In nine days, you can enjoy Mexico's best food tours, stroll its most historic districts, and tour its most famous archeological sites. Snack on street food in Mexico City, enjoy the Caribbean beaches of the Riviera Maya or venture deep into the jungles of Chiapas for rafting adventures. You can also follow the tequila trail from historic Guadalajara to the beaches of Puerto Vallarta or spend your time in Oaxaca and witness rich indigenous culture thriving alongside monuments to Spanish-colonial rule.

Itinerary #1: Best of Mexico City & Puebla

This nine-day food, art, and culture tour of Mexico takes you from the taquerías and archeological sites of Mexico city to the Spanish-colonial streets of Cholula and Puebla, which abounds with indigenous culture.

Cholula is just one highlight of this trip
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Mexico City, Visit La Merced Market Mexico City
Day 2 Night Food Tour of Mexico City Mexico City
Day 3 Tour Coyoacán & Xochimilco - Coffee Tasting Mexico City
Day 4 Visit Chapultepec Park Mexico City
Day 5 Bike Tour of Teotihuacán, Pulque Tasting, Transfer to Cholula San Andrés Cholula
Day 6 Cholula Tour & Tortilla Workshop, Transfer to Puebla Puebla
Day 7 Puebla City Tour & Talavera History Puebla
Day 8 Free Day in Puebla Puebla
Day 9 Puebla to Mexico City, Depart  

This whirlwind adventure gets off to a fast (and delicious) start with your arrival in Mexico City. Immediately you'll hit the town and visit the Centro Histórico and Mercado Merced, the largest retail market in the city. Following this is a night food tour of Narvarte, a neighborhood home to some of the best tacos in Mexico City. Then you'll visit the Spanish-colonial neighborhood of Coyoacán and La Casa Azul, the museum that was once the home of Frida Kahlo. Then take a ride down the ancient waterways of Xochimilco, where brightly colored gondolas ply the same waters once traveled by the Aztecs.

On day five, you'll visit the UNESCO World Heritage archeological site of Teotihuacán. Here you'll ride a bicycle around this 8-sq-mile (20-sq-km) ancient city and hike its towering, 215-foot (66-m) Pyramid of the Sun. Then transfer two hours south to Puebla and its neighboring enclave of Cholula, which was settled in 200 BCE. You'll visit highlights like its 16th-century neoclassical church (built atop a 177-foot/54-m pyramid) and participate in a tortilla-making workshop. Then enjoy a walking tour of the Spanish-colonial heart of Puebla before heading home on day nine. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Explore Mexico's Chiapas Region

Over nine days, you'll experience the natural beauty and deep indigenous culture of the southern Mexican state of Chiapas—plus, you'll have time to visit ancient Maya ruins and swim in waterfall lagoons.

Sumidero Canyon is a treasure of Mexico
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Tuxtla, Visit Sumidero Canyon, Transfer to San Cristóbal San Cristóbal
Day 2 Cooking Class in Zinacantán, Free Time in San Cristóbal San Cristóbal
Day 3 Free Day in San Cristóbal San Cristóbal
Day 4 San Cristóbal to Palenque, Stop at Agua Azul & Misol-Ha Palenque
Day 5 Tour Palenque, Visit the Roberto Barrios Waterfalls Palenque
Day 6 Day Trip to Yaxchilán & Bonampak, Transfer to Nahá Nahá
Day 7 Explore the Nahá Biosphere Reserve, Lacandon Fire Ceremony Nahá
Day 8 Lacandon Bow & Arrow Workshop, Transfer to Palenque Palenque
Day 9 Palenque to Villahermosa, Depart  

For this trip, you'll arrive in Tuxtla, the capital of the state of Chiapas, one of Mexico's premier coffee-producing regions. It also abounds with natural beauty, as you'll see on a riverboat ride through Sumidero Canyon, whose 3,300 feet (1,000 m) will leave you breathless. There's much history and indigenous culture to experience here, which you'll get to do on a walking tour of the highland Spanish-colonial town of San Cristóbal. You'll also visit a nearby village and home of a Tzotzil Maya family to tour their farm and learn how to prepare a traditional 5-course meal.

