3 Weeks Mexico Itinerary: The Only Guide You Need For The Ultimate Mexican Adventure


🌮🪅🇲🇽🌶️ Are you planning a 3 weeks Mexico itinerary?

We are here to help! Mexico is an incredible destination with vibrant culture, rich pre-Columbian heritage and stunning nature.

From ancient Mayan ruins such as Palenque or Chichen Itza to charming colonial cities like Merida or Valladolid, from serene white sand beaches to canyons and lush mountains – Mexico really has it all!

We’ve travelled through Mexico for months on multiple occasions and visited many different cities, islands and beach resorts. During our trip, we really fell in love with Mexico’s diversity and, of course, the food! 😄🌮🌯 For us, Mexico is a destination where we want to keep coming back to see and experience more!

Three weeks is a great starting point for seeing a lot of beautiful places in Mexico. So, we have put together this ultimate itinerary for Mexico so that you can experience all the best destinations and make the most out of your trip.

Let’s dive in!

3 Week Mexico Itinerary: Quick Guide

Here are some of the most helpful resources for planning Mexico itineraries, including the most awesome tours that we loved and can really recommend taking.


🌟 Ultimate Mexico Experiences:

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3 Weeks Mexico Itinerary: Overview

The 3 weeks Mexico itinerary that we are proposing in this article starts in Mexico City and ends in Cancun. Both places have international airports with worldwide connections, so you can easily fly in and out from there.

We have designed this itinerary with the aim of visiting some of the most popular but also some lesser-known destinations in Mexico.

Here is a brief overview of the itinerary:

  • Day 1 – 3 ➡️📍Mexico City
  • Day 4 – 6 ➡️📍Oaxaca City
  • Day 7 – 8 ➡️📍San Cristobal
  • Day 9 ➡️📍Palenque
  • Day 10 – 12 ➡️📍Bacalar
  • Day 12 – 15 ➡️📍Tulum
  • Day 15 – 17 ➡️📍Valladolid & Chichen Itza
  • Day 17 – 19 ➡️📍Merida
  • Day 19 – 21 ➡️📍Isla Mujeres
  • Day 22 – ➡️ Flight home from Cancun Airport

Day 1 – 3 Mexico City

Zocalo in Mexico City.
Zocalo, Mexico City.

Mexico City is the capital of Mexico and one of the most populous cities in the world. It’s a vibrant metropolis that offers a great variety of attractions, from enjoying Mexican street food to visiting some of the famous landmarks like Palacio de Bellas Artes or Chapultepec Park.

How To Get To Mexico City

Getting from Juarez International Airport to downtown is fairly easy. You can either call an Uber or take an official airport taxi. Once you pick up your luggage, there are several official taxi stands where you can prepay your fair and with a ticket, you go outside to the taxi stand. The taxi should cost around 300-400 MEX or $18-$24, depending on where you’re going.

📍Day 1 Historic Centre

Palacio de Bellas Artes is a must see on your Mexico itinerary.
Palacio de Bellas Artes, CDMEX.

Start your first day of the 3 weeks Mexico Itinerary at Zocalo, which is the heart of this bustling metropolis. This large square is not only the centre of social life but is also often a stage for protests, adding a layer of political significance to its cultural value.

The Zocalo is home to both the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral and the ruins of Templo Mayor – an Aztec temple complex that was once the heart of the ancient city of Tenochtitlan.

Additionally, the National Museum of World Cultures and National Palace are located nearby, fulfilling history buffs’ dreams.

Another stunning sight to behold is the Palacio de Bellas Artes, which is considered one of the most magnificent buildings in the city. For the best views of this awesome building, head to the Sears building across the street. On the 8th floor, there is a cafe with a balcony overlooking the palace.

Sampling Mexican street food is an essential part of all Mexico itineraries.

Finally, if you’re a foodie, an afternoon food tour is a must-do in the city famous for its amazing cuisine. Expect a feast for all your senses, discovering the unique flavours and spices that make up Mexico City’s culinary landscape.

Book your spot at the #1 Mexico City food tour for the best rate here

📍Day 2 Bosque de Chapultec + Coyoacan + Xochimilco

Chapultepec Castle, Mexico City.
Chapultepec Castle, Mexico City.
Include Chapultepec Park on your 3 weeks Mexico itinerary.
Chapultepec Lake.

Begin your second day of the Mexico 3 week itinerary by immersing yourself in the natural beauty of Bosque de Chapultepec, a vast park situated near the trendy neighbourhood of La Condesa.

With its winding pathways, blooming gardens, and peaceful lake, this urban oasis is perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Don’t forget to visit the Chapultepec Castle, perched high on a hill and offering unparalleled views of the park and surrounding city. Take a moment to relax by the picturesque lake in the middle of the park. We highly recommend renting a boat and rowing around the lake, which is a super fun activity.

Afterwards, head to the National Anthropology Museum, just behind the park, to learn about the prehispanic history of Mexico.

Mexico City, Coyoacan Neighbourhood.
Coyoacan Neighbourhood.
Frida Kahlo Museum in Coyoacan, CDMEX.
Frida Kahlo Museum in Coyoacan.

Continue your day with a visit to vibrant Coyoacan, a neighbourhood famous for its colourful murals and Frida Kahlo’s house.


