Top 5 Hidden Gems in Mexico No One Is Talking About

If you’ve been to Mexico, you likely traveled to Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, or Cozumel. These destinations are among the most popular in Mexico, for good reason. Each spot is stunning and can become the backdrop for a ton of wild fun. Yet Mexico has beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, delicious food, and so much more. If you’re craving to experience the authentic, hidden gems in Mexico, we know where you can start. These destinations are a lot less populated and not as well known by tourists, which can make for a more low-key and relaxing vacation.

Here are our top 5 favorite hidden gems in Mexico you’ll want to visit, depending on your travel style:

  1. Authentic Beach Town Experience: Yelapa
  2. Yoga & Relaxation: San Pancho
  3. Remote Beaches & Suba Diving: Isla Mujeres
  4. Wilderness & Hiking Adventures: Copper Canyon
  5. Historical Experiences: Merida

blue circle with white number 1 in middle Authentic Beach Town Experience: Yelapa

If vacationing at a beautiful oceanfront without the throng of partygoers interests you, look no further than Yelapa. You might be surprised we didn’t name Tulum, but the once “long-standing hideaway for bohemian travelers” has been sadly overrun by tourism. On the other hand, Yelapa remains generally unpopulated. This may be because you can only get there by boat. So you will need to either take a water taxi or hire a private boat to get there.

Once you arrive, you won’t find any chain restaurants, hotels, or shops. But you will find hidden gems in secluded beaches, authentic dining, and the perfect place to relax on your visit. A quaint Airbnb or vacation rental could accommodate your stay, and travel insurance could cover you —here’s what you need to know, though. There are also other resorts you can choose from.

blue circle with white number 2 in the middle Yoga & Relaxation: San Pancho

Located in the heart of the Riviera Nayarit on the Pacific Coastline, San Pancho is the perfect getaway for wellness gurus, especially those who practice yoga. It’s unlike neighboring cities, Puerto Vallarta or Sayulita, that have become somewhat overpopulated meccas for yogis. San Pancho is still one of Mexico’s hidden gems, offering a different kind of peace and relaxation. However, San Pancho isn’t an overdeveloped destination, either. It’s surrounded by natural beauty, so you can really take a break from it all and destress with its spectacular and serene views.

blue circle with the white number 3 in the middle Remote Beaches & Scuba Diving: Isla Mujeres

Looking for a scuba experience as gorgeous as Cancun but with fewer party animals? Check out Isla Mujeres, a smaller beach less than eight miles away from popular resorts in Quintana Roo, but worlds less chaotic. You can hang out by the water or revel in one of the village’s unique attractions, including an underwater sculpture museum. While there, you also have a chance to swim with whale sharks. Isla Mujeres marks one of the only destinations in the world where that’s an option.

beach with palm trees at isla mujeres

blue circle with the white number 4 in the middle Wilderness & Hiking Adventures: Copper Canyon

Have you been to the Grand Canyon? If you’ve experienced its vastness, you may be shocked to hear Mexico’s Copper Canyon is, somehow, four times its size. The crazy part is that no one seems to know about it. This means you’ll have the views and hikes to yourself when you visit. Depending on your travel budget, we recommend taking the El Chepe train, the only passenger railway in Mexico, to see the vast wilderness. It stops along the way, so you can take a few days to explore the country’s six canyons. 

While visiting the canyons, you likely won’t be near a medical facility if you get sick or injured along the trail. Getting a travel insurance policy that covers your adventures will give you 24/7 access to an emergency assistance team. They will be on-call to help you find the nearest hospital or arrange a medical evacuation if needed. 

You can get a free quote and compare policies from the top providers with our simple-to-use tool by clicking the button below. 

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blue circle with the white number 5 in the middle Historical Experiences: Merida

While Mexico is famous for its beautiful shores, it also has a rich history worth exploring. If you’re more interested in wandering ancient ruins that transport you to the country’s past, try Merida. It’s also considered one of the safest cities in Mexico, so you can have peace of mind traveling to this location.

Merida is located in the Yucatan state–a colonial town that dates back to the 16th century. The town is bursting with museums, churches, historical sites, and other captivating ruins. While there, you can take a free walking tour of the city (they start at 9am every day at the Merida Tourism Office), peruse the Museum of the Mayan World, take in a reenactment of the traditional Mayan ball game Pok Ta’ Pok, or enjoy a night of dancing in one of the town’s weekly fiestas.

architectural yellow building in Merida, Mexico

Have you traveled to one of these hidden gems in Mexico? Tell us about your experience by sharing your story and tagging us on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

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