TRAVEL
10/14/2014 08:50 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

17 Spots That Make Mexico One Of The Prettiest Places On Earth

Yes, there's the stereotype of partying spring breakers. But let's not forget that Mexico is truly a beautiful place.

The country boasts 67 national parks and 41 biosphere reserves. Among Mexico's deserts, rivers and mountains, you'll find more than 5,000 miles of coastline and one of the world's longest underwater cave systems. Check out some of our favorite spots below.

Note: Some of these destinations may be under travel warning because of the Zika virus. It's important to check your destination on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website for applicable guidance before booking a trip.

Cenote Dzitnup
Oh, it's nothing -- just your average blue-water sinkhole. There are thousands of them on the Yucatan Peninsula.
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Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City
The masterwork known as "The Palace" is a venue for the Ballet Folklorico of Mexico.
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Xcaret Park, Cancun
At this "eco-archaeological park" (as one tourist site puts it) visitors can embark on snorkeling expeditions and watch traditional "flying" ritual ceremonies, right on the water.
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The Marieta Islands
This national park is home to a series of secret, rocky coves. Check out Hidden Beach.
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The pyramids of Teotihuacan
They're massive -- and just a few of Mexico's many ancient archaeological sites.
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The underwater river in Cenote Angelita
It's both a geological wonder and scuba diver's dream.
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San Miguel de Allende
The city traces its history to the silver trade of the 1500s, and there are lots of rooftop bars.
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Isla Mujeres
The snorkeling is perfection at this island off Cancun.
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Todos Santos
With art galleries and ample bodegas, this is the perfect surf town for people who don't actually surf.
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Sumidero Canyon
Formed by a geological fault, this canyon has walls thousands of feet high. It's now part of a national park.

Tulum
What anyone would give to be in that water right now (and don't forget the ancient ruins).
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Guanajuato
The colonial city surrounded by mountains -- and its nearby mines -- are together a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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Riviera Nayarit
The spot that calls itself "Mexico's newest beach destination" is the side of the Riviera you haven't gotten to know yet.
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Sayulita
This village on the Riviera Nayarit is known for resorts in the jungle, beachside yoga and some major surf culture.
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Agua Azul Waterfalls
Three rivers meet in the jungle to produce these turquoise wonders.
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The "Frozen Waterfalls" of Hierve El Agua
These natural mineral springs in Oaxaca accumulated over thousands of years.
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Zipolite
People often stay in this sleepy beachside village by the month, and with only one main street, near-constant sunshine and an (albeit overstated) nude beach, we understand why.
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BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
11 Awesome Things About Mexico
CONVERSATIONS