2 Weeks in Mexico: 2 itineraries

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Mexico offers the typical, yet stunning tropical beaches and archaeological ruins. It is a country to visit because of its colourful colonial houses. If you love Mexican food, this trip has to be done at least once in your life.

Notably, it has awe-inspiring architectural wonders such as the Aztec ruins and itscuisine that is among the best in the world. The country has something unique to offer for every destination you will go to – from beautiful beaches, fun water activities, hiking, and bustling city, to yummy dishes.

With so many things to see and do, proper planning is your best tool to make the most of your 2 weeks in Mexico. After all, 10 million tourists can’t be wrong. I have prepared a two-week travel guide on the Land of the Aztecs.

>> Check out our 2 weeks in South America itineraries and 2 weeks in Costa Rica

THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING MEXICO

4 images - oaxaca city with colorful hanging fabrics, Cancun's shoreline, Zocalo with Mexican flag, and chichen itza - 2 Weeks in Mexico Itinerary

It pays to learn some Spanish words or phrases when you visit Mexico. Finding an English-speaking local or staff in hotels or restaurants should be easy if you visit major cities like Mexico City or Cancun. 

Another important reminder when you visit Mexico is to always be vigilant. Mexico is notorious for its crime rate, but this varies from one city to another. Many people ask if Mexico City is safe to travel to. But each city and regions have a crime rate.

Regardless, keeping your eyes open and staying aware of your environment will go a long way. 

Always be aware of your surroundings and never leave your personal belongings unattended, especially in areas flocked by tourists. There are things you can do to ensure your safety when travelling alone or for the first time.

Finally, beware of common taxi scams in Mexico. Make sure you only hire authorized taxis that can be found in designated taxi stands. Other tips below will help you plan and write a suitable itinerary for you.

When is the best time to go to Mexico

The best time to visit Mexico is anytime outside of the hurricane season. Mexico enjoys great weather nearly all year round. This means that you should have no trouble finding an activity to enjoy any time of the year. 

The best time to go is anywhere from November to March or April, which marks the dry season in the country. During this time of the year, you can expect a beautiful coast with mostly sunny days and cooler nights.

Mexico’s highest and busiest seasons are between mid-November, it peaks in December and lasts until January, while you might want to avoid the wettest months for August, Sumpter, and October.

Getting around

Most parts of Mexico are on the mainland, and one can only assume it will be easy to travel by car. However, that’s the case in most situations, not all the time. A lot of cities in Mexico, including its capital, sit on top of or near mountains making travelling between cities by car a challenge at times.

While taking the bus is possible in Mexico, in many situations, it’s easier to take a domestic flight. You can also rent a car if you plan to visit places that are near one another. You can travel on foot or use a city bus within the city.

You should also install a ride-hailing app such as Uber, Ola, and Cabify, which will save you time and money. You can also use traditional taxis but beware of common taxi scams in Mexico. Make sure you only hire authorized taxis that can be found in designated taxi stands

Language and currency

Spanish is the main language in Mexico. In big cities such as Mexico City or touristy places like Cancun, many locals speak English, especially young people. In smaller cities or rural towns, Spanish will be required.

You should learn basic phrases before you go to Mexico and install a translator app on your phone.

The Mexican Nuevo Peso is the main currency of Mexico, but some places might accept USD. Cash is still the king here, but many businesses related to tourism accept payment with a bank card.

ATMs are common all around Mexico, especially in places with foreign visitors. It’s still better to move around with enough cash with you instead of expecting to be able to pay with a credit card.

Cost of a 2-week vacation in Mexico

Mexico has gained so much popularity in the last few years specifically from US citizens, Canadians, Europeans, and even all the way from Australia.

This has caused prices to be much higher, especially in accommodation. Regardless, it’s still affordable and still quite in line with the cost of visiting Latin America. Here are some ideas on what 2 weeks in Mexico budget looks like:

  • Affordable: For budget-conscious travellers, expect to spend around $1000-$1,200. This covers basic accommodations like hostels or budget hotels, eating at local taquerias, using public transportation, and enjoying free or low-cost activities.

  • Mid-range: A comfortable trip might cost $1,500-$3,000. This includes staying in mid-range hotels, dining at a mix of local and tourist-oriented restaurants, renting a car or using inter-city buses for travel, and participating in paid excursions like guided tours or snorkelling.

  • Luxury: For a luxury experience, anticipate spending $3,500-$7,000 or more. Luxury travellers can enjoy top-tier resorts, gourmet dining, private tours and experiences, and internal flights to maximize their time exploring different regions.

Your flights and travel insurance are not included in the calculation. So, if you’re flying all the way from Europe, Asia, or Oceania – look up the flight costs to get a better idea.