Remember to book your museum tickets in advance.

Mexico City, Xochimilco.

Then, take the metro to Xochimilco – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and explore its canals on a traditional trajinera boat! Enjoy tacos al pastor (Mexican street food) and margaritas while surrounded by floating gardens.

For a hassle-free day, book a tour that combines Coyoacan & Xochimilco:

📍Day 3 Teotihuacan

Visiting Teotihuacan is a must activity on your 3 weeks in Mexico itinerary.

On day three of your Mexico itinerary 3 week, take a day trip to Teotihuacan – one of the most important archaeological sites in Mexico.

Teotihuacan was built thousand years before the arrival of Aztecs and was home to 100 thousand inhabitants, which made it the largest city in the Western Hemisphere until the 1400s.

It is home to some impressive pyramids: the Temple of the Sun – one of the 3 largest pyramids in the world (after Giza and Cholula); and the Temple of the Moon.

If you want to experience Teotihuacan pyramids in a whole new and exciting way, we highly recommend booking a hot air balloon ride. We did it, and it was the absolute highlight of our stay in Mexico City! Floating above the ancient ruins, a feeling of pure awe is sure to wash over you!

Teotihuacan Balloon Ride

Book the same Teotihuacan Hot Air Balloon Tour we did at the best rate here:

Visiting Teotihuacan is a must activity on your 3 weeks in Mexico itinerary.

Alternatively, check out this budget early morning tour of the Teotihuacan Archeological Site:

Where To Stay In Mexico City

The best areas to stay in Mexico City are Coyocan, Condesa and the Historic Centre. In these neighbourhoods, you will find chic boutique hotels and the best Mexico City hotels with pools.

🌟TOP Pick🌟
best Mexico itinerary

Casa Corp Boutique Suites

Located in the lively but safe La Condesa neighbourhood, this property features elegant suites equipped with private kitchens.

🌟Central located🌟
plan a trip to Mexico

Zocalo Central

Situated right by the National Cathedral on the main square of the historic centre, Zocalo Central features comfy suites and fantastic facilities such as a gym and a restaurant.

Day 4 – 6 Oaxaca City

Oaxaca – the ‘culinary capital’ of Mexico is the second destination on this 3 weeks Mexico itinerary, and as you probably can tell, Oaxca is heaven for foodies! The state of Oaxaca is also one of the most ethically-diverse regions in Mexico and an essential stop for all decent Mexico travel itineraries.

How To Get To Oaxaca City

The easiest and fastest way to get to Oaxaca from Mexico City is by taking a flight, which only takes about 1 hour, and the tickets start at $24.

📍Day 4 Historic Centre

Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán, Oaxaca
Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán.
Oaxaca City

Start day 4 of your travel itinerary Mexico has to offer by exploring the historic centre of Oaxaca.

One fantastic way to begin your adventure is by taking a free walking tour, where you can learn about the city’s rich history and culture from a local guide. We loved conversing with our guide, and we learnt many interesting stories about the local city life.

Make sure to come back to Zocalo, the heart of the city, later on. At night, the square comes alive with music, dancing, and vibrant street life.

Another must-visit attraction in the historic centre is the Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán, a stunning building with an intricate baroque facade.

Finally, don’t forget to indulge in Oaxaca’s culinary delights. Known for its delicious food and vibrant food culture, Oaxaca is a foodie paradise. Take some time to explore the many food markets and chocolate shops the city has to offer, or go on a food tour to experience the city’s culinary delights to the fullest.

Book your spot on this highly-rated food tour here:

📍Day 5 Monte Alban

Monte Alban, Oaxaca
Monte Alban should be on your itinerary Mexico

For the fifth day of your Mexico road trip itinerary, we suggest heading out to Monte Alban – a fascinating archaeological site located just outside Oaxaca.

This impressive pre-Columbian city, dating back to 500 BC, boasts stunning views and is home to some incredible ruins. Zapotecs inhabited it, and based on its architecture, ceramics and paintings, it has been heavily influenced by the city of Teotihuacan near Mexico City, suggesting those two great civilisations were in close contact.

If you’re a history buff, we recommend taking a guided tour to learn more about the history of this amazing site. But, it is also possible to take a local bus from Oaxaca and visit Monte Alban independently.

Remember to bring enough water and sunscreen with you, as the sun is quite intense in this part of Mexico!

📍Day 6 Hierve El Agua

Hierva el Agua from Oaxaca
Hierve El Agua.
Most tours to Hierve El Agua also stop at Mitla.
Most tours to Hierve El Agua also stop at Mitla.

End your stay in Oaxaca and the sixth day of your 3 weeks in Mexico itinerary with a visit to Hierve El Agua.

Located about 1.5 hours from Oaxaca, on the road to Mitla, Hierve el Agua (which translates as ‘boiling water’) is an incredible natural phenomenon – two petrified waterfalls cascading down the hillside of a rocky canyon.

Historians believe that Hierva el Agua was a sacred place for Zapotecs, and there is evidence suggesting that they built a complex irrigation system directing water from the springs to their fields.

Take some time to explore the area – there are various trails, lagoons and viewing terraces that you can visit – before heading back to Oaxaca City.

If you want to make the most of your day, sign up for an all-day tour that combines Hierve el Agua with the pre-Hispanic city of Mitla and some other local villages. The tour we did (and sharing below) was in a small group, and we really enjoyed hanging out with fellow travellers!

Check out the Hierve el Agua + Mitla tour we did here:

Where To Stay In Oaxaca City

The city boasts a great selection of affordable to luxury hotels with pools and Oaxaca boutique hotels to choose from.

🌟top pick🌟
route Mexico

Suites Parador Santo Domingo de G.

A short walk to downtown, this property features a shared pool and suites with a kitchen.

🌟mid-range pick🌟
backpacking in Mexico

La Casa de Pino

Located a 14-minute walk to Zocalo, La Casa de Pino offers one-bedroom apartments sleeping up to 4 people.

Day 7 – 8 San Cristobal De Las Casas

Welcome to San Cristobal De Las Casas, your next stop on this 3 weeks Mexico itinerary. This highland city in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas is renowned for its stunning Spanish colonial architecture and churches. A stroll through the city’s cobbled streets reveals an array of colourful, centuries-old facades, each a testament to the city’s rich history.

How To Get To San Cristobal

The best way to get to San Cristobal from Oaxaca is a night ADO bus. The bus leaves Oaxaca in the evening and arrives in San Cris in the morning. The tickets cost around $60, and you can get them online on ADO or directly from the bust station.


Choose ADOgl. which offers the most comfortable coaches. Trust us, on a 12-hour bus journey, and it will make a massive difference!

The closest airport to San Cris is located in Tuxla (1-hour drive), but there are only direct flights with a stopover in CDMX from Oaxaca.

📍Day 7 San Cristobal

San Cristobal de Las Casas
San Cristobal de Las Casas

Start day 7 of your Mexico trip itinerary by exploring San Cristobal’s Historic Centre.

First up, take a walk to Parque Central, where you’ll find the iconic orange façade of San Cris’ main Cathedral. Take a stroll through the city’s many markets and pick up some souvenirs for friends and family back home.

San Cris is known to be an expat hub, so make sure you take advantage and eat out in the many cool and healthy food cafes the city has to offer. Our absolute favourite was Sarajevo Café, tucked in a lush greenhouse-like building filled with plants and flowers.

Also, visit the two churches that offer stunning views of the city: Iglesia de San Cristóbalito and Templo de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, both perched on hills.

Next, head to San Juan Chamula – a small town just outside of San Cristobal. Here, you’ll find an incredible church where locals pray in their traditional clothing and practice their own religion blending Catholicism with ancient Mayan traditions, including animal sacrifices.

📍Day 8 Sumidero Canyon

Sumidero Canyon from San Cristobal as part of 3 weeks in Mexico Itinerary.
Sumidero Canyon from San Cristobal.

On Day 8 of your trip, make sure to explore Sumidero Canyon – a stunning geological wonder located 1.5 hours drive from San Cris.

Take a boat tour and admire the canyon’s steep walls rising up to 1,000 meters above sea level in some parts and 13 km long. You’ll also get the chance to spot various species of native birds, turtles and crocodiles living in the area. We even managed to see playful monkeys! We took an organised tour from San Cristobal that also included a stop at the colourful town of Chiapa de Corzo.

In the evening, take a stroll through San Cris’s famous avenue – Avenida Guadalupe, full of boutique shops, cafes and restaurants. There’s also a lively nightlife scene here, so make sure you check out some bars – they often host live music events and cultural shows.

Book the same tour we took and enjoyed here:

Where To Stay In San Cristobal

🌟top pick🌟
3 week Mexico itinerary

Na Hotel

Located right in the town centre, meters away from the city’s cathedral, Na Hotel features a range of affordable and cosy double and family rooms with a complimentary breakfast.

🌟mid-range pick🌟
Mexico road trip

La Estancia

La Estancia Hotel also has a fantastic location and offers a range of rooms and an in-house restaurant with optional breakfast for an additional but small charge.

Day 9 Palenque

Palenque is the next destination on this exhilarating 3 week Mexico itinerary. Set amidst the lush green jungles of Chiapas, Palenque is home to some of the most impressive Mayan ruins in the world.

How To Get To Palenque

From San Cristobal de Las Casas, take an ADO night bus to Palenque. The bus journey takes 8-9 hours, and it will get you there early in the morning.


During your 3 week Mexico itinerary stop at Palenque.

Palenque is a good stopover between Chiapas and Yucatan, and Quintana Roo, where the rest of this Mexico holiday itinerary takes place.

Dating back to 226 BC, this Mayan site is filled with rich history and cultural significance. Although the Palenque civilization disappeared in the 8th century, their incredible architecture, sculptures, and carvings remain for us to explore.

While Palenque may be smaller than other well-known Mayan sites like Tikal or Chichen Itza, its intricate detailing and stunning artistic expressions are sure to leave you in awe.

It’s also hard to believe that the 2.5 km2 of Palenque that has been excavated only represents 10% of the entire ancient city.

Where To Stay Near Palenque

🌟top pick🌟
3 weeks in Mexico


This hotel is located within a few minutes walk to the bus station and 8 km to the Palenque ruins, and it features simple apartments with a kitchen.

Day 10 – 12 Bacalar

Also known as the ‘Lake of Seven Colors’, Bacalar is a small town nestled in Mexico’s Quintana Roo near the border with Guatemala.

How To Get To Bacalar

Unfortunately, there is no easy way of getting from Palenque to Bacalar, and you will have to take another 9-hour bus to make that distance.

📍Day 10 Bacalar Cenotes

lagoon bacalar sunrise

Once you arrive in Bacalar, it’s time to explore the town and its surroundings. Start by visiting some of the nearby cenotes – sinkholes filled with crystal-clear waters that are perfect for swimming and snorkelling.

One of the most breathtaking places to experience is Cenote Azul. It’s perfectly round and a stunning 90 meters deep. Swimming or kayaking in the cenote is one of the best things to do in Bacalar!

Another must-see cenote is Cenote Cocalitos, famous for its milky blue colour and gorgeous spot to spend an afternoon. This cenote also has an incredible stromatolite colony, one of the oldest oxygen-producing organisms.

End day 10 of your 3 weeks Mexico itinerary, visiting Fuerte de San Felipe and dinner at Mango and Chile.

📍Day 11 Pirates Channel

Pirates channel Bacalar Lagoon as part of 3 weeks in Mexico Itinerary.

Start day 11 of your Mexico three week itinerary with a visit to the Pirate’s Channel – a narrow section of Bacalar Lake that is full of fascinating stories about hidden treasures and pirate ships.

In the past, the channel was a natural border between Mexico and Belize and served as an important trading route. The channel frequently fell victim to pirate raids, thus earning its name, the “Pirates Channel.”

In the middle of the channel stands an abandoned shipwreck – an eerie reminder of the pirate raids. Book an early morning boat tour that also combines a stop at Cenote de la Bruja, which can only be accessed by boat.

Book this highly-rated boat tour here:

Where To Stay In Bacalar

You can either stay in one of the affordable hotels in the Bacalar town centre or treat yourself to a more luxurious stay in one of the Bacalar resorts that come with private lake access.

🌟top pick🌟
road trip Mexico City to Cancun


Right on the lake, 8 km from the town centre, Habitas Bacalar boasts luxury bohemian-style accommodation, excellent service and epic lake views.

🌟mid-range pick🌟
backpacking through Mexico

Agam Hotel

Boasting a central location and an on-site restaurant, Agam Hotel features a pool and comfortable double rooms.

Day 12 – 15 Tulum

Located in Quintana Roo, this coastal town is blessed with stunning white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, making it one of the most popular places to visit in Mexico. Tulum is also known for its digital nomad and expat community, spirituality and yoga parlours as well as a bustling nightlife scene.

How To Get To Tulum

The easiest way to get from Bacalar to Tulum is by taking a bus. The journey takes approximately 3 hours, and it’s usually very affordable.

📍Day 13 Tulum Ruins + Cenotes + Beaches

Tulum Ruins as part of 3 weeks in Mexico Itinerary.

Start your day off by exploring the ruins of Tulum, a 16th-century Mayan walled city perched on a 12-meter cliff. The site is one of Mexico’s most spectacular archaeological sites, with its iconic watch tower known as El Castillo, and visiting the ruins is one of the best things to do in Tulum.

Next, go cenote hopping and explore some of the crystal-clear sinkholes in the area. Two of the most beautiful cenotes near Tulum are Gran Cenote and Casa Cenote, both are filled with gorgeous blue-green waters and have excellent spots for snorkelling.

We recommend renting a car in Tulum for this day to be able to get to all the places conveniently and swiftly.

Playa Paraiso, Tulum
Playa Paraiso at sunrise.
Tulum Instagram Spots, Follow that dream sign Tulum
“Follow that dream” sign in Tulum.

In the afternoon, visit one of Tulum’s picture-perfect beaches. We recommend Playa Paraiso, which is an accessible public beach or one of the beach clubs, such as Vagalume, for a more exclusive experience.

If you’re an avid Instagrammer, also don’t forget to visit a few Instagrmmable spots in Tulum, such as the cute Matcha Mama Cafe, Follow that Dream sign and Ven a la luz sculpture.

Book your car at the best rate here:

📍Day 14 Laguna Kaan Luum, Cenote Escondido, Downtown

Laguna de Kaan Luum Tulum
Laguna Kaan Luum.

Spend your second day in Tulum exploring the natural wonders of the area. Start off by visiting Laguna Kaan Luum, a beautiful enclosed lagoon surrounded by lush jungle and mangrove forests.

Next, explore Cenote Escondido, which is located deep in the jungle and is considered one of the most beautiful cenotes in Mexico, and definitely our personal favourite. We spent at Cenote Escondido the entire afternoon with only a few more people, and Robin, in particular, had a lot of fun jumping into the water from a platform.

Tulum downtown as part of 3 weeks in Mexico Itinerary.
The bustling main street in the downtown of Tulum.

End your day with a stroll along the main road in downtown Tulum lined with interesting shops, restaurants and bars. We recommend dinner at Burrito Amor, which makes the best burritos we have ever tasted!

Where To Stay In Tulum

For a luxury stay in Tulum, we recommend booking one of the beachfront resorts. Alternatively, downtown Tulum and Aldea Zama are the best areas to stay in Tulum for a fairly-priced accommodation.

🌟top pick🌟
how to plan a trip to Mexico

Ikal Tulum Hotel

Set on Playa Paraiso, Ikal Hotel features a range of beach boho-style suites, bungalows and treehouses. Some of the best ones come with a private plunge pool and ocean view.

🌟mid-range pick🌟
Mexico backpacking itinerary

Hotel Blanco Tulum

This adult-only hotel set in Tulum town along Avenida Coba features stylish suites with balconies and a shared pool area with a garden and a bar.

Day 15 – 17 Valladolid

Valladolid is beloved by tourists for its authentic Mexican vibe and charming colonial architecture. This city has a lot to offer – from bustling squares and charming cafes to ancient ruins, cenotes and underground river systems. The city of Valladolid is also an excellent base for exploring one of the New 7 Wonders of the World – Chichen Itza.

How To Get To Valladolid

The easiest way to get from Tulum to Valladolid is by taking an ADO bus that runs multiple daily connections. The journey takes approximately 1.5 hours.

📍Day 15 Valladolid + Cenote Suytun

Valladolid as part of 3 weeks in Mexico Itinerary.
Templo de San Servacio.
Cenote Suytun Valladolid
Cenote Suytun.

Start your day 15 of Mexico in three weeks itinerary by exploring the beautifully preserved colonial architecture in the historic centre of Valladolid, where vibrant buildings and plazas offer plenty of exploring opportunities.

Begin at the city’s main square – Parque Principal, home to the 16th-century church – Templo de San Servacio, and the Town Hall. The square is also a place of social gatherings in the afternoon, and here you can also indulge in delicious street food! Our absolute favourite was marquesitas – a crispy pancake with Nutella, strawberries and banana.

Then head to Calzada de Los Frailes, a pedestrianised street lined with quirky cafes and interesting souvenir shops. At the end of the street, you will find an imposing building of an ex-convent – Convento de San Bernardino de Siena, which is also worth checking out.

We loved taking photos inside its walls and corridors painted in vibrant pink! Also, we recommend coming back to the convent in the evening when a video mapping show takes place.

In the afternoon, visit Cenote Suytun located just outside of Valladolid. This cenote is one of Mexico’s most iconic sinkholes known for its dreamy turquoise waters, picturesque stalactite formations and an Instagram-worthy circular platform that, at midday, gets illuminated by a light beam coming from the small opening in the ceiling.

We actually visited the cenote first thing in the morning to avoid queueing for a photo, and it worked pretty well as we entered the cave as one of the first people.

📍Day 16 Chichen Itza + Cenote Oxman

Chichen Itza as part of 3 weeks in Mexico Itinerary.
Cenote Oxman

Visiting Chichen Itza during the 3 weeks Mexico itinerary is an essential activity, and today it is all about finally ticking it off the bucket list!

Valladolid to Chichen Itza trip takes only 40 minutes and can easily be done independently either by taking a local bus known as a colectivo or renting a scooter. We can’t recommend enough to get to Chichen Itza 20 minutes before opening time for the best experience, as this famous Mayan archaeological site gets very busy.

If you prefer to learn more about the site and understand the meaning behind what you see, book a guided tour of Chichen Itza.

Book your spot on the private tour to Chichen Itza from Valladolid here:

After exploring Chichen Itza, continue your day with a visit to Cenote Oxman, which is located just outside of town and is one of the best cenotes near Valladolid.

What we love about Cenote Oxman is that it looks similar to Cenote Ik Kil, but it gets way less busy. Make sure you try out the cenote’s Tarzan robe from which you can jump into the refreshing waters – it’s super fun!

Where To Stay In Valladolid

If you’re a budget-conscious traveller you will be pleased to know that Valladolid boasts many affordable accommodation options! Here are the top Valladolid hotels:

🌟top pick🌟
backpacking in Mexico

Hotel Zentik Project

Located a 22-minute walk to the main square, this adult-only property boasts stylish bohemian suites and excellent facilities including a cave pool filled with hot and salty water.

backpacking Mexico itinerary

Hotel Casa Bamboo

Only a short walk to the main square, Casa Bamboo features well-priced rooms with access to a shared kitchen and pool.

Day 17 – 19 Merida

Merida, the vibrant capital of the Mexican state of Yucatán, is the next destination on your Mexico travel itinerary 3 weeks. This city, rich in history and culture, perfectly blends traditional Mexican charm with a modern, cosmopolitan flair.

Merida is one of the safest places to stay in Yucatan and has a large expat community. We really liked the city, especially its fantastic restaurants and cool fashion boutiques, and Merida could definitely be our home base one day.

How To Get To Merida

From Valladolid, take an ADO bus to Merida, which takes just over 2 hours. You can buy tickets online or at the bus station near the central square.

📍Day 17 Merida City

Merida is one of the best places to visit on your Mexico itinerary.
Merida as part of 3 weeks in Mexico Itinerary.

Begin your sightseeing with a visit to the town centre, home to some of the city’s most important landmarks – including Plaza Grande, Cathedral de San Ildefonso and Casa Montejo – a 16th-century mansion, home of the founders of the city – Francisco de Montejo.