Then you're off to Palenque, the ruins of a Maya city that dates back to 226 BCE. First, you'll stop for a dip at two of the region's most beautiful waterfalls: Agua Azul and Misol-Ha. The archeological theme continues when you head deep into the jungle and visit Yaxchilán, the ruins of a once-powerful city on the Usumacinta River whose heyday was in the 4th-9th centuries. Then you're in for a rare treat when you overnight in a jungle village populated by the Lacandon Maya people. You'll participate in cultural exchange and even learn to make a traditional bow and arrow. Learn more

Itinerary #3: Guadalajara & Puerto Vallarta

Journey to beautiful western Mexico and spend nine days exploring a region as notable for its contributions to Mexican culture and gastronomy as it is its stunning Pacific beaches. 

Finish the trip with some R&R in Puerto Vallarta
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Guadalajara, Optional Activities Guadalajara
Day 2 Walking Tour of Historic Guadalajara & Cacao Tasting Guadalajara
Day 3 Tequila Tour Guadalajara
Day 4 Day Trip to Lake Chapela Guadalajara
Day 5 Day Trip to Teuchitlán-Guachimontones Guadalajara
Day 6 Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta, Optional Activities Puerto Vallarta
Days 7-8 Free Days in Puerto Vallarta Puerto Vallarta
Day 9 Depart Puerto Vallarta  

You'll arrive in Guadalajara, the capital of Mexico's Jalisco state and the "Pearl of the West." Guadalajara was founded in 1542, so there's no shortage of Spanish-colonial cathedrals and other landmarks, which you'll see on a guided tour of its historic center. However, the region of Jalisco is also the birthplace of tequila, and you'll visit the eponymous town on a day trip to tour agave fields and visit distilleries to learn how this spirit is produced. Then you'll head south to Lago de Chapala, the largest lake in Mexico, to visit the charming heritage towns of Chapala and Ajijic and stroll their waterfront boardwalks.

On day five, you'll visit Guachimontones, Jalisco's largest pre-Columbian archeological site. These ruins are unique to Aztec and Maya sites in that the structures are circular rather than pyramidal. After learning about this ancient Teuchitlán culture, continue west to the Pacific Coast and Puerto Vallarta. This popular resort city is famous for its golden beaches, great restaurants, and endless nightlife. Spend your remaining days exploring secluded coves and bays as well as strolling the historic Zona Romántica (Romantic Quarter) to do some shopping and enjoy some fine dining. Learn more

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Itinerary #4: Art & Archeology: Mexico City to Oaxaca

Spend nine days uncovering the art and history of Mexico City and Oaxaca while enjoying nature tours in protected reserves whose ecosystems are unlike anywhere else on earth.

Church of Santo Domingo de Guzman in Oaxaca, Mexico
Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzman in Oaxaca City
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Mexico City Mexico City
Day 2 City Tour & Mural Museum, Lucha Libre & Mezcal Tasting Mexico City
Day 3 Visit Coyoacán & Xochimilco Mexico City
Day 4 Day Trip Teotihuacán, Transfer to Cholula Cholula
Day 5 Day Trip to Tehuacán-Cuicuitlan Reserve, Transfer to Oaxaca Oaxaca
Day 6 Visit Monte Albán, Mezcal Tour Oaxaca
Day 7 Oaxaca City Tour Oaxaca
Day 8 Free Day in Oaxaca Oaxaca
Day 9 Depart Oaxaca  

Spend the first three days of this adventure in Mexico City. You'll see the capital's historical sights, like the Metropolitan Cathedral (which dates to 1573) and 16th-century National Palace. The history trail continues to Coyoacán and Xochimilco, but the main focus will be on Mexico City's artistic legacy. This includes visits to the Diego Rivera Museum, La Casa Azul, and an art walk showcasing murals from famous Mexican artists like Rivera, Orozco, and Siqueiros. A real treat involves a mezcal tasting before heading out to the Arena Mexico for a Lucha Libre wrestling performance. 

On day four, embark on a day trip to Teotihuacán to stroll its Avenue of the Dead and hike up the Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon. Then, on your way to the state of Oaxaca, you'll stop for a hike in the Tehuacan-Cuicatlan Reserve, a unique ecosystem known for its forests of columnar cacti. Marvel at the region's incredible history with a tour of Monte Albán, the ruins of an ancient city that were the capital of the Zapotec people for 13 centuries beginning in 500 BCE. Fast forward to the Spanish-colonial era with tours of Oaxaca City and its 16th-century temples and churches. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Mexican Culture & Beaches

This unforgettable nine-day itinerary celebrates the best of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, including its stunning Riviera Maya, ancient ruins, biosphere reserves, historic cities, and remote islands. 

