Mexico Two Week Itinerary

The Perfect 2-Week Mexico Itinerary

Mexico! Few countries inspire such exciting, diverse, and fun-filled itineraries as this, and we know you’re going to love spending two weeks exploring the best that Mexico offers. From the pyramids of Teotihuacan to the white sand beaches of Cancun, this is a country you’ll quickly fall head over heels for.

Our 14-day Mexico itinerary is perfectly designed for first-time travelers looking to visit those iconic Mexican sights. Starting in Mexico City, you’ll explore famous landmarks like the Zócalo, the Frida Kahlo Museum, and the boozy canals of Xochimilco. In the highlands to the north of the capital, you’ll find colorful cathedrals, strange mummies, and old silver mines in the city of Guanajuato before letting your artistic side run free in San Miguel de Allende. 

Pop on a flight south to Puerto Escondido, where you’ll have your first taste of Mexico’s Pacific Coast beaches. Take the winding mountain road (or jump on another flight!) to the culinary capital that is Oaxaca City, where indigenous history, culture, and cuisine rule supreme. In Mérida, you’ll have a chic base to explore the Yucatán Peninsula, where pink flamingos flock to beaches and where jungles hide ancient Mayan temples that have fallen to ruin. 

Then finally, your two weeks in Mexico end with a quick stay on the Riviera Maya, where you can sit back with a margarita and watch the waves of the Caribbean Sea roll in. No matter how you choose to spend your Mexican vacation, you’ll love the food, the drinks, and the fiesta-like atmosphere that never quiets down. If you’re planning a trip to Mexico, then keep reading as we reveal our perfect 2-week Mexico itinerary!

Two Weeks in Mexico

The Best Time to Visit Mexico

Mexico’s varied terrain offers an incredibly varied climate, and while the Yucatán Peninsula is hot, humid, and tropical, Mexico City’s high altitude ensures that the capital is much cooler, especially in winter. The same goes for Oaxaca, where Puerto Escondido’s beaches are always a few degrees higher than Oaxaca City, which is located high in the mountains. 

Luckily, it never gets too cold in Mexico – no matter your destination – and we recommend visiting between November and March for the best overall climate. While this is winter, it’s also the dry season in Yucatán, where temperatures still reach the 80s. Mexico City’s winter temperatures can drop to as low as 39°F at nighttime, but in the day, they rise into the low 70s, which is perfect for sightseeing!

Mexico is a country dedicated to fiestas, so you’ll find events and celebrations whatever time of year you travel. On Sundays, food markets fill town plazas, while on public holidays like Independence Day (September 16) or Semana Santa (Holy Week), the streets are alive with bands, processions, and religious fervor. 

And if you can, why not time your trip to coincide with the Day of the Dead (held from the end of October or the beginning of November), when the country memorializes loved ones with a day of remembrance the likes of which you won’t have seen anywhere else in the world.


Things to Know Before You Go to Mexico

Many nationalities – including US, UK, Australian, and EU passport holders – have visa-free access to Mexico. Your passport is stamped on arrival in Mexico, and you’re entitled to a maximum of 180 days as a tourist. 

However, you may not be given the maximum 180 days, so if you intend to stay longer than two weeks, you’ll need to check the number of days you’ve been given upon entry. Overstaying your entry can result in imprisonment and fines, which would not be a fun experience.

The Mexican Peso is the currency in circulation. You’ll find ATMs in all towns, cities, and resort areas, while money changers are everywhere. Mexico is increasingly becoming card friendly, which can save you from withdrawing too much cash. In tourist areas like Cancun, dollars are typically accepted by hotels, bars, and restaurants, but they’ll give you an awful exchange rate!

Travelers often ask how safe Mexico is to visit. While Mexico is fraught with cartel crime, it’s incredibly rare for this to spill over and affect tourists. Some border regions with the USA are dangerous to visit, but our itinerary sticks to areas considered safe and where you’re very unlikely to be caught up in anything out of the blue. 

In resort areas like Cancun, you need to be wary of petty crime and scams, while in Mexico City, always avoid hailing unlicensed taxis in the street and keep to the safer tourist areas rather than venturing into suburbs you don’t know. 


Getting Around Mexico

Getting Around Mexico: Two Week Itinerary

Our Mexico itinerary packs in a lot! And with Mexico being such a huge country, there’s a lot of ground to cover. This means you’ll need your transportation planned in advance (especially flights) in order to make the most of your time. You’ll start by flying into Mexico City, where you can take an Uber or book a transfer to your accommodation. 

In Mexico City, we recommend using Uber (they’re cost-effective) or trying out the Metro system (but avoid rush hour, when it’s difficult to get on or off the packed trains!). In areas like Condesa, the historic city center, and Coyoacán, it’s perfectly safe to walk during the day. 

