This gorgeous colonial town, sandwiched into a narrow ravine, is home to one of the country’s finest Baroque churches, a thriving student scene and a relaxed café and bar culture.
#02 Silver jewellery from Taxco
The town of Taxco, an interesting place in itself, offers the most exquisite silver products in the country.
A huge, stunning coastal nature reserve with ecosystems ranging from tropical forest through fresh- and saltwater marshes to barrier reef. Wildlife of every sort lives here, but it’s especially good for birdwatching.
Visit the town that gave birth to Mexico’s favourite tipple, surrounded by fields of blue agave, and enjoy tours of local distilleries.
© T photography/Shutterstock
#05 The Bonampak murals
The ancient temples at Bonampak depict vivid scenes of Maya life.
#06 Baja beaches
The Sea of Cortés coast around Bahía Concepción, with pristine azure waters contrasting with desert-fringed mountains.
#07 Diving Cozumel
Mexico has fantastic diving opportunities: the coral reefs off Isla Cozumel provide some of the best.
#08 Baja Whale watching
© Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock
#09 The Zócalo, Mexico City
The eternal heart of the city, the capital’s main plaza is surrounded by its cathedral and the ruins of Aztec Tenochtitlán.
An ancient religious ritual, this gravity-defying spectacle is still mesmerizing.
This important Maya spiritual and cultural centre is one of the most picturesque, with a spectacular beach.
#12 Cenotes, Valladolid
Take a refreshing dip in crystal-clear sinkholes, one with the roots of a huge alamo tree stretching down into it.
#13 Museo Frida Kahlo
Politics, art and national identity combine at the home of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.
This Maya site is remarkable for its distinct architectural style and its setting in jungle-smothered hills.
#15 Chichén Itzá
The most famous of the Maya sites. See the sprawling ruins and complex carvings over a couple of days.
You’ll find mariachi played the length and breadth of the country but most notably in Mexico City’s Plaza Garibaldi.
An enormous collection of artefacts from all the major pre-Hispanic cultures.
#18 Nightlife in Playa del Carmen
Dance on the sand or in super-hip small clubs alongside stylish Mexico City weekenders and European expats in this Caribbean boomtown.
Take in the carnival atmosphere and colours while being punted around the canals and serenaded by mariachi bands.
#20 Oaxaca markets
Any market in Mexico is a feast for the senses, but Oaxaca’s are especially vibrant, with everything from fresh produce to some of the country’s most imaginative textiles.
#21 Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacán
The granddaddy of all ancient Mesoamerican pyramids, built in 100 AD and some 70m high.
Watch the clavadistas plunge into the sea from precipitous cliffs.
© Ramunas Bruzas/Shutterstock
If bullfights aren’t for you, head to a charreada (rodeo) instead; the ultimate charro (cowboy) event, traditional charreadas make a brilliant spectator sport.
© Leonardo Emiliozzi Ph/Shutterstock
Whether you take the awe-inspiring train ride or hike along the canyon floor, a visit to this vast system of chasms is the definite highlight.
Train in Barranca del Cobre, Mexico © wayak/Shutterstock
#25 El Tajín
Once the most important city on the Gulf coast but only rediscovered in 1785.
#26 Real de Catorce
This picturesque ghost-town once thrived on the wealth of its silver mines. Huichol pilgrims visit the nearby desert in search of peyote.
Deep in the heart of the jungle, this is the largest known archeological zone in Mesoamerica.
© Rainer Lesniewski/Shutterstock
#28 The Rivera murals
Most famous for its Day of the Dead celebrations, this enchanting lake is a worthy destination year-round.
© Marcos E Ramos Ponciano/Shutterstock
Ancient silver mines, thrilling ziplines and one of Mexico's most opulent cathedrals.