What to pack

When deciding what to pack for Mexico, consider the climate of your intended cities and activities. The areas near the beach are expected to be warm and humid depending on the time of year. Make sure you pack lightweight cooling for the beach destinations. 

For those visiting cities or areas in a higher elevation, it is best to pack clothes for the cool weather as they can be quite chilly. If you plan to do some hiking, which is a good idea for Mexico, pack your hiking boots if it’s more than a day.

Visa

All nationalities visiting Mexico are required to carry a valid passport upon entry to the country. Make sure it is valid for 6 months by the time of your arrival in Mexico. All visitors must also obtain a tourist card. This is given to you during your point of entry.

You have to make sure to keep that as you need to show that card when you leave Mexico again.

Other basic travel tips

For more extra tips when planning your travel, here are some websites I love using. I book and buy my accommodation, flights, and bus tickets, find great tours, and even purchase affordable travel insurance.

Many of these travel tools allow me to plan in advance but also allow me to cancel in case my plans change without paying an extra fee or very little.

PINNED MAP OF TOP THINGS TO SEE IN MEXICO

Click the icon on the top right to enlarge the map. Credit: map data: Google

2 WEEKS IN MEXICO ITINERARY

Mexico is teeming with options for all kinds of travellers of all ages. It is a great family-friendly destination because you have many activities to enjoy and sights to see.

On the other hand, for those looking for a romantic getaway or childfree experience, there are lots of resorts that are adulty-only making your trip much more relaxing.

Here are two unique travel itineraries for 2 weeks in Mexico. I also added some recommendations on what to see and what you can expect. Remember, you can do these itineraries in different orders as long as you’re starting and ending in a city that has a major international airport.

RELATED ITINERARIES: 2 weeks in Brazil and 2 weeks in Peru

Itinerary #1: Tulum/Cancun, Merida, Campeche, Oaxaca, Mexico City

This itinerary is perfect for people who are visiting Mexico for the first time. This 2 weeks in Mexico itinerary highlights the best places to visit in the country and allows you to maximise your time.

Tulum or Cancun for 3 days

Start your trip to Mexico by relaxing on the Caribbean Sea. Soak up its crystal clear turquoise waters and sandy white beaches. During the day, do fun and adventurous water sports and visit historical spots. At night, get your groove on and go party or explore the Yucatan state through its local cuisine.

Known as the town in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, Tulum is a popular choice for tourists. It has a wealth of attractions within Tulum and its proximity to other tourist attractions in the Yucatan Peninsula (especially the cenotes).

This pre-Columbian Mayan City is rich in culture and history. It remains a great choice of place to go for those who want both natural and historical attractions.

However, if you prefer being in a bigger city with lots of 5-star resorts to choose from, Cancun is a perfect choice. The international airport near Tulum is also located in Cancun anyway.

Either way, if you change your mind in the middle of your stay, Tulum is only less than 2-hours away from Cancun.

Merida for 3 days

Merida is another city in the Yucatan peninsula and actually is the capital of the Yucatan state. It’s located on the west side. It’s not a coastal city, but Sisal and Progreso, which are waterfront towns, are only over an hour away from Merida.

The city is where Mayan culture meets colonial architecture. There are lots of beautiful cathedrals, cobblestone alleys, and relics of Mayan temples. Merida is an incredible city to learn more about Mexico’s history and how it became the country it is today.

It’s less hectic than Mexico City and Oaxaca, an excellent place to start a heritage and cultural adventure after your relaxing trip to Cancun and Tulum.

There are plenty of ways to get from Cancun to Merida. If you have a rented car, you can drive it yourself or hire a private car with a driver. The journey will take about 4-5 hours. For those on a budget, you can take the ADO Bus, but the journey is really long. There are also flights from Cancun to Merida which will be the fastest way.

2 images - Hierve el agua and cathedral de merida - 2 Weeks in Mexico Itinerary

Campeche for 2 days

Campeche is both a state and a city. Campeche state is just south of the Yucatan peninsula, and Campeche is a coastal city in the northwest of the state, south of Parque Natural Petenese – Ria Celestun.

A visit to Campeche is another opportunity to learn about Spanish architecture and its influences during the colonial era of Mexico. Various Spanish impacts still have a massive presence in Campeche, from the preserved fortress, cathedrals, cobblestone streets, and traditional houses.

Campeche is the only walled city in Mexico, and it still exists. You will also find Mayan historical sites and an archaeological museum.

The drive between Merida and Campeche City is only a little over an hour. This means that you can even charter a private car with a driver if you’re not renting a car while spending 2 weeks in Mexico. A bus ride would take around 3-5 hours.

Oaxaca for 3 days

As a city located in central Mexico, Oaxaca is noted for its colonial landscape, with many preserved historical buildings found in the city and being on an elevation region. These colourful buildings are built using green volcanic stone, which gives them that distinctive look.

Whether you like to marvel at colonial architecture or discover more about the regional history of Mexico, Oaxaca is the destination for you.

Oaxaca has a nice cool climate and is surrounded by the Sierra Madre mountains. It’s also popular for its lively markets that sell food, souvenirs, and traditional goods. A lot of visitors to Mexico love how culturally diverse Oaxaca is, and it’s obvious from its colourful and unique handicrafts.

The best way and honestly the only recommended way, to travel between Campeche and Oaxaca is to take a domestic flight. You most likely have to connect in Mexico City, and the travel time is around 5 hours.

Mexico City for 4 days

If you want to get a mix of urban and historically rich attractions, Mexico City is one of the best places to visit. It is where you will be able to fulfil your desire for historical and cultural explorations as you marvel at the city’s architecture.

The buildings that are filled with cultural relevance thrive alongside modern architecture. Mexico City also has an irresistible culinary scene that is worth exploring.

You can fly directly from Oaxaca to Mexico City. The journey takes around a bit over an hour and costs about $60. There’s also a bus option. However, it can be a long trip. If you have a rented car, it’s about a 6-hour trip.

2 images - Zocalo, Mexico City's main square and Cenote Calavera - 2 Weeks in Mexico Itinerary

Itinerary #2: Mexico City, Chiapas, Yucatan Peninsula

This 2 weeks in Mexico itinerary is suitable for people more interested in relaxing on the beaches of Yucatan and includes a little sprinkle of cultural and heritage exploration.

This 14 days in Mexico itinerary is also slow travel, meaning you don’t have to spend or waste too much time in airports, buses, driving, or moving around.

Mexico City for 4 days

Mexico City is an ideal place to start; it’s the capital city and has the biggest international airport. Whether you are coming from the US, Canada, Europe, or even Japan, you will be able to find a direct flight that will land in Mexico City.

For four days, you can explore the city’s top attractions which are all about cultural activities that showcase Mexico’s Mayan and colonial-era heritage. There are also lots of natural wonders to explore.

Due to its location, Mexico City has loads of day trips to immerse yourself in, such as hiking and visiting national parks and small towns.

Oaxaca for 4 days

Oaxaca is another ideal city to visit if you want to learn more about the country’s culture and heritage. Not only Mayan and colonial-era relics can be found in Oaxaca, but it also offers indigenous people’s heritage which is all displayed proudly through handicrafts that can be found in local markets all over the city.

Getting to Oaxaca from Mexico City is pretty easy. You can take a direct flight that is only over an hour and costs not more than $60.

You can also take a bus, it will take longer, but it’s cheaper. Driving is also an option, although, with this 2 weeks in Mexico itinerary, I don’t recommend you rent a car.

Yucatan Beaches and Chichen Itza for 5 days

2 images -Chichen Itza and aerial view of Playa del Carmen - 2 Weeks in Mexico Itinerary

Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum are the three most popular beaches in the Yucatan region. The waters in this area are incredible and spectacular. Whether you simply want to lie on the beach, go crazy with water activities, or even party – Yucatan’s beaches have something for you.

Cancun is a city located in the Yucatan Peninsula region of Mexico, it’s a city that is known to border the Caribbean Sea. You will most likely arrive in Cancun to start your beach hopping in the region. Cancun is divided into two areas, each offering a unique kind of experience. 

El Centro is the downtown area wherein you can experience the ‘real Mexico’ as it is filled with colonial buildings and historical attractions. The other area is the Cancun Hotel Zone (Zona Hotelera). It is close to the beach and has hotels and luxury resorts. 

Both Playa del Carmen and Tulum are located south of Cancun. These two towns can also get busy. However, there are fewer massive luxury resorts here. There are more guest houses and mid-range hotels, especially in Tulum.

These two towns are more suitable for people who want to get away from a big crowd of tourists and prefer a laid-back experience, although bars and parties can easily be found as well.

Lastly, Chichen Itza is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Mexico and the Yucatan region. This is a massive pre-Columbian city built by the ancient Mayans. It is also classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Also, as one of the World’s New Seven Wonders, this site plays a key geopolitical role. It provides a glimpse into the Mayan construction techniques and an insight into how the ancient Mayans lived.

You can take a flight from Oaxaca to Cancun, although it usually takes a connection to Mexico City. The journey shouldn’t take longer than 6 hours though, and the ticket price is less than $100.

THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN MEXICO

Mexico’s top attractions include water activities, visiting historical sites, exploring UNESCO heritage locations, trying out local dishes, going hiking, and learning about its interesting history.

Below is a list of the must-see places in each popular city in Mexico. Make sure to add these best places to visit in your two weeks in Mexico itinerary.

