Written By Lucas Thompson
A week in Mexico is doable as long as you plan effectively beforehand.
I went to Mexico for a month in November 2022, and it was an adventure, to say the least.
I started in Mexico City and worked my way up to the beach towns along the Pacific and up to the Yucatan. So, I’d like to think I have seen and experienced a fair share of what Mexico has to offer.
However, it should not be understated that Mexico is HUGE, and even after travelling through the country for a month I still did not get to see everything that I wanted to.
So, let’s say you do not have the time to go for an extended stay. Is it worth going to Mexico for a week?
So, in this article, I’ve rounded up a variety of reasons why you should go to Mexico even if you only have a week, everything you need to consider and four different itineraries for you to do.
Benefits of Going to Mexico for a Week
Mexico is a beautiful and diverse country, and it has something for every type of traveller.
So, I’ve rounded up some of the main benefits of visiting Mexico for a week:
Cultural Experiences: Mexico is known for its rich cultural heritage and traditions, so a week-long trip will certainly be full of history to learn! Travellers can explore ancient buildings from Mayan civilizations, look at colonial architecture in cities like Mexico City and Guadalajara, and dance salsa at night by the coast.
Beautiful Beaches: It’s likely you’re aware that Mexico is home to some of the world's most beautiful beaches. With a week to spend, you can centre your trip on the Caribbean coast staying at popular beach destinations such as Cancun, and Tulum. Or, you can head west to the Pacific coast to Puerto Vallarta for some surf time.
Delicious Food: Mexican cuisine is famous worldwide, and it’s easy to see why. Travellers can spend a week indulging in all their favourite Mexican dishes such as tacos, quesadillas, chilaquiles and tamales.
Outdoor Activities: Mexico has a diverse landscape that offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. Regardless of where you plan to visit for a week, you’re likely to have a jam-packed schedule! Travellers can go hiking in Oaxaca, swimming in cenotes in the Yucatan, and of course, lounging on the beautiful beaches along the coast.
Affordable Travel: While I personally found Mexico to be a little bit more expensive than imagined, it is still a relatively affordable travel destination. If you’re coming from any Western country you will likely find reasonable prices for accommodation, food, and activities. So, a seven-day trip is unlikely to break the bank!
Warm Climate: Mexico is one of the hottest countries I have ever visited, and most regions enjoy warm and sunny weather year-round. So, this makes it a great escape for those seeking a week-long break from cold climates or long winters.
Friendly People: Mexicans are known for their warmth and hospitality, and travellers are often welcomed with open arms. The friendly and welcoming nature of the locals will definitely add to the overall enjoyment of a week-longtrip to Mexico.
Things to Consider Before Going to Mexico for a Week
Mexico is HUGE, so a week-long trip can be enough if you focus on one area of the country.
Flying across the country is time-consuming and likely expensive, and with only a week you will want to make the most of your trip.
You must ask yourself: Do you want to spend your week along the coast? Or would you prefer more of a city break in Mexico? If so, it’s important to make your decision prior so you can make the most of your trip.
Safety in Mexico
Safety is an important aspect to consider when travelling to Mexico.
Although Mexico has made significant strides in improving its safety for tourists over the past few years, incidents can occur and it’s important to stay vigilant during your stay.
Popular tourist resorts such as Cancun, Tulum, Puerto Vallarta and Puerto Escondido are relatively safe and most visits are trouble-free.
However, places such as Mexico City and Guadalajara may be more unsafe just because large urban areas often are!
So, with that being said, make sure to do some research on the safety of each place you want to visit before you arrive.
Weather in Mexico
You should also consider the weather prior to your trip to Mexico.
The weather in Mexico varies across the country because it is large, however, generally speaking, the rainy season is from May to September. So, if you want a higher chance of sun (although not guaranteed like anywhere) then make sure to visit out of these months.
However, prices for flights and accommodation are often lower during the rainy season, and tourist attractions will be less busy. So, if you don’t mind a bit of rain, then definitely consider visiting during this time!
Cost of travelling to Mexico
If you’re going to Mexico for a week, then you’ll need to factor in the cost of flights, accommodation, food and activities during your stay.
For flights, I highly recommend using Skyscanner to get a comparative overview of all the cheap flights to Mexico offered by different retailers. This will help you get the best price possible for your travel.
