20 Day Trips From Mexico City

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Mexico City, the capital of Mexico, is the world’s fifth-largest city and a megacity home to 22 million people. More people travel to Mexico City than any other place in the country, with over 11 million visitors each year. Mexico City has many attractions to explore Mexican history, culture, art and food, but if you’d like to get out and about away from the big city, there are some excellent day trips from Mexico City.

Many tour companies operate out of Mexico City, and exploring the surrounding regions is easy. The public transport infrastructure in and around the city is constantly improving, making it easier and easier to get around. Here are the best Mexico City day trips. 

Mexico City Day Trips

20 Day Trips From Mexico City

1- Puebla

day trips from oaxaca city mexico
Even though Cantona can be reached by public transport on a day trip from Puebla or Xalapa only a few visitors make it. The site is vast and a visit takes around three hours if you want to climb all the pyramids.

Puebla is an old colonial-style city that is home to three million people.

This city’s Spanish occupation history and colourful architecture make this a picturesque place to explore.

The city of churches has many beautifully ornate churches both inside and out.

Puebla is home to the oldest library in the Americas, the Palafoxiana Library, located in the city’s historic centre.

This library has been open to the public since 1773, and students conduct tours of the extensive collection of books and manuscripts Tuesday through Sunday.

Visitors to Puebla should also visit the artisanal market to shop for the famous Talavera ceramic pottery made in this city.

Puebla is 80 miles/130 km (1 hour 40 minutes) from Mexico City.

2- Atlantes de Tula

best day trips from mexico city trips Toltec warrior columns and blue sky
One of the best day trips from Mexico City for those interested in archaeology is to Tula. Pictured here are Toltec warrior columns on top of the pyramid of Quetzalcoatl.

Atlantes de Tula is an impressive archaeological site in the state of Hidalgo, only a two-hour drive from Mexico City.

The ruins of Tula were once the capital city of the Toltec Empire between the 9th and 12th centuries.

This city was once the largest in Mesoamerica.

The archaeological site contains a nature preserve where you can birdwatch while hiking to the ruins.

Climb the steps of the large pyramid and get a closer look at the ‘Atlanteans’ or stone warriors that sit at the top.

There’s a stunning view from the top of the pyramid, with the remains of the Burnt Palace on one side.

Two ball fields have been excavated, and you can walk through the excavation of the largest field.

While this archaeological site is small, it is impressive and worth visiting.

Atlantes de Tula is 62 miles/99 km (two hours) from Mexico City.

3- Teotihuacan

day trips from mexico city to teotihuacan huge pyramid with a group of people standing next to it
A fantastici day trip from Mexico City to Teotihuacan is a chance to see the Pyramid of the Sun.

Teotihuacan is the most famous archaeological site in Mexico and the most visited.

This site was constructed around 300 B.C. and has been inhabited by different civilisations.

The pyramids of the Sun, Moon and Quetzalcoatl are impressive.

Stroll along the boulevard and browse through the small shops that line the street while admiring the excavated remains of what was once an impressive city.

It’s best to hire a guide when touring through Teotihuacan, as you will appreciate its impressive history and culture when exploring with a certified guide.

After visiting this site, head to the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City to understand Mexico’s history better.

Many of the art and artifacts at Teotihuacan are displayed in the museum.

Teotihuacan is 30 miles/49 km (1 hour) from Mexico City.

4- Coyoacan

day trips mexico city statue of sitting Frida Kahlo in park
A statue of Frida Kahlo sitting in the park is one of the sights to see when you go on a day trip from Mexico City to Coyoacan.

Coyoacan, once a rural village, is now a small, artsy neighbourhood within the Mexico City boundary.

The Frida Kahlo Museum, La Casa Azul, is located here. This museum celebrates the life, art and activism of Frida Kahlo.

Because this museum is so popular, you should buy tickets in advance.

Frida Kahlo’s husband, Diego Rivera, created the Anahuacalli Museum, another popular museum in Coyoacan.

This building, a large, pyramid-shaped structure constructed from black volcanic stone, houses an impressive collection of pre-Hispanic artifacts collected from nearly all of Mexico’s indigenous civilisations.

A visit to this neighbourhood should include a stroll through the centre while eating fresh churros and shopping in the local Mercado for locally-made, artisanal crafts.

