From snorkelling with whale sharks to swimming in cenotes and exploring Mayan ruins, Mexico has a lot to offer. In this article I share my recommended Mexico experiences for solo travellers.
When I found out I was travelling into Mexico City instead of Cancun, I must admit I was slightly nervous. I had heard scary things about the capital and was dubious, to say the least but Mexico City surprised me in more ways than one. It's modern and like many places in the world there are areas that are better avoided but as a whole, it is just like any other city.
Mexico City has parks, there's a lake for rowing, it has great artwork and architecture, ruins and ancient pyramids. And more museums than any other capital. There’s also the bohemian area of La Condesa where you can just people watch and enjoy a coffee or tequila.
Mexico City was actually founded in 1325 by the Aztecs who were given a sign to build a city on a valley. Many moons later, Mexico remains the oldest city on the American continent and is one of the most populated cities in the world. (It has earthquakes too!) If you are wondering what to do in Mexico alone, I spent two weeks in Mexico travelling solo and share my recommended things to do in Mexico and the top experiences for Mexico solo travel.
1. Explore Mexico City
Explore the city and take in the sites. Walk past murals and drive along Mexico’s most famous street with historic monuments before learning more about the country’s ancient civilisations at the Anthropology Museum. Even if you’re not taking a tour, The Museum of Anthropology is a must-see to learn more about their many cultures.
Other things to do in Mexico City include a visit to the Mexico Zoo which is free to enter and has many special research programmes and rare animals including those indigneious to Mexico. They've even got a monkey named after a coffee (the Capuchino monkey!) If you’re feeling brave enough to hold a tarantula, millipede or scorpion, then head to the Butterfly Farm to test your nerve.
Instead of wandering and navigating the city on your own, you could take a Mexico City guided tour to explore one of the largest downtown city areas in the world.
2. Watch Mexican Wrestling
You can’t come all the way to Mexico and not witness this crazy spectacle! Lucha Libre is a type of Mexican free fighting held at Arena Mexico in Mexico City (and around the country). Think WWE Mexican-style. It’s a sport that has been in the country for near 90 years where masked wrestlers fight one another in a choreographed motion to a frenzied crowd. It’s held weekly and is definitely a site to see when in Mexico City.
3. Watch The Sunrise Over Teotihuacan
Visit this famous archeological site near Mexico City, known as the City of the Gods. Take a tour with an archaeologist to get there early and watch the sunrise over the pyramids whilst learning more about this important pre-Hispanic city. The tour departs from Mexico City (if you’re not an early riser you can take the afternoon tour instead).
4. Hike a Volcano
Leave Mexico City and hike one of the highest volcanoes in Central America. The active volcano of Iztaccihuatl is 5,230 metres high and is Mexico’s 2nd highest peak offering great views of the village and village below. If you love hiking but feel a bit worried about hiking alone, take a guided hiking tour from Mexico city and join a small group instead.
5. See Chichen Itza and Swim in a Cenote
Head to the Riviera Maya to visit Chichén Itzá, the most famous Mayan archaeological site before experiencing one of Mexico’s sinkholes – Ik Kil cenote. If you don’t have time to independently travel to both of these in one day, you can take a tour that also includes a visit to the colonial city of Valladolid and a slap up buffet meal at Ik Kil. The tour departs from Cancun or the Riviera Maya.
6. Escape To an Island: Isla Mujeres or Cozumel
Leave the mainland and spend the day on one of Mexico’s islands. The boats operate from 08.00 to 20.00 and have air conditioning and a covered area to sit in. Boats depart from Cancun to Isla Mujeres, or from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel. If you prefer to sail around it instead of just taking the boat there, there is an all inclusive full-day catamaran tour which includes snorkelling and a lunch buffet too.
7. Coco Bongo
Coco Bongo is one of the best experiences in Cancun. This entertainment venue isn’t just a normal club. This non-stop show of musical impersonators, acrobats and dancers is one of the fun activities in Mexico, where you dance along to the entertainment. These ticket include an open bar for local drinks from 10.30pm until 03.30am. Read my Coco Bongo experience or click the link below to book the experience.
8. Snorkel With Whale Sharks
If you visit Mexico between June and September you can snorkel with the giant whale sharks. Whale sharks are really docile and this is truly a once in a lifetime experience. You can book tours when you’re there but if you want to pre-book, click the link below. Tours pick you up from Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum. If you are planning to be on the Pacific coast from mid-December until mid-April you can still take a whale watching adventure at Los Cabos, to search for humpback whales.
See, Mexico isn't that scary! Below are some more photos of Mexico City to inspire you. If you're travelling solo to Mexico discover our Solo Travel in Mexico guide to help plan your trip. * Read Solo Travel in Mexico
- Things To do in Yucatan Solo
- Mexico to Belize Border Crossing
- Hostel Ka’beh, Cancun
- Snorkeling with Whale Sharks
- Weary Traveler Hostel Tulum
- Mexican Wrestling
- Hey Gringo!