💎 33 Hidden Gems in Mexico Best to Visit This Summer

Mexico, a country vibrant with color, culture, and natural beauty, is often celebrated for its popular destinations like Cancun, Mexico City, and Tulum.

However, beyond these well-trodden paths lie hidden gems that offer a glimpse into Mexico’s heart and soul, waiting to be discovered by those who dare to venture off the beaten track.

This article seeks to uncover some of Mexico’s most enchanting hidden gems, offering travelers an alternative journey through the country’s lesser-known yet equally mesmerizing locales.

PlaceRegionClosest Airport
MazamitlaJaliscoMiguel Hidalgo y Costilla Guadalajara International Airport
Chiapa de CorzoChiapasTuxtla Gutiérrez International Airport
Hierve el AguaOaxacaOaxaca International Airport (About 1.5-hour drive)
Las Pozas GardenSan Luis PotosíTampico International Airport
BacalarQuintana RooCancun International Airport
San Miguel de AllendeGuanajuatoQuerétaro International Airport
Copper CanyonChihuahuaChihuahua International Airport
Marieta IslandsNayaritPuerto Vallarta International Airport
ZihuatanejoGuerreroIxtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport
CalakmulCampecheCampeche International Airport
Sumidero CanyonChiapasTuxtla Gutiérrez International Airport
Valle de BravoEstado de MéxicoMexico City International Airport (About 2-hour drive)
Espiritu Santo IslandBaja California SurManuel Márquez de León International Airport in La Paz
Querétaro CityQuerétaroQuerétaro Intercontinental Airport
Mineral de PozosGuanajuatoDel Bajío International Airport (Guanajuato International)
CuetzalanPueblaHermanos Serdán International Airport in Puebla
TapalpaJaliscoGuadalajara International Airport
MazunteOaxacaHuatulco International Airport
TepoztlánMorelosMexico City International Airport
Real de CatorceSan Luis PotosíPonciano Arriaga International Airport in San Luis Potosí
Todos SantosBaja California SurLos Cabos International Airport
SayulitaNayaritPuerto Vallarta International Airport
Sierra Gorda Biosphere ReserveQuerétaroQuerétaro Intercontinental Airport
CelestúnYucatánMérida International Airport
Isla MujeresQuintana RooCancun International Airport
Huasteca PotosinaSan Luis PotosíTamuin Airport or Tampico International Airport
MalinalcoEstado de MéxicoMexico City International Airport
Huasca de OcampoHidalgoMexico City International Airport
Valle de los MonjesChihuahuaChihuahua International Airport
San Juan Parangaricutiro ChurchMichoacánGeneral Francisco J. Mujica International Airport in Morelia
Guadalupe ValleyBaja CaliforniaTijuana International Airport
Grutas de TolantongoHidalgoMexico City International Airport
Los Prismas BasalticosHidalgoMexico City International Airport

1. Mazamitla, Jalisco

Mazamitla, Jalisco, an Alpine tranquility
Mazamitla, Jalisco, an Alpine tranquility in Mexico’s Sierra Madre.

Mazamitla, known as the “Mountain Capital” and a “Pueblo Mágico,” offers a charming escape into the Sierra del Tigre.

This village is celebrated for its alpine scenery, log cabins, and cobblestone streets lined with traditional crafts and warm, welcoming eateries.

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the myriad of activities available, such as hiking, horseback riding, and ATV tours, all set against the backdrop of lush pine forests and rolling hills. The cooler climate and tranquil setting make Mazamitla an ideal spot for relaxation and rejuvenation.

An image showing a map of Mexico with a highlighted area labeled "Mazamitla, Jalisco" in the state of Jalisco. There is an inset picture in the upper left corner showing a rustic cabin in a wooded area, suggesting the geographic context of Mazamitla within Mexico.
Mazamitla, Jalisco
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Mazamitla is approximately a 2.5-hour drive from Guadalajara, Jalisco’s vibrant capital, which hosts the nearest major airport, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla Guadalajara International Airport.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: For a cozy stay amidst the pines, consider the Monteverde Hotel de Cabañas, known for its rustic charm and comfortable accommodations. Alternatively, the Hotel el Leñador offers a more traditional hotel experience while still capturing the essence of this mountainous retreat.

2. Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas

Chiapa de Corzo, a gateway to the Sumidero Canyon's grandeur
Chiapa de Corzo, a gateway to the Sumidero Canyon’s grandeur.

Chiapa de Corzo, nestled on the banks of the Grijalva River, is a gateway to the stunning Cañon del Sumidero but is a marvel in its own right.

This “Pueblo Mágico” offers a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty. Visitors can explore the town’s colonial architecture, vibrant marketplaces, and the iconic La Pila fountain.

The town is an excellent base for boat tours through the Cañon del Sumidero, where towering cliffs and diverse wildlife create an unforgettable experience.

The warm, welcoming atmosphere of Chiapa de Corzo invites travelers to enjoy its traditional festivals and culinary delights, making it a vibrant slice of Chiapas life.

Map highlighting Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas in Mexico, with an inset photo of a historical brick structure at the location.
Chiapa De Corzo Chiapas Map
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Chiapa de Corzo is conveniently located about 40 minutes from Tuxtla Gutiérrez International Airport, making it easily accessible for visitors.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: For those looking to immerse themselves in the charm of Chiapa de Corzo, the Hotel La Ceiba offers comfortable accommodations. Alternatively, Fiesta Inn Tuxtla Fashion Mall offers a luxurious stay in a beautiful modern setting, perfectly blending history and comfort.

3. Hierve el Agua, Oaxaca

The Hierve el Agua's sculpting Mexico's landscapes
The Hierve el Agua’s sculpting Mexico’s landscapes.

Hierve el Agua is famed for its petrified waterfalls and natural mineral springs. This natural wonder, whose name translates to “the water boils,” is a formation created by freshwater springs rich in minerals that have built up into stunning rock formations over thousands of years.

Visitors can marvel at the two main petrified waterfalls, “cascada chica” and “cascada grande,” and dip in the spring-fed pools perched at the cliff’s edge, offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

The site is a geological wonder and a place of historical significance, with evidence of ancient irrigation systems built by the Zapotecs.

An overlay of a beach image with a tree on the left and rock formations in the foreground on a Google map highlighting the location of Hierve El Agua in Oaxaca, Mexico, with surrounding regions and countries labeled.
Hierve El Agua, Oaxaca
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Hierve el Agua is about a 1.5-hour drive from Oaxaca City. The journey involves a scenic route through the valleys, with the last segment on unpaved roads, adding to the adventure.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: In Oaxaca City, the Quinta Real Oaxaca offers luxurious accommodations in a former convent, providing a historic setting for your stay. For a more local experience, Hotel Suites Del Centro combines traditional Oaxacan architecture with contemporary art.

4. Las Pozas Garden

The Las Pozas garden, surreal dreamscape in the heart of the jungle
The Las Pozas garden, surreal dreamscape in the heart of the jungle.

Xilitla, in the heart of the Huasteca Potosina, is home to the surreal Las Pozas garden created by the British poet and artist Edward James.

Nestled in the subtropical rainforest, this fantastical retreat features more than 30 structures, including sculptures and towering concrete “flowers,” set amidst natural waterfalls and pools.

James, a patron of the Surrealist movement, transformed his coffee plantation into a dreamlike landscape, blending the jungle’s natural beauty with his imaginative architectural creations.

Visitors can wander through the maze of pathways, discovering hidden sculptures, exotic plants, and breathtaking vistas that challenge the boundaries between reality and fantasy.

Map showing the location of Las Pozas Garden in Mexico, with a purple marker indicating the garden's position, along with a top left inset photo of the garden's lush greenery and surreal concrete structures.
Las Pozas Garden
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Xilitla is about a 7-hour north of Mexico City. The nearest major airport is in Tampico, Tamaulipas, where you can drive or take a bus to Xilitla.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The Hotel Paraíso Encantado offers a comfortable stay with a traditional feel, located in the heart of Xilitla. For a more immersive experience in nature, the Posada El Castillo in Xilitla provides a serene setting with beautiful garden views.

