Please help with itinerary for trip to Mexico.

My wife and I are planning a trip to Mexico this September and October. Probably 6 weeks in total. So far, we have decided to start in San Miguel de Allende and spend a week there. Maybe two weeks.

Other destinations on our preliminary list include (in order of preference) Oaxaca, Puerta Vallarta, Mexico City, Cabo San Lucas, and Merida.

I’m guessing we will want to fly Aeromexico between most of these destinations as they are pretty far apart. But we are not opposed to taking busses.

Here are my questions.

– Is there any order in which we should visit these cities? The order may be dictated by flight schedules.

– Are there any other cities you would recommend?

By way of background, we are from the U.S., recently retired in our late 50’s, love hiking, exploring cities, parks, meeting people, and of course food!. I speak Spanish.

We have been to the Cancun/Playa Del Carmen area (including Tulum) numerous times so we will probably skip that area this trip.

Thanks for your advice!


  1. Welcome! Your destinations are all beautiful cities which will surely lead you to some more beautiful towns. If you enjoy travelling, trying new food and learning about new cultures i would advise checking the nearby not so turistic experiencies:

    Oaxaca – Visit Mitla or even consider a roadtrip to the oaxacan Beaches which are súper incredible and magic (Mazunte, Zipolite, La Boquilla) some like me say that here are no other beaches in Mexico with the looks and the vibes like the ones in Oaxaca. On your way there, you must stop in San José del Pacífico, a magic place well known for its psicodelic shrooms and its incredible canyon views.

    Puerto Vallarta – check out the nearby beaches in Nayarit like La Lancha. Consider even Sayulita a very hippie chic musical and internacional beachside town.

    Mexico City -dont miss the chance of visiting Cholula which is 2 hours away and has an important prehispanic culture still gong on. Lots of street art, cheap food, cool local experiencies such as: hiking the Popocatépetl, making your own tradicional clay objet, experiencing a traditional temazcal. I personally host an art residency here so advising trip tips and local reccomendations is my fav.

    Cabo san Lucas – this zone in the country is definitely well advised to rent a car and live the roadtrip experience. There are beautiful dessertic beaches “nearby” CSL but will definitely need a car to reach them. Search for: Loreto, Mulegé, Playa el Burro.

    Mérida: 40 minutes away there is Valladolid, well known town for its famous mexican cusine (the best ive had). Its a Mini and beautiful place to go for a day or two visit. Check out and take a swim in a cenote situated in downtown.

    Because many local and international travellers visit this “alternative” nearby choices, you can surely find buses or vans that take you from your original pick to your adventurous escape for low prices.

    I would advise flying to CSL-Puerto Vallarta-CDMX-Mérida (or even Cancún and finish roadtrippong to Valladolid and then Merida, flights are way cheaper in CUN AirPort) Flying to those cities and then moving around in busses or a rented car would be my strongest advise due to the distancies between and the prices.

  2. In the vicinity of San Miguel de Allende, I’d recommend Queretaro, Bernal, Mineral de Pozos, and Guanajuato. It’s a nice region and two weeks would be enough for you to do all of these things. You could probably even do them all in 1.5 weeks.

  3. We have decided to try to get the best of the both worlds. Spend week in Mexico City area and fly to Cancun/Yucatan Peninsula area for another week in Dec.

    These are the places we are hoping to go in Mexico City Area. Do you think what we are planning is doable for 7-10days? Please keep in mind we are thinking to fly to Cancun from Mexico City.

    * Mexico City(2-3days) – maybe spend 2-3days? Is this enough?

    * Guanajuato(1-2days) – Is there a day tour for this location? Is a day enough or should we just rent a car and spend couple of days here? Or maybe a bus? How long of a drive is this place from Mexico City?

    * Puebla(1day) – Is there a day tour for this location? I heard it’s only an hour from Mexico City.

    * Oaxaca(?days) – How long of a drive is this location from Mexico City? Is there a day tour or should we relocate to this place and spend couple of days. I have read that couple of days are needed.

    These are the places we are hoping to go in Yucatan Peninsula.

    * Cancun – we were thinking to make Cancun our base or maybe couple of days in Cancun and rest in Palaya del Carmen?

    * Chinchen-Itza(1day) – a day tour service, I have heard there’s a lots of day tours. Should we take a tour or drive ourselves?

    * Cozumel(1day) – a day tour service?

    * Tulum(1day) – Not sure if there’s a tour or we should rent a car and explore ourselves.

    * Coba(1day) – a day tour service?

    So what does everyone thinks about our plan? We are open to any and all suggestion or changes to our itinerary. Please let me know if you think our schedule is too tight and we should forgo or add a place. Also, if possible please please give us Hotel recommendations. We are somewhat on a budget and would like to spend around $150 USD per night for hotels.

    As I was doing my research, I realized that there’s so places to see in Mexico and so little time and a budge. I thank you all for your advice in advance.

  4. the only area I know about is Guanajuato. I think you could either bus or drive from Mexico City. One day is enough for Guanajuato, but you might consider another day to visit Dolores Hidalgo (1 hr away) and San Miguel Allende (also 1 hr away.) Both are worth seeing when you are on a one time trip. sounds like a great trip! Have fun.

    btw, we stay in the Posada San Francisco which is on the Jardin in Guanajuato…a very old hotel which is still elegant and the location can’t be beat. You can reserve a front room overlooking the Jardin, and it has wooden windows which can close at night and keep out the noise and light.

  5. I think you are ambitious to go north of Mexico City and south inside 7 days. Mexico City to Oaxaca is around 7 hours, Mexico City to Guanajuato is 5 hours. Forget driving in Guanajuato – most of the roads in the center are underground, parking is difficult and a taxi will take you from A to B for less than 3 USD. You can use night buses between cities but those distances will still tire you out. I suggest you either go north and spend time in Guanajuato/San Miguel/Querétaro OR south to Puebla and Oaxaca but not both. There are direct buses from both Querétaro and Puebla to Mexico City airport which can be useful in getting to your flight to Cancun.

    Of course many will say that 7 days isn’t enough to see even Mexico City but to do Mexico City and go a long way north AND south is just too much really.

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