Traveling north to the highlands, you can take public transport from the Northern Bus Terminal. There are frequent departures that you can ‌book on the day, or you can book ADO buses in advance through the company’s mobile app or online. 

Heading south, you can catch overnight buses to Puerto Escondido and Oaxaca City (it’s at least a 7-hour drive to Oaxaca City), or you can hop on a flight. Taxis are inexpensive in Oaxaca, and safe to hail. 

Traveling to Yucatán, we recommend flying too, but once you’re there, the region is well connected by modern ADO buses. Uber is available in Mérida but not in the Riviera Maya, where taxi cartels have inflated the cost of private transportation. Stick to the local colectivos (minibuses) and shared taxis to save on costs. 

Flying home? You can transfer to international flights through Mexico City from most major Mexican cities (like Oaxaca City and Mérida), or you can fly internationally from Cancun, one of Mexico’s best-connected airports. 

If you’re worried about the costs of domestic flights in Mexico, check out the rates on Volaris. Volaris is Mexico’s budget airline and is a surprisingly affordable option if you need to fly from one part of the country to the next. Given how large the country is, chances are you’ll want to take at least one flight to make the most out of your 2 weeks in Mexico!


Mexico Itinerary: 2 Weeks to Explore the Highlights of the Country

Mexico City – 3 nights

Where else would your 2 weeks in Mexico begin other than Mexico City? The sprawling, chaotic, hectic capital city is overwhelmingly huge at first, but you’ll quickly come to love the laid-back suburbs like Condesa and Roma, where cool cafes sit alongside rustic taco vendors on tree-lined avenues.

Hop On, Hop Off Bus Tour

Chapultepec Park

2 Weeks in Mexico Itinerary: Chapultepec Park

We recommend staying in either Condesa or Roma, where you’ll find lovely apartments, boutique hotels, and excellent restaurants and bars. The two districts are perfectly safe, even at night, and you can start your sightseeing by walking or taking an Uber to nearby Chapultepec Park, where you can visit Mexico’s only castle. 

After a quick tour of Chapultepec Castle, take a stroll through the park, and you’ll soon reach the National Museum of Anthropology. This mega museum is huge, but with thousands of artifacts dating back thousands of years, it’s an excellent introduction to Mexican history and culture. 

Explore Chapultepec Park

Centro Histórico

2 Week Mexico Itinerary: Centro Historico

Next, catch an Uber or jump on the Metro to Centro, where you’ll spend the afternoon sightseeing in the historic city center. We love walking tours, and walking is the best way to explore the historic center of the Mexican capital. 

You can sign up for free walking tours (where you only pay what you feel the experience was worth at the end), private tours, food tours, taco tours, history tours, and more! Take your pick, and you’ll spend the afternoon visiting the famed Zócalo (the main plaza), the Templo Mayor (the remains of an Aztec pyramid), and the beautiful Palacio de Bellas Artes, among many more attractions. 

In the evening, you can enjoy a quiet dinner in Condesa or have a raucous night at the Lucha Libre wrestling arena! 

The Frida Kahlo Museum in Coyoacán

2 Week Itinerary in Mexico: Frida Kahlo Museum

Your second day takes you to Coyoacán, a Mexico City suburb that has a long history. Take another walking tour and you’ll learn that Coyoacán was taken over by Hernán Cortés, the infamous Spanish conquistador, as he laid siege to the Aztec capital. 

Cortés made Coyoacán his capital, and it became the center of Spanish colonialism in 16th-century Mexico. Today, Coyoacán is best known for being home to the Frida Kahlo Museum, one of the best sights in Mexico City and a must on any Mexico itinerary. 

Experience the Frida Kahlo Museum

Xochimilco

Mexico Two Week Itinerary: Xochimilco

Next up is a real treat for the senses as you head south to Xochimilco. This beautiful network of canals was built by the Aztecs, and you can join a tour or hire a private boat to explore the waterways. Along the way, you’ll be offered endless tequila, beers, and margaritas by passing boats, while floating mariachi bands add to the rather surreal, but fiesta-like, experience. 

On your third day in Mexico City, it’s time for a day trip. Book a tour (or just make your way to the Northern Bus Terminal, and hop on a bus) to Teotihuacan, where you’ll find staggering Mesoamerican pyramids. Walk along the Avenue of the Dead, be awed by the Pyramid of the Sun, or take a hot-air balloon into the skies for the best view of this ancient city. 

Float Down the Canals of Xochimilco


Guanajuato – 2 nights

2 Weeks in Mexico Itinerary: Guanajuato

After three days in the buzzing but busy capital, you’ll welcome a cool escape to the Central Highlands. Just north of Mexico City, your next stop is Guanajuato, where you’ll find eerie mummies, colorful cathedrals, and fun walking tours. 

Guanajuato has a special place in Mexican history. It was at the center of the Mexican Wars of Independence in the early 1800s, and you can start by visiting the Alhóndiga de Granaditas (a large stone warehouse that doubled as a fortress) to learn more. 

Enjoy a local lunch at the enormous Mercado Hidalgo before taking a walk to the funicular and taking a short ride up the hillside to reach the Monumento al Pipila for incredible views over the city. Better yet, get a workout by taking a steep hike up the hillside to reach the Pipila! 

No trip to Guanajuato is complete without a visit to the Museum of the Mummies, where the embalmed remains of 19th-century residents are a macabre display for dark tourists. If that’s not your idea of fun, then try the intriguing Don Quixote Museum or take a tour of an old silver mine instead.

For a unique take on Guanajuato City, you’ll love joining a callejoneadas tour of Guanajuato. Led by singing troubadours, you’ll spend the evening waltzing through cobblestone streets as you hear tales of lost loves and local heroes in musical form. If that’s not for you, then spend an evening at the Teatro Juárez or enjoy a romantic bite to eat in the main plaza. 

Discover Guanajuato’s History and Culture

San Miguel de Allende 

Now, you can choose to spend two days and nights exploring Guanajuato (there’s more than enough to see!), or you can take a short bus ride to San Miguel de Allende (it’s just over an hour away), where you can explore another one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico. 

The gothic spires of the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel rise high above the city, while old colonial houses are home to art galleries, quirky museums, and boutique shops. Nearby you’ll also find some excellent wineries, such as Dos Búhos (Two Owls). 

Hot Air Balloon in San Miguel de Allende


Puerto Escondido – 2 nights

Mexico Two Week Itinerary: Cervezas

The best 2-week Mexico itinerary is never complete without a trip to the beach, and your next destination is a world away from the highlands of Central Mexico!

Head back to Mexico City, then hop on a night bus or take a short flight south to Mexico’s Pacific coastline. Here you’ll have two days to recharge your batteries and indulge in a few cold cervezas (beers) or oversized margaritas before you hit the road again.

Puerto Escondido has miles of white sand beaches, and it’s one of Mexico’s most popular surf spots. The pros head to Zicatela Beach, where the infamous Mexican Pipeline has long confounded even the world’s best surfers. You can find quieter surf spots at La Punta Beach or Carrizalillo Beach if you’re still learning. 

Puerto Escondido isn’t just for surfers, though. It’s one of the best places to visit in Mexico for scuba diving, there’s beautiful hiking, and if you want it, nightlife, too. Or, of course, you can just rent a sun lounger on the beach and do absolutely nothing – all day long!

Explore the Beach in Puerto Escondido


Oaxaca City – 2 nights

2 Week Itinerary in Mexico: Tlayuda

It’s a winding 6 or 7-hour drive through the mountains (or another short hop on an airplane) to reach Oaxaca City, one of the best cities to visit in Mexico. The capital of Oaxaca state, Oaxaca City (officially: Oaxaca de Juarez) is famed for its indigenous heritage and culture. 

Located at an altitude of 5,102 feet above sea level, you’re back in the mountains once again – so dress up warm after your stay on the beach. Oaxaca City is best enjoyed on foot, so we recommend joining a free walking tour when you arrive. You’ll see the Templo de Santo Domingo, try some mezcal, and discover the most colorful street art and local markets with a Oaxacan guide. 

You’ll be impressed by the colorful display of culture that fires up the city, and you can learn more at the Museum of Cultures of Oaxaca. In the evening, take a food tour (make sure the tour visits Mercado 20 de Noviembre!) or join a cooking class – where you’ll learn to make local specialties like mole and tlayuda – and begin to understand why Oaxaca City is Mexico’s food capital! 

Discover the Unique Beauty of Oaxaca

Monte Alban

The next morning you’re up nice and early to visit Monte Alban, a spectacular archeological site in the surrounding mountains. Built by the Zapotecs, you’ll be awed by the scale of the temples, the oldest of which date back to 500 BCE. In the afternoon, why not try a traditional Temazcal ceremony, stroll around the Ethnobotanical Garden, or visit the stunning Hierve el Agua rock formations? 

Visit Monte Alban


Mérida – 2 nights

2 Week Mexico Itinerary: Merida

Next up is Mérida, one of Mexico’s most fascinating cities and your gateway to the Yucatán Peninsula. It’s too far to drive from Oaxaca, but there are direct flights between the cities or the option to transfer through Mexico City. 

Mérida was once a thriving center of the Maya civilization – until the Spanish Conquistadors arrived. Visit the Zócalo, where the imposing cathedral you see today was built using stones taken from destroyed Mayan temples. 

The grand houses and palatial homes of Mérida were paid for using the money from colonial haciendas, but still, the Spanish failed to truly conquer the Maya, and despite the colonial architecture of Mérida, the city has one of the highest percentages of indigenous residents in Mexico. 

Take a walking tour and you’ll hear Mayan spoken alongside Spanish while the food markets and restaurants serve up Yucatec classics like cochinita pibil and sopa de lima. The public squares are always busy with taco and torta vendors, while on Sundays, the Zócalo is taken over by an enormous food market, bands, and craft stalls. On Saturdays, the same square even hosts a recreation of Pok ta Pok, the ancient Mayan ball game. 

In Mérida, visit the excellent Museum of the Mayan World to learn more about the region’s history. You’re spoiled for day trips, too, and you can visit Izamal (the Yellow City), where Mayan temples rise above colonial houses, or head north to the coast, where pink flamingos flock to the lagoons of Celestun. 

Mérida is just a lovely place to be, and you can lose yourself for days and nights in the markets, jazz bars, speakeasies, craft beer joints, and excellent restaurants, where indigenous flavors are always top of the menu.

Visit the Famous Streets of Merida


Valladolid – 1 night

Now you’re heading east into the heart of the Yucatán Peninsula. From Mérida, hop on a bus (or rent a car – it’s safe to drive in this part of Mexico) and make the 3-hour journey to the small city of Valladolid. 

Ek Balam

2 Weeks in Mexico Itinerary: Ek Balam

With its wide plazas and beautiful baroque cathedral, Valladolid is the perfect base to visit the best Mayan ruins in Mexico. After arriving from Mérida, you can take a taxi or colectivo to Ek Balam, a once-mighty Mayan city that’s just 30 minutes from Valladolid. 

Here you can climb the many steps leading to the top of the Acropolis, from where you’ll have supreme views across the flat forest of Yucatán. On a clear day, you might even spot the more famous ruins of Chichen Itza, which lie somewhere to the south. 

Explore the Ancient Ek Balam

Cenote Xcanche 

2 Week Mexico Itinerary: Cenote Xcanche

Chichen Itza is where you’re heading early the next morning, but for now, you can cool off in Cenote Xcanche – a large sinkhole filled with fresh water – which is just a short walk from Ek Balam’s archeological zone. Back in Valladolid, there’s yet another sinkhole you can visit (Cenote Zaci) right in the middle of the city! 

Go to a Sacred Cenote

Chichen Itza

2 Week Itinerary in Mexico: Chichen Itza

The next day you’ll need an early start to beat the crowds that descend on Chichen Itza. We recommend staying in Valladolid precisely for this reason, as you’ll be in and out of this iconic Mayan city long before the buses arrive from Cancun. You’ll beat the heat, too, and you’ll have a much pleasanter time as you admire the grand Temple of Kukulcan, the Mayan ball court, and the impressive Warriors’ Temple. 

Visit Chichén Itzá


Riviera Maya – 2 nights

Your 2-week Mexico itinerary draws to a close in one of North America’s most iconic locations: the Riviera Maya. This serene stretch of coastline extends from Cancun in the north, then south along the Caribbean Sea. The eastern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula is lined with white sand beaches, Mayan ruins, and of course, all-inclusive resorts, making it the perfect place to end your 2 weeks in Mexico.

If you’re in the mood for a party, then check into an all-inclusive resort in Cancun’s “Hotel Zone.” This is where you’ll find infamous bars like Señor Frog’s, but surprisingly, there are also several fascinating Mayan ruins right next to the resorts. 

Swim and Snorkel in Riviera Maya

Playa del Carmen 

2 Weeks in Mexico Itinerary: Playa del Carmen

Head south to Playa del Carmen to rent an apartment or boutique hotel, or better yet, take the ferry across to Cozumel, a quiet island that’s home to some of the best snorkeling and diving in Mexico. 

Ferry Ticket from Playa Del Carmen

Tulum

Influencers in training can stay in Tulum, while the peaceful towns of Akumal or Puerto Aventuras offer a different side to the Riviera Maya. Feel free to spend your final two days in Mexico unwinding on the beach, but if you’ve still got the energy to burn, then why not visit the beautiful Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve for a bit of Yucatec nature?

Take an Exciting Tour from Tulum

There you have it! That’s our perfect 2-week Mexico itinerary. Where will you go during your two weeks in Mexico?


Planning a trip to Mexico? Check out our favorite books and travel guides!


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Author

  • Richard Collett

    Richard is an award-winning travel writer based in Southwest England who’s addicted to traveling off the beaten track. He’s traveled to 75 countries and counting in search of intriguing stories, unusual destinations, and cultural curiosities.

    Richard loves traveling the long way round over land and sea, and you’ll find him visiting quirky micronations and breakaway territories as often as he’s found lounging on a beach (which is a lot).

    When he’s not writing for BBC Travel, National Geographic, or Lonely Planet, you can find Richard writing for the Wandering Wheatleys or updating his off-beat travel blog, Travel Tramp.

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