Coyoacan is 7 miles/12 km (35 minutes) from Mexico City centre.

5- Valle de Bravo

best day trips from Mexico City valle de bravo green valley and town
One of the longer day trips from Mexico City, Valle de Bravo is a lovely region to visit.

Valle de Bravo is a small town on Lake Avandaro, a large lake bordered by tall mountains.

This town is a popular weekend and holiday retreat for wealthy residents of Mexico City.

The lake is popular for water sports such as jet skiing, boating, stand-up paddleboarding, swimming and fishing.

Hang-gliding and paragliding are also fun activities in this area.

Several hikes connect you with nature and are where you can find a few waterfalls.

Take time to explore the beautiful downtown area and shop and eat at one of the excellent restaurants.

Valle de Bravo is 87 miles/140 km (2.5 hours) from Mexico City.

6- Monarch Butterfly Reserve

best day trips from mexico city orange butterfly on a flower
One of the best day trips from Mexico City for nature lovers is to Michoacan to see the Monarch Butterflies during their migration.

Central Mexico, the states of Michoacan and Mexico, is the southern tip of the Monarch butterfly migration route.

Millions of monarch butterflies arrive at the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The best time to see the butterflies at this reserve is between January and early March.

When you enter one of the sanctuaries located within the Biosphere Reserve, you must have a guide, so it’s best to book a tour that includes transportation from Mexico City to a sanctuary.

It is recommended that visitors are in relatively good shape because hiking through the forest, up and down slopes on the side of the mountain, is necessary to see the butterflies.

If you want a shorter hike, horses are usually available to carry visitors part of the way but you can’t avoid walking the final approach to the butterflies’ location.

Michoacán is 81 miles/130 km (2.5 hours) from Mexico City.

7- Xochimilco

day trips outside of mexico city Authentic roofed and decorated boat in canal with reflective water.
For a day trip from Mexico City full of local colour and culture, cruise Xochimilco Lake in a traditional trajinera..

Xochimilco is famous for its trajineras – the long, colourful boats that float within the canals between the chinampas or floating islands – pushed along by long, wooden poles.

At times, the canals are full of trajineras carrying passengers who relax on the water listening to the floating mariachi play while eating tacos and tamales and drinking beer and pulque sold by vendors that float past.

One of the highlights is the creepy Island of the Dead Dolls, where dolls are hung on trees to frighten away the spirit of a girl who drowned there.

Xochimilco is a borough within the Mexico City boundary and an hour’s drive from the historical centre of Mexico City.

8- Tepoztlan

day trips around mexico city view of the city through the mountains
One of the day trips from Mexico City you may like is to Tepoztlan, a small village in the state of Morelos.

Tepoztlan is a Pueblo Magico, one of the Mexican towns listed for its beauty and history, in the state of Morelos.

This town in the mountains is a spiritual place.

People travel to this town to experience the temazcal, a ritual and spiritual ceremony that dates back to pre-Hispanic times.

A guide in traditional medicine purifies the bodies and spirits of the people in attendance by singing and using hot rocks to produce steam that contains a variety of aromatic and medicinal herbs.

In addition to taking part in this relaxing ritual, you can also hike up the mountain to the Aztec pyramid, Tepozteco.

The market in Tepoztlan is also a must-see destination where you can try a wide variety of foods specific to this region.

Tepoztlan is 51 miles/82 km (1.5 hours) from Mexico City.

9- Cholula

best day trips from mexico city tours chulula city view
Another of the best day trips from Mexico City is to visit Cholula, where the Convent of San Gabriel dominated the city skyline.

Cholula, a Pueblo Magico, near Puebla City, is the home of the world’s largest pyramid by volume.

Although most of the pyramid is unexcavated, it’s worth visiting the archaeological site to see the partial excavation showing its complex structure.

Underneath the hill, excavated tunnels are available for tours through the pyramid, although during Covid, those tunnels remain closed to tourists.

On top of the large hill that contains the mostly unexcavated pyramid is the Church of Our Lady of Remedies, the most iconic and picturesque church in a town full of churches.

Cholula is 78 miles/128 km (1.5 hours) from Mexico City.

10- Queretaro City

day trips from mexico city domie of the Santa Clara Church
One of the day trips from Mexico City for fans of architecture is to visit Queretaro City. Pictured here is the Santa Clara Church and Convent.

