If you have five days to spend in Mexico, you can get to know one region or major cultural hub. Focus your energy on exploring Mexico City, take a family-oriented vacation to the Riviera Maya, go snorkeling and kayaking in Puerto Vallarta, get off the beaten path in beautiful Chiapas, or trace the footsteps of the Maya on the Yucatán Peninsula. Learn more about what to do and where to go with these five unique itineraries.

Itinerary #1: Colors of Mexico City

On this whirlwind tour of Mexico's sprawling capital city, you'll see mysterious pyramids at Teotihuacán, learn about Aztec and Maya history at the world-class National Anthropology Museum, and visit Frida Kahlo's one-time home and art studio.

Overlooking the Zócalo in downtown Mexico City
Overlooking the Zócalo in downtown Mexico City
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival to Mexico City - Anthropology Museum Mexico City
Day 2 Mexico City: Teotihuacán Archaeological Site – Basilica of Guadalupe Mexico City
Day 3 Mexico City: Coyoacán Visit - Anahuacalli Museum - Frida Kahlo’s House Mexico City
Day 4 Mexico City: Visit of Xochimilco canals - Murals of Mexico - Cuicuilco  Mexico City
Day 5 Transfer to Mexico City's airport  

Your adventure begins with a guided tour of the National Anthropology Museum, where you'll get an overview of Aztec and Maya history. Have a siesta back at the hotel, and in the evening, have dinner in one of Mexico City's many excellent restaurants, followed by a stroll through the beautifully illuminated historic center. You'll head to the pyramids of Teotihuacán on Day 2 to learn about one of the country's most impressive archaeological sites, then visit the Basilica of Guadalupe on your way back to the city. 

On Day 3, head south to the vibrant neighborhood of Coyoacán, best known as the one-time home of Frida Kahlo. You'll tour her house and art studio, learn about her relationship with fellow painter Diego Rivera, and stop for a deep-fried quesadilla in the local market. Day 4 takes you to Xochimilco, where you'll cruise down forest-lined canals on a traditional boat, hearing mariachi music and enjoying Mexican snacks during the journey. Before heading back to the city center for one last dinner, stop to see some of the iconic works of David Alfaro Siqueiros, a Marxist Mexican muralist. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Family Vacation in the Yucatán Peninsula 

Bring the whole family on this sunshine-filled vacation on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, featuring fun activities like swimming through water-filled caves and cruising through the mangrove in a protected biological reserve—and lots of time to relax on the beach, too.

A peaceful beach in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
A peaceful beach in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Cancún Playa del Carmen
Day 2 Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve Playa del Carmen
Day 3 Free Day in Playa del Carmen Playa del Carmen
Day 4 Explore Rio Secreto Playa del Carmen
Day 5 Departure from Mexico  

The trip begins in Cancún, bordered by the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean. Take some time to relax on the beach before you move onto Playa del Carmen—a short drive south—where you'll be based for the rest of the trip. On Day 2, go for an excursion to Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve: You'll see the archaeological site of Muyil, hike along a jungle path to a turquoise lagoon, and ride a motorboat to the mangrove. After lunch in a local restaurant, head back to town to relax at your hotel in Playa del Carmen. 

Take a free day in the middle of the itinerary to experience the charm of Playa del Carmen. Eat street tacos, relax on the beach, or side-trip to nearby cenotes, and at night, stroll along the busy pedestrian promenade, lined with shops, restaurants, and bars. On Day 4, drive to Río Secreto to see an extraordinary underground river that's home to thousands of stalactites and stalagmites. Swim and hike inside the caves, then go back to Playa del Carmen and go out on the town one last time before the trip ends. Learn more

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Itinerary #3: Peaceful Puerto Vallarta 

Soak up the sun on this laid-back itinerary featuring snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, and stargazing in the beautiful beach area of Puerto Vallarta.

A stretch of coastline in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
A stretch of coastline in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Get settled in Mexico Puerto Vallarta
Day 2 Adventure in the Marietas Islands Puerto Vallarta
Day 3 Live cultural performance Puerto Vallarta
Day 4 Relax in Puerto Vallarta Puerto Vallarta
Day 5 See you soon!  

