While Mexico is a common destination for North American travelers, it’s a country that’s easy to fall in love with once visited. With a rich history and stunning culture, along with year-round great weather, there’s a lot here to unpack. 

Riviera Maya

The Riviera Maya is a 100+ mile stretch of coastal towns along the Caribbean Sea. Essentially just south of Cancun, Riviera Maya is home to a diverse range of towns, like Playa del Carmen and Tulum, along with some of the most stunning hotels in Mexico, such as the Hotel Ocean Coral & Turquesa.

Towards the south of the Riviera Maya is where you can find the quieter spots and some Mayan ruins dating back to 350 BCE. In the north, like Playa del Carmen, there’s a nice balance of laid-back bars and restaurants along with an active beach.

Cancun

Cancun is a highly popular destination. Whilst it’s predominantly known as a party place, with world-famous DJs, wild parties, and tonnes of activities and events, it’s also much more than this. Because it has become so popular, it has attracted world-class cuisine, hotels, and interesting retreats. Although there aren’t any Mayan ruins directly in Cancun, you don’t have to venture far out to find some incredible historical sites.


This is the easiest place to find a hotel or things a typical tourist might enjoy. There’s a lot to do and a lot of energy, plus great transport links and a large airport with many flight routes. If you want to up the anty, head during the Spring Break season.

Merida

Merida is somewhat the opposite of Cancun, being an extremely old city as opposed to a purpose-built tourist one. Merida has a ton of charm because of this, with authentic architecture and rich local culture. Merida is certainly a great option if you’re looking to indulge in Mexican culture and enjoy a tranquil, quiet city.

This is why many digital nomads head to Merida, as it’s a walkable, cheaper city than Cancun. Merida is close to Chichen Itza among many other places of interest, but it’s a city that you needn’t leave to have a good time. In particular, the local food, markets, and art & museums. Though, if you’re looking for day trips, you can visit zoos, caves, boat tours, beaches, and historical ruins.

Mexico City

If you thought Merida sounds perfect for you, it may be worth hearing what Mexico City has to offer. Although Merida has stunning food, Mexico City takes this to an extreme, being a vastly larger city with a lot more diversity and options.

While being a little more chaotic, Mexico City has a lot more energy. This is ideal for city dwellers looking for some urban fun, as opposed to a more laid-back, quiet Merida. Mexico City is unbeaten when it comes to the sheer amount of museums, history, and tours. This would be a great option for long-stay visitors as well as short holidays – but bear in mind there are no beaches like the Riviera Maya.