If you want to learn more about the history of Merida, we recommend a visit to the Museum of the City of Merida, located a short walk from the main square. We really enjoyed this small museum and learning about how successful and rich Merida was in the past and why today it has so many grand mansions!

Continue your day by heading to Santa Lucia Park, a perfect spot for a quick drink or lunch.

In the afternoon, visit Paseo de Montejo – a magnificent boulevard lined with grand mansions turned into restaurants, bars and shops. We especially liked visiting the exquisite mansion of Quinta Montes Molina, filled with antiques and the Anthropology and History Museum.

In the late afternoon, pay a visit to the Mayan World Museum of Mérida. This cutting-edge museum is a must-visit for anyone intrigued by Mayan history and culture. The collections include life-sized replicas of the indigenous people, intricate jewellery, incredible structures and a detailed walkthrough of the Mayan civilization’s timeline.

📍Day 18 Uxmal

Uxmal ruins as part of 3 weeks in Mexico Itinerary.

On the second day in Merida, take a day trip to Uxmal, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most significant archaeological sites of Mayan culture. We recommend renting a car, which will provide the convenience and flexibility to explore at your own pace and the possibility of adding a visit to a nearby cenote.

Book your car at the best rate here:

Uxmal is renowned for its monumental architecture, characterized by its intricate Puuc style, and the Pyramid of the Magician – a must-see for any visitor. During our trip, we were in awe of the spectacular ruins, the intricate details, and the serene ambience, making Uxmal a highlight of our Mexico adventure.

If you don’t want to drive, you can also book a guided tour from Merida.

Where To Stay In Merida

Merida boasts amazing boutique hotels housed in stately mansions but also plenty of affordable accommodation options.

🌟top pick🌟
Mexico itinerary 2 weeks

Casa Olivia

The chic and rustic Casa Olivia boasts elegant suites and is located a 15-minute walk to Plaza Grande and a range of restaurants and bars.

🌟Mid-range pick🌟
Mexico itinerary 3 weeks

Kuka y Naranjo

Boasting a fantastic location, just a minute away from the central square, this property offers double and family rooms with complimentary breakfast and a shared pool.

📍Day 19 Travel Day

The next and last destination on this 3 weeks Mexico itinerary is the idyllic Isla Mujeres. To get there, you will first need to take a bus from Merida to Cancun downtown, which takes around 4 hours.

Then, from the bust station, get an Uber ride (or taxi) to the ferry port Puerto Juarez to catch a boat to the island. The ferries leave every 30 minutes, so you don’t really need to worry about purchasing the tickets in advance. The ferry ride takes under half an hour.

Day 19 – 21 Isla Mujeres

Welcome to the idyllic slice of paradise that is Isla Mujeres. This charming and tranquil island off the coast of Cancun is known for its stunning beaches, particularly Playa Norte. With its incredibly soft, white powdery sand and crystalline waters, it is nothing short of a tropical dream.

On Isla Mujeres, golf carts are the prevailing mode of transport, adding to the laid-back vibe and ease of exploring the island’s picturesque landscapes and attractions.

📍Day 20 Punta Sur + Playa Norte

Isla Mujeres as part of 3 weeks in Mexico Itinerary

Start your day 20 of 3 weeks Mexico itinerary with a visit to the downtown area, a hub of local life brimming with colourful murals, quaint shops, and delightful eateries. Lose yourself in the vibrant and lively market atmosphere as you browse the numerous boutiques lining Avenida Hidalgo, a pedestrian-friendly street known for its variety of souvenir shops.

Whether it’s traditional Mexican crafts, unique jewellery, or the ubiquitous “I Love Isla Mujeres” t-shirts, you’re sure to find the perfect memento of your time on the island.

Next, rent a bicycle or a golf cart, the preferred local means of transportation, and set your course for the southern part of the island, Punta Sur. This scenic spot, adorned with a lighthouse, ruins of an ancient Mayan temple, offers breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea. Enjoy the refreshing sea breeze as you explore the cliff-side pathways, and don’t forget to capture the mesmerizing sunrise if you’re an early bird!

After a day of exploring, unwind at Playa Norte, often touted as one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. With its powdery white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters, it’s the perfect spot for relaxation.

Grab a beach chair, order a refreshing drink from a beachside bar, and let the soothing rhythms of the waves wash over you. Whether you choose to swim, snorkel, or bask in the warm sun, Playa Norte promises a quintessential tropical beach experience to round off your day in Isla Mujeres.

📍Day 21 Snorkelling

Isla Mujeres MUSA as part of 3 weeks in Mexico Itinerary
Isla Mujeres MUSA

On your second day on Isla Mujeres, opt for an underwater adventure by joining a snorkelling tour. The island is renowned for its rich marine life and pristine coral reefs, with Manchones Reef and MUSA Underwater Museum being two of the most popular snorkelling spots.

Manchones Reef, located just off the coast of Isla Mujeres, is home to diverse marine species and an array of vibrantly coloured corals. As you dive into the clear waters, you’ll find yourself immersed in a mesmerizing underwater world teeming with tropical fish, magnificent corals, and perhaps even a playful sea turtle or two.

