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Bored of Cancún? Travel to Mexico and visit these other idyllic destinations

For millennials growing up, spring break brought one location to mind: Cancún, Mexico. MTV’s spring break programming had kids across the country tuning into the young, ignorant debauchery college kids would get into south of the border when classes broke in April & May. As millennials grew up, they were forced to address the question of whether Mexico had more to offer than a massive tropical sports bar.

Of course, now we know Mexico has more than just Cancún, and the massive country has some of the world’s greatest wonders in the magical land south of the U.S. If you want to travel to Mexico, put Cancún out of your mind: we’ve collected the best destinations in Mexico in our list below. Get your sunscreen ready and check out what we’ve discovered below.


A drive just over three hours west of Cancún will lead you right to Mérida, the less-popular destination in the Yucatan region of Mexico. However, the hidden gem has way more to offer than the likes of its hip counterpart.

Not only is Mérida a rich authentic Mexican city, but it also has amazing relics of Mayan history brimming throughout the area. Landmarks can be explored all over the city, from the Plaza de la Independencia, to the over 400-year-old Casa de Montejo, to its many ancient Mayan temples. Don’t let the history make you think you’ll pay top dollar like at the antique store, though – plenty of hotels offer stays for under $100 USD.


Art & architecture freaks will go bananas for Guanajuato when they travel to Mexico. The city’s color-soaked intricate maze of houses line streets & tunnels will make any new travelers’ jaw drop.

The city of Guanajuato is a work of art itself, exemplified by the Callejón del Beso (Alley of the Kiss), which is titled so because the alley’s balconies are so close two people could kiss standing on each end 🥺. Moreover, the city has a wealth of artwork & museums like the Alhóndiga de Granaditas. A feast for the eyes, Guanajuato is a unique city not to miss.


Guadalajara is another authentic Mexican city teeming with real Mexican life. Located inland in Western Mexico, you won’t see any oceans in Guadalajara. You will, however, hear the best mariachi bands in the world and taste some of the richest tequila your tongue has ever tasted in the legendary city.

When you travel to Mexico, you want to experience some sense of culture, and Guadalajara will give you the most bang for your buck with the second-most densely populated city in the country. 

In Guadalajara, as you taste some of Mexico’s greatest food & drinks, you’ll see some of its most gorgeous churches, museums, and architecture. Not only will you have endless options, but you can do everything for cheap; you can nab a three-star hotel for around thirty bucks, or splurge for a $100 five-star hotel. Dios mio!


Fans of The Shawshank Redemption will remember Zihuatanejo from the film’s tear-jerking finale on a beach showcasing what appears to be the brightest, bluest ocean on the face of the planet. We know what you’re thinking: yes, Zihuatanejo is a real place.

If you want to travel to Mexico to see the classic image of paradise, we suggest Zihuatanejo. Although technically a resort city, the beach town doesn’t have the gaudy cringe of Cancún and holds bluer oceans with lush ocean life, abound with sea turtles & dolphins. Trust us, the Pacific will be as blue as it has been in your dreams.

These are our favorite places to go when we travel to Mexico, but they’re just a few places the massive country has to offer. Did we miss your favorite Mexican destination? Sound off in the comments!

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