Pass me the guacamole and chips because I’m not writing this where to stay in Mexico guide without some appropriate snacks! Mexico is the land of tacos, so savor every bite during your travels there. There’s more to Mexico than just food, of course— it’s the land of amazing beaches, unforgettable adventures, and epic landscapes.

If you’re trying to figure out where the best areas to stay in Mexico are, then I got you covered. I’ve been to Mexico more than just a time or two, and have fallen in love with the art, the culture, the food, and the people. I’m stoked to share all the top places to stay in Mexico and what to do when you’re there!

Ready to cover the ins and outs of the best cities in Mexico? Vamonos!

Quick Answers: Where is the Best Place to Stay in Mexico?

Map of Where to Stay in Mexico

Map of Where to Stay in Mexico
1.Baja Peninsula, 2.Puerto Vallarta, 3.Mexico City, 4.Oaxaca, 5.Isla Holbox, 6.Isla Mujeres, 7.Playa Del Carmen (Locations in no particular order)

Mexico City – The Overall Best Place to Stay in Mexico

Surprise, surprise— Mexico City is definitely the overall best place to stay while you’re backpacking Mexico. It’s a city that is so full of life that is practically pulsing. In fact, Mexico City is actually the largest city in all of North America.

That means that Mexico City is packed with people, sights, and sounds! Mexico City is also brimming with tons of local mercados (markets) filled with crafts and trinkets— the best spots buy sombreros and souvenirs.

mexico - Mexico City2

When you’re backpacking in Mexico City, you’re definitely going to want to move around and check out as many districts as you can. The Centre Historico district is where you’ll see the top tourist spots: the Paladin de Bellas Artes, the House of Tiles, the National Palace, and the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral— and that’s just naming a few!

The other most popular area is the Condesa where you can see the Chapultepec Castle, the Museum of Modern Art, and enjoy a lovely afternoon stroll around the Chapultepec Park. Ok, can you tell that there are a million things to see in Mexico City? It’s the truth!

Deciding where to stay in Mexico City can be a struggle, so make sure you inform yourself beforehand. You don’t want to end up far away from the hotspots you wanted to explore.

Best Places to Stay in Mexico City

If you want to get the most out of Mexico City, I recommend staying in the Condesa to be close to the sites, while not being directly at the epicenter of the tourist activity. Condesa is a great neighborhood that has more local vibes. You can also find the best hostels in Mexico City in this area.

mexico - Beautiful Room with Artistic Decor
Beautiful Room with Artistic Decor (Airbnb)

Best Airbnb in Mexico City: Beautiful Room with Artistic Decor

This bright and beautiful apartment sits in the heart of Condesa. It’s near a park, as well as great bars, museums, and restaurants! The decor of this room is super chic, with high ceilings, and a comfy queen size bed. The host also allows guests complete use of the kitchen and dining room.

Best Hostel in Mexico City: Hostal Regina

Hostal Regina sits in the heart of the Historic Center of Mexico City. It’s the top spot to stay in if you want to keep the pulse on the heartbeat of the city. This hostel has a very special rooftop bar that serves mean mojitos on the weekend. The private rooms and dorm rooms are downright affordable!

Best Hotel in Mexico City: Hotel Parque Mexico Boutique

This Mexico City hotel is a real beauty. It’s situated in the Condesa district and has an onsite gourmet restaurant and bar. This fancy hotel actually perfumes its rooms with natural essences and all the furniture is completely handmade. While this hotel is a bit more expensive than other Mexico accommodation options, you’ll be staying in style!

Isla Mujeres – Best Place to Stay in Mexico for Families

Isla Mujeres is an island in Mexico that is in the Caribbean Sea. It’s actually just 13 kilometers off of the coast from the city of Cancun. Given its isolation and gorgeous beaches, staying in Isla Mujeres is definitely the best option when traveling with your family. Plus, it has some of the best resorts and hotels in Mexico!

Island Mujeres is actually a fairly small strip of an island, just about 7 kilometers long. That means that you won’t be losing track of your kids amongst the crowds!

mexico - Isla Mujeres

Besides enjoying a stress-free holiday, there is also an abundance of snorkeling spots with stunning coral reefs. There is also a turtle sanctuary to visit and the remains of an ancient Mayan temple to explore.

So sit back, relax, have a margarita and let the kids play on the white sandy beaches or in the tranquil crystalline aquamarine waters. Is Island Mujeres calling your name, or what?!

