If you’ve been thinking about a trip to Mexico, but aren’t sure which parts of the country to choose, we’ve got you covered with our quick guide to where to stay in Mexico. We’ve covered our four favourite places, Mexico City, Puebla, Oaxaca and Tulum.
Want to travel but no time to plan? Check out our Mexico small group tours here
Cosmopolitan, cultured and a little bit crazy, there’s no better place to kick off your trip than Mexico City. D.F., as it’s known to the locals, has it all – colonial-era buildings now transformed to boutique hotels and chic cafes, Instagram-worthy street art, hole-in-the-wall bars where you can sip on local spirits or Mexican-brewed craft beers and a whole host of public spaces perfect for people watching.
There’s so much to do here, you’ll miss out if you only spend the night, stay a few days and visit intriguing museums, take a boat ride to the floating gardens and don’t miss out on a Lucha libra match.
Get out and explore the city’s neighbourhoods – Condesa for its cafes, Roma for its hipster art scene and Coyoacan – the birthplace of Frida Kahlo.
Where to stay in Mexico City
Hotel Barcelo Reforma
When choosing where to stay in Mexico City, it’s all about location. Hotel Barcelo Reforma is a luxury five-star property located on the Paseo de la Reforma, where you can walk to many of the city’s main sites in the historic district and then end the day with a swim in the hotel’s rooftop pool.
Just two hours from Mexico City, Puebla, until recently, was seen as a day trip from Mexico City. But stay a little longer and you’ll see why for many people Puebla has become Mexico’s coolest city.
Puebla is a dream destination for foodies as it’s one of the best places in the country to try traditional cuisine. Puebla is the self-proclaimed birthplace of molé - a typically Mexican sauce made with over 20 ingredients including spices, chilli and chocolate. And, if you have a sweet tooth, save time to check out Calle de los Dulces and entire street dedicated to sweets.
With over 70 churches and some interesting museums and galleries, there’s plenty to see and do in the city. But take a trip to the outskirts and you’ll find Iztaccíhuatl-Popocatépetl National Park where you can spend the day hiking with views of two of Mexico’s largest volcanoes.
Puebla has a thriving nightlife scene with small bars, speakeasies and live music venues. Head out into the night to mix with locals. One of our favourite places is La Pasita – a tiny bar serving a unique drink made from raisin liqueur with a cube of salty cheese as a garnish.
Where to stay in Mexico – Puebla
Converted from a colonial-era building to a boutique hotel, Casa Reyna is a pleasure to explore, with minimalist design and Mexican artworks adorning the walls. After a day spent sight-seeing, it’s an oasis of tranquility where you can relax poolside or unwind with a spa treatment.
Want to know where to stay in Mexico to experience traditional and indigenous culture? Make sure Oaxaca is on your list. Pronounced wah-HAH-kah, Oaxaca is a fascinating cultural hub where you can spend your days exploring open air markets, wandering the cobble-stoned streets stopping to sample local bites, visiting galleries where you can watch local artists work and, when night falls, swing by a traditional cantina to sip on locally-produced mezcal.
Oaxaca is the best place in Mexico to experience the famous Day of the Dead festival. The celebration feels more authentic than Mexico City and Oaxaca has some of the most spiritual and unique traditions. Explore the festival with us on our Day of the Dead trip in October.
Where to stay in Mexico - Oaxaca
Parador de Alcala
Located in the heart of the historic centre, in a converted 18th century mansion, Parador de Alcala has everything you need for the perfect stay. There are just 21 rooms, an outdoor pool and terrace with glorious 360-degree views of the city below. Each morning you’ll start your day with a traditional Oaxacan breakfast, perfect fuel for a day of exploring.
Oh Tulum, what’s not to love about its palm-fringed coastline, spectacular cenotes, eco-chic resorts and laidback beach bars? For us, there’s no better place to end your Mexican adventure. Spend a few days cycling around town or to little fishing villages, exploring nearby Mayan ruins, kayaking through the Sian Ka’an nature reserve or perfecting your yoga poses by the beach. Whatever you choose, you’ll be sad to leave this Mexican idyll.
There’s no doubt that swimming in a cenote is an essential experience in Tulum, which is why they can sometimes get pretty crowded. For a chance at a tranquil swim, head out early before the crowds arrive or late in the afternoon, after they’ve left. And, explore some of the lesser-known spots like Cenote Calavera or Cenote Cristal and Escondido
Where to stay in Mexico - Tulum
Amansala Wellness Resort & Spa
And breathe. Located right on the beach, Amansala is the place to relax by the beach, take part in a yoga class or even take advantage of their personal training sessions if you feel like all those tacos have taken their toll on your waistline! It’s well located for exploring the town or nearby Mayan ruins and, when you get back to the resort, you’ll love the selection of fresh, local and healthy food on offer.