ONE MONTH MEXICO ITINERARY - BlueMarble Vagabonds

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Chichen Itza - cover photo for One Month Mexico Itinerary
Intineraries Mexico

ONE MONTH MEXICO ITINERARY

By
on
January 13, 2020
This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you choose to click trough and make a purchase, we will receive a small comission (we’re literally talking pennies here folks!) at absolutely no extra cost to you. This allows us to keep creating awesome travel tips for free and… Ah, who are we kidding here, we’re gonna spend bucks by buying yet another flashy toy for our dog which His Highness will promptly ignore.

Mexico is a vast country that covers a land area of almost 2,000,000 square kilometers.

To put that in perspective, it is approximately 100 times bigger than our country, Slovenia. And while you could easily spend weeks exploring tiny Slovenia, imagine how much time you’d then need for Mexico. 😊

So, unless you are planning to move to Mexico and dedicate your whole life to traveling and exploring it, you won’t be able to really see it all.

But if you are excited about colorful colonial towns, majestic Mayan pyramids and crispy tacos or endless stretches of white sandy beaches and beautiful coral reefs, you should at least visit Mexico once in a lifetime!

To help you make the most of your visit, we have put together a day-by-day one month Mexico itinerary that will take you from the capital all the way down to the Yucatan peninsula.

You could do it in the reverse order as well, but a word of advice – leaving the sandy beaches for the end is a perfect choice. 😉

The one month Mexico itinerary can be adjusted according to your time and budget – either you can shorten it (by skipping some places on the way) or extend it (by staying more days at one place). We spent 6 weeks in Mexico in total, but this route can easily be done in one month as well. 😊

 

YOUR ONE MONTH MEXICO ITINERARY:

No. of days: 30

 

DAY 1

Your one month Mexico itinerary will start in the capital of Mexico, Cuidad de Mexico (Mexico City) and consists mostly of settling in. Head to the historic center of the city to try your first tacos and margarita.

DAY 2-5

Explore the capital of Mexico and its surrounding area.

Here are some suggestions on what to do in Mexico City:

  • Palacio Nacional
  • Chapultepec Park
  • Palacio of Bellas Artes
  • Frida Kahlo House
  • Teotihuacan

For a detailed guide about what to do in Mexico City read our article: 4 days in Mexico City

Vagabonds’ tip for accommodation:

 Hotel Mala Vecindad A beer-themed hotel close to “centro historico” and next to a subway station, which makes transportation around Mexico City super easy. Since this hotel is in the center, the area is lively and authentic, but keep in mind not to walk around alone with your flashy new camera late at night. 😉

 

In front of Mexico City Cathedral (One month Mexico Itinerary)

The first day of your one month Mexico Itinerary spend in Mexico City!

 

DAY 6

Head to Oaxaca. Once you are settled in, walk around the city streets and you’ll surely find a carnival or street music somewhere. Join in! 😊 Want to know why Oaxaca is our favourite place in Mexico? Check out 25 amazing things you can do in Oaxaca!

Vagabonds’ tip for accommodation:

Andaina Youth Hostel An enormous three-floor hostel close to the city center with spacious rooms, shared bathrooms and kitchen area. Bonus: rooftop terrace with a view all around the city.

 

DAY 7

Go on one of the trips offered by the many travel agencies in Oaxaca; this way you will be able to see many places at once (unless you have a car – in this case, you can explore everything by yourself). You’ll be able to visit the monuments of Monte Alba or Mitla, observe the process of making colourful carpets, try many flavours of mezcal (this we don’t recommend if travelling by car!) and jump into the cold natural infinity pools of Hierve del Agua.

 

Black dog in front of the natural infinity pool in Hierve al Agua, Mexico

Hierve al Agua. He’d like to swim too!

 

DAY 8

From Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido. You can go to Puerto Escondido with a minibus for a mere $12, but be prepared for 8 hours of crazy driving on a very bumpy and “curvy” road. It was one hell of an experience and I couldn’t be more thankful for my anti-nausea pills. The other possibility is to fly there with a small aeroplane for $55. If we ever go to Puerto Escondido again, we will choose the latter. 😊

Vagabonds’ tip for accommodation:

Bonobo Surf House This is our favourite hostel EVER. Like, EVER EVER. Owned by a German girl (and 2 fluffy dogs) this hostel is professionally managed but has a real tropical vibe. In a matter of minutes, you will feel like home with one big family around you. Healthy breakfasts, tons of fun activities every day and an always smiling staff will make you wanna stay here forever.

