Traveling Mexico is usually associated with spring breaks in Cancun or Cabo and the beach resorts in Tulum, but there is much more to explore. If you are a traveler with an explorer soul, Mexico is the right place for you.
This classic itinerary is for travelers who want to visit relatively safe areas of Mexico. It begins in Mexico City and ends in the Yucatan Peninsula in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico, once home to the Mayan civilization. This classic itinerary will require 10 days to enjoy.
How to apply for FMM
To travel to Mexico, you need the Mexico Tourist Card, officially known as FMM (Forma Migratoria Multiple). It’s a mandatory entry requirement for all foreign citizens visiting Mexico for tourism, business, or pleasure.
To obtain FMM, travelers must complete an application form before arriving at the Mexican border. Foreigners must have the following documents to apply for FMM:
- Identification documents (standard passport if you are flying; and passport or passport card if you arrive by land)
- Email address to get the approved Mexico Tourist Card
- Valid credit or debit card
Remember, the Mexican Tourist Card is different from the Mexican visa. Although some foreign tourists are visa-exempt, they still need FMM. For others, the tourist card and the Mexican Visa are both requirements to travel the country.
Classic Route: Mexico City to Yucatan
The city of 12 million inhabitants is bustling with life. Mexico City is abundant in history, impressive architecture, incredible art and museums, limitless entertainment, and some of the best street food that will blow your mind.
For a hassle-free and memorable trip, it’s important to stay in a safe and well-connected area. Hence, most travelers choose to stay in Roma, Condesa, or the central area around Zocalo main plaza.
Tepoztlán is very close to Mexico City and about an hour’s drive south of the capital, so it is very convenient. With beautiful landscapes and unique archaeological history, and home to the pre-Hispanic traditions is a must-visit place for explorer souls. The highlight of this ‘pueblo magico’ is the archaeological site of El Tepozteco, but the town itself is also a great place to relax.
Pyramids of Teotihuacan
From a 40 minutes drive from Mexico City, there are the ancient ruins of Teotihuacán, where you can witness the largest and most architecturally important Mesoamerican pyramid. The city was once the largest city of America, perhaps, the capital of Aztec civilization. This stunning place is still well-preserved and should be visited early morning during the peak season to experience the mystique vibe.
Guanajuato was the temporary capital of Mexico, which once attracted the Spanish to search for silver mines. It was later dubbed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guanajuato is the most beautiful city in Mexico, famous for its colonial buildings and tree-lined plazas everywhere. What makes this city unique is its mountain tunnels, originally built to divert water during storms but have become interesting shortcuts throughout the city now.
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Oaxaca State, is known for its greatest biological diversity and home to many aboriginal people, including the Zapotecs and Mixtecs. Apart from that, Oaxaca City is best known for its food diversity. It is known as the “Land of seven moles” and the place where the drink of mezcal originates. Oaxaca is also rich in cultural festivals. This is a great place to experience the Day of the Dead, where people pay homage to the dead on this day, as seen in the Pixar animation Coco.
Mayan Ruins of Palenque
When it comes to visiting Mayan temples, you may be tempted to visit Chichen Itza near Cancun, which is Mexico’s most famous Mayan archeological site, and a crowded one too. Palenque in Chiapas state is not as crowded as Chichen Itza, but the temples are equally spectacular. They are also beautifully located in the middle of the jungle. Some ruins are overgrown with weeds, which makes the site more organic. In fact, Palenque is the perfect stop if you are traveling between Yucatan and Oaxaca,
Yucatan Peninsula is travelers’ favorite for its white sand beaches, mesmerizing cenotes, Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, the mangroves and wetlands of the Sian Ka` Biosphere Reserve, and the Great Maya Reef. In recent years, Tulum of Yucatan has become a trendier city for its sunny beaches. Besides, the cities of Mérida and Valladolid have gained popularity as cultural highlights of Yucatan.
Cenotes of Yucatan
The Yucatan Peninsula has numerous underground sinkholes, caves, and caverns that stretch for countless miles. Cenotes Cuzamá near Mérida and Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman near Valladolid are semi-open and ideal for swimming. But, Dos Ojos near Tulum is suitable for scuba diving and snorkeling which can be accessed with a basic Open Water certification.