For accommodation, this really depends on the type of travel you decide to take. If you’re a budget backpacker and want to stay in hostels, then Hostelworld is your best bet. If you’re a budget traveller that wants to stay in private rooms, then Booking.com has a variety of deals to choose from. You can also use Airbnb if you’re looking for an entire apartment, or any other booking services if you’re lucky enough to not have a budget for your trip!
The cost of food will depend on the type of travel you decide to take too. Will you spend your week in Mexico eating delicious food from street vendors, or will you want to eat every meal in a restaurant?
Where you go in Mexico will influence the amount of money you will spend. Places such as Cancun and Tulum in the Yucatan are some of the most expensive places in the country, so expect to generally pay more for everything.
Itinerary Ideas for a Week in Mexico
`As I said earlier, a week in Mexico is best done by spending your time visiting places that are a short distance apart. So, I’ve rounded up four of what I think are the BEST one-week itineraries for a trip to Mexico depending on your taste as a traveller.
Mexico City & Puebla (City Explorers)
Mexico City and Puebla are perfect for travellers that love exploring new cities and only have a week to spend in Mexico.
Mexico City - the capital of Mexico - is home to over 20 million people and is one of the largest cities in the world. It’s known for its rich history and culture and is perfect for those wanting to get a feel for big city life in Mexico.
Puebla - the capital of the state also called Puebla - is just two hours southeast of Mexico City, making it perfect for a week-long itinerary. The city is known for its rich history and culture, neoclassical buildings and generally offers so much for visitors wanting to have a more authentic Mexico trip.
A week-long trip can be split into four days in Mexico City, then taking a short bus to Puebla and spending three days there.
So, here is a round-up of some things you can do in Mexico City in four days:
Take a morning stroll through Chapultepec Park, one of the largest urban parks in the world, and visit the Chapultepec Castle.
See 360 views of the city at Torre Latinoamerica
Do a day trip to Teotihuacan and see the Pyramid of the Sun
Spend an afternoon cafe hopping in the trendy neighbourhood of Condesa
Explore the never-ending nightlife of the city
And here is a round-up of some things you can do in Puebla in three days:
Explore the historic centre of Puebla and visit the beautiful Puebla Cathedral.
Visit the Museo Amparo to learn about the art and history of Puebla and Mexico.
Visit the Mercado de Sabores to try street food and local specialities.
Visit the Great Pyramid of Cholula: The nearby town of Cholula is home to the Great Pyramid, which is the largest pyramid in the world by volume.
Try the local cuisine - Puebla is known for its delicious cuisine, which includes dishes like mole poblano, chiles en nogada, and cemitas.
2. Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita (Surfing and Sunbathing)
Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita are emerging tourist hotspots on the Pacific side of Mexico. Both resorts are known for their surf-ready beaches and vibrant nightlife. Puerto Vallarta is a relatively large tourist town, whereas Sayulita is more of a village - however, do not expect Sayulita to be quieter as it still has a lot going on!
So, if you want to spend a week surfing, sunbathing and partying, then a week's stay in Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita is perfect for you.
An itinerary consisting of Puerta Vallarta and Sayulita would consist of spending four days in Puerta Vallarta, taking a short one-hour shuttle to Sayulita and spending three days there.
So, here is a round-up of some of the things to see and do in Puerto Vallarta:
Explore the Malecon, a beautiful boardwalk with many shops, restaurants, and art galleries.
Enjoy the sunset at Los Muertos Beach and have dinner at one of the nearby seafood restaurants.
Take a boat tour of Banderas Bay to see humpback whales and dolphins.
Visit the iconic Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a beautiful landmark in the city.
Enjoy some authentic Mexican cuisine at one of the local restaurants in the Zona Romantica.
Go zip-lining or horseback riding in the Sierra Madre Mountains.
And here’s a round-up of some things to do and see in Sayulita:
Take a day trip to the charming beach town of Sayulita.
Go surfing or stand-up paddleboarding at Sayulita Beach.
Visit the Mercado del Pueblo to see local art and try some delicious street food.
Take a hike to Monkey Mountain for beautiful views of the town and the ocean.
Do a day trip to San Pancho beach.