Arrive in Puerto Vallarta, a popular resort town on Mexico’s Pacific coast in the state of Jalisco. After checking in to your hotel, head down to the beach to relax or walk through town, stopping into local shops along the way. At night, feast on freshly caught seafood and stop for drinks along the Malecón waterfront promenade. On Day 2, you'll take a boat to the uninhabited Marietas Islands and have the chance to kayak and snorkel around the islands' caves. Try standup paddleboarding and go for a swim before heading back to town.

Relax on the beach on Day 3 before attending a cultural show at a once-in-a-lifetime venue—an amphitheater in the heart of the rainforest. You'll see a unique theatrical presentation incorporating Indigenous music, dance, and acrobatics. Afterward, head back to Puerto Vallarta for a nightcap with an ocean view. On the last full day of the trip, you're free to relax on the beach, shop, and sightsee. Stop into the picturesque Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe church, and don't miss the sunset over the water! Learn more

Itinerary #4: Highlights of Chiapas

If you're interested in Indigenous cultures, photogenic landscapes, and colorful marketplaces, don't miss this trip in and around Chiapas, Mexico.

Chiflón Waterfalls in Chiapas, Mexico
Chiflón Waterfalls in Chiapas, Mexico
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Sumidero Canyon & Chiapa de Corzo San Cristobal de las Casas
Day 2 Walking tour of San Cristobal de las Casas San Cristobal de las Casas
Day 3 Visit San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan indigenous towns San Cristobal de las Casas
Day 4 Excursion to Montebello Lakes and El Chiflón Waterfalls San Cristobal de las Casas
Day 5 Departure from Mexico  

The journey starts with an outdoor adventure. A driver will transport you to a motorboat dock; climb aboard for a trip along Grijalva River and the breathtaking Sumidero Canyon, a natural formation that dates back 136 million years. Keep your eyes open for river crocodiles and spider monkeys. Tour charming Chiapa de Corzo before the next day's itinerary in colonial San Cristobal de las Casas. On a walking tour, you'll stop at museums and shop for handicrafts and textiles at an open-air marketplace.

On Day 3, you'll visit a pair of Indigenous villages in the highlands of Chiapas: San Juan Chamula, a Tzotzil community of pre-Hispanic origin, and San Lorenzo Zinacantán, where you'll stop into a local home to learn more about handicraft and textile traditions. Head back to San Cristobal de las Casas for dinner. Venture to Lagos de Montebello (Montebello Lakes) on the last full day of the trip: The UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is home to 59 lakes. In the afternoon, continue onto El Chiflón Waterfalls to admire the tallest waterfalls in Chiapas. Return to San Cristobal de las Casas for one last evening in Mexico before you catch a flight out the following day. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Archaeological Maya Journey

On this educational itinerary that takes you to archaeological sites and picturesque cenotes filled with aquamarine water, you'll learn about the history of the Maya people and their culture.

Chichen Itza, a highlight of any cultural tour of the Yucatán
Chichen Itza, a highlight of any cultural tour of the Yucatán
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Bienvenidos a México! From Cancún to Valladolid Valladolid
Day 2 Visit the stunning archaeological site of Chichén Itzá & Yokdzonot Cenote Mérida
Day 3 Uxmal and Kabah archaeological sites Mérida
Day 4 The beauty of Mérida & Izamal Valladolid
Day 5 Cancún International Airport: Adiós Mexico!  

Begin your adventure in Valladolid, a two-hour transfer from the airport. Visit the town's charming Spanish colonial buildings, including the 16th-century Convent of San Bernardino of Siena and the baroque-style San Gervasio Cathedral, then sample regional street food in the plaza next to the Parque Francisco Canton. On Day 2, you'll tour the Maya ruins of Chichén Itzá, once the most venerated center of worship and pilgrimage on the Yucatán Peninsula. Visit the Pyramid of Kukulkán and the Temple of the Warriors before traveling to Yokdzonot Cenote for a refreshing afternoon dip.

Move on to the archaeological site of Uxmal, one of the largest cities of the Yucatán Peninsula: at its peak, the city was home to approximately 20,000 Mayans. On the last full day of the trip, you will explore Mérida, a symbol of the Maya legacy: You'll learn about religious history, and visit the cathedral, the main square, and the government hall, filled with incredible paintings. Finish in the "Yellow City" of Izamal, a small colonial city built in the middle of the 16th century on the ruins of a Maya city. Head back to Valladolid for dinner and drinks before the next day's flight home. Learn more

More Great Mexico Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Mexico? Check out these other five-day Mexico itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.


Map of 5 Days in Mexico - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 5 Days in Mexico - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas