Colorful Cities in Mexico

Daniela Ramos

It’s no secret that Mexico loves colors and proof of that can be appreciated in many narrow alleys in lots of its towns and cities. While many travelers choose to visit Mexico because of its fantastic beaches, others prefer to explore its somewhat underrated destinations of culture and vivid colors. If the latter seems appealing to you, check out this list of colorful cities in Mexico.

Guanajuato City

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Guanajuato City is one of the most picturesque, colorful, and beautiful cities in the whole country. As the capital city of Guanajuato state, it was once among the biggest mining areas of Mexico, so much so that historical Guanajuato City and its surrounding mines were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When visiting, take a tour to see La Valenciana and El Nopal mines.

The city itself is very walkable and the best way to go about it is simply wandering around town and discovering all the charming gems it has to offer, such as the Alley of the Kiss (Callejon del Beso), numerous churches, including the iconic yellow Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato, and historical buildings like Teatro Juarez and Universidad de Guanajuato.

An enchanting spot in Guanajuato is the Jardin de la Union (Union Garden), which is located right in front of Templo de San Diego church. Art vendors, musicians, and street food make this downtown plaza quite enjoyable. Afterward, take a ride in the funicular (cable car) up to the Monumento al Pipila for the most awesome vistas of the city.

For a cool, eerie experience, the Guanajuato Mummy Museum is quite popular. It actually features more than 100 real mummies!

Merida

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Merida is the capital city of the state of Yucatan and it has lately become one of the best cities for travelers, digital nomads, and expats in Mexico! This city has a rich heritage of colonial and Mayan culture, spiced up with a touch of modernity.

Also known as the “White City” because of the color of the mansions lining the majestic Paseo Montejo and its clean streets, the city itself is brimming with fabulous churches, plazas, restaurants, and bars. Plaza Grande and Paseo Montejo are musts, but Merida is also a good starting point for day trips to archaeological sites such as Chichen Itza and Uxmal.

Valladolid

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Valladolid is a charming Spanish colonial city in the Yucatan Peninsula, located about two hours from both Merida and Cancun.

Even though the small town has become popular in recent years, Valladolid is still a budget-friendly travel destination in Mexico that has escaped mass tourism. Despite it being a small city, there are many things to do in town and its surroundings, which include swimming in one of the numerous cenotes in town. Cenote Zaci in downtown Valladolid is quite famous, but you can find many others, some even inside restaurants!

Admire the colorful houses in the Calzada de los Frailes, savor delicious Yucateca food at the Mercado Municipal, and visit the famous San Servacio church, located at the main square.

Oaxaca City

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Oaxaca City is a colonial city that uniquely blends beautiful Spanish architecture and churches, with prehispanic traditions. People in Oaxaca are particularly connected to their indigenous roots. They embrace their rich culture and pridefully share it with visitors. Colorful markets, art galleries, and quaint cafes fill up this easygoing festive city, where street parades and dances are quite common.

Oaxaca City is also a great starting point for explorers who want to head to the nearby Monte Alban or Mitla ruins, the Hierve el Agua natural infinity pool and petrified waterfall, or explore a mezcal distillery to learn about the entire process of making this “beverage of the gods”.

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The journey has been full of highs and lows of all sorts – of grand adventures, heartbreak, self-discovery, screw ups, and lonely roads. I wouldn’t change any of it. While I’m no longer traveling full-time anymore and I am now based in the wonderland that is Mexico City, you’re more likely to find me in some far-off place than at home. I’m a firm believer in the law of attraction, and I hope my stories inspire you to take the leap and follow your dreams!

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