Best Places to Stay in Isla Mujeres

You can stay in the north of the island on the gorgeous Playa Norte beach for the best snorkeling spots, or stay in the south closer to the Mayan temple and the sea turtles! So, either way, you really can’t go wrong.

mexico - Maya Casitas
Maya Casitas (

Best Airbnb in Isla Mujeres: Beachfront House

This stunning beach house in Mexico dwells directly in front of the sandy shores of the Caribbean Sea. You’re literally five steps away! Plus, this is the perfect Airbnb for your family because it has two seperate bedrooms with a total of four beds. This Airbnb will make you feel like you’re in paradise.

Best Bed and Breakfast in Isla Mujeres: Maya Casitas

Maya Casitas sits just 700 meters away from Norte Beach and they have a wonderful family room that will make you and your family feel right at home.  There is also a beautiful outdoor garden and terrace— the perfect spot to enjoy your complimentary breakfasts! The Cafe Me Late Chocolate is also just around the corner, as is the delicious Amigos restaurant.

Best Hotel in Isla Mujeres: Esduma la Perla Hotel

While I could recommend some stunning hotels and resorts that would make your jaw drop at the crazy high prices, I want to recommend the Esduma la Perla hotel because it’s a budget-friendly hotel that is just 300 feet from the Norte Beach. It’s a crisp, clean, and simple hotel that will take great care of you and your family.

Playa Del Carmen – Where to Stay in Mexico for Couples

Hello beautiful! Playa Del Carmen is definitely one of the best areas to stay in Mexico for lovebirds. It’s a coastal resort city along the Yucatan Peninsula and is known for beautiful beaches and vibrant coral reefs. There is also a long pedestrian walkway that winds parallel to the sand that is filled with restaurants, cafes, shops, and bars.

Make sure to check out the fun sculptures at Los Fundadores Park, and visit the Xaman Aviary bird watching area to spot some flamingos. Also, if you and your loved one are feeling adventurous, you can also try sky or scuba diving!

mexico - Playa Del Carmen
Playa Del Carmen will leave you speechless!

Whether you want to dive out of an airplane or dive underwater, there’s something for every kind of adrenaline junkie out there in Playa del Carmen.

I would also definitely recommend visiting a cenote—sinkhole— to go for a swim! Plus, Rio Secreto is just a quick 20-minute drive away from Playa del Carmen and it’s one of the very few places in the world where you can see an underground river! Hike and swim all while being surrounded by stalactites and stalagmites.

Best Places to Stay in Playa del Carmen

Most of the accomodation options in Playa del Carmen are placed in close proximity to the beach. No matter where you stay in Playa del Carmen, you won’t be too far from those beautiful turquoise waters!

mexico - Che Playa Hostel and Bar
Che Playa Hostel and Bar (HostelWorld)

Best Airbnb in Playa del Carmen: Chic Room 5 minutes to Beach

This ridiculously affordable Airbnb in Mexico seems a little magical. There is an outdoor egg-shaped bathtub to soak up some total relaxation in while feeling like a queen! Overall, this Airbnb is super trendy. You’ll love the Instagram shots you’ll take from the place.

Best Hostel in Playa del Carmen: Che Playa Hostel and Bar

If you and your significant other are social butterflies or are in the mood to party the night away, this is the hostel for you! Che Playa Hostel has an epic onsite bar that regularly hosts themed parties and beer pong championships. Plus, every night their staff whip up delectable all-you-can-eat family-style dinners so you will definitely make a friend or two—while keeping your bellies happy. Definitely one of the best hostels in Playa del Carmen if you ask us!

Best Hotel in Playa del Carmen: Hotel Playa Encantada

Looking for an enchanted getaway? For an affordable price, you’ll be just four blocks away from Mamitas Beach. There is also an outdoor pool and garden, perfect for soaking up a bit of peace and quiet. Also, the Xcaret Eco Theme Park is actually just a ten-minute drive away. This hotel really puts you in the perfect spot to make the most out of all that Playa del Carmen has to offer. Plus, the popular bar Coco Bongo is just a couple minutes walk away.

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Mexico City – The Coolest Place to Stay in Mexico

If you’re wondering where should I stay in Mexico for truly cool vibes— Mexico City is the answer again! It’s simply an enormous city filled with a thousand different reasons why it’s so cool. From epic street art to the Frida Kahlo Museum, from $1 street tacos to taco omaskase at Pujol—Mexico City is where it’s at.

When you’re in the best city in Mexico to see and do cool things, then you better make a solid to-do list and make sure you can check some things off that list! Of course, make sure you see the top tourist sites in the Centro Historico and Condesa districts, however, I want to recommend checking out the other less touristy areas too.

mexico - Mexico City
You could spend weeks just exploring Mexico city!

Like the Polanco district—where the Soumaya Museum is, and the Coyoacan area is where the Frida Kahlo Museum is located.

However, my favorite district is the Roma. Roma is a hipster neighborhood that is filled with unique things. From the Cafebrería El Péndulo, a three-story bookshop with a rooftop to hang out on, to the Panaderia Rosetta bake shop with delicious guava pastries, to the El Vilsito nightclub that was a car repair shop turned into a bar! Truly— Roma is where you need to go to soak up Mexico City’s cool vibes.

Best Areas to Stay in Mexico City

I think I’ve already made it pretty clear that Roma is the coolest area to stay in Mexico City. Roma has some of the best hole-in-the-walls to discover—unique Airbnbs included!

mexico - Hostel Home
Hostel Home (HostelWorld)

Best Airbnb in Mexico City: Cozy Suite with Balcony

This private guest suite has your name on it! It’s a charming space with all you need for a cozy stay in Mexico City. Situated in the south of Roma neighborhood, you’ll be happy as a clam being surrounded by delicious restaurants like La Casa de Toño.

Best Hostel in Mexico City: Hostel Home

Home Hostel sits in the hip Roma neighborhood and is actually the very first backpacker hostel in Mexico City. It’s a vibrant hostel that has really created a beautiful community. It’s a welcoming, laid-back hostel that knows how to show guests a great time.

Best Hotel in Mexico City: Hotel Benidorm

Hotel Benidorm is an affordable hotel in one of the most picturesque neighborhoods, Roma. It’s a spacious hotel that is close to the metro stations and to the historic old town as well. Also, the delectable Potzocalli Restaurant is also just around the corner!

Isla Holbox – Where to Stay in Mexico On a Budget

Isla Holbox is a magical island. Really, it’s pure magic. Another rather mystical aspect of Holbox is that it’s ridiculously budget-friendly. The fairy godmother just waved her wand folks.

One of my favorite things to do on Holbox island is to rent a bike and ride over to Punta Mosquito. It’s a white sandbank in the middle of the ocean that actually connects to Punta Mosquito.

mexico - Isla Holbox
Simply stunning, right?

Then, at the end of your day, head over to Punta Cocos for the best sunset around. Pick up a beer along the ride, and sit on the sand to catch the watercolor sunset sky.

Another honestly incredible aspect of Holbox is that it has a few bioluminescent beaches, where you can take a boat or go paddle boarding into the water and see glowing plankton sparkle in the water below you. I did promise you magic, didn’t I?

Best Places to Stay in Isla Holbox

Isla Holbox spans a pretty small area, so wherever you stay you won’t be too far from anything else. Plus, most lodging is oriented around the beach so you’ll never be far from the sandy shore!

mexico - Casa Maya Holbox
Casa Maya Holbox (

Best Airbnb in Isla Holbox: Simple and Sweet Private Apartment

This sweet and simple private apartment is a one-bedroom with two beds and one bathroom. It has a small kitchenette and is a mere 100 meters from the beach. It’s also very close to the city center and just six blocks to the ferry! Plus, it comes at a bottom basement price.

Best Hostel in Isla Holbox: Tribu Hostel

Really, I can sum up Tribu Hostel in one word: epic. Tribu Hostel is mere steps away from the beach and it’s also where the party is at, as the photo above clearly indicates. Tribu also hosts daily yoga classes on the rooftop and offers fun activities like kite surfing lessons and kayaking tours.

Best Hotel in Isla Holbox:  Casa Maya Holbox

Casa Maya Holbox sits right on the soft, white-sand beaches of Playa Holbox. It’s a fun hotel that is decorated with brightly colored Mexican and Mayan art. There is also a private beach area, with sunbeds and umbrellas, plus an onsite bar!

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Oaxaca – One of the Most Unique Places to Stay in Mexico

Oaxaca is one of the places where all of the historical periods of Mexico shine through. From the pre-Hispanic period to the colonial period to the modern period, you can see plentiful examples expressed in nearly every street. With archaeological sites to visit, bio fluorescent lagoons to check out, and gastronomic delights to be had—Oaxaca is definitely the best city in Mexico for unique experiences!

Let me start off by discussing the culinary scene of Oaxaca. It’s where tons of innovative chefs are taking the local cuisine to the next level— even street vendors. The most renowned Oaxacan dishes that you simply cannot miss out on trying are: memelas, tlayudas, tetelas, tamales Oaxaqueños, and well, um, chapulines aka grasshoppers.

mexico - Oaxaca

When in Oaxaca, there is also so much to see! Make sure to visit the Temple de Santo Domingo de Guzman, a truly impressive church from the 16th century.  Also, if you are up for a drive, just 90 minutes from Oaxaca city is the Herve el Agra which is actually a petrified waterfall!

There’s a cool hike to enjoy around the falls, and mineral springs at the top to take a quick dip in. Also, just a short drive from Oaxaca City is Monte Alban which is an incredible archaeological site and the former site of the ancient Zapotec City which dates all the way back to 500BC!

Other things to do in Oaxaca City include taking the Teotitlan Del Valle Textile Tour, the Jardin Etnobotanico de Oaxaca guided tour, the mezcal tasting tour, and an Oaxacan black clay workshop!

Best Places to Stay in Oaxaca

When deciding where to stay in Oaxaca, we’d recommend the city center to experience all the incredible things to do and see. You never know what you’ll encounter or discover!

mexico - Azul Cielo Hostel
Azul Cielo Hostel (HostelWorld)

Best Airbnb in Oaxaca: La Casa de Don Mario

This one bedroom and one bathroom private apartment in Oaxaca is spacious and tastefully designed. The amazing tile floor, high ceilings, and vintage decor is jaw-dropping. It also is centrally located, just a five-minute walk to the Zocalo, three minutes to the Mercado of the 20 of Noviembre. This is definitely one of the best options for lodging in Mexico!

Best Hostel in Oaxaca: Azul Cielo Hostel

The Azul Cielo Hostel is a warm and welcoming hostel just a quick 10-minute walk to the city center of Oaxaca. There is a rooftop terrace to enjoy, as well as stacks of board games, and Spanish classes, which makes it one of the best hostels in Oaxaca! Plus, there are both private rooms and dorm rooms available. Lastly, there is a super clean and well-stocked communal kitchen to whip up your favorite meal or snacks in.

Best Hotel in Oaxaca: La Casa Carlota

La Casa Carlota is a charming bed and breakfast situated right in the historic old town of Oaxaca. In fact, it’s just 550 meters away from the Santo Domingo Temple, and just a five-minute walk to the Oaxaca Cathedral. The street itself is quiet, and a welcome reprieve from the downtown noise!

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Baja Peninsula – Where to Stay in Mexico for Adventure

The Baja Peninsula sits at the Northwestern part of Mexico, and it separates the Pacific Ocean from the Gulf of California. It’s actually 1,247 kilometers long— so it’s a very narrow stretch of land. Also, it’s worth noting that Baja California lies to the North and Baja California Sur is in the south. The popular Cabo San Lucas sits right at the southernmost tip of the peninsula.

While Cabo San Lucas is known for its raucous nightlife and tequila bars, in Baja there is a huge mix of beaches, deserts, and mountain ranges that make Baja the best city to stay in Mexico for adventure.

mexico - Baja Peninsula

If water sports is your thing, then you’re going to love Baja, because it has everything from kayaking, to sport fishing, to surfing, to scuba diving, to whale watching! You’re definitely going to want to swim in the Sea of Cortez to see over 800 marine species— it’s incredibly biodiverse.

If you want to give surfing a try, then head over to the popular surf spots of San Pedrito Point or La Pastora. If you’d rather just collect pretty seashells and take a breather, then go to Playa Las Palmas.

If it’s time for a break from the ocean then head over to Parque National Sierra San Pedro Martin to trek up to the highest peak in Baja— Pichaco del Diablo.

Best Places to Stay in the Baja Peninsula

I have always loved staying in Baja Sur. It’s such a gorgeous area, and there are lots of towns to pick from that aren’t as rowdy as Cabo San Lucas!

mexico - Seven Crown La Paz Centro Historico
Seven Crown La Paz Centro Historico (

Best Airbnb in the Baja Peninsula: Bungalows Las Palmas

This Airbnb will be your own little slice of paradise. Situated in Cabo Pulmo, a quiet nature-filled area, where you can chill out and relax. All the amenities are up to date, with a kitchen and a little outdoor patio with a hammock.

Best Hostel in the Baja Peninsula: Baja Hostel

Baja Hostel is situated in Baja Sur in the town of La Paz. This hostel is actually built into a historic home from the 1920s and sits right in the city center. It’s also just a few blocks from the Malecon, the street that winds along the sea of Cortez. This hostel is cozy and cute, perfect for relaxing after a day of exploring!

Best Hotel in the Baja Peninsula: Seven Crown La Paz Centro Historico

The Seven Crown La Paz Centro Historico sits just mere steps away from the La Paz coast. This hotel comes at a budget-friendly price, all while having luxurious amenities, like an outdoor pool, and all rooms come with a private balcony. The rooms are sparkly clean and the complimentary breakfast is divine— there are even gluten-free and dairy-free options available.