Spend a night exploring the different bars and clubs in the town.
Merida and Valladolid (City Hopping and Adventure)
Merida and Valladolid are both centrally located within the Yucatan Peninsula near the Gulf of Mexico, and are home to some of the most colourful and historic buildings in the country. They’re often touted as the safest places in Mexico - so if you’re worried about safety on your week-long trip to Mexico, then you can relax a little!
Chichen Itza - a ruined ancient Mayan city and one of the seven wonders of the world - is less than 40 minutes away from Valladolid. This makes it perfect for travellers that are looking for more of an dventure.
A week-long itinerary would consist of spending four days in Merida, and three days in Valladolid. The bus from Merida to Valladolid is approximately 2hr 15min, making it a convenient travelling distance for travellers with just a week in Mexico.
So, here’s a round-up of things to see and do in Merida:
Visit the historic centre of Merida and the beautiful Plaza Grande, which is surrounded by colonial buildings and the Merida Cathedral.
Explore the Paseo de Montejo: This grand boulevard is lined with historic mansions and is a great place for a leisurely stroll or bike ride.
Have dinner at a traditional Yucatecan restaurant.
Visit the Palacio Canton Museum, which features exhibits on the history and culture of the Yucatan Peninsula.
Take a day trip to the nearby cenotes, which are natural sinkholes filled with crystal-clear water.
And here’s a round-up of things to see and do in Valladolid:
Visit the nearby Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, one of the most famous archaeological sites in Mexico.
Visit the local markets: Check out the local markets such as the Mercado Municipal and the Mercado Artesanal for souvenirs, fresh produce, and handmade crafts.
Visit the Casa de los Venados, a private residence home to a large collection of Mexican folk art, including pottery, textiles, and wood carvings.
More cenotes: As the Yucatan state is unique for its vast number of cenotes, make the most of it and visit Cenote Xkeken and Cenote Samula, which are located just outside the town and can be easily reached by bike or car.
Tulum (for lazy travellers)
If you just want to visit one place during your trip to Mexico, then Tulum offers so much for travellers that have just a week to spend in the country.
Located on the Caribbean coast of Mexico, Tulum is one of the most popular tourist hotspots in the country known for its stunning beaches and laid-back bohemian vibe.
Disclaimer: Tulum is one of the most expensive places in Mexico. So, if you decide to visit, then be prepared to spend more.
Here are some things to do in Tulum:
Go to the beach: Tulum is known for its beautiful beaches, so spend your time sunbathing and swimming its beautiful waters. The most popular beaches include Playa Paraiso, Playa Ruinas, and Playa Pescadores.
Explore cenotes: Cenotes are natural sinkholes filled with fresh water, and Tulum is home to some of the most beautiful cenotes in Mexico. Some popular cenotes in the area include Gran Cenote, Dos Ojos, and Cenote Azul. So, find one that appeals to you most and get swimming!
Go shopping: Tulum has many boutiques and shops selling unique handmade goods, from textiles to jewellery to ceramics. The Tulum Artisanal Market is a great place to find souvenirs and gifts.
Try local cuisine: Tulum has a vibrant food scene, with many restaurants serving up traditional Mexican cuisine with a modern twist. Visitors can try local specialties like ceviche, tacos al pastor, and cochinita pibil.
Go snorkelling or diving in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second-largest coral reef in the world. Who knows, you may spot some of your favourite sea life!
Attend a yoga class: Tulum is known for its wellness culture and is often touted as a spiritual destination, and there are many yoga studios and retreats in the area. Perhaps attend a class or workshop to relax and rejuvenate. Who knows, you might leave feeling brand new!
So, are you convinced that it’s worth going to Mexico for a week?
Going to Mexico for a week is definitely worth it. As long as you plan properly and decide which region of the country you want to visit, then you can get the most out of seven days in the country.
Whether you want to spend your time exploring the bustling streets of Mexico City, or lounge by the beach on the Caribbean coast, Mexico offers so much for travellers that it’s still worth visiting if only for a short amount of time.
If you’re still unsure about visiting Mexico, then check out my post on the pros and cons of visiting Mexico where I weigh up and discuss the good and the bad based on my personal experience.
Thank you for reading, and stay tuned for the next post!