Book your spot at the #1 snorkelling tour here:

Alternatively, you can explore the MUSA Underwater Museum, a unique and eco-friendly attraction that combines art and conservation. This submerged gallery boasts over 500 life-sized sculptures, all made from materials designed to promote coral life.

Snorkelling around the sunken figures is a surreal experience, and it offers a unique opportunity to witness how art can foster new marine habitats and support biodiversity.

Book your underwater adventure here:

Where To Stay In Isla Mujeres

One of the best places to stay on Isla Mujeres is Playa Norte, which is the island’s most beautiful beach!

🌟top pick🌟
Mexico 2 week itinerary

Ixchel Beach Hotel

This awesome 5-star hotel on Playa Norte has got it all – an outdoor pool, a restaurant, and a bar. You can even arrange tours and activities right here at the hotel!

🌟Mid-range pick🌟
plan trip to Mexico

Suites Los Arcos

This budget-friendly 3-star adults-only hotel is located on Hidalgo Street. So, you’ll be surrounded by amazing restaurants, bars, and a vibrant nightlife scene.


Day 22 – Flight Home From Cancun Airport

As your time in Mexico comes to a close, the journey from Isla Mujeres to Cancun Airport for your flight home is straightforward. Return to the mainland via the ferry from Isla Mujeres to Puerto Juarez, which runs every 30 minutes. Once you’re back in Cancun, grab a taxi or use a ride-hailing service like Uber for the 30-minute drive to Cancun International Airport.

Be sure to allow ample time to check-in, go through security, and board your flight. As you ascend and leave Mexico below, sit back and reflect on the unforgettable journey you have experienced. Safe travels home!

3 Weeks In Mexico Itinerary: Travel Tips

A beautiful beach in Holbox Mexico part of your 3 weeks in Mexico Itinerary.

✔️ Get a local SIM

Acquiring a local SIM card in Mexico is a cost-effective and convenient way to stay connected during your travels. The leading telecommunication providers in Mexico are Telcel, AT&T, and Movistar, offering a variety of prepaid SIM card options. Telcel, known for its extensive coverage across the country, is often recommended for tourists.

To purchase a SIM, visit an official store with your passport for ID verification, and choose a plan that suits your data and calling needs. Remember, topping up is simple and can be done at numerous convenience stores and online platforms.

✔️ Don’t drink tap water

Tap water is generally not considered safe for drinking in Mexico as it may contain bacteria and other unfiltered elements. Therefore, it’s recommended to stick to bottled water while travelling around the country. Make sure to check that the seal on each bottle is intact before consuming.

✔️ Purchase a travel insurance

Purchasing travel insurance is an essential part of planning your trip, as it offers protection against unexpected risks and losses incurred during your travels. To be fully covered, make sure the policy includes medical expenses, lost luggage, trip cancellation, repatriation coverage, and emergency evacuation. We personally use Safety Wings, which offers affordable insurance plans.

✔️ Tipping culture

Tipping is part of the culture in Mexico, and it’s customary to leave 10-15% for restaurant service. For taxi drivers and tour guides, round up the fare or a small tip such as 20-50 pesos is generally appreciated.

✔️ Rent a car online to avoid scams

Booking a car rental online during your Mexico trip planning is key for a hassle-free travel experience in Mexico.

We personally recommend using Discover Cars, a platform renowned for its transparency in pricing and generous cancellation policy. Most importantly, they prioritize listing car rentals with the highest reviews, ensuring you receive top-notch service and a high-quality vehicle for your travel.

By booking online, you can compare prices, read real user reviews, and choose the best option for your needs all in one place, saving you time and providing peace of mind.

✔️ Learn basic Spanish

Even though many Mexicans speak English, it’s always nice to show a bit of respect by making an effort to learn some basic Spanish phrases. This includes simple phrases such as ‘hola’ (hello) and ‘gracias’ (thank you). Knowing even the most basic Spanish terminology will also make your trip more rewarding.

✔️ Pay in pesos

Although many establishments in Mexico accept payment in US dollars, it’s often more cost-effective to pay in Mexican pesos.

✔️ Check the weather

Before embarking on your journey to Mexico, it is crucial to keep an eye on the weather forecast, especially if you are travelling during the hurricane season, which typically extends from June to November. Unexpected weather changes can impact your travel plans, and the risk of hurricanes can escalate during these months.

Websites and apps such as the National Hurricane Center, Weather.com, or AccuWeather provide reliable and timely updates on weather conditions. This way, you can plan your activities accordingly, pack suitable clothing, and ensure your safety during your trip.

How To Get Around Mexico?

Renting a car in Mexico is a fantastic way of exploring the local areas on your 3 weeks in Mexico Itinerary.

By Bus

Travelling by bus is an excellent option for getting around Mexico, thanks to its affordability and the extensive network of reliable bus services. Among the most renowned companies is ADO, popular in Yucatan, offering comfortable seating and frequent routes to numerous cities.

Another good company is Primera Plus, which is a preferred choice for journeys around Guanajuato, known for its reliable service and comfortable coaches.

By Plane

Travelling by air is the fastest option for long-distance journeys within Mexico. Major airlines include Aeromexico, Interjet, and Volaris, among others, offering domestic flights to most cities in the country. Popular hubs are Mexico City International Airport (MEX) and Cancun International Airport (CUN).