5. Bacalar, Quintana Roo

Bacalar's serene beauty
Bacalar’s serene beauty

Bacalar, often called the “Lagoon of Seven Colors,” is a serene paradise in the southern part of Quintana Roo.

This hidden gem is known for its stunning freshwater lagoon that boasts mesmerizing shades of blue and crystal-clear waters, perfect for swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

The tranquil atmosphere of Bacalar makes it an ideal destination for those seeking relaxation and a close connection with nature. With its laid-back vibe and charming streets, the town invites visitors to explore leisurely.

A map highlighting Bacalar in Quintana Roo, Mexico, with a photo of a tropical beach setting in the upper left corner, displaying palm trees and a thatched-roof hut overlooking the water.
Bacalar, Quintana Roo
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Bacalar is about a 3-hour drive from Cancun International Airport, with bus services also available for those preferring public transportation.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The Hotel Boutique Aurea provides stunning lagoon views from its comfortable rooms. For a more intimate experience, the Casa Bakal, located on the lagoon’s shores, offers guests the opportunity to wake up to the sound of gentle waves.

6. San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato

San Miguel de Allende, where Colonial elegance meets artistic vibrance
San Miguel de Allende, where Colonial elegance meets artistic vibrance.

San Miguel de Allende, a colonial-era city in Mexico’s central highlands, is renowned for its baroque Spanish architecture, thriving arts scene, and cultural festivals.

Cobblestone streets, colorful facades, and the iconic pink-hued Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel make this city a visual feast. Its vibrant atmosphere is complemented by various galleries, boutiques, and gourmet restaurants, blending tradition and contemporary creativity.

The city’s temperate climate and high altitude ensure pleasant weather during the summer, making it an ideal destination for outdoor dining and exploration.

A map highlighting the location of San Miguel de Allende in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico, with a small inset picture showing a colorful street scene of the town in the upper left corner.
San Miguel De Allende Guanajuato
  • ✈️ How to Get There: The nearest airport is in Querétaro, about an hour’s drive away, with regular shuttle services to San Miguel de Allende. The city is also within driving distance from Mexico City and Guanajuato.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: Casa de Sierra Nevada, a Belmond Hotel, offers luxury accommodations in historic buildings, providing a perfect base. The Hotel Matilda blends modern design with traditional Mexican elements for a more contemporary setting.

7. Copper Canyon, Chihuahua

Copper Canyon, Mexico's grand canyon
Copper Canyon, Mexico’s grand canyon in rugged majesty.

Copper Canyon, a network of six distinct canyons in the Sierra Tarahumara in Chihuahua, is larger and deeper than the Grand Canyon. This majestic natural wonder is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, towering cliffs, and deep valleys.

The area is also the homeland of the indigenous Rarámuri (Tarahumara) people, known for their traditional lifestyles and incredible long-distance running abilities.

Hiking, zip-lining, and experiencing the rich culture of the Rarámuri are just a few activities visitors can enjoy in this stunning region.

Map showing the location of Copper Canyon in Chihuahua, Mexico, with an inset image of the canyon's landscape on the top left.
Copper Canyon Chihuahua
  • ✈️ How to Get There: The starting point for most visits to Copper Canyon is the city of Chihuahua, accessible by air from major Mexican cities. The train journey on El Chepe can begin from Chihuahua or Los Mochis, Sinaloa, on the Pacific coast.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The Hotel Mirador, perched on the canyon’s edge in Areponapuchi, offers spectacular views from each room’s balcony. For a more rustic experience, the Hotel Divisadero Barrancas provides comfortable accommodations with easy access to the canyon.

8. Marieta Islands, Nayarit

Marieta Islands, a hidden beach paradise
Marieta Islands, a hidden beach paradise sculpted by volcanic activity.

The Marieta Islands are an uninhabited archipelago renowned for their pristine beaches, clear waters, and diverse marine life.

