped with lettuce, chilis, seasonings, lime, cheese, salsa, or avocado.
This traditional breakfast consists of a fried corn tortilla topped with red or green salsa, scrambled eggs, shredded chicken, cheese, cream, and refried beans.
What do you most look forward to seeing on your trip to Mexico? Remember the significance of your cultural heritage to help you grow closer to your ancestors and family’s story.