I cannot believe it’s been over a year since my big Mexican BLT trip to Mexico with TrekAmerica. Having seen so much of Mexico by visiting places like Cancun, Merida, Campeche, Palenque, Bacalar, Mahahual, Tulum and Playa Del Carmen to name just a few, I think I definitely discovered some hidden gems during my time travelling.
Here are some awesome alternative things to do in Mexico.
JUNGLE TREKKING IN PALENQUE
Want to feel like Indiana Jones? Here’s your chance. In my opinion, the ruins at Palenque are the most beautiful we visited in Mexico – even though I’d still suggest visiting Chichen Itza. But the views of Palenque are exactly the kind of views I dreamed of when I first decided I wanted to visit Mexico. There’s lots to see and do, but for a real unique experience, book a guide to take you off the beaten track to explore an actual real life jungle. It was mega fun.
PARTY ALONG THE RIVER WITH A XOXCIMILCO TOUR
Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to try this but essentially you jump on an uber colourful boat with some alcohol in tow and spend the next few hours stopping at different ports along the river for food, drink, games and entertainment – without even getting off the boat! There are a few of these about but the one with Experiences Xcaret looks the best in my opinion (and was the one I wanted to try). I still regret not being able to do this – so a return to Mexico is definitely on the cards!
HAVE A TRADITIONAL MEXICAN NIGHT OUT AT DON MUCHOS
I loved this gem of a place, also in Palenque! Don Muchos is a really cute traditional Mexican restaurant in the jungle – to get there, you have to walk a path through the trees, tread over wooden boards balanced over the mud and even walk over mini bridges over small streams – it’s half of the adventure. Once there, you find a small cluster of businesses – a small community bustling in the night. The food here is lovely – and you must order a tequila shot – and most nights you can watch traditional Mexican entertainment with your food. Afterwards, get up and dance on the small dance floor until the early hours of the morning.
GET YOUR CREEP ON AT THE ISLAND OF THE DOLLS
A visit to Isla de las Muñecas (Island of the Dolls) is an absolute must if you like to get your creep on like me. Although never intended to be a tourist destination, the story says that a girl drowned on the island and, when a caretaker later saw a doll floating near the canals, he hung it from a tree as a sign of respect for the drowned girl. Legend says that the caretaker became possessed by the girl and hung more and more dolls to rid her spirit. He was later found dead in the same spot the girl drowned. Now, the island is filled with creepy deteriorated dolls hanging from trees and tourists bring their own dolls when visiting. Who knows how real the legend actually is but there’s no doubt that the island itself is beyond creepy…
PARTY HARD AT COCO BONGO
Coco Bongo isn’t necessarily a hidden gem but it is a totally unique night out. It’s cabaret/show meets club, where you join in with half the fun. I won’t reveal all, but you can expect superhero dance offs, the opportunity to dance on your seats and so, so much confetti. It’s a whole lot of fun and definitely not to be missed.
Top Tip: it is expensive, but to get the most out of your night, I would recommend getting a VIP table as it’ll include free drinks all night, a waiter just for you and somewhere to sit down (and you’ll want this, trust me) and party right in the heart of the music. It works out cheaper than buying your drinks all night, especially if you chip in and get a table as a group.
VISIT A REAL NATURE THEME PARK AT XCARET
Xcaret is one of the coolest places I’ve ever visited; it’s a natural theme park meets nature reserve in one. You can swim in underground rivers, visit flamingos, take relaxing boat rides, visit a traditional Mexican burial ground and then, when night falls, watch the mindblowing Xcaret Mexico Espectacular. A day at the park is so varied with so much to see and even though I visited Xcaret alone, it was hands down one of the best days of my life.
SCUBA DIVE TO CANCUN UNDERWATER MUSEUM
Another one that is already quite well known but still extremely unique – I mean where else are you going to visit an underwater museum? True, you can easily see most of the artifacts by Googling but that’s just not as fun..
If these seven unique experiences don’t convince you to book a holiday to Mexico right now, I don’t know what will. Still, may I also add that Mexico is filled with stunning beaches, amazing weather and tons of quirky bars?!
Would you ever visit Mexico? Let me know…