Mexico hidden gems

Top 5 Hidden Gems in Mexico

There’s no doubt that Mexico’s all-inclusive resorts are amazing. But let’s also acknowledge the fact that Mexico is much more than places like Cancun, Tulum and Puerto Vallarta. Quite frankly, beyond the popular tourist destinations, Mexico boasts countless hidden gems waiting to be discovered. From pristine beaches to historic ghost towns, these off-the-beaten-path destinations offer the unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the country’s vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and rich history. And if you’re ready to experience something different from your standard all-inclusive, here are the top 5 hidden gems in Mexico.

1. Huasteca Potosina

Los Micos National Park Mexico
© nailotl | Depositphotos.com

Nestled in the heart of the state of San Luis Potosí, Huasteca Potosina is a hidden gem known for its breathtaking natural beauty. Here, visitors can explore lush rainforests, sparkling turquoise rivers, and stunning waterfalls that rival those of more famous destinations. Highlights include the towering Tamul Waterfall, the surreal Puente de Dios (Bridge of God), and the awe-inspiring Sótano de las Golondrinas (Cave of Swallows). With its abundance of outdoor activities and natural wonders, Huasteca Potosina is a paradise for adventure seekers and nature lovers alike.

How to get to Husteca Potosina?

The nearest major airport to the Huasteca Potosina region is the Ciudad Valles Airport (Tamazunchale National Airport) in San Luis Potosí. From there, you can rent a car or take a bus to reach the towns and attractions within the Huasteca Potosina.

2. Pueblos Mágicos (Magic Towns) of Chiapas

Pueblos Mágicos of Chiapas
© MadrugadaVerde | Depositphotos.com

While Chiapas itself is a pretty popular destination in Mexico, its charming Pueblos Mágicos (Magic Towns) often go overlooked by travelers. Towns like Chiapa de Corzo, Comitán de Domínguez, and San Cristóbal de las Casas boast rich cultural heritage, colonial architecture, and vibrant local markets. Visitors can immerse themselves in the region’s indigenous roots, explore ancient ruins, and sample traditional cuisine. With its blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, Chiapas’ Pueblos Mágicos offer a truly authentic Mexican experience.

How to get to Pueblos Mágicos of Chiapas?

To reach the Pueblos Mágicos (Magical Towns) of Chiapas you would typically need to travel to the Angel Albino Corzo International Airport in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the capital of Chiapas. From there, you can rent a car or take a bus to reach the Pueblos Mágicos.

3. Isla Holbox

Tropical Beach on Isla Holbox
© zstockphotos | Depositphotos.com

Tucked away off the northern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, Isla Holbox is a tranquil paradise known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and laid-back atmosphere. With no cars allowed on the island and a slower pace of life, Holbox offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of more touristy destinations like Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Visitors can relax on the beach, go kayaking or paddleboarding, or take a boat tour to spot whale sharks and flamingos. With its unspoiled natural beauty and relaxed vibe, Isla Holbox is a hidden gem just waiting to be discovered.

How to get to Isla Holbox?

Most travelers to Isla Holbox arrive via Cancún or Playa del Carmen, both popular tourist destinations in the state of Quintana Roo. Basically, from either Cancún or Playa del Carmen, you need to make your way to the town of Chiquila, which serves as the mainland departure point for ferries to Isla Holbox. From there, the ferry ride takes around 20-30 minutes.

4. Real de Catorce

Church of the Village of Real de Catorce in Mexico
© Edoardo Correa | Pexels.com

Perched high in the mountains of the state of San Luis Potosí, Real de Catorce is a picturesque ghost town with a rich history and mystical charm. Founded in the 18th century as a silver mining town, Real de Catorce is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its well-preserved colonial architecture and stunning desert landscape. Visitors can wander its cobblestone streets, explore abandoned silver mines, and take in panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and desert. With its unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, Real de Catorce offers a truly unforgettable experience.

How to get to Real de Catorce?

The nearest major airport is Ponciano Arriaga International Airport (SLP) in San Luis Potosí City. From there, you can rent a car or take a bus to Matehuala, which is about a 2.5 to 3-hour drive from the airport.

5. Bacalar

Lagoon in Bacalar Mexico
© Alekskut | Depositphotos.com

Often referred to as the “Maldives of Mexico,” Bacalar is a hidden gem located in the southern state of Quintana Roo. The town’s main attraction is the stunning Bacalar Lagoon, known for its mesmerizing shades of blue and its unique stromatolites, ancient living fossils that date back millions of years. Visitors can swim, kayak, or paddleboard in the lagoon, explore nearby cenotes and Mayan ruins, or simply relax and soak in the natural beauty of the area. With its tranquil waters and lush surroundings, Bacalar offers a serene and off-the-beaten-path alternative to the crowded beaches of the Riviera Maya.

How to get to Bacalar?

The nearest major airport to Bacalar is the Chetumal International Airport (CTM), located in the city of Chetumal, approximately 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Bacalar. You can fly into Chetumal Airport from various destinations in Mexico, including Mexico City and Cancún, as well as some international flights. From the airport, you can take a taxi or rent a car to Bacalar.


While Mexico is beloved for its incredible, all-inclusive resorts, the country is also home to countless hidden gems waiting to be discovered. From the natural beauty of Huasteca Potosina to the historical charm of Real de Catorce, these underrated travel destinations offer a glimpse into Mexico’s diverse culture, history, and landscapes. So why not venture off the beaten path and explore Mexico’s hidden treasures on your next adventure? After all, you never know what wonders you might discover!

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