#01 Guanajuato

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.

Colored Houses Iglesia de San Roque Market Mercado Hidalgo Guanajuato, MexicoColored Houses Iglesia de San Roque Market Mercado Hidalgo Guanajuato, Mexico © Bill Perry/Shutterstock

#02 Silver jewellery from Taxco

The town of Taxco, an interesting place in itself, offers the most exquisite silver products in the country.

Things not to miss: Silver ring, Taxco, Mexico.© S and S Imaging/Shutterstock

#03 Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

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.

#03 Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

#04 Tequila

Visit the town that gave birth to Mexico’s favourite tipple, surrounded by fields of blue agave, and enjoy tours of local distilleries.

Tequila, blue agave field© T photography/Shutterstock

#05 The Bonampak murals

The ancient temples at Bonampak depict vivid scenes of Maya life.

#05 The Bonampak murals

#06 Baja beaches

The Sea of Cortés coast around Bahía Concepción, with pristine azure waters contrasting with desert-fringed mountains.

Marvellous Mexico: 8 insider tips from our authors: Remote camping on Playa Santispac, Baja California Sur, Mexico.© Shutterstock

#07 Diving Cozumel

Mexico has fantastic diving opportunities: the coral reefs off Isla Cozumel provide some of the best.

Things not to miss: Toadfish, Cozumel, Mexico.© RVLIKEMIDGLEY/Shutterstock 

#08 Baja Whale watching

From December to April, thousands of grey whales come to mate in the lagoons of Guerrero Negro and San Ignacio.

Things not to miss: Humpback Whale, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.© 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.

The Zocalo in Mexico City with the cathedral© Shutterstock

#10 Voladores de Papantla

An ancient religious ritual, this gravity-defying spectacle is still mesmerizing.

#10 Voladores de Papantla

#11 Tulum

This important Maya spiritual and cultural centre is one of the most picturesque, with a spectacular beach.

Mayan Ruins Besides Caribbean Sea. Riviera Maya, Traveling AmericaMayan Ruins Besides Caribbean Sea. Riviera Maya, Traveling America © DC_Aperture/Shutterstock

#12 Cenotes, Valladolid

Take a refreshing dip in crystal-clear sinkholes, one with the roots of a huge alamo tree stretching down into it.

#12 Cenotes, Valladolid

#13 Museo Frida Kahlo

Politics, art and national identity combine at the home of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

#13 Museo Frida Kahlo

#14 Palenque

This Maya site is remarkable for its distinct architectural style and its setting in jungle-smothered hills.

 Palenque, Chiapas, MexicoPalenque, Chiapas, Mexico © Madrugada Verde/Shutterstock 

#15 Chichén Itzá

The most famous of the Maya sites. See the sprawling ruins and complex carvings over a couple of days.

Chichen itza sunset, MexicoChichen itza sunset, Mexico © Ondrej Kucera/Shutterstock

#16 Mariachi

You’ll find mariachi played the length and breadth of the country but most notably in Mexico City’s Plaza Garibaldi.

#16 Mariachi

#17 Museo Nacional de Antropología

An enormous collection of artefacts from all the major pre-Hispanic cultures.

Museo Nacional de Antropología, MexicoMuseo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico © Mikiko/Shutterstock

#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.

Things not to miss in Mexico: Happy friends cheering and drinking cocktails at beach party outdoor.© DisobeyArt/Shutterstock

#19 Xochimilco

Take in the carnival atmosphere and colours while being punted around the canals and serenaded by mariachi bands.

Floating through Xochimilco, Mexico: Colorful gondolas, Xochimilco's Floating Gardens, Mexico City, Mexico.© Shutterstock

#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.

Things not to miss: Market, woman, Mexico.© Tati Nova photo Mexico/Shutterstock

#21 Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacán

The granddaddy of all ancient Mesoamerican pyramids, built in 100 AD and some 70m high.

Teotihuacán, MexicoTeotihuacán, Mexico © Rafal Kubiak/Shutterstock

#22 Acapulco’s cliff divers

Watch the clavadistas plunge into the sea from precipitous cliffs.

Things not to miss in Mexico: Cliff divers in action, Acapulco, Mexico.© Ramunas Bruzas/Shutterstock

#23 Charreada

If bullfights aren’t for you, head to a charreada (rodeo) instead; the ultimate charro (cowboy) event, traditional charreadas make a brilliant spectator sport.

Things not to miss: Charro on horseback who plays with the lasso, Mexico.© Leonardo Emiliozzi Ph/Shutterstock 

#24 The Copper Canyon

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, MexicoTrain in Barranca del Cobre, Mexico © wayak/Shutterstock

#25 El Tajín

Once the most important city on the Gulf coast but only rediscovered in 1785.

Things not to miss: El Tajin, Veracruz, Mexico.© Noradoa/Shutterstock

#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.

#26 Real de Catorce

#27 Calakmul

Deep in the heart of the jungle, this is the largest known archeological zone in Mesoamerica.

Things not to miss: Ruins of the ancient Mayan city, Calakmul, Mexico.© Rainer Lesniewski/Shutterstock

#28 The Rivera murals

See Diego Rivera's murals at the Museo Mural in Mexico City.

Things not to miss: Mexican 500 peso, Diego Rivera.© vkilikov/Shutterstock 

#29 Lago de Pátzcuaro

Most famous for its Day of the Dead celebrations, this enchanting lake is a worthy destination year-round.

Things not to miss: Patzcuaro and Janitzio in Michoacan, Mexico.© Marcos E Ramos Ponciano/Shutterstock 

#30 Zacatecas

Ancient silver mines, thrilling ziplines and one of Mexico's most opulent cathedrals.

Zacatecas, Mexico© stacyarturogi/Shutterstock

Top image: Four Mexican Musicians, Mexico --- Image by © Hugh Sitton/Corbis

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