 

DAY 9 – 11

Puerto Escondido. Relax and take it easy! Spend time soaking in the sun or learn to surf – Puerto Escondido is one of the best places in the world for surfing. 😊 You can see the fantastic phenomenon of bioluminescence here (Have you ever glittered like diamonds? Now is your chance!) or join the daily release of baby turtles into the sea (done by a non-profit organization on one of the beaches).

 


PRO TIP:  If you are into meditation and yoga, instead of Puerto Escondido, Mazunte, a little bit further south on the coast will be THE place for you.


In the evening of the 11th day take an overnight bus to San Cristobal.

 

Check out our first video from Mexico – from Mexico City to Puerto Escondido!

 

DAY 12

San Cristobal de las Casas. If you aren’t too tired from the overnight bus, take a free walking tour around the city at 10 am (or at 4 pm if you’re not a morning person). Simply show up near the cross in the main square and you’ll see all the gringos gathering 🙂 A fun and interesting morning! For the rest of the day, explore the town by yourself.

Vagabonds’ tip for accommodation:

 B&B Le Gite del Sol Simple B&B with ensuite or shared bathrooms that is managed by a nice old lady who will remind you of your grandma. And she will act like you’re her grandchild, so don’t be surprised if she asks when she can expect you  ‘home’. 😉

 

Local lady from San Cristobal de las Casas in front of the graffiti wall (One month Mexico Itinerary)

A local lady from San Cristobal

 

DAY 13

Join the tour to the Canon del Sumidero. The canyon itself is magnificent, and with a bit of luck, you will also see a lot of monkeys, birds and two crocodiles that give the impression they are being paid to pose for photos.

Take it easy in the afternoon, since at night you again have a 9-hour long trip to Palenque (there is technically a shorter route, but buses do not take it as roadblocks by locals are not uncommon). The alternative is to stay another night in San Cristobal and travel during the next day.

 

 

DAY 14

Palenque. The town is extremely small and there is not much to do around here besides visiting the nearby ruins. Nevertheless, since it is best to visit the ruins in the morning when there are no crowds and it is not too hot, just take a day to relax a bit. Drink a beer. Or five 🙂

Vagabonds’ tip for accommodation:

 Hotel Maya Rue A hotel in the center of the town with spacious breakfast seating and bar downstairs.

 

BPalenque ruins (One month Mexico Itinerary)

Tomb Raider, Bojan’s edition

 

DAY 15

How time flies, you are already halfway through your one-month Mexico itinerary! After visiting pyramids in Palenque in the morning, head to Campeche. You will arrive in time for dinner – and now that you are already deep in Yucatan, and the tropical vibe is kicking in,  it’s time to treat yourself with a big margarita 😉 (if you have not done it yet by now!)

Vagabonds’ tip for accommodation:

We have not stayed overnight in Campeche and therefore cannot personally recommend any of accommodations. But this lovely colonial-style hotel El Navegante has pretty good reviews!

 

DAY 16

Wander around and explore Campeche. The city itself is not that big, so a day to scratch the surface will be enough (or extend your stay if you have time!).  Afterwards continue your journey towards Merida, the capital of the state of Yucatan.

Vagabonds’ tip for accommodation:

Hotel Doralba Inn Big hotel with spacious rooms near the town center. It features an inner terrace where it is pleasant to chill out and a big swimming pool – a real treat since the climate can be quite humid here!

 

DAY 17 

Merida has a great number of museums and exhibitions around the main square. Admission is free to all of them!

Dinner tip: Las Vigas was our favourite local food restaurant in the whole of Mexico. Huge, tasty, cheap! 🙂

 

Mexico, second part: From San Cristobal de las Casas to Merida

 

DAY 18

Go on a trip to Celestun. Thousands and thousands of pink flamingos that glide across the Celestun lagoon is surely a view that is not to be missed! It is possible to take an organized tour or also to go there with a bus by yourself. Spend the afternoon relaxing on the beach in Celestun or head to one of the beach bars for a freezing cold Corona.

 

Flamingos fighting in Celestun Lagoon (One month Mexico Itinerary)

Chicken fight 😉

 

DAY 19

Today it’s time for one of the highlights of your one-month Mexico itinerary – Chichen Itza is on the schedule!

No matter what time you visit the ruins, there will be a lot of people around – this happens when you are named “one of the wonders of the world”. However, your best chance for an (almost) crowd-free experience is very early in the morning.

After you explore every corner of the complex, continue on your way to Valladolid.


PRO TIP: In Merida, it is possible to arrange a shuttle that will take you to Valladolid after visiting the ruins. If you are traveling by car, plan to arrive in Valladolid a night before and this way you can be at Chichen Itza early!


Vagabonds’ tip for accommodation:

Gayser Apartments; Spacious apartments equipped with a kitchenette and 24-hour service desk.

