Top 5 Under-the-Radar Cities to Visit in Mexico

In Culture, Magical Towns by Suzanne Koch

Mexico’s brimming with sunny beaches and cosmopolitan cities, boasting plenty to see and do. While its more popular destinations like San Miguel de Allende and Los Cabos have become globally known and loved, there’s an array of places still yet to be seen. Here, we rounded up five lesser-known locales that rival the big shots and are worth adding to your bucket list.

If You Love Oaxaca – Puerto Escondido

A popular destination for surfers, Puerto Escondido is home to one of the largest and best surf breaks across the globe. The laidback beach town is located along the Oaxacan coast and maintains its under-the-radar status due to a lack of large resorts and direct flights from the United States or Canada. Even non-surfers can enjoy the town which boasts plenty of local eateries and nearby locales for outdoor exploring.

If You Love Tulum – Bacalar

Also known as the Lagoon of Seven Colors, this magical destination is located about 2.5 hours from Tulum near the Belize border. Highlighted by its stunning blue-green water that changes colors throughout the day, this place is downright beautiful if nothing else. While this town doesn’t have a beach per-say, it’s lagoon-side location provides plenty of opportunities to explore the water by boat, kayak, snorkeling and more. The sleepy fishing town is sure to become the next big destination so go before it does.

If You Love Mexico City – Guadalajara

As Mexico’s second largest city (behind Mexico City), Guadalajara offers all of the cosmopolitan attractions of the country’s capital but on a smaller scale and with far fewer tourists. The authentic city is knowns for its vibrant arts and culture scene, along with its growing tech scene. Not to mention, as one of the believed birthplaces of mariachi music, expect an upbeat and welcoming atmosphere. Guadalajara is also conveniently located near Tequila, so visitors can take a quick day trip to sip Mexico’s iconic spirit right where it’s made.

If You Love Cabo – La Paz

Located two hours north of Cabo along the Sea of Cortez, La Paz has consistently lived in the shadow of its mega-popular neighbor. But, for those looking for a quieter town free of spring break crowds and all-inclusive resorts, La Paz shines. Boasting one of the top marine biology programs, the destination is unsurprisingly a haven for aquatic nature. Snorkeling, swimming, sailing, scuba diving and fishing are all part of daily life here. Soon, it will welcome a wellness resort emphasizing the diverse landscape.

If You Love San Miguel de Allende – Guanajuato City

You’ve likely seen photos of Guanajuato City and mistaken it for its famous counterpart San Miguel de Allende. Why? The two cities are both located in the state of Guanajuato and has a lot of the same charming features including cobblestone streets, colonial architecture, beautiful churches and bright-colored buildings. But unlike its popular nearby neighbor, Guanajuato City is much-less traveled. As the capital city, the historic destination is packed with plenty of rich culture. Don’t miss the popular Callejón del Beso, a legendary site of a local tale that rivals that of Romeo and Juliet.

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