In 2019, after exploring both the US and Canada with our camper, we took the plunge and crossed the southern border into Mexico. We didn’t know what to expect of our travels and were nervous at first because of all the news we heard on TV. But after almost a year on the road with an RV in Mexico, the country has been one of our favorites.
There are so many great places to visit in Mexico, but destinations can be spread out and public transportation is difficult to find. So one of the best aspects about exploring the country with your own RV is being able to visit all the different destinations with your own wheels and on your own time.
So in this post, we go over four of our favorite things to do during an RV road trip through Mexico!
This should come as no surprise. Mexico has some of the world’s most popular foods and no trip through the country is complete without sampling the country’s diverse gastronomy. And even if you consider yourself well-versed in America’s Tex-Mex and Cali-Mex cuisine, Mexico has much more to offer.
Below is just a sampling of some of our favorites!
- Taquitos – Ditch those large hard-shell tacos filled with minced beef and pick up a tiny soft-shelled taco (aka “taquitos”) layered with juicy pulled pork and topped with your favorite homemade sauce and fresh guacamole. And don’t forget the lime. We bet you can’t eat just one!
- Barbacoa en Consome – A huge chunk of slow-cooked meat simmering in a stew pot. This dish is commonly found in the outdoor markets of Oaxaca state, in the southern part of Mexico. Served with a side of tortillas and a mountain of fresh cilantro.
- Mole – “Mole” is a general term for a thick sauce that is often lathered over enchiladas or chicken. And different regions of Mexico serve types of mole. Some sauces are sweet and others are savory. Our favorite mole sauce comes from a small mountain town called Xico in the state of Veracruz!
- Chilaquiles – A traditional Mexican breakfast consisting of deep-fried tortilla pieces and lathered with either green sauce, red sauce, or both! They are similar to nachos, but less greasy.
For more information, check out our article on Mexico’s best foods.
Beaches, Beaches, & More Beaches
With over 5,500 miles of coastline, Mexico has a wide range of beaches. No matter what type of beach you are into, Mexico has it. Isolated beaches, party beaches, surfing beaches, tranquil beaches; you can find them all in Mexico. Here are three of our favorite coastline regions:
- Baja California – For many, Baja is the first place people go for their first RV trip into Mexico. The region is safe, the roads are (mostly) smooth, and the beaches are sublime. If you love to surf, there are lots of fantastic beaches along the Pacific Ocean. But if you prefer more calm and tranquil vibes, head over to the east side of the Baja Peninsula and pick out a beach along the Sea of Cortez.
- Yucatan Peninsula – Mexico’s most famous beach region lies along the Caribbean, and for good reason! The waters are fantastically blue, waves are calm, and the sand is soft and white. If you love to meet others, head over to Tulum or Cancun. But for a more peaceful experience, travel off the main road to Holbox and Mahahual.
- Oaxaca – In our opinion, this region of Mexico combines the best of Baja and Yucatan, but with significantly less crowds. While Puerto Escondido is for surfing enthusiasts, Mazunte & Zipolite offer a more tranquil experience. For absolute quiet, head over to Bahia San Augustine.
For more, check out our Baja California road trip post, where we specifically list some of our favorite beaches!
Waterfalls, Cenotes, & Hot Springs
But there’s so much more to Mexico than beach and surf. Head away from the coastline and into the country’s interior to discover some of the country’s best kept waterfalls, cenotes, and hot springs. Many of these destinations are off the main tourist path, so the best thing about visiting these places with your RV is that you can easily get there with your own vehicle.
Below are a few of our favorites.
- Waterfalls – For the best collection of waterfalls, travel to the state of San Louis Potosi and meander through Mexico’s Huasteca Potosina region. We visited six waterfalls in four days and particularly enjoyed the Minas Viejas, Tamasopo, and Tamul waterfalls.
- Cenotes – Scattered throughout the Yucatan peninsula are Mexico’s cool and refreshing cenotes; underground reservoirs of water formed inside limestone caves. Popular cenotes can get overcrowded, so drive out to the Cenotes Reserve southwest of Merida city for a more ‘off the beaten path’ feel.
- Hot Springs – With so much volcanic activity in Mexico you’re bound to come across a plethora of hot springs during your Mexico RV travels. But for one of the most unique and IG-worthy experiences, head over to Las Grutas de Tolantongo. Here, hot water rushes out of the canyon walls and cascades down to the river below. Bathe in hot pools that line the canyon’s walls or swim in the warm river waters. Either way, we’re sure this place will be one of your highlights in Mexico!
Shopping For Mexican Handcrafts
Yuko can personally attest that one of her favorite activities in Mexico is perusing the shops and outdoor markets for beautiful hand-made goods. From Mexico’s far north to deep south, we’ve decorated our camper van with colorful, artisanal souvenirs. Below are two of our favorite destinations for top-notch Mexican souvenirs.
- Oaxaca State – For the best all-around shopping experience, head south to the Mexican state of Oaxaca. From the state capital, you can drive out to all the different workshops and buy directly from the artisans themselves. For a DIY, self-driving souvenir tour, we recommend starting in Oaxaca City and driving south to San Martin Tilcajete for the highest quality Alebrijes; brightly colored Mexican folk art animal sculptures. Next, cut over to Teotitlan del Valle for wonderfully woven wool rugs. In each town you can find workshops that give free tours (in English!) that teach you about the history and process of their craft.
- Guadalajara – For all things leather, drive out to Mexico’s second largest city and head to Mercado Libertad. In this sprawling market you can find leather belts, shoes, saddles, and hats. Everything you could ever want, you can find it in this market. You might even find some artisanal tequila with a scorpion fermenting inside the bottle!
For more on Oaxaca’s artisanal product scene, read our post here.
Of course, these are just four of our favorite activities when traveling through Mexico. But there is so much more to explore and experience in the country, such as colonial architecture, magical towns (pueblos magicos), and stunning natural landscapes. We loved our time in Mexico and we know you will as well. If you have any questions regarding traveling Mexico in an RV, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected].
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