15 Most Underrated Cities In Mexico To Visit In 2024

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Are you looking to spice up your travel itinerary in 2024? Well, get ready to uncover the hidden gems of Mexico! You might have heard of the popular tourist spots, but let’s dive into the lesser-known cities waiting to charm your socks off. These underrated cities in Mexico have much to offer, from vibrant cultural scenes to breathtaking landscapes.

Get ready to wander off the beaten path and explore Mexico in a whole new light. And in case you didn’t know, I wrote many other posts where I explore underrated cities in ItalyGermanythe Balkansthe United States, and many more countries.

So, pack your bags, grab your sombrero, and let’s embark on an adventure filled with surprises and discoveries!

Key Takeaways

  • Explore Puebla, Campeche, and Tepoztlán for colonial charm and cultural heritage.
  • Discover Querétaro, Guanajuato, Durango for historical and architectural marvels.
  • Immerse in Mérida, San Cristóbal de las Casas for cultural experiences and indigenous heritage.
  • Enjoy Xalapa, and Colima for nature, adventure, culinary delights, and local flavors.

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1) Puebla

Imagine yourself in Puebla, a charming city in the heart of Mexico. The place is filled with beautiful colonial buildings decorated with colorful Talavera tiles. You’ll be drawn in by the rich history and delicious food waiting to be discovered. Puebla is famous for its intricate Talavera pottery and buildings, showcasing the city’s artistic heritage that has been around for ages.In Mexico’s Heart, Puebla Charms With Colonial Architecture and Intricate Talavera Tiles.

When it comes to food, Puebla is a paradise for food lovers. It’s known as the birthplace of mole, a flavorful dish that will leave a lasting impression on your taste buds. Walking through the streets, you’ll stumble upon lively markets where you can find unique treasures to take home with you.

If you’re a history buff, Puebla has something for you too. Explore the city’s libraries, including the first one in the Americas, and dive into the stories and knowledge they hold. It’s a great way to deepen your understanding of this culturally rich city.



2) Querétaro

Step into Querétaro, a city steeped in Mexican history that will capture your imagination. With a mix of Toltec pyramids and baroque architecture, the city’s historical significance is evident everywhere you look. It was once Mexico’s capital and witnessed important events like the signing of the Mexican Constitution in 1917 at the Theater of the Republic.Querétaro, Rich in Mexican History, Captivates With Its Blend of Toltec Pyramids and Baroque Architecture.

Querétaro is a treasure trove of architectural wonders. There’s so much to explore from the stunning Mexican Baroque and Islamic styles at the Temple of Santa Rosa de Viterbo to the golden frames adorning its walls. Don’t miss out on visiting the aqueduct that splits the city or the Toltec pyramid at El Pueblito.

The city’s cultural heritage shines through its landmarks, offering a glimpse into Mexico’s past. Take a stroll through the historic center, learn about the history of Maximiliano at Cerro de las Campanas, and admire the beautiful designs of the Temple of Santa Rosa de Viterbo. 

3) Guanajuato

Guanajuato is a lively city full of history and culture. It offers interesting things to see, cultural events, and delicious food. The city’s colorful alleyways take you through its revolutionary history, where famous figures like Diego Rivera and Miguel Hidalgo made their mark. Make sure you visit the Museo de las Momias to see mysterious mummies that tell stories of the past.Guanajuato, a Lively City With a Rich History and Culture, Welcomes You With Plenty of Interesting Things to See and to Do.

Enjoy Guanajuato’s vibrant festivals like the Cervantino International Festival and the Festival de Día de Muertos, where the streets come alive with music, dance, and traditional celebrations. While exploring the historic streets, try local dishes like enchiladas mineras and chiles en nogada to savor the unique flavors that define Guanajuato’s cuisine.

With its UNESCO World Heritage Site status and rich mining history, Guanajuato invites you to explore its cultural tapestry, where every corner holds a piece of Mexico’s captivating narrative.



4) Mérida

Explore the enchanting city of Mérida, a cultural gem waiting for you to discover in Mexico. Plan to spend at least three days to enjoy its rich experiences. Start by walking around Plaza Grande, where you can see the majestic cathedral and enjoy local food while watching traditional cultural performances.Explore the Lovely City of Mérida, a Cultural Treasure Waiting for You to Discover in Mexico.

Learn about the city’s history by visiting landmarks like Catedral de San Ildefonso and Palacio de Gobierno, known for their beautiful historic architecture. Don’t forget to visit the lively markets like Lucas Galvez Market, offering a variety of colors and flavors unique to Mérida.

For a fun adventure, check out the nearby cenotes, natural sinkholes with clear waters perfect for swimming. You can also visit Mayan ruins such as Chichen Itza and Uxmal to learn more about the region’s past. Mérida combines cultural richness, historic charm, and natural beauty, promising an unforgettable Mexican experience.

 

5) Xalapa

Situated in the lush landscapes of Veracruz, Xalapa has an old charm that calls for exploration and discovery. Established in 1313, the city provides a variety of experiences for cultural exploration. The Museo de Antropologia de Xalapa displays ancient artifacts from the Olmec and Totonac civilizations.

Strolling around Xalapa’s hilly streets reveals hidden treasures like several parks and beautiful architecture, setting a lovely scene for your adventures.Situated in the Green Scenery of Veracruz, Xalapa Has a Historical Charm That Invites You to Explore and Discover.

In terms of food, Xalapa surprises with its local tastes, such as famous coffee and mole verde. While the city doesn’t emphasize its connection to the jalapeno pepper, there are business opportunities for those keen on ventures related to jalapenos.

Additionally, Xalapa is a gateway to natural marvels, offering day trips to Coatepec and Xico, charming Pueblos Magicos with arts, and crafts, coffee plantations, and stunning waterfalls like Texolo and La Monja.



6) Oaxaca de Juárez

In Oaxaca de Juárez, you can immerse yourself in mezcal tastings, where the smoky spirit’s complexities unfold, or enjoy the rich blend of spices in traditional mole dishes. The city’s colonial architecture is a testament to its long history, while vibrant markets display indigenous crafts, reflecting a harmonious mix of influences.In Oaxaca de Juárez, Dive Into Mezcal Tastings to Unravel the Smoky Spirit’s Complexities or Savor the Rich Blend of Spices in Traditional Mole Dishes.

Explore beyond the city center to discover surrounding valleys, where ancient artisan traditions thrive in indigenous villages. Enjoy beach outings along the 300-mile (480-kilometer) coastline, with spots like Puerto Escondido and Mazunte offering surfing, snorkeling, and stunning sunsets.

Oaxaca de Juárez is a cultural treasure where every corner reveals a slice of Mexico’s diverse heritage, inviting you to taste, explore, and discover its wonders.

7) Cuernavaca

With its rich history dating back to at least 1200 AD, Cuernavaca gives you a peek into Mexico’s colonial past and a peaceful retreat in the land of eternal spring. This city is full of hidden gems waiting to be found.

Its streets blend cultural influences that highlight the mix of indigenous roots and Spanish impact. As you wander through Cuernavaca, you’ll find culinary delights that excite your taste buds, from traditional dishes to modern culinary creations.Cuernavaca, Offers a Glimpse Into Mexico’s Colonial Past and a Serene Escape to the Land of Eternal Spring.

Furthermore, Cuernavaca is an artistic hub, with lively street art decorating its walls and galleries showcasing local talents. If you’re seeking a nature getaway, the city won’t disappoint. Explore lush gardens like the Jardin de Borda or find tranquility near the San Anton waterfall.

Cuernavaca’s allure lies in its ability to offer a mix of historical richness, artistic expression, and natural beauty, making it a must-visit spot for those wanting to immerse themselves in Mexico’s diverse offerings.



8) Campeche

Campeche sits pretty along the Gulf of Mexico, welcoming you with its old-world charm and lively cultural vibes. Picture this hidden treasure, rich in history as an ancient Mayan trading post that later became a hotspot for pirates.

The city’s vibrant charm lies in its colorful buildings, like those pastel houses and haciendas that were recognized by UNESCO in 1999. Campeche’s coastal beauty is unmatched, with a long stretch of waterfront perfect for sunset views and stormy skies.Nestled Along the Scenic Gulf of Mexico Coastline, Campeche Invites You With Its Preserved Colonial Charm and Lively Cultural Heritage.

