Travel to Mexico is more popular than ever before. In 2022 alone, more than 20 million international tourists visited Mexico, with over 13 million coming from the United States. So what are the best Mexican towns that are under the radar?
With the majority of visitors flocking to the popular resort areas of Cancun, Los Cabos, and Puerto Vallarta, it is not surprising that those areas are frequently at capacity and full of tourists.
But Mexico is so much more than tourist-centered beach towns and all-inclusive hotels. If you are interested in exploring more of Mexico and don’t know where to start, why not try one of these culturally rich under the radar Mexican towns this year?
Guanajuato City is a vibrant, artsy, colonial city in central Mexico, about 5 hours from Mexico City. It has long been a popular destination for Mexicans and has recently been gaining popularity with international tourists. Packed with cobblestone streets and colorful buildings, Guanajuato City is begging visitors to wander and explore.
Visitors to Guanajuato City enjoy snapping romantic photos in the Alley of the Kiss, taking in the sights during a walk down Calle de Sopeña, and exploring the old mining tunnels under the city. Tourists who enjoy the darker side of life have options too. Popular dark tourist sites include the Museum of the Mummies and the haunted Calle del Truco.
The charming colonial town of Pátzcuaro in the state of Michoacan is a popular Day of the Dead destination for domestic and international tourists. Each day, artisans, greengrocers, and food vendors set up fantastic markets throughout the town. Additionally, visitors can shop in Casa de los Once Patios and buy snacks and souvenirs straight from the producers.
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Lake Patzcuaro and its picturesque Janitzio Island are just north of the town center and are popular day trips for visitors. The island is topped with a giant statue of Jose Maria Morelos, a revolutionary hero whose likeness you can climb up and take in spectacular views of the surrounding lake and towns.
Comitán de Dominguez
Comitán is one of four Pueblos Mágicos in Chiapas, and it is one that truly lives up to its reputation. Packed with museums, incredible food, and a colorful and welcoming town center, Comitán is a great place to visit. Its location in southern Chiapas also makes it a great base for exploring other nearby sights.
Visitors who spend time in Comitán rave about the food at the many street vendors and restaurants throughout the town. The museums are also popular with tourists and are a great way to learn more about the region’s culture and history. Most popular is Dr. Belisario Dominquez’s Home Museum, which tells the story of its famous past resident and town hero.
San Cristobal de las Casas
Just a 2-hour drive north of Comitán is the city of San Cristobal de las Casas. This medium-sized city is home to some well-preserved colonial architecture and offers a diverse array of activities. From city sightseeing to exploring beautiful nature, San Christobal has it all.
Fit visitors enjoy the 100-step climb to quaint Guadalupe Church, where they have views of the entire city. Also popular with adventure seekers is El Arcotete park, with beautiful hiking trails, caves, and a river to explore. Additionally, nature lovers enjoy visits to the botanical gardens, where they can learn all about the plants native to the area.
46 miles south of Mexico City is the mountain town of Tepoztlán. Located in a gorgeous alpine setting 5,380 feet above sea level, this diverse and welcoming town is worth a visit. Its beautiful natural environment is known as a place for healing and rejuvenation, making it a great place to reset and recharge.
Visitors love the food and artisan markets in Tepoztlán in the town’s colonial center. Also popular is a visit to Piramide del Tepozteco, a nearby Aztec archaeological site that overlooks the valley. But one of the main reasons many visit the town is for its renowned health, well-being, and alternative therapies, including massage, Reiki, and Temazcal, an Aztec steam bath therapy.
Located on the opposite side of the Yucatan Peninsula from Cancun, UNESCO-listed Campeche City is a great place to explore. Situated on the Gulf of Mexico, this city is full of rich history and nightlife and is a great base for exploring the surrounding area. The city’s old town is a rainbow of colors, making it a photographer’s delight.
Many of the city’s historic homes have been converted into boutique hotels which are very popular with visitors looking for unique accommodations. Tourists also rave about the nightlife in Campeche with its lively bars and open-air salsa parties.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com