The islands were formed thousands of years ago by volcanic activity and have gained fame for their hidden beach, Playa del Amor, accessible only through a long water tunnel that opens onto a stunning beach crater.

This ecological sanctuary is a paradise for snorkelers, scuba divers, and nature lovers, offering a chance to see dolphins, manta rays, and humpback whales during migration season.

A map showing the location of Marieta Islands in Nayarit, Mexico with an inset image of the islands' famous hidden beach.
Marieta Islands Nayarit
  • ✈️ How to Get There: The Marieta Islands are a short boat ride from Puerto Vallarta or the Riviera Nayarit. Various tour operators offer guided trips that respect the ecological regulations of the protected area.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: In Puerto Vallarta, the Hotel Mio Vallarta offers luxurious adults-only accommodations with stunning ocean views. Alternatively, the Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, located closer to the departure points for island tours, offers all-inclusive luxury and comfort.

9. Zihuatanejo, Guerrero

Zihuatanejo, the quintessence of Mexico's tranquil Pacific coast
Zihuatanejo, the quintessence of Mexico’s tranquil Pacific coast.

Zihuatanejo blends the charm of a traditional Mexican fishing village with the beauty of Pacific Coast beaches. Its laid-back atmosphere is far from the hustle and bustle of nearby tourist resorts.

The town’s bay is lined with fishermen’s boats, seafood restaurants, and small boutiques, offering a glimpse into the local way of life. From snorkeling in the clear waters to enjoying the sunset from the cliffs, Zihuatanejo offers a serene and picturesque setting for relaxation and adventure.

Zihuatanejo’s warm climate and welcoming community make it an ideal destination for those looking to experience the simplicity and beauty of coastal Mexico.

Map of Mexico highlighting the location of Zihuatanejo in the state of Guerrero, with an inset photograph of a beach lined with palm trees in Zihuatanejo.
Zihuatanejo Guerrero
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport serves the region with direct flights from major cities in Mexico and the U.S. The town is also accessible by bus or car from other parts of Guerrero.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: La Casa Que Canta offers luxury accommodations with stunning bay views, providing an intimate and romantic setting. For those seeking a beachfront experience, Hotel Irma offers comfortable rooms with easy access to the beach and town.

10. Calakmul, Campeche

Calakmul, an ancient Mayan ruins amidst a biodiversity haven
Calakmul, an ancient Mayan ruins amidst a biodiversity haven.

In the heart of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve in Campeche, Calakmul is one of Mexico’s most significant and less-explored Mayan ruins. This ancient city, hidden deep within the tropical rainforest, offers history enthusiasts and nature lovers a unique adventure.

The site is known for its impressive pyramids, ancient stelae, and the rich biodiversity surrounding it, including jaguars, monkeys, and a vast array of bird species.

Visiting Calakmul is a journey into the past and an immersion into one of Mexico’s most important ecological areas. The experience of climbing the ancient structures to witness the expanse of the jungle canopy is truly breathtaking.

An informational image featuring a map and a photograph inset. The map highlights the location of Calakmul in the Mexican state of Campeche on the Yucatán Peninsula. A heart icon marks the specific spot. The inset photo shows an ancient Maya ruin, suggesting Calakmul's historical significance. The map includes parts of Mexico, Central America, and the southeastern coast of the United States, with major cities labeled. The image is marked with copyrights for Google and INEGI.
Calakmul, Campeche
  • ✈️ How to Get There: The closest airport to Calakmul is in Campeche City, with the ruins located a few hours’ drive into the jungle, making it an adventurous trip best suited for those willing to explore off the beaten path.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: While there are no accommodations within the reserve, the nearby town of Xpujil offers basic lodgings, such as the Hotel Villa Calakmul, providing a comfortable base for exploring the ruins. Alternatively, Casa Kaan Calamkul, offers eco-friendly cabins set amidst the jungle, allowing for an authentic and sustainable stay.

11. Sumidero Canyon

The Sumidero Canyon
Sumidero Canyon, nature’s marvel carved by the Grijalva River.