Puerto Vallarta – Best LGBTQIA+ Destination in Mexico

Puerto Vallarta is a popular resort town on Mexico’s Pacific coast. It has beautiful beaches, epic water sports, and an incredible nightlife scene! Puerto Vallarta also just happens to be the self-proclaimed gay beach capital of Mexico. It’s a safe and very welcoming city that waves its pride flag high!

mexico - Puerto Vallarta

There are lots of activities that are organized with LGBTQIA+ in mind. One of the most popular activities is Diana’s gay and lesbian cruise, where the Jell-O shots never stop coming!

There’s also tons of gay bars and gay-friendly nightclubs in Porto Vallarta, mostly in the Zona Romantic Old Town neighborhood. The two most popular gay bars are Paco’s Ranch and CC Slaughter. The former is known for their drag shows, and the latter is a dance club.

If you’re looking for accommodation, there are some amazing Airbnbs in Puerto Vallarta. From budget to high-end luxury, the city simply got everything!

Best Places to Stay in Puerto Vallarta

Zona Romantica, also called the Old Town, is the best neighborhood to stay in for the LGBTQIA+ scene.

mexico - Casa Cupula Luxury LGBT Boutique Hotel
Casa Cupula Luxury LGBT Boutique Hotel (

Best Airbnb in Puerto Vallarta: Eco-Friendly Casa

This is a spacious Airbnb that comes at a super low price-tag. It’s a two-bedroom and two bathroom apartment that has three beds in it. It’s centrally located, just two blocks from the main avenue, and 8 minutes away from the Malecon. There’s a fully functional kitchen, and the hot water comes from a solar heater!

Best Hostel in Puerto Vallarta: Hostel Vallarta

Situated right in the cultural center of the city, surrounded by bars, restaurants, and tremendously delicious street food vendors, Hostel Vallarta is the best hostel in Puerto Vallarta. From top to bottom it’s decorated in Mexican style! Not to mention that it has a large rooftop terrace where you can hang out, make new friends, and watch the sunset. Also check out nearby Sayulita, a small surf town. The epic hostels in Sayulita offer great alternatives in a sleepy location.

Best Hotel in Puerto Vallarta: Casa Cupula Luxury LGBT Boutique Hotel

Perched on the hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this gay-friendly hotel is perfect for Puerto Vallarta getaway! Ot has an onsite restaurant, and is just a few minutes walk to Los Muertos Beach, perfect for swimming and enjoying a margarita! This hotel has an onsite hot tub and spa, and as well as having two swimming pools.

Top Places to Stay in Mexico

There are so many incredible options for lodging in Mexico that it was difficult to pick just three! I may or may not have cried a little into my margarita when I had to finally buckle down and choose…

Top Places to Stay in Mexico

Best Airbnb in Mexico – La Casa de Don Mario – Oaxaca

This one bedroom and one bathroom private apartment in Oaxaca is one for the books! It’s a spacious rental that is decorated in the most unique way. The furniture was actually made out of parts from an old oil factory. The vibes make this Airbnb positively swoon-worthy. Plus, it’s on one of the most central streets in Oaxaca, so you’ll love this spot.

Best Hostel in Mexico – Che Playa Hostel and Bar – Playa del Carmen

Get ready for a wild ride because the Che Playa Hostel and Bar on Playa del Carmen is definitely where the party is at! The onsite bar and terrace regularly hosts karaoke nights, beer pong championships, and themed parties. They also offer both private and shared rooms, too!

Best Hotel in Mexico – Seven Crown La Paz Centro Historico – Baja Peninsula

There are plenty of fancy resorts and hotels in Mexico that are beyond gorgeous. However, those hotels will smash your poor little piggy bank to bits! The Seven Crown La Paz Centro Historico sits just mere steps away from the La Paz coast and is enormously affordable. It’s a beautiful hotel built in the old world Spanish style. There is an outdoor pool and connected restaurant, plus it’s right next door to Doce Cuarenta— an amazing cafe!

If you need some other inspiration for places to stay in Mexico, check out our guide on vacation rentals in Mexico that has a good selection of options.

Books to Read While Traveling Mexico

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    Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Mexico

    Mexico really is all that and a bag of chips… tortilla chips. Puns aside, there are so many incredible cities to stay in Mexico.

    Whether you’re looking for the romantic vibes of Playa del Carmen or the family friend activities in the Isla Mujeres, you’re sure to have an unforgettable trip!

    Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Mexico

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