This large bustling city has a beautiful Centro Historico full of architectural beauty, picturesque fountains in open squares and flower-covered buildings.

Many excellent restaurants and places to shop are in the historic centre.

Look for the old aqueduct with 75 intact arches, built in the 1700s.

In what used to be a cathedral, the beautiful Regional Museum of Queretaro is an excellent stop with its collection of pre-Hispanic artifacts.

Queretaro has a unique vibe and is an excellent day trip from Mexico City.

Queretaro City is 135 miles/219 km (a three-hour drive) from Mexico City.

11- Las Grutas de Tolantongo

While this may seem a little far for a typical day trip, Las Grutas de Tolantongo is a worthwhile place to visit.

Group tours leaving from Mexico City travel to Tolantongo and return later on the same day.

You spend the day soaking in the hot springs that dot the side of a cliff, swimming in the river fed by hot springs and exploring the underwater caverns, or grottoes, that lend this place its name.

Tolantongo also has a zipline, suspension bridge and swimming pools.

There are restaurants and snack shops where you can get a bite to eat.

Hotels and campsites on the property do not take reservations but will accommodate visitors that want to spend the night.

Las Grutas de Tolantongo is 109 miles/175 km (a four-hour drive) from Mexico City.

12- Pena de Bernal

This small town is famous for the monolith that dominates the landscape, a giant rock tower that juts 350 m (1,148 ft) into the sky and is one of the tallest in the world.

Pena de Bernal is a fun, off-the-beaten-path town that doesn’t get enough visitors to make it overly crowded.

You can climb the monolith and get a beautiful view of the town below or book an ATV tour to explore the rocky landscape.

Plenty of fun shops and restaurants with delicious food make this an excellent place to stop for a while.

Sample the bread and pastries made at the local bakeries and shop in the candy store where you can try regional candy.

Pena de Bernal is a Pueblo Magico 143 miles/240 km (three hours) from Mexico City.

13- Izta-Popo Zoquiapan National Park

day trips out of mexico city volcano and blue sky
Iztaccihuatl Volcano is not far from Popocatepetl and a day trip from Mexico City to Puebla will allow you to see both.

Iztaccihuatl and Popocatepetl are the two most famous volcanoes and the third and second tallest peaks, respectively, in Mexico.

Both are within a large national park called the Izta-Popo Zoquiapan National Park.

Hikers enjoy the experience of climbing Iztaccihuatl, although reaching the summit requires expert mountaineering experience with a guide.

While Iztaccihuatl is a dormant volcano and hikers can enjoy accessing the entirety of that mountain, Popocatepetl is currently an active volcano, and hiking there is prohibited.

Visitors to this national park should always be aware of the status of Popocatepetl and pay close attention if the status changes, warning of a dangerous situation.

Izta-Popo Zoquiapan National Park is 90 km (two hours) from Mexico City.

14- Taxco

best day trips from mexico city tickets postage stamp $2
Taxco is a fascinating day trip from Mexico City.

Taxco, a Pueblo Magico in Guerrero, is famous for its silversmiths and people often visit this town to buy jewellery and trinkets made of silver.

This picturesque town is built on the side of a mountain, so wandering up and down the streets and alleys can be quite tiring.

There are plenty of great restaurants and cafes to choose from when you need a break from the walking.

The Cacahuamilpa Caves in Grutas de Cacahuamilpa National Park are an excellent place to visit and see unique geological formations underground.

Taxco is 112 miles/177 km (2.5 hours) from Mexico City.

15- Huasca de Ocampo

best day trips from Mexico City Huasca de o campo cliffs
One of the most stunning day trips from Mexico City is visiting Huasca de O’Campo.

The Pueblo Magico of Huasca de Ocampo in Hidalgo is home to fantastic basaltic prisms that are unique and listed as one of Mexico’s 13 Natural Wonders.

The basalt prisms range from 75 ft (22 m) to 150 ft (45 m).

Four waterfalls cascade over some of these prisms, creating a beautiful spectacle.

Tour the basalt prisms by boat to spot the remains of an old hacienda.

Adventurous visitors can hike across hanging bridges or go ziplining.

Other attractions are the Bosque de las Truchas (Forest of the Trout) and the Museo de Los Duendes (Museum of Goblins).

