How to Spend Two Weeks in Mexico

If dusty towns of crumbling mud-brick houses and vast expanses of desert are what come to mind when you think of Mexico, then it’s time to get some fresh perspective. This vibrant Central American country is more than just tequilerias, taco stands, and Old Spanish churches. It’s also mountains and coasts, bustling cities and magical towns, colourful markets and world-class restaurants worthy of Michelin stars.

It’s impossible to see all of Mexico in 14 days, but that’s still plenty of time to experience some of its highlights. Joining a guided tour is a great start, since it’s the best way to get an authentic taste of Mexico and all its magic.

Travel to: Mexico

Spend time at sea in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta- Two Weeks in Mexico

  • Recommended length of visit: At least 2 days

Movie stars have long flocked to Puerto Vallarta’s cobbles for its artsy vibe and amazing food, and the word has spread to regular travellers seeking a less hectic version of Cancun—though don’t take that to mean that Puerto Vallarta denizens don’t know how to party. The city has managed to keep its small-town feel, and the only towers here are the resorts that line its beaches.

Though it may seem like you’ll never be able to spend enough time here, a couple of days is a good start.  Spend one day frollicking in the sparkling waters of Banderas Bay – maybe for snorkelling, paddleboarding, and swimming at sea, and then another exploring the town and sampling its culinary scene. 

Wander the streets of San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende- Two Weeks in Mexico
Photo credit: aljuarez on Visual Hunt / CC BY
  • Recommended length of visit: At least 24 hours

Expats flock to the charming streets of this highland city, whose pueblo magico title was replaced only with a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation.  Is it its colourful colonial architecture, or its thriving art scene that appeals to travellers? It’s both and more. San Miguel de Allende attracts artists, gourmands, and the discerning set as much as casual weekenders.

With just one day here, make sure quirky sights such as the Church of Jimmy Ray, Mask Museum of San Miguel and La Esquina Toy Museum are on your must-see list.  Pop into one of San Miguel’s markets to fill your stomach, and even take a dip in the hot springs of La Gruta before tucking in for the night.

Mix it up in Mexico City

Mexico City- Two Weeks in Mexico
Photo credit: katiebordner on Visual Hunt / CC BY
  • Recommended length of visit: At least 2 days

Two days is hardly enough to do Mexico City’s diverse offerings justice. but no Mexico tour is complete without spending some time here. This captivating capital is a true cosmopolis, what with the multiculturalism and counterculturalism that emanates from its food, architecture, and communities.

Get lost in the city’s historic core to see some of its stunning architecture, visit its varying neighbourhoods, like bohemian Coyoacán and hip Roma, and splurge on its top-notch restaurants (though economical eateries and market stalls are just as terrific). There are many spots you mustn’t miss, so try and squeeze in as much as you can.

Eat and drink your way through Oaxaca

Oaxaca- Two Weeks in Mexico
Photo credit: @eduardorobles on VisualHunt / CC BY
  • Recommended length of visit: At least 2 days

At this point in your trip, you’ll have realised that it isn’t possible to tour Mexico without eating your way around. The entire country is a frenzy of foodie wonders, and a big part of the Mexico experience is simply to partake. Travelling from Mexico City to Oaxaca is going from one gastronomical great to another, as Oaxacan cuisine is legendary.

Sample the weird and wonderful; from ants and grasshoppers to tlayudas and mole, as well as treating yourself to a drink or three since Oaxaca is also home to great coffee, delicious chocolate and of course, the smoky flavours of mezcal.

Cool down in the highlands of Chiapas

Chiapas- Two Weeks in Mexico
Photo credit: MandoBarista on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA
  • Recommended length of visit: At least 2 days

From Oaxaca, head east to Chiapas,  where the mountains and rainforest hide archaeological and colonial treasures you’re lucky to visit. Take in San Cristóbal de las Casas, which sits in the region’s heart, or explore the ruins of a Mayan city-state. The charming town is known not only for its architecture, but also for its artisanal flair.

Take your time walking its cobbled streets paved with beautiful structures such as the San Cristóbal Cathedral and Los Altos Museum. Even carve out some time exploring the caves just a stone’s throw away from town. But definitely dedicate a few hours to satisfy your inner shopaholic—the town is known for its colourful Handicrafts Market.

Explore the mystic jungles of Palenque

Palenque- Two Weeks in Mexico
Photo credit: MandoBarista on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA
  • Recommended length of visit: At least 2 days

From San Cristóbal de las Casas, hit the road to the archaeological site of Palenque, five hours away. Though not as grand as Chichen Itza, this mythological complex is just as stunning, peppered with Mayan temples and long-abandoned palaces.

Nearby are a few waterfalls worth visiting and photographing, like the Sombrillas Waterfalls and Queen’s Bath. Make sure you spend a bit of time at the Misol-Ha Waterfalls, where you might take a cool dip.

Plunge in the colours of Merida

Merida- Two Weeks in Mexico

  • Recommended length of visit: At least 24 hours

Merida is one of those towns that truly dazzle you, from its multicoloured streets to its surprising food scene. This Yucatan city is just the place to start winding down from your otherwise-hectic exploration of Mexico. A small town vibe prevails, and colonial architecture provides countless chances for sightseeing and impromptu photo shoots.

Adopt a languid pace and meander along the self-proclaimed Champs-Élysées of Yucatan, Paseo de Montejo, visit the Gran Museo de Mundo Maya Merida, and dine like royalty in between. If the Sandman doesn’t pay you a visit, there are cool bars to keep your nights occupied where you can sample mezcal drinks.

Find your center in Tulum

Tulum- Two Weeks in Mexico

  • Recommended length of visit: At least 2 days

End your tour on a relaxing note. Skip Cancun or even Playa del Carmen and make a beeline for the town of Tulum, Mexico’s yoga and fitness capitol and centre of bohemian lifestyle. Here, eco-friendly hotels, yoga retreats, delicious al fresco restaurants and artisanal shops line bicycle-friendly roads; just the ticket for unwinding.

Park yourself in a hammock-trimmed boutique resort, preferably one right on the beach, and spend your last two days alternating between napping in a beach cabana, feasting on healthy tacos and yummy margaritas, and swimming in the shallow waters of its aquamarine beach. 

When it’s time to head home, it may feel like no time at all has gone by, but, if you’ve done Mexico right, you’re sure to be returning with countless unforgettable experiences under your belt. And, if you still feel like you haven’t seen enough of all this incredible country has to offer, there’s always next time!

Did we miss any must-see Mexican spots? Let us know in the comments!

Michelle is Los Angeles-based writer, editor, and photographer with a bad case of wanderlust. Her dream, next to travelling the world, is to own her own funky, boutique hotel with a small animal sanctuary so she can spend the rest of her days chilling with cats and hedgehogs. Follow her on Instagram .

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