Mexico is an adventurer’s paradise and there are far more than 7 bucket list activities you can do on your trip here! With beautiful golden sand beaches, mysterious ancient ruins, and lush jungles filled with unusual wildlife, there’s plenty to explore and taken in. And that’s before we get to towering volcanoes, deserts dotted with cacti, and of course, one of the most exciting and flavourful cuisines in the world. In this article, we’ll help you plan your trip to Mexico with 7 bucket list adventures you won’t want to miss!
Mexican cuisine is known all over the world, but there’s a lot more to it than tacos, burritos, and margaritas! Each region has its own speciality – try the savoury tamales and celebratory moles of Oaxaca, the tropical fruit infused sauces of Yucatán, and the seafood-centric dishes of the Baja California Peninsula.
A Mexican restaurant will allow you to sample the country’s famous cuisine but the real place to tantalise your taste buds is on the streets. The street food here is some of the best in the world and it’s so cheap! Of course, you can stick with the humble taco, but if you’re feeling more adventurous you can try gorditas, tlayudas, or tamales. Just remember not to go too spicy – you might enchilarte (Chilli yourself, whatever that means)!
Mexico held the FIFA World Cup in 1970 and 1986 and will hold it again with Canada and the United States in 2026. Soccer is so popular here that when Mexico scored their first goal in the 2018 World Cup, wildly celebrating fans caused tremors in the capital city! However, you don’t need to be visiting during the World Cup to take in a game of soccer.
The top league is the Liga MX, with the top teams being Tigres, Cruz Azul, and Club América. You can often turn up on the day of the match and get tickets that cost less than you’d pay for a top European game. Get ready for lots of shouting and singing, friendly vendors selling tasty street food and beer, and of course some silky skills and great goals! Even if you don’t like soccer, you’re sure to love the lively and exciting atmosphere!
Mexico has almost 10,000km of coastline, so it stands to reason that somewhere in there you’ll find some incredible beaches! There are beaches on the Pacific Coast where you can surf the most incredible waves, hidden island beaches with white sands and turquoise waters where you can completely disconnect from the world, and palm-lined beaches on the Caribbean coast where you might get lucky enough to swim with turtles.
Some of the most popular beaches in Mexico include Playa del Carmen in Cancún, Tulum in Quintana Roo, and Playa Mazunte in Oaxaca. But there’s every chance that if you stay away from the main tourist beaches, you’ll find your own little slice of Mexican beach heaven during your trip!
Mariachi is considered such an important part of Mexican identity, that in 2011 it was recognised by UNESCO as an element of intangible cultural heritage. But what exactly is it? Well, no one is really sure if it came around from indigenous people, or if it was influenced by European colonialists. What is certain that it came from western Mexico and what we think of as a traditional mariachi band started off with stringed instruments like violins and guitars and evolved to what it is today with trumpets and brass.
If you want to catch the biggest and best Mexican mariachi bands, then head to Guadalajara in September, where the city’s mariachi festival takes place. Not only are there mariachi bands and performances, but you’ll see other aspects of Mexican culture, including traditional dancing, cowboys, and beauty pageants!
This once in a lifetime experience is one of the most colourful and unusual celebrations that has lived on from the days of the ancient world. Although they’re celebrated days apart, Día de los Muertos should not be confused with Hallowe’en as Mexico’s most famous celebration is a joyous occasion that respects and honours deceased family members and loved ones.
The two-day festival takes place on the 1st and 2nd November, coinciding roughly with the maize harvest. Revellers not only dress up in extravagant costumes but build altars and leave their loved one’s favourite meal on them. You’ll also see (and taste) brightly coloured sugar skulls. One thing is for sure – this feast for the senses is certainly worth ticking off your bucket list!
Artist: H. Luriel A.
Mexican art goes all the way back from the Olmec people in 1,500BC to the modern-day street art of Mexico City. So, as you can imagine, at that time art in Mexico has developed into something diverse and fascinating, and it’s not all paintings! Pre-colonial art consists of ceramic bowls, wall paints, and fertility figurines.
Colonialism brought Catholic and European images, which were mixed with Aztec feather art to create beautiful and colourful murals. The best-known Mexican artist came from the 20th century –Frida Kahlo. She’s now a pop culture icon whose self-portraits and other works explore gender, identity, and class in Mexican society. You can visit her house in Mexico City, which shows some of her best artwork.
If there’s one thing that Mexicans love – it’s dressing up! Especially during culturally important days such as Day of the Dead, Cinco de Mayo, or Independence Day. If you’re travelling for any festivities, it would be a shame not to get involved and wear a cool costume – just remember to be respectful. It might seem like a good idea to pack your maracas or dress as a bottle of tequila, but a better option would be waiting until you’re in Mexico and coordinating your outfit with what locals are wearing! For more destination guides and travel tips, check out Trip101.
This entry is also available in: Spanish