Huasca de Ocampo is 79 miles/127 km (two hours) from Mexico City.

16- Pachuca de Soto

Pachuca de Soto is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Hidalgo that is well-known for the vibrant colours that adorn the walls of the buildings.

You can learn about its long mining history at the Mining Museum.

The former Convent of San Francisco, now a complex containing three museums, an art gallery, and a theatre, is a popular destination for visitors.

In addition, the Soccer Hall of Fame Museum provides an opportunity for soccer enthusiasts to explore the history and passion of soccer in Mexico.

Pachuca’s soccer team is one of the best in Mexico, and it is well worth a visit to their stadium to see a game.

Pachuca de Soto is 54 miles/92 km (1.5 hours) from Mexico City.

17- Cuernavaca

mexico day trips cuernavaca chapel of the third order of st francis
If you love historic places, one of the best day trips from Mexico City is to pay a visit to Cuernavaca where you will find jewel box churches like the Chapel of the Third Order of St Francis.

Cuernavaca in Morelos is an easy day trip from Mexico City.

This city is a popular destination because of its vibrant history.

The Palacio de Cortez is where the Spanish conquistador, Hernan Cortez, lived in the 1500s.

This palace, now the Cuauhnahuac Regional Museum, is also home to murals painted by Diego Rivera, the world-renowned Mexican artist.

Art, jewellery and other artisanal products can all be found at the Artisanal Market.

Lagunas de Zempoala National Park is a protected area containing several natural lakes.

Entrance to this park is free and you can go horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking or take a peaceful ride around the lakes in a boat.

Cuernavaca is 54 miles/87 km (1.5 hours) from Mexico City.

18- Tlaxcala (Mexico Firefly Sanctuary)

day trips from Mexico City tlaxcala
Another of the day trips from Mexico City to choose might be Tlaxcala.

Tlaxcala is Mexico’s smallest state and a fun day trip from Mexico City.

The famous Basilica of Our Lady of Ocotlan is the site of religious pilgrimages throughout the year.

For visitors who appreciate Frida Kahlo, an extensive collection of her early works are housed in the Tlaxcala Art Museum.

However, the biggest draw to Tlaxcala is the Nanacamilpa Firefly Sanctuary.

Every year for three months, June through August, millions of fireflies appear in the forest near the small town of Nanacamilpa for their mating season.

Thousands of visitors gather here each summer to witness this incredible phenomenon.

Tlaxcala is 71 miles/117 km (two hours) from Mexico City.

19- Toluca

day trips from Mexico City toluca wide view of city and churches
The city of Toluca is another popular day trip from Mexico City.

The capital of the state of Mexico is Toluca, a high-altitude colonial city that offers many exciting and beautiful places to visit.

One of the city’s most beautiful places is a botanical garden called Cosmovitral.

A famous stained glass window on display in the garden, the inexpensive entrance fee and more than 400 species of plants make this a worthwhile stop on a day trip to Toluca.

In addition, the craftsmanship at Metepec, the handmade rugs at Temoaya, and the great diversity of animals displayed at the Zacango Ecological Park (zoo) provide even more reasons to spend a day in Toluca.

Toluca is 41 miles/64 km (1.5 hours) from Mexico City.

20- Cumbres del Ajusco National Park

Cumbres del Ajusco National Park is within the state of Mexico, close enough that residents of the city can easily travel there to escape the air pollution and breathe clean air in the forest.

On the mountain at high elevations within the park, some light snowfall does occur.

Hiking is a popular activity at this park, with several hiking trails available, ranging in difficulty from easy to hard.

You can go mountain biking, do motocross, rent ATVs and enjoy riding some challenging trails.

Cumbres del Ajusco National Park is 43 miles/70 km (1.5 hours) from Mexico City.

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Angie Grier is a spicy señora living in central Mexico with a penchant for freelance writing. Having spent most of her adult life writing as a scientist and then as a teacher, she now contributes articles on a wide variety of topics for print and online media. Originally from the US, she has lived in several different states on the US West and East coasts, the Gulf Coast, and the Upper Midwest. These days, when she’s not camping in the woods in a US national park or shopping in Tonalá or eating chilaquiles, she writes a travel blog detailing her life and adventures in Mexico at www.onaroadleadingsomewhere.com.