From seaside paradises to booming cities, Mexico is a multi-faceted destination for travelers of all stripes. Those looking for sand and sun need head no further than the so-called “Riviera Maya,” home to Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and other popular resort towns. Culinary tourists, meanwhile, flock to the southern state of Oaxaca to sample mole sauce and mezcal. And if it’s art and architecture you’re after, make a beeline to Mexico City to visit the Frida Kahlo Museum and one of the world’s great anthropology institutions.
When to go
Mexico has many different climates—from tropical to mountainous—and thus its annual temperatures vary by region.
Spring in Mexico City brings lows in the mid-40s°F and highs in the low-80s°F—nice weather for enjoying the parades and colorful ceremonies of Semana Santa (Holy Week) in April.
lf you find yourself in the city of Oaxaca, expect lows in the high-50s°F and highs in the low-80s°F. Don’t miss Oaxaca’s Guelaguetza Dance Festival in July—a celebration of the dance traditions of the area’s indigenous peoples.
Pray (and party) for the dead during Mexico City’s boisterous Day of the Dead celebration in late October or early November. Hit the streets and enjoy mild weather—lows this time of year are in the mid 40s°F, while highs hover around the mid-70s°F.
Carnival is another popular Christian tradition in Mexico and usually occurs in February and March, when port cities like Cozumel (winter lows in the high 60s°F to highs in the mid-80s°F) throw big bacchanals before Lent.
Mexico City Transit, or STC, runs the city’s huge subway system, which boasts 195 stations. Most resort towns, including Cancún, have public bus systems.
- “Mucho gusto” is a common greeting in Mexico, roughly translating to “it’s a pleasure to meet you.”
- Much of Mexico is a cash economy, so it’s a good idea to have some pesos on hand.
- Don’t let those travel advisories scare you off. While there are pockets of violence and crime in areas like Juarez, most tourist towns are safe.