Mexico City is the capital of Mexico, and its most important city. The *historic center of Mexico City is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with ancient archeological ruins, numerous colonial-era churches, most importantly the *Cathedral (map), and the former palace of the Viceroy of New Spain, now the *National Palace. The cathedral and National Palace are both located on the main plaza, known as the *Zocalo.
On the *Yucatán peninsula (map), one of the most popular beach destinations is the resort town of *Cancún (map), especially among university students during spring break. Just offshore is the beach island of *Isla Mujeres (map), and to the east is the *Isla Holbox (map).
To the south of Cancun is the coastal strip called *Riviera Maya (map) which includes the beach town of *Playa del Carmen (map) and the ecological parks of *Xcaret (map) and Xel-Há (map). A day trip to the south of Cancún is the historic port of *Tulum (map). In addition to its beaches, the town of Tulum is notable for its cliff-side Mayan ruins.
On the Pacific coast is the notable tourist destination of *Acapulco (map), 380 kilometres (240 mi) south of Mexico City. Once the destination for the rich and famous, the beaches have become crowded and the shores are now home to many multi-story hotels and vendors. Acapulco is home to renowned cliff divers: trained divers who leap from the side of a vertical cliff into the surf below.
At the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula is the resort town of *Cabo San Lucas (map), a town noted for its beaches and marlin fishing. Further north along the Sea of Cortés is the Bahía de La Concepción, another beach town known for its sports fishing. Closer to the United States border is the weekend draw of San Felipe, Baja California (map).
Chichen Itza (map) – Majestic Mayan city, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988 and was voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
*Palenque (map) – Mayan city in the state of Chiapas, Palenque famous for its elaborate paintings. Also well known for having the largest tract of rainforest in Mexico located in the same area.
*Sumidero Canyon (map) – From docks on the Rio Grijalva (the only major river within Mexico) near Tuxtla Gutiérrez in Chiapas state, tour launches take you into this steep-walled National Park. You’ll likely see vast flocks of flamingos, pelicans, and other waterfowl, as well as crocodiles.