Day Trip Guide: The 10 Best Spots from Mexico City
Taking a day trip from Mexico City to explore surrounding areas is a must for any traveler. Because of its position, located in the heart of Mexico, the ciudad de México is in a privileged position. Whether heading north, south, east, or west, travelers and adventurers alike can find beautiful Mexican gems.
These are our top ten best day trip recommendations for exploring around the capital.
Perhaps the most famous day trip from Mexico City is to the nearby ruins of Teotihuacán. Most of the other ruins in Mexico are of Mayan origin, but this large settlement’s creators and inhabitants remain a mystery.
The two largest structures, the Pirámide del Sol (Pyramid of the Sun) and the Pirámide de la Luna (Pyramid of the Moon), are climbable, offering excellent views of each other and the surrounding landscape.
During vacational periods, the archeological site opens from 9 am-3 pm and has an 80 MXN entrance fee.
Xochimilco is the perfect setting for a day trip. It’s best known for its canals, which are the remains of a once extensive lake and canal system. Ride along in gondola-like boats called trajineras and admire the chinampas (a cultivation technique that dates back to pre-colonial times).
You can take a trajinera ride any day from 9 am to 6 pm.
After enjoying a ride in a trajinera, head on over to the Cuemanco Flower Market. It’s perched on the edge of the amazing, ancient canals of Xochimilco and is an explosion of color and fragrances. Local farmers grow the most beautiful flowers on the floating gardens of Xochimilco, and at Cuemanco you can dive into a world of exotic blooms like bromeliads, violets, elephant’s legs and ornamental pines.
The Cuemanco Flower Market opens every day from 8 am-4 pm.
Tepotztlán is both an archaeological site and a town.
The Tepoztlán archaeological site in the state of Morelos is the perfect day or weekend trip. It’s a small site, but it still holds an important temple dedicated to Tepoztēcatl, the Aztec god of pulque, a traditional alcoholic drink.
Because this mountainous town is lower in elevation than Mexico City, you can enjoy a sunrise mountain hike, or take to the poolside and bask in the warm sun. If you’re looking for a wellness trip, this is the place to be; filled with yoga retreats, temazcal ceremonies and spa packages.
Nevado de Toluca
The Nevado de Toluca is an active volcano that last erupted about 3,300 years ago. Despite its active status, it’s a safe and ideal day trip option for hiking and nature lovers.
Arrive for an early-morning hike and watch a stunning sunrise from one of Mexico’s fourth highest peaks. The surrounding area is a beautifully kept national park. Therefore, you can spend the rest of the day exploring the local flora and fauna—a great escape from the city noise! If you’re interested in exploring this beautiful place, there are many companies that offer daily tours.
Just 2 hours and 45 minutes from Mexico City, Taxco is the “silver city”. Here, you can shop for handcrafted silver pieces or souvenirs for tourists at local silver workshops. Head on over to the Museo de la Plateria and watch silversmiths at work.
However, Taxco offers more than shops lined with silver. Walk down its cobblestone streets, visit the Santa Prisca Church and if you’re not scared of heights, take a ride on the Teleferico de Montetaxco.
Grutas de Cacahuamilpa National Park
The Grutas de Cacahuamilpa National Park are in the state of Guerrero. The park houses one of the world’s largest cave systems and offers guided tours. It’s also home to the Grutas of Carlos Pacheco, which consists of a smaller cave system and two subterranean rivers.
The national park offers a wide range of outdoor activities. For instance, one can choose rappelling, rock climbing, ziplines, visiting a small botanical garden, lounging in a pool, or selecting a unique camping spot.
Cholula and Puebla
Just under two hours from Mexico City, San Pedro Cholula is the perfect getaway from busy city life. Visit the Great Pyramid located in the city center and its beautiful baroque churches. If you’re feeling thirsty, stop by the Copa de Oro Factory and grab some apple cider while you learn how it’s made.
For more sightseeing, head on over to the nearby city of Puebla. Here, you can soak in the colorful streets, old churches, and classic dishes like the mole poblano. Don’t forget to take a ride on the Estrella de Puebla ferris wheel for a heightened view of the city.
Valle de Bravo
A few hours west of the city, Valle de Bravo is the weekend retreat of choice for all discerning Mexico City residents and visitors. In other words, it’s one of the local wonders you can’t miss for a true experience.
A charming town of cobbled streets and whitewashed colonial buildings nestled snugly around a stunning lake, a couple of days here is the perfect opportunity to try your hand at water sports, paraglide off the steep cliffs overlooking the town, or just chill out and enjoy the magnificent views.
Izta-Popo National Park
The Izta-Popo National Park borders the states of Mexico, Puebla, and Morelos. It’s only a 2-hour drive from Mexico City, making it a perfect location for a day trip. It offers excellent views of the Iztaccíhuatl and Popocatépetl volcanoes that cradle the capital city.
Spend a relaxing day in this park and choose between six hiking trails that are easily signposted and accessible without a guide. Some trails allow you to take your dog and others are perfect for horse riding. Take a break and have a picnic with friends while you’re surrounded by nature.
La Marquesa National Park
Escape the busy city and spend the day at this national park, just an hour and a half away from central Mexico City. Take a weekend trip and you’ll find families BBQ-ing, drinking, and enjoying the outdoors.
Some activities offered in La Marquesa include horseback riding, fishing and some of the tastiest food vendors. Be sure to research beforehand to find the best park entrance for your needs. Some areas are young and boozy, while others are more family-friendly and activity-based.
Arrive to a retreat after every day trip
If you’re looking for a temporary escape from the hustle and bustle of Mexico City, any of these ten recommendations is the perfect excuse.
Upon your return, make sure you’re staying somewhere comfortable. Looking for a stay in Mexico City’s top neighborhoods? Casai is the ultimate travel experience.