When you explore Campeche, you’ll find many attractions, from the old Colonial Center with its Cathedral and Government Palace to the archaeological museum at Fuerte de San Miguel. Take a walk through the charming neighborhood of San Roman or check out the sturdy walls that once protected the city.

Don’t forget to treat yourself to local cuisine and unwind at beaches like Lerma’s Playa Bonita. Campeche makes it easy to get around with its tram system, inviting you to dive deep into its history and natural wonders.

 

9) Durango

Step into Durango, where you’ll be awestruck by its Hollywood-style charm mixed with stunning Baroque architecture. This city boasts colonial buildings, cool suspension bridges, and a rich mix of indigenous communities like the Tepehuan and Mennonites.Durango Captivates With Hollywood Allure and Striking Baroque Architecture.

Just a short road trip from Mazatlán, Durango offers serene spots like Lake Santiaguillo, the captivating Charco Azul, ancient petroglyphs, and charming churches in cozy towns. Get a taste of ecotourism in Mexiquillo and explore magical towns like Nombre de Dios and Mapimí.

Even though Durango has so much to offer, its tourism setup could use some sprucing up to make it easier for you to explore. The northern area is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by curious travelers. Plan your Durango adventure for a unique history, culture, and natural beauty mix.



10) Tepoztlán

Picture Tepoztlán, a town filled with colonial vibes and indigenous traditions, all nestled in a gorgeous natural setting full of spiritual energy. This quaint town, just south of Mexico City, gives you a taste of it all. Treat yourself to wellness retreats with alternative therapies and a rejuvenating climate of 5,380 feet (1,640 meters) above sea level.

Immerse yourself in the local indigenous culture by browsing through artisan markets brimming with Mexican arts and crafts, including the ancient drink Pulque. Hike up to the mountain-top pyramid El Tepozteco for spiritual vibes and stunning views of the town and valley.In Tepoztlán, Dive Into Colonial Charm and Indigenous Traditions Amid Natural Beauty and Spiritual Energy.

Tepoztlán is known for its healing therapies, from massages to Temazcal sessions, making it a haven for those seeking wellness. Explore the town through its Colonial Center, Museo Carlos Pellicer, and Traditional Town Market.

Whether you’re craving relaxation or adventure, Tepoztlán offers a unique Mexican experience that will capture your heart with its rich culture and natural beauty.

11) San Cristóbal de las Casas

San Cristóbal de las Casas, with its lively cultural scene and breathtaking natural beauty, welcomes you to a world where tradition meets modernity in perfect harmony.

This charming town in Chiapas is a treasure trove of indigenous culture, vibrant markets, and historical landmarks. Take a stroll along the colorful streets and soak in the rich history seen in the churches, plazas, and murals.San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Invites You to Explore a World Where Tradition and Modernity Harmoniously Coexist.

Treat your taste buds to the diverse cuisine of San Cristóbal, where a mix of Mexican, indigenous, and international flavors await. Nature lovers will find paradise in the town’s surroundings, with mountains, valleys, waterfalls, and canyons just waiting to be explored.

Support local indigenous communities by visiting artisan markets and workshops to learn about the region’s traditions. Immerse yourself in cultural events blending Maya and Spanish influences, making San Cristóbal de las Casas a top spot for those seeking an authentic Mexican experience.



12) Saltillo

What makes Saltillo, the capital of Coahuila, a hidden gem worth exploring in Mexico? Saltillo’s charm lies in its blend of historic architecture, culinary delights, handicraft markets, outdoor adventures, and cultural nightlife.

The city’s modern infrastructure seamlessly integrates with its historic center, offering a glimpse into its rich history. Explore attractions like the Museum of the Revolution, El Sarape Museum, Santiago Cathedral, and the Government Palace to delve deeper into Saltillo’s cultural heritage.Saltillo Charms With Its Mix of Historic Architecture, Culinary Delights, Handicraft Markets, Outdoor Adventures, and Vibrant Cultural Nightlife.

Indulge your taste buds in the local cuisine featuring savory meat dishes such as roast beef and goat, paired with the traditional Pan de Pulque bread. Don’t miss out on the delightful desserts like cheese with walnuts and cajeta de membrillo. 

