Visiting Mexico should be on most travellers’ bucket lists. No matter what you want from a vacation, it’ll give it to you! After all, it’s home to incredible Mayan culture, a delicious cuisine, and some of the most inspiring encounters with nature you could ever imagine.
With that in mind, we’ve decided to take a look at the five most unique experiences in Mexico. Hopefully, it’ll help you to plan out your trip and really make the most of your vacation in this beautiful country! And if you’re planning to have a place to stay and relax after a day tour, you can head over to some of the best Hostels in Mexico City, Mexico.
Whale Shark Tour
If you’re looking for an unforgettable encounter with nature, then here’s one of the best unique experiences in Mexico for you. Travel to Quintana Roo between May and September and there’s every chance you’ll get to swim alongside the biggest fish in the world. Yes, the whale shark!
Swimming with sharks might sound scary, but this is no great white. The whale shark is a gentle giant and it’ll be more interesting in gorging itself with plankton than anything else. The huge spotted fish particularly enjoys the warm waters where the Caribbean Sea meets the Gulf of Mexico around Isla Mujeres and Contoy.
So as to give you the best experience possible, whale shark tours are limited to small groups of no more than ten people and they’re always supervised by professional guides who know the animals inside out. This will give you the best chance of swimming and snorkeling with these awesome creatures. It’s bound to be an unforgettable experience and one to tick off the bucket list!
Visit Chichen Itza, one of the seven wonders of the world
No trip to Mexico is complete without visiting the ruins of Chichen Itza. Right in the centre of the Yucatan Peninsula, this ancient city is one of the jewels in Mexico’s crown, having been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1989. This important archaeological site is over 1,500 years old and the highlight is undoubtedly its impressive centrepiece – the temple of Kukulcan. Also known as El Castillo, it’s a 30-metre-tall pyramid with 91 steps on each side.
However, there’s more to the city than the pyramid. You’ll need a few hours to properly explore the site, which includes an enormous ball court where Mayans used to play sports, the Warriors Temple, and the Observatory. And that’s still not really getting started! You’ll also be able to enjoy natural attractions at Chichen Itza – there are two cenotes on site. However, when you see the colour of them, you won’t be disappointed that you didn’t bring your swimsuit!
Sian Ka’An Biosphere Reserve
Looking for a unique experience in Mexico’s Maya Riviera that combines Mayan history with wildlife watching and relaxing boat trips? Then it looks like you should be heading to Sian Ka’An Biosphere Reserve. It’s another UNESCO World Heritage site! Made up of tropical forests, marshes, and mangroves, as well as a barrier reef in the marine section, there are few places in Quintana Roo that are better if you’re looking to spot wildlife on your Mexico adventure.
With flora and fauna aplenty, look out for big cats such as the jaguar, puma, and ocelot. If these prove to be too elusive, also keep an eye out for the Central American tapir, iguanas, and countless species of birds. And we haven’t even got into the water yet! If you’re really lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the endangered West Indian Manatee, one of four species of nesting marine turtles, or countless species of fish. Go with a local guide for the best chance of spotting wildlife from a boat trip on the lagoon!
Monarch Butterfly Journey
Every September, Monarch butterflies head south from the cold winters of the USA and Canada and call Quintana Roo their temporary home. This amazing natural event has to be seen to believed, but the good news is, you can see it while visiting gorgeous colonial towns too! Hundreds of thousands of these stripey orange insects fly over 2,500km for their winter holiday!
You can take part in weeklong tours that will guarantee you sightings of these stunning butterflies. First stop is Piedra Herrada, a Monarch butterfly sanctuary, one of the most important reserves in the world for the butterfly! Hiking and horse-riding in this gorgeous area gives you the best chance of seeing the Monarchs. You’ll also get the chance to visit traditional colonial towns such as Valle de Bravo. Built around a lake, you can also enjoy water-skiing and kayaking if you are looking for something a little more adrenaline-fuelled!
Temazcal, Maya Ceremony
Last but not least on our list of the 5 most unique experiences in Mexico is a Mayan ceremony which will hopefully see you connect with nature and Mother Earth. Swap the hustle and bustle of the city for the heart of the jungle, where you’ll participate in a Temazcal Ritual, one of Mexico’s most important antique traditions. Not only will you experience a different side to Mexican culture, but you’ll take part in something that is believed to purify the body and improve health.
The igloo shaped temazcal is said to represent the stomach of Mother Earth, where you may even feel reborn after the ceremony. Just be aware that Temazcal rituals can get very hot! Water is poured on hot rocks that can get over 1,000 degrees Celsius, so it’s best to leave that part to the Chaman! Hopefully, after taking part in the Ancient Mayan cleansing ritual, you’ll feel like a new person!
So, now you know more about the five best activities in Mexico…
You’ll want to get planning your trip. If you’re a little overwhelmed by planning your trips, don’t worry. And if you’d like to have a nature focus on your trip, there’s nowhere better to give you a helping hand than Eco Travel Mexico. With exclusive tours for small groups and personalized attention, your trip is surely to live up to and even beyond your wildest dreams. We hope you have an incredible time in Mexico!
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