 

 

DAY 20

If traveling by car, you can make a day trip to Rio Lagartos, where a fluorescent pink lagoon is located. Otherwise, spend the day exploring and swimming in the many cenotes scattered around Valladolid. The Cenote Suytun is exceptional, but cenotes Palomitas, Ik Kil, Agua Dulce and others are equally stunning!

 

Cenote Seytun

“less famous” part of Cenote Suytun

 

DAY 21

From Valladolid to Bacalar. Bacalar is a few kilometers long, and exceptionally pretty, lagoon. It is said to have not less than 7 shades of blue! 😊 The laguna is a popular tourist spot for Mexicans, so be sure to book in advance at peak seasons.

Vagabonds’ tip for accommodation:

Kulu Tubohostel. Fancy a unique accommodation? This will be for you! Kulu Tubohostel has rooms inside small concrete tubes that are placed around a swimming pool. It also features a bamboo bar where delicious oven-baked pizzas are served every evening! However, if you prefer beach lodging (and are claustrophobic 😉), we recommend staying at The Yak Lakehouse Hostal.

 

DAY 22

Spend the day by the shore. In the hammock. 😊

 

Laguna Bacalar
Laguna Bacalar

DAY 23

From Bacalar to Tulum. Cheaper accommodations are available inside the town, but you will get the real tropical feel right next to the beach. If, of course, you manage to find accommodation for a reasonable price 😊

Vagabonds’ tip for accommodation:

Elements Tulum Boutique Hotel This boutique hotel is one of the nicest we have stayed in during a year-long honeymoon. It is quite pricey (although this goes for many accommodations in Tulum), but we were lucky since there was a special discount at that time. Special offers are not uncommon, so we suggest you to check it out anyway

 

DAY 24

Visit the ruins of Tulum! Inside the complex, there is also a beach where you can swim, which is included in the admission fee. Hopefully, there won’t be too many algae in the sea – this phenomenon is common along the Tulum coast.

 

Bojan on one of the sandy beaches near Tulum. Torquise ocean is beautiful.(One month Mexico Itinerary)

Beaches near Tulum – algae are a problem but the sea is gorgeous 😍

 

DAY 25

Playa del Carmen or Puerto Morelos. Playa del Carmen is a famous party place, while Puerto Morelos is a more peaceful village. Spend a day on the beach or go on a snorkel tour.

Vagabonds’ tip for accommodation:

We have not stayed overnight in Playa del Carmen (went to Isla Cozumel in the evening instead) but this The Shore at 46th Hotel with a rooftop pool looks amazing!

 

Colorful statue of Puerto Morelos

This colourful names of the places can be found all around Mexico

 

DAY 26 – 29

Visit one of the islands. Isla Cozumel is a larger island where cruise ships arrive every day. Diving here is superb and many diving schools offer courses or exploratory dives. We got our PADI license in Cozumel!

An alternative to Isla Cozumel is Isla Holbox (north of Cancun) which is a smaller island with no cars and a more easy-going vibe. Between June and September, snorkelling/diving with whale sharks is possible here. Yay! 🙂

Vagabonds’ tip for accommodation in Cozumel:

 La Casona Art & Recycling As the name says this place is all about the art. A large three-floor house with decorations everywhere and a big common area with low couches. The kitchen is well equipped and the front yard with a long wooden table is perfect for dining together with fellow backpackers and making new friendships along the way.

 

Isla Cozumel (One month Mexico Itinerary)

Isla Cozumel

 

DAY 30

Spend the last day of your one month Mexico itinerary in Cancun, which is really the heart of the party. “Salud!”

Vagabonds’ tip for accommodation in Cancun:

 Selina Cancun Lagoon; This is one of the rare places in the “hotel zone” of Cancun that is not a gigantic chain hotel. It is located behind the hotel line with a view on the inner lagoon. It features a big pool and an outside bar.

 

Mexico, the last part! 🙂

 

HOW MUCH DO I HAVE TO SAVE FOR ONE MONTH IN MEXICO?

 

Before travel

Plane ticket: from Europe approx. 350-600 €, from USA approx. 150-400 €

Visa: For EU & USA citizens, a “tourist visa” is free and is included in the plane ticket price. But if you leave Mexico on land (i.e. you continue your trip to Belize), it’s good to be prepared, because they will try to charge you a Mexico exit fee at the border! In this article, I write how to avoid this (illegally imposed) fee.

Travel Insurance: Depending on the insurance company you choose.

 

Travel Expenses

Travel expenses depend on what kind of traveler you are – do you travel on a tight budget or do you like to splurge? It can be anywhere from 1000€ per person (or even less, if you are hardcore backpacker) to … well, the sky is the limit!

Our detailed budget breakdown for Mexico will help you plan your expenses.

