We ended up spending 8 months touring around in the very diverse country of México, about 6000 kms in total. You cannot see everything but we left with the feeling we had seen a lot. You can check the route we follow here.
It was hard to leave Mexico. A country full of wonderful people, amazing culture and delicious food. Whenever a list is made, some things have to be left out. And this list wasn’t an exception. Even though, I think it’s an interesting combination of well-known places and others well off the beaten path. In conclusion, it is my personal opinion based on my experience touring around the country. I hope you like it.
10. Lagos de Montebello (Chiapas)
There are more than 50 lakes in the park. Some of them are famous and you are even charged to see them (where else in the world they charge you to see a lake?). But for those travelling on a bicycle, this area is great to explore on 2 wheels. You only need to know how to get to the best spots without having to pay to do so.
From Comitán you need to head east and take a secondary road to a little town called “El Triunfo”. Once there, the next town is “El Naranjo”. The dirt road starts here, but so do the beautiful forest, the lakes and the numerous great camping spots to spend the night at. Our favourite, the “Laguna Ojo de Agua”. Ah, and coming this way you enter the park through the back door and don’t need to pay.
9. Mayan World (Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatán, Quintana Roo)
The mayan ruins are one of the main reasons that tourists visit Chiapas and the Yucatan Peninsula. From the seventh wonder of the world “Chichén Itzá” to the spectacular Palenque ruins, Uxmal, the Puuc route, Cobá, Ek Balam… The list is long. The ruins are totally worth it. The famous ones are completely packed with tourists and the prices seem to get higher and higher every year. If you are on a tight budget, in an old post we talked about how to visit Chichén Itzá for free.
A group of ruins that deserves a special mention is Yaxchilán. The place is well out of the tourist trail and the journey to get there is simply stunning. Don’t expect any proper trail or any sort of conservation work being done here. The ruins are “being eaten” by the jungle. A 45-minutes boat ride in the Usumacinta river from Frontera Corozal is the only way to access the ruins. We had very bad luck when we got there, as it started to rain heavily and we could only visit a fraction of the site.
8. Sierra Madre (Oaxaca)
The section between the city of Oaxaca and the Pacific coast was the one I enjoyed the most on the bike while cycling in Mexico. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not an easy path, you have to climb to 3000 meters and some parts are over 12%. The very little traffic, pure air, the small villages you cycle through and the stunning views made the effort really worth it.
7. Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende (Guanajuato)
México has plenty of beautiful cities but these two are out of the league. There isn’t any color missing in the streets of Guanajuato or San Miguel, where the colonial arquitecture joins the “adoquin-type” paths to make travellers think they are in a dream.
Both cities are quite expensive for mexican standards but it’s money well spent. Guanajuato probably has more sights to see, like it’s underground paths or the mummies museum while San Miguel is simply an open-air museum.
6. Hiking on the beach from Tulum to Punta Allen (Quintana Roo)
The Riviera Maya has probably the best beaches in the whole country. Unfortunately, most of them have been invaded by the all-inclusive resorts, as a consequence the beaches are totally packed with people.
The Sian Ka’an reserve is one of the few spots that still remain protected and without any development. We decided to explore on our own the section between Tulum and Punta Allen in a 4-days hike on the beach. It was an amazing experience, I 100% recommended it to those wanting to find solitude in paradise.
5. The Huasteca Potosina (San Luis Potosí)
Imagine a place without tourists, without the noise of cars, covered by different tones of green and where the sky is covered by thousands of stars every night. A place where you can drink the water straight from the river and where you camp next to a waterfall each night. Add wonderful people and cheap delicious food on top of that, Welcome to the Husteca Potosina.
The Huasteca real gem hidden in central Mexico. There is no tourist infrastructure and Lonely Planet doens’t even know about it yet. We explored the area in 7 days and we hardly saw any other tourist. Go now before it gets too popular.
4. Sailing the Sea of Cortez
It took us 3 days to sail the distance between La Paz and Mazatlán, but it could have lasted for a week and that wouldn’t have disturbed us a bit. Life in open sea is just a pleasure. It was only Russel, Amanda and myself onboard the catamaran Mohini. There was plenty of room and we had our own compartment. We spent the days looking at the endless horizon and spotting dolphins, marlins and mobula rays jumping out of the water. We were lucky enough to catch a tuna. It was an unforgetable experience.
3. Laguna Ojo de Liebre (Baja California Sur)
The lagoon is the place where every year, between the months of January and March, the grey whales come to give birth. The encounters are very special, in small groups and small boats, being able to touch these marine giants.
Apart from the whales, the environment around the lagoon plays an important role as well. There are no houses or any sort of civilization only the “Casa Mexicana de la Ballena Gris”, a restaurant and camp for the tour operators. It’s a 100% pure natural environment, the air is pure and fresh, the night sky is filled with thousands of stars and the sunsets and sunrises are like very few in this world. We went for 1 day and we ended up staying 2 weeks.
2. Espíritu Santo Island (Baja California Sur)
Those who love nature and adventure have a reason to visit in the south of the Sea of Cortez: Espíritu Santo Island and it’s neighbor island, Partida. Situated 20 kms away from La Paz, these islands present white sand beaches and crystal clear waters without any tourists around. They are perfect to be explored on your own.
It’s the ideal place to get away from everything for a few days or in our case, a week. During your visit, there will be numerous encounters with dolphins, mobula rays, turtles and sea lions. In the afternoon, choose your favorite beach to camp or try your luck fishing for your dinner. Life was never as simple and beautiful as in Espíritu Santo and Partida islands.
1. Scuba Diving in the Cenotes (Quintana Roo)
The Mayans considered the cenotes sacred. For them, they represented the gate to the other world. In my opinion, they were totally right. Once you get yourself in the waters, you enter a new world you never even thought it could exist.
Even after diving in different parts of the world, I had never experienced anything close to the cenotes in Mexico. They are truly impressive. There is nothing similar to them. The pictures don’t show the full beauty of the place. You have to feel it, see it with your own eyes, to understand the magic of these underground water channels.