By Car

Renting a car is perhaps the most convenient way to move around in the Yucatan region. The area is known for its safety and well-marked roads, making self-drive a favourable option. We recommend the Discover Cars website, a reliable and user-friendly platform that allows you to compare prices, read real reviews, and select the best car rental option for your needs.

3 Weeks Mexico Itinerary: FAQ

Isla Mujeres as a part of 3 weeks in Mexico Itinerary.
Visit Isla Mujeres at the end of your as part of 3 weeks in Mexico Itinerary.

What’s the best time to visit Mexico?

The best time to visit Mexico largely depends on the region you’re planning to explore due to the country’s diverse climate. For beach destinations like Cancun and Tulum, the weather is usually pleasant all year round, though the peak tourist season is from December to April during the dry season.

However, to avoid crowds and enjoy lower prices, the shoulder seasons – spring (May to June) and fall (September to November) – can be great times to visit. It’s advisable to avoid the rainy season from June to October.

Is 3 weeks in Mexico too long?

Three weeks in Mexico is not too long. In fact, it provides ample opportunity to immerse yourself in the country’s rich culture, diverse landscapes, and historical sites.

With three weeks, you can comfortably visit multiple regions without feeling rushed, from bustling cities and archaeological sites to serene beaches and pristine nature reserves. However, if you’re planning a trip to Mexico for 3 weeks, be aware that you won’t be able to visit everything.

How much money do you need for 3 weeks in Mexico?

The amount of money you’ll need for a 3-week trip to Mexico depends on where you’re going and what kind of experience you’re looking for. Generally speaking, mid-range travellers can expect to spend between $80-$100 USD per day for 3 weeks in Mexico budget, based on two persons sharing a room.

How many weeks do you need in Mexico?

The amount of time you’ll need to spend in Mexico depends on what kind of experience you’re looking for. If you have limited time, 2 weeks in Mexico itinerary will allow you to visit the highlights of Yuucatan.

If you have 1 week in Mexico, we recommend choosing a maximum of 2 places. 3 weeks Mexico itinerary will allow you to visit multiple regions and have a really fulfilling trip.

What are the cheapest months to go to Mexico?

The cheapest months to visit Mexico are usually during the off-peak season, which typically takes place during the spring months of May and June and the fall months of September and October.

During these periods, you can likely find more affordable airfare and accommodation rates. Keep in mind that weather can be a factor, so consider what activities you plan on doing during your visit when choosing when to go.

What is the safest way to travel in Mexico?

When it comes to travelling safely in Mexico, the safest way to move around the country is with reputable ADO buses or organised tours. Both are reliable and comfortable options.

However, if you’re looking for more adventure, renting a car can be a great way to explore the country at your own pace. Just make sure to stick to the main roads and don’t drive at night.

Is it a good idea to drive through Mexico?

Driving through Mexico can be a wonderful experience and offers the freedom to explore at your own pace. However, it’s important to consider certain factors. While the main highways are generally in good condition, secondary roads can be less predictable.

It’s advisable to avoid driving at night due to reduced visibility and the potential for encountering animals on the road. Also, ensure you have comprehensive insurance coverage, familiarize yourself with local traffic laws, and always keep your fuel tank sufficiently full.

Another thing to consider is the expensive fee for dropping the rental car at a different place from the pickup location. The best area for a Mexico road trip is Yucatan, where you can pick up and drop off the car in Cancun.

Can I drive in Mexico with a US license?

Yes, you can drive in Mexico with a U.S. license. It is legally recognized in the country, so you do not need an International Driving Permit (IDP).

What is the cheapest way to travel through Mexico?

The cheapest way to travel through Mexico is by using public transportation. The ADO buses are an affordable and reliable option for long-distance travel between cities and regions. They are comfortable, air-conditioned, and often equipped with Wi-Fi. For local routes within cities or short distances, colectivos (shared taxis or minibuses) are an excellent option.

Can you get around Mexico without a car?

Yes, it is entirely possible to get around Mexico without a car. The country has an extensive network of public transportation, including long-distance buses and domestic flights. For day-to-day travel within cities, local buses, taxis, and rideshare apps like Uber are widely available.

Additionally, in many of the tourist-heavy areas, walking can be a convenient way to explore local attractions. However, opting for a rental car may provide more flexibility in your itinerary and the opportunity to visit off-the-beaten-path locations.

Does Uber work in Mexico?

It really depends on the location. In some cities like Mexico City and Cancun, Uber is very popular and convenient. Other cities, such as Tulum, don’t have Uber services yet.

3 Weeks Mexico Itinerary: Final Word

We hope that this 3 weeks Mexico itinerary has helped you in planning trip to Mexico!

Embarking on a 3-week adventure in Mexico is certain to be an epic journey filled with vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and rich history. We love Mexico so much, that we keep coming back every year!

To ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey, we highly recommend booking your accommodation, rental car, and key activities in advance. This not only secures your place but also allows you more freedom to enjoy your trip.

So pack your bags, dust off your Spanish phrasebook, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime in the enchanting lands of Mexico.

🌮🪅🇲🇽🌶️ Happy travels!

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