Everyone knows or has at least once heard of Cancun which is sadly the only place many of us associate Mexico with. I spent two and half months cycling around this beautiful country that is full of culture and history and one thing I’m sure about is that the Cancun you heard about, the famous holiday resort you or some of your friends have been to is a far cry from real Mexico. If you want to see Mexico from the locals’ point of view, see their culture and traditions, then Cancun is a big no no.
The good news is that you’re about to find out where to go to really be able to say that you have been to Mexico. There are so many remarkable places there that it wasn’t an easy task to narrow the list down and chose the best ones but I managed in the end. These are <in my opinion> Most Spectacular Off The Beaten Track Spots In Mexico.
To experience these to the fullest I recommend using Couchsurfing.
Real de Catorce is a small quaint village nestled in the middle of the mountains (2750 m above the sea) in northern Mexico. Just getting there itself is a fun experience – first you need to make your way up a 15-mile long cobblestone road while admiring breathtaking views and then go through a 1.5-mile long dark-ish tunnel (you can either walk or catch a bus) so the closer you get the more exciting it becomes.
Hiking-lovers! This is the place you want to be – you can keep busy discovering many paths leading to the most marvelous parts of the Catorce mountain range including an old ‘Ghost Town’.
You should check out old cock fighting and bull fighting rings, cemetery, the Parish church and museum, and local markets selling traditional clothes, souvenirs and food.
If you are a curious soul (like me) then you may want to take an excursion in search for peyote cacti which are supposed to have hallucinogenic properties (back in the day natives used to eat them as a part of their religious rituals).
Best way is to catch a local bus from the bus station in Matehuala(a nice little town located some 40 miles from Real). Buses leave at 8am 12pm 2pm and 6pm.
Or you can hitch a ride..
Playa Maruata could actually classify to be in my top 5 destinations of all times. It’s one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve seen so far and it has it all: white sand, crystal blue water, most scenic sunsets and to top it all off it’s favourably lacking tourists. You can either set up a tent on the beach or rent a cabin (I’d definitely recommend the former).
Except for a small village nearby where you can pick up your groceries, there is not much around so it’s a perfect place to get away from the busy life, sit back and enjoy being The Happiest Person On Earth:)
Playa Maruata is kind of isolated and far from everything (that’s why it’s so beautiful) Though, there is a bus service from Lazaro Cardenas which takes 4 hours, and from Tecoman – 2 hours.
Located some 35 miles northeast of Mexico City, Teotihuacan, also called ‘City of the Gods’ are the remains of an ancient holy city built between the 1st and the 7th centuries. The pyramids are truly remarkable and together with surrounding mountain scenery create amazing picturesque views. This is the kind of tourist attraction I enjoy – not so popular but so impressive that you get lost in admiration and can’t stop taking photographs from all possible angles.
There are many vendors around selling all sorts of souvenirs, if you decide to buy something make sure you haggle the price!
Buses go from Mexico City bus station and can take you all the way to Teotihuacan. Make sure you get off at the main gate. Best to go in the morning so you have a whole day for explorations.
Guatajuato is on my list of best destinations in Mexico because of its uniqueness in terms of location, architecture and the setup of the whole town. It is situated in a valley so almost every single part of the town is on a slant. There are several tunnels throughout the city which function as roads. Thousands of colourful houses and cobblestone roads add even more charm to this beautiful colonial town.
Ideal for those who want to learn about the Mexican culture and see how the local people live. I was lucky to be there in October during their local Cervantino festival – the town was packed with local tourists, street performers and lots off delicious food.
There is an airport in Guanajuato state and bus services from most cities. As it’s located in the ‘middle of the country’ it is quite easy to get to it.
Bacalar is a small town located on Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, about 30 miles from the Belize border. It’s one of the ‘Magic Towns’ of Mexico because of numerous cenotes(natural swimming holes formed by the collapse of limestone bedrock) located in the area and the most amazing Bacalar lagoon. I had never seen so many shades of green and blue before! It’s super fascinating and looks unreal! The town itself is very small but has a town square with a few shops and restaurants and there are a couple of hostels, too. A beautiful place definitely worth visiting!
You can catch a bus from Cancun which takes about 5 hours. There is only one road that goes from Cancun along the coast to Bacalar, Chetumal and Belize so you can’t get lost:-)