Sumidero Canyon, a breathtaking geological formation in Chiapas, is a deep canyon carved by the Grijalva River. The canyon’s vertical walls soar up to 1,000 meters high, creating a dramatic landscape best experienced by boat, offering views of waterfalls, caves, and diverse wildlife.

The Sumidero Canyon National Park encompasses the canyon and surrounding area, providing opportunities for hiking, bird watching, and exploring the ecological richness of the region. The canyon is a natural wonder and holds cultural significance, with various historical sites along its banks.

An image featuring a map of southeastern Mexico and parts of Central America with an inset photo in the top left corner depicting the Sumidero Canyon. The map highlights Mexican states such as Chiapas, where the canyon is located, and nearby countries including Belize and Guatemala. The inset photo shows a view of the steep, rocky cliffs of the canyon with a river at the bottom.
Sumidero Canyon
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the capital of Chiapas, serves as the gateway to Sumidero Canyon, with the main access points just a short drive from the city.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The Marriott Tuxtla Gutierrez Hotel offers comfortable and modern accommodations in the city, making it a convenient base for canyon excursions. The Hotel Palapa Palace Inn offers a rustic experience for those looking to stay closer to nature.

12. Valle de Bravo, Estado de México

Cascada Velo de Novia
Cascada Velo de Novia, the bridal veil waterfalls in Valle de Bravo.

Valle de Bravo, a picturesque town in the State of Mexico, is nestled along the shores of Lake Avándaro. Known for its cobblestone streets, traditional white-and-red tiled buildings, and tranquil natural setting, Valle de Bravo offers a peaceful retreat from Mexico City.

The town is a popular destination for sailing, paragliding, and hiking, with the surrounding pine-forested mountains providing a beautiful backdrop for outdoor activities.

Valle de Bravo is also known for the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve nearby, where millions of monarch butterflies migrate each year, creating a spectacular natural phenomenon.

A map highlighting Valle de Bravo's location in the Estado de Mexico, with a small inset image of a waterfall in a lush, wooded area, located in the upper left corner.
Valle De Bravo, Estado de Mexico
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Valle de Bravo is about a 2-hour drive from Mexico City, making it an ideal weekend getaway for city dwellers seeking nature and tranquility.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The Rodavento Boutique Hotel & Spa offers a luxury experience in a forest setting, with activities like horseback riding and spa treatments available. For a more central location, Mesón de Leyendas is a charming bed and breakfast near the town center.

13. Espiritu Santo Island, Baja California Sur

The Espiritu Santo Island
The Espiritu Santo Island pristine natural sanctuary in the Sea of Cortez.

Espiritu Santo Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a crown jewel in the Sea of Cortez, offering untouched natural beauty, crystal-clear waters, and a wealth of marine life.

The island is a sanctuary for adventurers and nature enthusiasts, providing opportunities for snorkeling, kayaking, and hiking in an environment that feels worlds away from civilization.

The island’s turquoise waters are home to playful sea lions, while its beaches are nesting grounds for sea turtles, making every visit a unique encounter with nature.

A screenshot of a digital map highlighting Espiritu Santo Island in Baja California Sur, Mexico, with an inset photo of the island showing a coastline with clear blue water, cacti, and rocky terrain.
Espiritu Santo Island Baja California Sur
  • ✈️ How to Get There: The island is accessible via boat from La Paz, connected by flights and buses to major cities in Mexico and the United States.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: While camping on the island is an option for nature lovers, La Paz offers a variety of accommodations. CostaBaja Resort & Spa provides luxury amenities with stunning sea views, while Posada LunaSol is a more budget-friendly hotel that caters to eco-tourists and adventurers.

14. Querétaro City, Querétaro

Querétaro City, historical richness in Mexico's heartland
Querétaro City, historical richness in Mexico’s heartland.

Querétaro City is a harmonious blend of history, culture, and modernity, with well-preserved colonial architecture, lush parks, and vibrant plazas.

Its historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is filled with baroque churches, cobblestone streets, and charming alleys that tell stories of the city’s past.

