10 Most Famous Landmarks in Mexico that you MUST visit!

If visiting one of the seven world wonders, tasty tequila and cheap Spanish lessons sound appealing then Mexico is the next spot for you. There are lots of awesome places to backpack in the world these days but some people are getting a bit jaded by the same old tourist trails, Mexico will buck that trend. It’s cheap, beautiful and there’s enough to see to keep you occupied for months – if you spread your wings and head to this fascinating country make sure you don’t miss you on these five cracking attractions:

landmarks in mexico
The 10 BEST Landmarks in Mexico

Hop on the ‘El Chepe’ to Copper Canyon

Think Grand Canyon and then double it!

The Grand Canyon’s southern sister, the Copper Canyon in Northern Mexico could pretty much eat it alive. One look at this never-ending sight is enough to leave you bewildered at why it isn’t the more famous of the two. The deeper the eye looks the greater the variety of luscious greens gets – it is truly breathtaking. For those with gusto for adventure, a plunge further the Canyon floor is a must, where you’ll find communities of Tarahumara, a people known for their unrivalled cross-country running ability, developed over generations of living on rough terrain. All in all, it’s very, very cool!

And the best way to see it? El Chepe. A century-old railway line running 500km from Chihuahua (yes, like the dog, we know) to Los Mochis. Now you have cable cars, ziplines and hikes. Factor a couple of days if possible. 

famous landmarks in mexico
Famous landmarks in Mexico; Copper Canyon
Famous landmarks in Mexico
Famous landmarks in Mexico

Chichen Itza

One of the man-made Seven Wonders of the World (not to be confused with the ancient original seven wonders of the world, or the seven natural wonders of the world!) Chichen Itza sits near Mexico’s eastern coast, showing off the famous temple of Kulkulan, the execution spot in Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto.

A tad older than Hollywood however, the sprawling archaeological complex actually dates back over 1500 years. Back to the time of the Maya. A people later found to be particularly advanced for their time, in areas such as mathematics and astronomy. For those who wish to soak up the facts and figures, marveling at the achievements of an ancient civilization, or those who fancy a day of wandering around and admiring the sites, Chichen Itza is an absolute must. This is an Insta pic waiting to happen.

To visit Chichen Itza from Cancun is probably the easiest way to organise I trip there. That’s what I did!

Chichen Itza from Cancun
Me at Chichen Itza!

Jalisco, Tequila

Right high on my bucket list is Jalisco. Tequila, to legally actually BE tequila, HAS to be produced in 1 of 5 Mexican regions. The main, and most famous, region is Jalisco. Within Jalisco then is the town of Tequila. Now, how cool is that?! Tequila is about 600km west of Mexico City so day trips aren’t possible. You have to earn bragging rights to say you’ve visited this famous landmark in Mexico!

Around Jalisco are huge Agave plants, where tequila comes from. And the town knows why it’s famous. Tours, cheap booze, and good vibes. Also, this tequila here isn’t that cheap stuff you’ve been knocking back around the world. It’s actually tasty. Imagine that!

things to see in Mexico
Things to see in Mexico; Tequila!
Things to do in Mexico
Things to do in Mexico; The town of Tequila

The Day of the Dead in Oaxaca

Just wow. Now you have to time this landmark in Mexico right because it’s only once a year (November 1st to 2nd). Originally it was a calmer affair. Families laid out plates of food for relatives who have died. Then James Bond entered the scene in Spectre. And now the festival is huge!

You can celebrate the Day of the Dead festival all across Mexico. But historically it began in Oaxaca, so that’s always the best option. Having said that, if it’s a party you’re after. Then you should choose Mexico city, followed by Guadalajara as the 2nd biggest party atmosphere.

Day of the Dead Mexico
Day of the Dead Mexico
Things to do in Mexico
Things to do in Mexico

Hot Air Balloon Ride at Ancient Teotihuacán

Mexico City could be a highlight on its own in terms of things to see in Mexico. It’s a hugely underrated city and so much fun. Less than an hour from Mexico City, though, is Teotihuacan. One of the country’s most important sites. People come to climb the main temple up to the ‘Pyramid of the Sun’ and the ‘Pyramid of the Moon’. If you’re on a budget, you can take a bus and then wander through the archaeological site yourself. If you’re ready to splash a little cash, hot air ballooning over the tourist, but retaining the majesty of the history, is spectacular. A hour one flight is a respectable $135 (and worth every cent!).

Pyramid of the Moon
The Ancient Mayan and Aztec city of Teotihuacan
hot air balloon Teotihuacan
hot air balloon Teotihuacan

Check out a Lucha Libra Match

Hard to find a more entertaining activity in Mexico than catching a Lucha Libre wrestling match! They’re all over the nation but the easiest place to catch one is for sure Mexico City. Expect cheap booze, lots of gambling and a raucous atmosphere. 

things to do in mexico
things to do in mexico; Catch a Lucha libre match

Hierve el Agua Waterfalls, Oaxaca

Mexico’s famous ‘frozen’ waterfall, complete with manmade infinity pools and epic views. It’s actually formed by minerals being pushed through the limestone formations, but a ‘frozen’ idea is much more fun. The water is about 25 degrees and you’re more than welcome to hop in!

landmarks in mexico
landmarks in mexico
things to do in mexico

El Chiflon Waterfalls

Not far from San Cristobal and Chiapas are the HUGE El Chifron Waterfalls. They also have small subsidiary pools where you can go for a dip, but without a doubt the main event is hiking up to the main falls and getting soaked. Breathtaking (literally!)

el chiflon waterfall
el chiflon waterfall

The Beaches and cenotes of the Yucatan Peninsula

Cancun had to squeeze in somewhere I guess. It’s certainly not one of the best places to visit in Mexico, but it does fall in a very special region. The Yucatan peninsula is home to Mexico’s best beaches. Tulum, in Quintana Roo is your best bet if you’re a beach lover. It’s a cool town with fun vibes too, and spectacular beaches. Next door, inland, are the famous cenotes. There are a lot of them, but the most famous is probably Dos Ojos (near Tulum conveniently), or the ‘Carwash’ Cenote.

North of Tulum, the accommodation options are countless. And since you are in the zone, I highly recommend staying at least two nights at a beachfront resort. When visiting the area a few years ago, I stayed at the Ocean Coral And Turquesa, near Puerto Morelos.

Ceynotes Mexico
Ceynotes Mexico
landmarks in mexico
Beaches in Tulum

Hike Pico de Orizaba, Mexico’s Highest Mountain

Oh yeah. Now, this is an adventure. Admittedly, this one is for me. I love treks and hikes (check out my best 20 treks in the world here), and I’m currently trying to climb the seven summits (the highest mountain on each continent. So hiking Pico De Orizaba is so appealing to me! Taking a tour, with a professional guide, can cost as little as $1k and can be done in 2 days. And you don’t need any skills to do it. Just be a bit fit. 

Pico de Orizaba hike
Pico de Orizaba hike
Pico de Orizaba hike
Pico de Orizaba hike

Final thoughts on the epic landmarks in Mexico to visit in our life?

Ok, guys so this awesome county offers travellers so much than just Cancun. Mexico is a brilliant destination for newbie travellers or experience, hard-core adventurers. I hope the landmarks in Mexico that I’ve listed above help you with planning your trip. Enjoy!

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