Most Beautiful Places in Mexico | Top Universities

Most Beautiful Places in Mexico

By Sabrina Collier

Updated October 3, 2022 Updated October 3, 2022

There are plenty of perks if you study in Mexico: stunning beaches and sunny weather, mouth-watering cuisine, friendly people, the opportunity to improve your Spanish and much, much more…including a very Instagram-friendly selection of famous cultural and geographical sights.

We’ve looked at some of the most beautiful places in Latin America before, but with the release of the QS Latin America University Rankings, we thought we’d celebrate with a Mexico-focused edition, to highlight the best the country has to offer…

Cañón del Sumidero (Sumidero Canyon)

Starting off our look at the most beautiful places is the Cañón del Sumidero, located just north of the city of Chiapa de Corzo in the state of Chiapas in southern Mexico. Formed around the same time as the Grand Canyon in the US, the Cañón del Sumidero is a deep, narrow canyon split by the Grijalva river, with vertical walls reaching up to 3,200ft, creating breath-taking sights reminiscent of Lord of the Rings.

Hierve el Agua

Another must-visit in Mexico is the Hierve el Agua in the state of Oaxaca, a set of natural rock formations formed over thousands of years, which now resembles a frozen waterfall. It’s a truly unique sight – there’s only one other calcified waterfall like it in the world.

El Castillo, Chichen Itza

We couldn’t miss out the iconic Mesoamerican pyramid of El Castillo, which dominates the center of the Chichen Itza archaeological site in the state of Yucatán. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the pyramid was built around a thousand years ago by the Maya people and served as a temple to the god Kukulkan.  

Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City

Heading to the capital next for another one of the most beautiful places in Mexico, the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts). This is Mexico City’s grandest and most prominent performance venue, hosting a range of music, dance, theatre, opera and literature events as well as art exhibitions.

Pico de Orizaba

Mexico is known for its incredible beaches, but did you know 75 percent of the country is actually above 3,300ft? If you’re looking for something adventurous to do while you study in Mexico, how about taking a crack at climbing Pico de Orizaba? This dormant volcano is the highest mountain in the country, towering a whopping 5,636 meters (18,491ft) above sea level.

Church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, Oaxaca City

Oaxaca City, the state capital of Oaxaca, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its stunning range of colonial architecture and archaeological sites. Pictured above is the Church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, arguably the most beautiful church in the city.

Isla Mujeres

A list of the most beautiful places in Mexico wouldn’t be complete without a beach destination, and if you like the quiet life, the small island of Isla Mujeres could be the place for you. Located 13 kilometers off the coast of tourist hotspot Cancún, it offers a more relaxed setting, with its crystal-clear waters offering an ideal spot to go snorkeling.

Cabo San Lucas Arch, Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas is another major tourist destination for soaking up the sun on the beach, or – if you’re feeling more active – diving, snorkeling, jet-skiing, parasailing and more. At the southern tip you’ll find the beautiful natural rock formation of the Cabo San Lucas Arch, which sits at the point where the Gulf of California meets the Pacific Ocean.

Guanajuato, Jalisco

One of the largest cities in the country, Guadalajara, the state capital of Jalisco, is also one of the most beautiful places in Mexico. Guadalajara is a colonial city surrounded by mountains and is full of culture and beautiful architecture, such as the Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato, pictured above. The city’s historic center and adjacent mines are another of Mexico’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Tamul Waterfalls

In terms of natural beauty, it doesn’t get much more majestic than the Tamul waterfalls, near the city of Ciudad Valles in San Luis Potosí state. The Tamul falls plunge some 340 feet in the Tampaon River, with spectacular views and turquoise waters. Head 25 miles downstream and you’ll find pre-Columbian ruins at Tamtoc.


One of the most important archaeological sites in the country, the ancient Maya city of Uxmal is sure to be on your list of places to visit while you study in Mexico. Located 35 miles south of the city of Merida, Uxmal is a prominent example of Puuc architecture and dates back to the ninth century.

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This article was originally published in October 2017 . It was last updated in October 2022

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