El Castillo, at the Chichén Itzá archeological site
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cancún, Transfer to Tulum Tulum
Day 2 Chemuyil Cenotes & Tulum Ruins Tulum
Day 3 Day Trip to Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve Tulum
Day 4 Tulum to Valladolid - Cobá Ruins, Culture, & Wildlife Tour Valladolid
Day 5 Morning Tour of Chichén Itzá: Maíz Workshop in Yaxunah Valladolid
Day 6 Walking Tour of Valladolid, Transfer to Holbox Island Holbox
Day 7 Free Day on Holbox Island Holbox
Day 8 Holbox to Puerto Morelos, Optional Activities Puerto Morelos
Day 9 Puerto Morelos to Cancún, Depart  

You'll arrive in the Yucatán Peninsula's famous resort city of Cancún, then hit the road down the Riviera Maya—a stunning section of the Caribbean coast fronted by white-sand beaches—to Tulum. You'll tour this once-dominant Maya city's waterfront fortress ruins and swim in nearby cenotes (limestone sinkholes). Then float down the waterways of the nearby Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve and try to spot howler monkeys and exotic birds in the trees. You'll also visit the archeological site of Cobá and hike up Nohoch Mul, which, at 137 feet (41 m), is the tallest pyramid in the Yucatán.

Then take a 1.5-hour drive north to the historic town of Valladolid, whose well-preserved Spanish-colonial architecture has led to it being designated one of Mexico's Pueblos Mágicos (Magical Towns). Besides touring its 16th-century landmarks, you'll take a day trip to nearby Chichén Itzá, an ancient Maya city dating to the 5th century. Millions of visitors come here annually to marvel at the El Castillo pyramid, which towers 79 feet (24 m). Then head off the tourist trail to the crystalline waters of Holbox Island before snorkeling along the barrier reef in the Caribbean waters at Puerto Morelos. Learn more

Itinerary #6: Southern Baja California: Sea of Cortez Adventure

Venture further west on this nine-day excursion that will take you to some of the hidden gems of the ruggedly beautiful region of Mexico's Baja California. 

The incomparable Playa Balandra, in La Paz
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in La Paz, Transfer to Santiago Santiago
Day 2 La Zorra Canyon & Hot Springs, Transfer to Cabo Frailes Cabo Frailes
Day 3 Cabo Frailes to Punta Arena, Stop in Los Barriles Punta Arena
Day 4 Punta Arena to La Paz, Swim with Whale Sharks La Paz
Day 5 Day Trip to San Rafaelito & Playa Balandra La Paz
Day 6 Day Trip to Espíritu Santo Island La Paz
Day 7-8 La Paz to Isla San José, Beach Camping, Tours Isla San José
Day 9 Isla San José to La Paz, Depart  


This grand tour of Baja California begins not in the tourist hotspot of Los Cabos but further north in the port city of La Paz, home to arguably the most beautiful beaches in the country. First, you'll visit an incredible nature reserve in which you'll hike to incredible desert mountain viewpoints and romantic waterfalls. Then get behind the wheel of a rental car for a self-drive adventure up the rugged coast to remote, unspoiled beaches where you'll camp overnight. Feel free to stop along the way at coastal villages Los Barriles and Buenavista to try a bit of kitesurfing.

Upon returning to La Paz, you'll hop on a boat tour to swim with whale sharks—the largest fish in the sea. Follow that with a swim and nature hike around Playa Balandra, whose vast expansive crystalline waters are the stuff of dreams. The pace doesn't slow, as on day six, you'll do some dolphin spotting and reef snorkeling around Isla Espíritu Santo. There's more castaway adventure in store as you spend your last couple of days camping under the stars on a beach at San José Island, whose waters abound with underwater marine life like tropical fish, turtles, and even whales. Learn more

More Great Mexico Itineraries

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


Map of 9 Days in Mexico - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 9 Days in Mexico - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas