Outside of tourist hot spots like Cancun, Cabo, or Puerto Vallarta, there are plenty of opportunities to discover hidden gems in Mexico, scattered all over the country. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing lagoon or a picturesque city in the mountains, there’s a perfect spot for you tucked away somewhere in Mexico. Digital nomads, in particular, love traveling to Mexico as it’s one of the best countries to work remotely.
Ready to plan a trip to one of these lesser-traveled destinations? Use Troupe to let your travel buddies vote on their favorite destinations, accommodations, and share trip-planning info.
The Best Hidden Gems in Mexico include:
- The hotsprings at Greta’s Tolantongo in Hidalgo
- Peaceful lagoon life in Bacalar on the Tucatan Peninsula
- Colorful, cultural San Miguel de Allende
- Mountains-meet-ocean in Zihuatanejo
- Small town vibes on Baja California in Todos Santos
The best hidden gems in Mexico
Greta’s Tolantongo, Hidalgo, Mexico
The incredibly peaceful, picturesque Greta’s Tolantongo is a Mexican hot spring destination in Hidalgo. A short 3-4 hour drive from Mexico City, the hot springs here are one of the most relaxing, beautiful hidden gems in Mexico.
With caves you can swim through, cascading infinity pools down the side of the mountain, and hotels/camping on-site, Greta’s Tolantongo makes for a wonderful side trip will visiting San Miguel de Allende or Mexico City. Above all, visiting these hot springs lets you escape to nature and take a vacation full of total relaxation.
Known as the “lake of seven colors”, Bacalar is tucked at the bottom of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula about 4 hours by car or bus from Cancun. A trip to Bacalar is one of the best-hidden gems in Mexico. Life here is slow– reading in hammocks at the end of docks or paddleboarding on the lagoon at sunrise are Bacalar’s speed.
When you get hungry, grab a fresh fish taco from a truck parked on the dirt road that runs alongside the lagoon. Airbnbs, hotels, and hostels all have real estate along the water which will allow you to wake up each morning to perfectly peaceful lagoon views.
Bonus hidden gem in the Yucatan: Isla Mujeres
San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende may be a more familiar name to you. After all, it has been named “Best City in the World” by Travel and Leisure, multiple times. But San Miguel de Allende is still undiscovered by the vast majority of international tourists. The city sees under a quarter of a million foreign travelers each year, compared to the tens of millions seen by Cancun or Mexico City.
Colorful, colonial San Miguel de Allende is known for its arts and culture. Off the cobblestone streets, you’ll find many artisanal craft shops. Furthermore, the city has plenty of organic restaurants and plenty of places to get out in nature.
This small city on the coast, where the mountains meet the Pacific Ocean, is a popular destination for locals but less discovered by foreigners. It’s a classic mix of traditional local life and a more touristy waterfront area. Here, you’ll be able to find affordable hotel accommodations on the water while dining at delicious local restaurants nearby.
Climb one of the mountains to an abandoned Narco mansion that overlooks the horseshoe-shaped Zihuatenejo bay. This hidden gem of Mexico is perfect for a getaway combining a mix of traditional Mexico with the more touristy waterfront.
On the Baja Peninsula, Todos Santos is the best-kept secret. This is the perfect destination for those looking for a Mexican getaway in the region outside Cabo’s all-inclusive hotels. An hour’s drive north of Cabo San Lucas, you’ll find this perfect spot for small-town beach vibes.
The city is a haven for artists. That means you’ll find plenty of beautiful art galleries to visit while you’re in the area. Todos Santos is perfect through long strolls through the palm-lined streets and dinners overlooking the sunset on the ocean.
More travel inspiration: