Best Day Trips from Mexico City
By Viator, June 2014
With hundreds of attractions and an estimated population of over 20 million people, Mexico City can be a bit overwhelming to some travelers, especially first time visitors to Mexico. If you are hoping to make the city your base, but do some additional exploring, taking a day trip from Mexico City is ideal. Wondering what some of the best day trips are from Mexico City? Here is a look at a few options that will give you a better feel of life outside the largest Spanish-speaking city in the world.
Called the City of the Gods, Teotihuacan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located about 50 km northeast of Mexico City. It was one of the most powerful cultural centers in Mesoamerica and one of the oldest known archeological sites in Mexico. Notable structures include the Temple of Quetzalcoatl and the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon. Teotihuacan is also home to a botanical garden that is dedicated to the preservation of around 60% of the flora found in Mexico. There are museums and a series of artistic events and festivals held in Teotihuacan.
Puebla, formally known as Puebla de los Angeles, is one of the five most important Spanish colonial cities in Mexico and the capital of the state of Puebla. Located southwest of Mexico City, it is the one of the largest cities and metropolitan areas in Mexico. History, culture, and food abound in this World Heritage city, making it an ideal day trip from Mexico City. The popular Cinco de Mayo holiday has historical roots in Puebla as it’s the celebration of the defeat of invading French troops in 1862. Be sure to bring your appetite as several of Mexico’s signature dishes are said to have originated here – mole poblano, chiles en nogada, and cemita.
Cholula was an important pre-Columbian city in Mesoamerica and is just west of the city of Puebla. Its pyramid is actually larger than the Pyramid of the Sun found at Teotihuacan, making it the largest pyramid structure in the Americas. It covers a staggering 46 acres and spans an incredible 405 meters on each side. You can climb the temple or explore via a labyrinth of interior tunnels. The Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de los Remedios was built on top of the pyramid and has 24K gold decorations.
The Programa Pueblos Magicos “Magical Villages Programme” is an initiative led by Mexico’s Secretariat of Tourism to promote towns that give visitors a “magical experience” through their natural beauty, cultural significance or historical relevance. Several of these towns are a stone’s throw from Mexico City and are viable day trip options. Tepoztlan is 45 miles away and is the mythical birthplace of the Aztec serpent god Quetzalcoatl. Taxco is 100 miles southwest of the city and is a 500-year-old mining town, revered for its silver jewelry. Malinalco is nearly two hours away from Mexico City but the scenic drive is worth the trip alone.
Valle de Bravo
Sometimes compared to spots like California’s Lake Tahoe, Valle de Bravo is nearly two hours west of Mexico City and the perfect spot for those who want a lakefront escape. This colonial-era village is centered along the shores of Lake Avandaro and has become a popular weekend getaway for Mexico City’s more affluent upper class. The lake’s calm waters make it perfect for a multitude of water activities like sailing, water-skiing, kayaking and more.
Tours & Tickets
Experience the heritage and history of Mexico on this 10-hour up-close and personal exclusive tour. See the world´s largest pyramid and its 365 churches at the ... Read more
Mexico City, Mexico
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)
Hike up Iztaccihuatl Volcano, Mexico’s third highest mountain, for a nature-filled day full of adventure! Heading two hours east from Mexico City with an ... Read more
Mexico City, Mexico
Duration: 12 hours (approx.)
Visit the archeological site of Teotihuacan – a UNESCO World Heritage site – on this private tour from Mexico City with an expert archeologist guide. As you ... Read more
Mexico City, Mexico
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)