For outdoor enthusiasts, Saltillo offers mountain biking and skiing opportunities at the Sierra de Arteaga Natural Park. As the sun sets, experience the city’s lively cultural nightlife along Venustiano Carranza and Jesus Valdés Sánchez boulevards, pulsating with regional and country music. Saltillo is a multifaceted destination waiting to be explored!

 

13) Tlaxcala

Nestled in the heart of Mexico, Tlaxcala impresses with its hidden treasures of rich culture, natural wonders, and vibrant local communities. The city is a hub for cultural festivals, where you can immerse yourself in the vibrant traditions and folklore of the area.In the Heart of Mexico, Tlaxcala Invites Exploration With Its Hidden Treasures of Rich Culture, Natural Wonders, and Vibrant Local Communities.

Tlaxcala boasts hidden gems like Val’Quirico, a medieval village perfect for couples and families to explore cobblestone streets and visit the unique fountain ‘La teta de abundantia’. For eco-tourism enthusiasts, La Malinche National Park offers a playground for outdoor activities with breathtaking views of Mexican states and volcanoes.

Additionally, Tlaxcala is a haven for local artisans, with places like San Pablo del Monte known for its Talavera ceramics, a UNESCO-certified cultural treasure. So, if you seek a blend of history, nature, and community spirit, Tlaxcala is a must-visit destination in Mexico.



14) Cholula

Cholula, a historical city with rich archaeological significance, captivates visitors with its impressive Pyramid Tepanapa, the largest pyramid in Mexico. The city boasts an archaeology park where you can explore hidden gems like the Great Pyramid and the Santuario de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios.

Once the second largest city in Mexico, Cholula offers a glimpse into its past through various churches, including the Ex Convento de San Gabriel. When hunger strikes, indulge in local cuisine at vibrant markets filled with craftworks and confectionery.Cholula, a Historically Significant City, Captivates With Its Impressive Pyramide Tepanapa, the Largest Pyramid in Mexico.

As the sun sets, immerse yourself in Cholula’s vibrant nightlife, especially in San Andres Cholula, known for its lively atmosphere and the unique ‘Container City.’ Throughout the year, cultural festivals like the Church Bells Concert in November showcase the city’s rich history and traditions.

Don’t miss the chance to visit nearby villages like Tonantzintla and Acatepec to delve deeper into the local culture and history, making your trip to Cholula truly unforgettable.

15) Colima

Hidden away in the heart of Mexico lies Colima, beckoning travelers with its unique charm and off-the-beaten-track adventures. Dive into Colima’s culture by exploring the hidden gems of Comala, known for its traditional architecture and the artistic wonders at Ex-Hacienda Nogueres.Nestled in the Heart of Mexico, Colima Invites Travelers With Its Unique Charm and Off-The-Beaten-Track Adventures.

For the adventurous souls, embark on Volcán de Colima adventures with knowledgeable guides, offering a glimpse into the volcanic wonders and scenic Crater Lakes.

After immersing yourself in history at archaeological sites like El Chanal and La Campana, unwind in Manzanillo, where beach fun awaits with a mix of local charm and recreational activities. Colima may be underrated, but it’s a treasure trove for those seeking authentic Mexican experiences off the typical tourist path!



Conclusion

As you finish exploring the 15 most underrated cities in Mexico to visit in 2024, you might be craving more hidden gems to check out. These cities have a special mix of culture, history, and beauty that really make them stand out. Who knows what other surprises and delights await you off the beaten path?

Embrace that adventurous spirit and aim to uncover treasures beyond the usual tourist spots. Let your wanderlust lead the way as you discover these hidden gems’ charm and authenticity. Start planning your next Mexican adventure and get ready to be wowed by the wonders waiting for you in these underrated cities.

If you plan a trip to any of these Mexican cities (or anywhere else in the world), I’d be happy if you would consider booking your travel essentials such as hotels, flights, rental cars, and more with Giving Getaway.

With each completed booking, Giving Getaway earns a commission, 50% of which will be used to organize charity events like the 2021 Christmas gift drive for kids and teenagers in a children’s home in Montenegro.

So not only will you have an amazing trip, but you’ll also make a difference with Giving Getaway!

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