The city’s aqueduct, an engineering marvel, and the hilltop convents offer panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Querétaro’s central location in Mexico makes it a perfect starting point for exploring the wine country.

Map highlighting Queretaro City, Queretaro, in Mexico, with an inset picture showing an aerial view of the city's historic buildings and greenery.
Queretaro City Queretaro
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Querétaro Intercontinental Airport connects the city with major Mexican cities and some U.S. destinations. The city is also a few hours’ drive from Mexico City, making it easily accessible by road.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: Hotel Criol is a fantastic hotel in the heart of the historic center, offering luxury and comfort. Alternatively, Plaza Camelinas Hotel, also situated in the vibrant center, offers a blend of luxury and comfort, making it an excellent choice for accommodation.

15. Mineral de Pozos, Guanajuato

Old kilns for processing mercury at Mineral de Pozos
Old kilns for processing mercury at Mineral de Pozos.

Mineral de Pozos, nestled in the heart of Guanajuato, is a testament to the ebbs and flows of time, once a thriving mining community, now a tranquil ghost town.

Its deserted mines and dilapidated colonial structures are poignant reminders of a bygone era, drawing visitors with their haunting beauty and historical depth.

The surrounding landscape, dotted with remnants of mining glory, offers a unique backdrop for exploration and photography. Mineral de Pozos is known for its artisan workshops, boutique hotels, and galleries, showcasing local craftsmanship and art.

A map showing the location of Mineral de Pozos in Guanajuato, Mexico, marked with a purple pointer; an inset photo features an old stone structure with a conical tower.
Mineral De Pozos Guanajuato
  • ✈️ How to Get There: The journey to Mineral de Pozos is an adventure, winding through the scenic countryside of Guanajuato, revealing the region’s rich cultural and natural heritage en route.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The Posada de las Minas offers a picturesque setting in a beautifully restored building, reflecting the town’s mining heritage. Another excellent choice is the Casa Raíces Hotel Luxury & Viñedo, which provides a luxurious retreat with its tasteful decor, serene courtyards, and personalized service.

16. Cuetzalan, Puebla

Cuetzalan, a mist-shrouded town steeped in indigenous culture
Cuetzalan, a mist-shrouded town steeped in indigenous culture.

Cuetzalan, a “Pueblo Mágico” in the Sierra Norte de Puebla, is enveloped in mist and rich indigenous traditions. This mountainous village is celebrated for its cobblestone streets, weekly traditional markets, and vibrant cultural festivals.

The surrounding landscape, lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and mysterious caves invite adventure and exploration. Cuetzalan’s architectural marvels, such as the Parroquia de San Francisco, are a testament to its historical significance.

An interactive map highlighting the location of Cuetzalan, Puebla in Mexico, with an inset picture in the top left corner showing a narrow cobblestone street lined by white buildings with red tile roofs and lush green trees overarching the pathway.
Cuetzalan Puebla
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Reaching Cuetzalan involves a scenic journey through the mountains of Puebla, offering panoramic views and a glimpse into the region’s diverse ecosystems.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The Taselotzin Hotel, run by indigenous women from the local community, offers a unique and authentic experience with rustic rooms. For those seeking a blend of comfort and tradition, Cabañas Los Achicuales is another excellent choice, situated in the village center.

17. Tapalpa, Jalisco

The picturesque Tapalpa, highlighted with a rustic allure
The picturesque Tapalpa, highlighted with a rustic allure.

Tapalpa, another “Pueblo Mágico,” is renowned for its natural beauty, traditional architecture, and serene atmosphere. Nestled in the mountains of Jalisco, the town is surrounded by pine forests, waterfalls, and impressive rock formations.

The town’s white buildings with red-tiled roofs, alongside its main square and stone-paved streets, offer a picturesque setting that seems frozen in time. Local cuisine, particularly dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients, tastes the region’s culinary traditions.