Mexico City

  • Floating Gardens of Xochimilco
  • National Palace
  • Templo Mayor
  • Hike the Cumbres del Ajusco National Park
  • Day trip to Teotihuacán – you can book a tour with a guide or explore the ruins with a hot air balloon ride
  • Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral
  • The Angel of Independence
  • Explore Puebla, Cholula, & Tonantzintla – you can book a guided tour to visit all three places in one day
  • Museo Nacional de Antropología
  • Tula and the Tollán Ruins
  • Hot Spring os Tolatongo Caves – book a tour from Mexico
  • Soumaya Museum
  • Templo Mayor Museum (Aztec)
  • Zona Arqueológica Tenayuca I y II
  • Frida Kahlo Museum – join a 3-destination tour featuring Coyoacán, visit Frida Kahlo Museum, and ride a traditional boat through Xochimilco
  • Hike Cerro del Ajusco
  • Summit the Nevado De Toluca – hike with professionals
  • Parque Nacional Grutas de Cacahuamilpa
  • Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl – join an incredible volcanic trek with a lunch and a guide

Oaxaca

Campeche

  • Campeche Archaeological Zone
  • Malecon de Campeche
  • Puerta de Tierra
  • Wander through its colourful streets
  • Fortress Walls
  • Shop for Handicrafts

Merida

Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum

Cancun:

Playa del Carmen:

  • Gran Cenote
  • Cenote Calavera
  • Tulum Ruins
  • Walk around 5th Avenue – or join a 3-hour local food walking tour
  • Cenote Escondido
  • Swim with sea turtles
  • Day trip to Riviera Maya on buggy tour with Cenote swim – read the reviews
  • Try parasailing
  • Parque Nacional de Tulum
  • Check out Rio Secreto’s Caves – book a tour
  • Boat trip to Cozumel
  • Get a round-trip ferry to and from Cozumel from Playa del Carmen – see the price

Tulum:

Chichen Itza

  • Chichen Itza with Cenote, and Valladolid – see the tour cost or this one
  • Temple of Kukulkan
  • Temple of the Warriors
  • El Caracol
  • Main Ball Court
  • Temple of the Skulls

MUST-TRY MEXICAN DISHES, DRINKS, AND SNACKS

2 images - tacos and elote corns - 2 Weeks in Mexico Itinerary

Mexican cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines in the world. It is known for its use of staple ingredients such as corn, tomatoes, chia, avocadoes, chilli, beans, and more.

There are many notable dishes from Mexican cuisine that are an absolute must-try when you want to enjoy the authentic flavours of Mexico. 

Taco

If there is one dish that best describes Mexico, it would be a taco. Taco is also one of the most popular dishes in the world and can be served in a variety of ways. You can find vegetarian versions of tacos.

Surprisingly, Taco showcases just how versatile it is. The traditional recipe for a taco is a corn or wheat tortilla filled with several toppings that range from meat to vegetables and fruits. 

Elote

Elote is one of the most popular street food items in Mexico. It is also a great choice for vegans travelling in Mexico. Finding a stall that sells elote should be easy as they are everywhere in Mexico. 

This dish is essential Mexican grilled corn. Once the corn is grilled, it is coated with salt, pepper, lime juice, mayonnaise, and chilli powder. 

Enchiladas

Enchilada is another popular Mexican dish that is a must-try when you visit. This, too, is made with a corn tortilla that is rolled with filling before it is covered in chilli sauce. 

Among the ingredients used as fillings include meat, beans (for vegans), potatoes, cheese, or vegetables. That is the beauty of this dish – it can be customized to suit your liking. 

Guacamole

Guacamole is another dish that has been popularized by Mexico all over the world. This is an avocado-based dip or spread that was first introduced during the time of the Aztecs. And yet, it remains to be popular in the present day and has become an international favourite. 

ACCOMMODATIONS IN MEXICO

You should also book your hotel as soon as your know the dates that you’re going epseically if it’s during Christmas – the peak season. Here’s a list of places you can look into depending on your budget:

Mexico City

Oaxaca

Cancun

Playa del Carmen

Tulum

Merida

Campeche

SUMMARY OF 2 WEEKS IN MEXICO

Mexico is a polarizing country. While many fear about the threats to safety and crime, it does not seem to faze the huge influx of tourists who come to the country year in and year out from all over the world. Mexico is also a great country to visit if you want to experience the beauty of the Caribbean Sea without spending too much.

Its rich history, culture, and abundance of natural beauty seem to be worth the hassle of going to Mexico. With proper planning, you can ensure a safe and worthwhile travel experience. I hope that these 2 weeks in Mexico itineraries have helped you plan your trip.

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Explore Mexico's rich tapestry over two weeks: vibrant cities, ancient ruins, stunning beaches, and lush jungles. Savor delicious cuisine, embrace the lively culture, and unwind by turquoise waters. An unforgettable journey through history and natural beauty awaits. via @twoweektraveller