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Mexico see + do

Mexico is a magnet for surfers, divers, anglers, sunbathers, and all sorts of water lovers, with thousands of miles of coastline on the Pacific Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Sea of Cortez. Mexico culture and history are also a big draw, with the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Americas, including famed archeological sites like the Maya pyramids at Chichén Itzá, the floating gardens at Xochimilco near Mexico City, and the capital's entire Centro Histórico. In fact, the Zócalo in Mexico City is a virtual timeline of architectural history, with the Aztec Templo Mayor, colonial-era Palacio Nacional, and Baroque Catedral Metropolitana lining its sides. The countryside—especially in Oaxaca, Yucatán, Michoacán, Chiapas, and Veracruz states—is rich in indigenous traditions, with residents living (much like their ancestors did) in rural villages and visiting markets so rich in history they've been preserved as national monuments. Mexico's abundant natural attributes include gray whale sanctuaries in Baja California, mangrove lagoons sheltering tropical birds in the Riviera Maya's Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, and snow-covered volcanoes outside Mexico City.

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Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, Sian Ka'an

Sian Ka'an means "where the sky was born" in Mayan. It's an apt name for the 2,500-square-mile peninsula about 75 miles south of Cancún, where ocelots,...more

see the Riviera Maya guide
Editors' Pick
Spanish Classes, San Miguel de Allende

For decades, artsy San Miguel has been a place where visitors can study the language (and culture) of Mexico while on vacation. Today, the city has certified...more

see the San Miguel de Allende guide
Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
Surfing Around Puerto Vallarta

Surfers have been riding the Pacific coast's swells since the 1960s. These days, traditional board surfers are joined by enthusiastic paddle surfers who stand...more

see the Puerto Vallarta guide
Editors' Pick
Surfing in Baja California

California surfers camp and surf non-stop at puntas (points) around Rosarito Beach and Ensenada. Stars on the international surf circuit race to the Islas de...more

see the Baja California guide
Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
Teotihuacán and Tula

There's no need to head to the jungle to see the region's archaeological sites; two of the best are just north of the capital. (Buses leave regularly from the...more

see the Mexico City guide
Editors' Pick
Todos Santos

Artists from Santa Fe, San Francisco, and Switzerland revel in the diffused light, churning surf, and subdued ambience in this 19th-century town an hour north...more

see the Baja California guide
Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
Vallarta Botanical Gardens, Cabo Corrientes

Hummingbirds nest in tree ferns, and butterflies flit over orchids at this enchanting 20-acre garden of exotic flowers and gigantic trees 12 miles south of...more

see the Puerto Vallarta guide
Editors' Pick
Walking Tours, Mexico City

There are many walking tours of the Centro Histórico, but none as fascinating as Monica Unikel's Jewish Tours (www.jewishtours.com.mx). Time and time...more

see the Mexico City guide
Editors' Pick
Whale-Watching in Baja California

More than 20 species of whales frequent Baja's sea through the year. But the big whale show runs from January to March, when thousands of pregnant gray whales...more

see the Baja California guide
Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
Xcaret, near Playa del Carmen

If you've never traveled to Mexico before, a visit to Xcaret will give you a decent overview of the country's culture—at Disneyland prices. You can snorkel...more

see the Riviera Maya guide
Editors' Pick
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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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