An image depicting a split view with a street scene labeled "Tapalpa, Jalisco" at the top and a map of Mexico highlighting the location of Jalisco at the bottom. The map is watermarked with "Google" and "Created by Mapprr.co."
Tapalpa Jalisco
  • ✈️ How to Get There: The nearest major airport is in Guadalajara, about a 2-hour drive from Tapalpa. The town is also accessible by bus from Guadalajara and other nearby cities.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: Tapalpa Country Club offers comfortable accommodations with facilities for golfing and tennis, set against the backdrop of the area’s natural beauty. For a more rustic experience, Cabañas Monterra Tapalpa provides cozy cabins perfect for a family or romantic getaway.

18. Mazunte, Oaxaca

Mazunte's sandy untouched beaches
Mazunte’s sandy untouched beaches

Mazunte is a serene coastal village nestled on the shores of Oaxaca, celebrated for its untouched beaches, vibrant natural reserves, and laid-back ambiance.

This hidden gem is a sanctuary that boasts the Centro Mexicano de la Tortuga, a comprehensive sea turtle conservation center, and the lush Punta Cometa, which offers panoramic sunset views and is the southernmost point in Mexico’s Pacific coastline.

Mazunte invites relaxation and a deep connection with nature with its golden sands and crystalline waters. The village’s commitment to sustainable living is evident in its eco-friendly accommodations, organic eateries, and artisanal markets.

A digital map showing Mazunte, Oaxaca, located on the southern coast of Mexico, with an overlaid image of a beach with rocks and waves in the upper left corner. The map includes nearby states and countries with a purple location marker indicating Mazunte.
Mazunte Oaxaca
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Mazunte is accessible via Huatulco or Puerto Escondido airports, followed by a scenic drive along the coast, offering glimpses of Oaxaca’s stunning landscapes and the deep blue Pacific.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: For an immersive experience, Zoa Hotel offers secluded luxury with stunning ocean views. Alternatively, El Copal Mazunte presents a more rustic and intimate setting, perched on a hillside overlooking the sea.

19. Tepoztlán, Morelos

Tepoztlán's mystical energies amidst verdant cliffs
Tepoztlán’s mystical energies amidst verdant cliffs.

Tepoztlán, set in the heart of Morelos under the watchful eye of the Tepozteco mountain, is a mystical town known for its rich indigenous history, spiritual significance, and stunning natural surroundings.

The town is famed for the El Tepozteco pyramid, perched atop the mountain, offering panoramic views and a glimpse into the region’s pre-Hispanic past.

The town’s cobbled streets, lined with colorful buildings, lead to a lively market where visitors can sample local delicacies, including the famous “Tepoznieves” ice cream.

Map showing the location of Tepoztlán, Morelos in Mexico with a purple marker, overlaid with a segmented picture in the top left corner depicting a hillside with buildings and traditional festivities. The map background includes neighboring countries and bodies of water.
Tepoztlan Morelos
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Tepoztlán is a short drive from Mexico City. It is ideal for a day trip or weekend getaway, offering a peaceful respite from the capital’s hustle and bustle.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: Casa Isabella Hotel Boutique offers a luxurious escape amidst lush gardens, with views of the Tepozteco mountain. For those seeking a more traditional experience, Posada Del Tepozteco provides colonial-style accommodations with modern amenities.

20. Real de Catorce, San Luis Potosí

The Ogarrio Tunnel in Real de Catorce
The Ogarrio Tunnel in Real de Catorce.

Real de Catorce, nestled high in the Sierra de Catorce range in San Luis Potosí, is a captivating former silver mining town with a rich history and a mystical aura.

Accessible through the long Ogarrio Tunnel, this ghost town turned cultural destination offers a unique blend of stunning landscapes, historic ruins, and spiritual significance, drawing tourists and pilgrims alike.

The town’s cobblestone streets, colonial architecture, and the ruins of its once-thriving silver mines evoke a bygone era. At the same time, the local Huichol communities add a layer of indigenous culture and artistry.