 


HEADING FURTHER TO GUATEMALA? You may also like…


 

We hope this one month Mexico itinerary will help you plan your perfect trip!

 

And don’t forget…it all starts with a pin. 😉

Pin for One Month Mexico Itinerary

 

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22 Comments
  1. Reply

    Anonymous

    September 28, 2019

    Lovely, I am planning to do this trip the other way around with 2 weeks volunteering in Merida, in January.

    Best

    • Reply

      bluemarble

      September 30, 2019

      Hi!

      Merida is a really interesting city with lots of options for short trips! We hope you’ll have a great time there 🙂

  2. Reply

    Katja | placesandnotes

    January 18, 2020

    Wow that sounds like such a great trip around Mexico! We´ve never been, but it´s on the list – definitely saving this itinerary 🙂 Thanks for sharing xo

    • Reply

      Blue Marble Vagabonds

      January 21, 2020

      Great, happy to hear that! Let me know what you think about mezcal when you go! 😉

  3. Reply

    Ashleigh Hogan

    January 22, 2020

    Oh wow, such a detailed itinerary still yet to visit Mexico but will be using this when I do

    • Reply

      Blue Marble Vagabonds

      January 24, 2020

      It’s good to hear that! Happy Vagabonding :))

  4. Reply

    shilohinthecity

    January 22, 2020

    This is so helpful! Thank you for making this so detailed.

    • Reply

      Blue Marble Vagabonds

      January 24, 2020

      You’re welcome. If you’ll have any more questions about Mexico, feel free to write to us 🙂

  5. Reply

    shafinah.neville

    January 23, 2020

    for some reason this article is so inspiring and my heart is so full now! I would love to be able to hop around a country for a full month (sooner rather than later, i hope)!

    • Reply

      Blue Marble Vagabonds

      January 24, 2020

      Well, we hope your wish does come true…soon! 🙂

  6. Reply

    Snazzytrips

    January 23, 2020

    What a fabulous itinerary for Mexico. I love the idea of leaving the sandy beaches to the end. Sounds perfect. I hope to visit Mexico, so will keep this handy.

    • Reply

      Blue Marble Vagabonds

      January 24, 2020

      Thank you! And when you do go…enjoy that sandy beaches ;))

  7. Reply

    Allie

    January 24, 2020

    Seeing the pink flamingos at Celestun is at the top of my must visit in Mexico list now! Thanks for the great detailed itinerary

    • Reply

      Blue Marble Vagabonds

      January 24, 2020

      They are so cute and funny! It’s like observing one big happy family who fights from time to time 😀 You’re welcome, always happy to help 🙂

  8. Reply

    Paula Martinelli

    January 25, 2020

    Great guide to Mexico! It is a great destination and inside a budget! Thanks for sharing this super detailed guide, I will keep it in mind!

    • Reply

      Blue Marble Vagabonds

      January 28, 2020

      You’re welcome! Happy Vagabonding 🙂

  9. Reply

    Diana

    January 25, 2020

    It has always been a dream of mine to visit Mexico! will definitely put your itinerary to use, when planning my trip! <3

    • Reply

      Blue Marble Vagabonds

      January 28, 2020

      Happy to hear that! <3

  10. Reply

    Sharyn

    January 25, 2020

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post. You have provided a very extensive itinerary help people to experience Mexico. Well Done. I love the photos also. Mexico looks like a very colourful place. I have only been to Cancun for a week and on my next trip I plan to stay longer.

    • Reply

      Blue Marble Vagabonds

      January 28, 2020

      Yucatan is nice but the rest of Mexico is even better and I am sure you will enjoy it! 🙂

  11. Reply

    ryan

    April 16, 2020

    Thanks for the great write up. I prefer to spend more time getting to know places, I was hoping you would be kind enough to recommend the places you mentioned in this 30 day itinerary where you could/would spend more time and which places aren’t worth more days, or that you might skip in order to have more days to spend at the places you really enjoyed. This would be very helpful. Thanks in advance. Great write up

    • Reply

      Sandra

      April 20, 2020

      Hello Ryan! 🙂

      How much time do you have in total? I guess it depends on that 🙂 If we’d have to choose then I guess we’d maybe skip Cancun totally (and just head to airport) and perhaps Campeche. You could also shorten your stay in Mexico City for a day or two and just go check the highlights. Oaxaca region is our absolute favorite, so if anything, we would add extra days to Oaxaca and Puerto Escondido (or a few days in Mazunte).
      Many love Bacalar, but despite we found it relaxing and the lagoon is nice, we felt that’s really not much to do there – so we’d prefer one of the islands over Bacalar.

      If you have any more questions, just let us know!:)

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