15 Unusual and Mind Blowing Places in Mexico

Forget everything you think you know about Mexico. From lost cities deep in the jungle, to fjord-like cliffs and underground swimming pools — this enthralling country has far more to offer than resort packages (fabulous as they may be). Who could’ve guessed that the second most visited country in the world is underestimated?

Planning a trip? Skratch has partnered with Sherpa to offer simple, trusted visa applications. Get your Mexico eVISA here.


As Mexico’s culinary capital, the best way to experience Oaxaca is by trying the city’s unique food. From mezcal cocktails to the ‘seven moles of Oaxaca’ (like a dark sauce containing several ingredients), the menus at Oaxaca are a far cry from the Tex-Mex trend.

Oaxaca is mostly walkable, and you’ll find that the majority of restaurants are based in the historic centre. In between sightseeing and market exploring, you’re have plenty of opportunities to satisfy your flavour curiosity.

Andador Turístico, Oaxaca.

Las Coloradas

Mexico has plenty of beaches available for you to pick — but none more unusual than the pink lake in Yucatán. The manmade salt water lakes are at their most vibrant during the early afternoon. No rose-tinted glasses are necessary.

Las Coloradas, Río Lagartos, Yucatán.

Chichén Itzá

A journey through Mexico is incomplete without visiting its most famous landmark. Considered to be one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, this complex of Mayan Ruins provides breath-taking insight into life pre-Columbia.

Chichén Itzá, Yucatán.

Hierve el Agua

Imagine an infinity pool but make it natural. So long as you don’t swim too close to the edge of these waterfalls, you’ll find the freshwater springs quite refreshing. Everyone’s desperate to get a solitary shot of them, the water, and the great range of mountains in the distance.

Hierve el Agua, Oaxaca.


Cenotes are not exclusive to Mexico, but they played an essential role in Ancient Mayan culture. Its dual symbolism can still be felt today — as there is something both awe-inspiring and isolating about swimming inside these hidden caves.

Cenote Bolonchoojol in Cuzamá, Yucatán.

Valle de Guadalupe

It’s nicknamed “The Napa Valley of Mexico”, but Valla de Guadalupe brings its own flavours to the table. Responsible for around 90% of the country’s wine production, a great variety of grapes are grown here. Its most famous drink — Espuma de Piedra Blanc de Noirs — takes inspiration from the Champagne method to create a true hybrid wine.

If you want to indulge in your luxury tastes on a surprisingly affordable budget, Valle de Guadalupe makes for quite the getaway.

Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California.


More than just the “Mexican Maldives”, Bacalar is a serene town which if you didn’t know any better — would say is photoshopped. The “Lagoon of Seven Colours” indeed looks like a rainbow — with shades of violet and turquoise intermingling with one another. Like an artist’s palette reimagined, this destination deeply connected to the sea has a therapeutic quality to it.

Bacalar at sunset, Quintana Roo.

Pico de Orizaba

Snow in Mexico? At the top of Pico de Orizaba — North America’s highest volcano and third highest mountain — you’ll find plenty of ice.

Hiking Pico de Orizaba is not super technical, but the journey itself can be taxing. The trek just one way can take anywhere from six to ten hours for this reason.

Pico de Orizaba.

Copper Canyon

Speaking of epic hikes, the Copper Canyon is a greatly kept secret. Four times the size of the Grand Canyon, this ambitious terrain is a mish-mash of green and red hues.

It’s not exactly made for beginners — as the most popular route takes around three days to complete. But its unspoilt hills can also be enjoyed via a train journey on El Chepe Express.

The famous Copper Canyon train, Chihuahua.

Sumidero Canyon

Words simply don’t do this gigantic, verdant valley — containing towering cliff-edges, fresh waterfalls and dense rainforest —  justice. Whether you’re hiking the mountain range or taking a guided boat tour, this hidden canyon knows how to leave an impression.

Sumidero Canyon, Chiapas.


Ever wished you were Indiana Jones? With a trip to Calakmul, you can come close. Hidden deep inside the jungle, far away from any signs of human civilisation — lies the remnants of one of the world’s most powerful ancient cities. The ruins do cost an entry fee of 55 pesos per person, but it’s a small price to pay for a taste of lost paradise.

Yucatán black howler monkey, Calakmul.

San Miguel De Allende

Easily Mexico’s most photogenic city, some may find San Miguel De Allende a little too perfect. A pink ‘wedding cake’ parish church followed by a maze-like garden within the town square all sound like characteristics of a children’s storybook. Even the streets are eye-candy, filled with buildings as bright as the sky.

San Miguel De Allende at night.


Who built the ancient city of Teotihuacan, and who destroyed it, are questions which remain unresolved. The pending mystery only adds to the pyramids’ ornate and expansive allure. Climbing these ancient structures is no longer allowed —but Teotihuacan is one of the only pyramid sites in the world that permit hot air balloon rides.

Hot air balloons overlooking the Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan.

Mexico City

Like many capitals, first impressions of Mexico City tend to be a whirlwind of traffic and noise. The city’s lively pace enraptures many, but if you prefer quieter destinations — you’ll still find pockets of joy in Mexico City.

There’s a number of green spaces worth visiting — most notably Bosque de Chapultepec, twice the size of Central Park — as well as an array of art galleries. We wouldn’t expect any less from the beloved home of Frida Kahlo.

Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City.

Isla Mujeres

Just off the coast of Cancún, there’s no pretending that Isla Mujeres is off-the-beaten-track in the truest sense. But the 13 km away from mainland is a great break away from beaches lined with all-inclusive resort towers. If you’re craving a (semi-)authentic island experience with just enough comfort, convenience and activities to keep things exciting, Isla Mujeres does just that.

Zama beach club, Isla Mujeres.
Header image is of the Sumidero Canyon.
Starting from Skratch? Here are some links to help you get started:
Take the road less travelled with our Off the Beaten Track series.

Mexico — Facts before you go


🇲🇽 Spanish (Official); some English spoken.


💰Mexican Peso ($ or M$)


👍Customary. Tips are higher in touristy areas (around 15–20%).

Famous for…

🌮Amazing food

🏖️Gorgeous beaches

🏺Mayan ruins

Share this post

Hannah Douch
December 15, 2023

More like this