I can book your vacation in any area of Mexico you want to visit. Different cities can be combined into a single trip. I’ll let you know if I think you might be spending too much time traveling and not scheduling enough time for enjoyment. Here are some trip ideas for three of my favorite places in Mexico. These itineraries are just suggestions. There are so many destinations in Mexico it would be impossible to list them all in this website. But we can talk about your interests and set up the perfect itinerary for you, wherever you want to go.
Of course, I can’t mention all the things you might choose to do so let your imagination run wild here. If you want to get in a full day of mountain biking, an eco-birding tour, or an excursion to see famous muralists’ work, just let me know.
Palace of Fine Arts, Mexico City
This is a vibrant city with so many things to see and do it’s hard to know where to start. This is where you’ll find some of Mexico’s most impressive antiquities and best shopping. The heart of the city is around the Zocalo and filled with historic buildings.
Your driver is waiting for you at the airport. Arrive at your hotel in a private, chauffeured car. Check in and get lunch. Head out to the world class ruins of Teotihuacan. Back to hotel area for dinner.
Leave hotel early for a trip to Frida Kahlo’s house in Coyoacan. Stroll the shady streets in Coyoacan, eat in a downtown bistro, and then your driver will take you for a restful afternoon tour through the tree-covered canals of Xochimilco (Place Of The Flowers) in a colorful trajinera. Now you’re hungry. Care to try dinner in Hacienda De Los Morales? You’ll find it in a 400-year old former silk factory. The setting and the meals are sumptuous.
Take a guided walking tour of the old city. Visit the spectacular 500-year old Cathedral on the huge Zócalo (main plaza). Then visit the ancient Aztec ruins of the Templo Mayor, right next door. You’re probably hungry by now so how about some lunch in one of Mexico City’s finest restaurants? La Casa De Las Sirenas was first constructed in the 1500s. It offers spectacular views of the Templo Mayor and the Zócalo from its rooftop terrace. After that, you shouldn’t miss the astonishing Diego Rivera murals at the Palacio Nacional, again, right on the Zócalo. If you still have some energy, grab a coffee at a little café and head out to shop at some of the local boutiques.
Still up for more? Today you’ll visit the world famous Museo De Antropología. It’s close to Chapultepec Park so you can take a quiet stroll through Mexico City’s largest and most beautiful open area when you’re done in the Museum.
If you have time for more, I’d suggest a day trip to either Puebla or Taxco. Puebla has a fascinating history and an elegant, old-world feel to it. It’s renowned for its special candies and sweets. In fact, there’s a whole city block lined with traditional candy stores! Taxco is a pueblo mágico, a town that’s retained all it’s old charm. It is known around the world for the quality of its silver work and you can buy some impressive jewelry here. The central cobblestone plaza, the town’s tiny intimate streets, and its lovely Cathedral are all worth the trip.
Oaxaca is a jewel. The Templo De Santo Domingo is one of the world’s prettiest churches and this is where the art of Mexican haute cuisine is most established. The pedestrian streets are perfect for walking tours and the beautiful Zapotec ruins of Monte Alban are located close to the city. Indigenous people have a strong presence in Oaxaca and you’ll sometimes hear them speaking Zapotec or Nahuatl in the street.
Arrive at your hotel. Get checked in, have lunch, and stroll through the Zocalo for some people watching and a visit to the Cathedral. Walk down the stone-paved pedestrian street to the Church of Santo Domingo. You’ll be amazed at its ornate interior and the gold-covered wall behind the altar. How about dinner at the Restaurante Catedral? It’s a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.
A trip to Monte Alban is an absolute must when you visit Oaxaca. Set high up on a mountain plateau, it has a beautiful and surreal feel to it. It’s a good idea to have a guide here to explain the various carvings, pyramids, and ball court you’ll find. After a lunch of traditional tamales or chicken in mole sauce, you might be inspired to take that cooking class in the afternoon.
No trip to Oaxaca would be complete without a visit to the pueblos magicos that lie within easy reach of the city. A chauffeured car is a real help here. You can visit any number of them according to your interests; Teotitlan Del Valle for weavings, San Bartolo Coyotepec for black ceramic ware, San Martin Tilcajete for alebrijes (those colorful little wood carvings that you’ve probably seen), Ocotlan De Morelos for its fine art, and many more. You’ll be able to visit with the artisans as they demonstrate the techniques they use to produce these beautiful pieces of art.
If you still want more, how about a trip to Tule to see the world’s largest tree? And nearby Mitla to see ruins with stone “mosaics” unique in the Americas. You could finish up the day at Hierve El Agua, bubbling springs high in the mountains whose mineral deposits have created panoramic infinity pools that you can swim in while looking out over the valley below.
And don’t forget to leave some time for a mescal tasting tour somewhere in all that!
Vallarta was my introduction to Mexico many years ago. It’s changed from a sleepy little fishing port in the ‘70s to a thriving tourist destination but it hasn’t lost its relaxed atmosphere or its little town charm in the historic older section. You’ll find beautiful cobblestone streets, gorgeous beaches on one of the world’s largest bays, deep sea fishing, diving, shopping, a healthy arts scene, and some of Mexico’s more innovative dining options here. Huichol Native Mexicans bring their finely worked bead and cloth art into town to sell.
Maybe after everything else you’ve done in Mexico, your first day should just be spent at the beach relaxing. Buy some fresh fruit or freshly caught grilled fish from the beach vendors. Eat dinner that night at a charming upscale restaurant overlooking the ocean. Wander up and down the picturesque Malecon (boardwalk) and stop into a little palapa (palm frond cabana) bar on the beach for a nightcap.
Diving lessons? Fishing? Or just lazing on the beach? Maybe with a massage? Relax, you’re on vacation. Tomorrow it’ll get exciting. Tonight treat yourself to one of the best meals in Vallarta at La Palapa. It’s literally right on the beach, elegant and refined, with a beautiful view of the sunset over the Pacific in the evening.
You could head out to the jungle with a driver for some great zip lining. You could take a bike tour or go on a birding eco-tour (tropical birds are spectacular, by the way). Maybe a three-hour guided horse-back ride to a secret swimming hole. The choice is yours.
This might be the time for an all-day excursion across the bay to Yelapa, a pristine beach town accessible only by boat with beautiful bungalows if you want to spend the night. Or you could head north to pretty Sayulita for a relaxed day in an ex-pat community with some of the better surfing in Mexico. Rent a board, give it a try.