A map showing the location of Real de Catorce, San Luis Potosi, in Mexico, indicated by a violet marker, with an inset photo of a stone entrance with the word "OCALICO" above the archway.
Real De Catorce, San Luis Potosi
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Real de Catorce is a journey into the mountains, best reached by road from San Luis Potosí or Matehuala, offering a scenic yet rugged route into the heart of Mexico’s high desert.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: For those seeking to immerse themselves in the town’s historic ambiance, Gran Hotel Concordia offers charming accommodations in a restored building. Alternatively, City Centro by Marriott, another delightful option, combines rustic charm with warm hospitality.

21. Todos Santos

Los Cerritos Beach in Todos Santos
Los Cerritos Beach in Todos Santos.

Todos Santos, nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra de la Laguna mountains in Baja California Sur, is a vibrant oasis of culture, history, and natural beauty.

This “Pueblo Mágico” captivates visitors with its historic colonial architecture, thriving arts scene, and lush palm groves, offering a tranquil retreat from the busier tourist destinations.

The town’s rich cultural tapestry is evident in its numerous art galleries, artisan shops, and annual festivals, including the renowned Todos Santos Music Festival.

An image featuring a split view with a photograph of a coastal landscape with a prominent building on a cliff to the left, and a map on the right showing the location of Todos Santos in Baja California Sur, Mexico, indicated by a purple pin. The map includes surrounding regions and cities such as Phoenix, Tucson, and Mexico City. The image has a purple banner on top with "Todos Santos" and is marked with Google and Mapprr.co attributions at the bottom.
Todos Santos
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Todos Santos is easily accessible by car from La Paz or Cabo San Lucas, with the drive offering picturesque views of the Baja California Sur landscape.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: Baja Temple offers a distinctive lodging experience in Todos Santos, blending modern amenities with traditional Baja aesthetics. Alternatively, Hotel Casa Tota, on the other hand, presents a cozy boutique setting with its stylish rooms and rooftop terrace.

22. Sayulita, Nayarit

Sayulita, a bohemian surf paradise with a vibrant spirit
Sayulita, a bohemian surf paradise with a vibrant spirit.

Sayulita, located on the Pacific coast of Nayarit, is a vibrant surf town known for its laid-back atmosphere, colorful streets, and beautiful beaches.

This bohemian paradise attracts surfers, artists, and travelers seeking relaxation, adventure, and cultural immersion. The town’s bustling main beach, Playa Sayulita, offers excellent surf breaks for beginners and experienced surfers.

The nightlife in Sayulita is lively yet relaxed, with various bars and restaurants offering everything from traditional Mexican cuisine to international fusion.

A split-screen image with the top half showing a scenic beach view in Sayulita, Nayarit with palm trees, ocean, and boats, and the bottom half displaying a map of Mexico highlighting Nayarit state and the location of Sayulita.
Sayulita Nayarit
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Sayulita is conveniently located just north of Puerto Vallarta, making it easily accessible by car or bus from the Puerto Vallarta International Airport, with the journey offering scenic coastal views.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: Hotel Hafa Sayulita provides a stylish and affordable stay in the heart of the town, with a rooftop terrace offering stunning views. For a more secluded experience, Hotel Boutique Siete Lunas offers luxurious villas set amidst lush gardens steps away from the ocean.

23. Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve

The Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve
The Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve

Sierra Gorda is an expansive region celebrated for its diverse ecosystems, breathtaking landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. This Biosphere Reserve is a mosaic of dense forests, rugged mountains, and hidden waterfalls.

The area is dotted with Franciscan Missions, which are UNESCO World Heritage sites, showcasing the intricate fusion of indigenous and Spanish architectural styles.

Adventurers can explore the reserve’s many trails on foot or by bike, discovering secluded spots like the Chuveje Waterfall or the Puente de Dios, a natural pool with crystal-clear waters.

A map highlighting the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve located in central Mexico, with the Gulf of Mexico to the east and an inset photograph in the upper left corner showing a lush, green forested area with a stream and small waterfall.
Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve
  • ✈️ How to Get There: The Sierra Gorda can be accessed from Querétaro City, with several routes leading into the heart of the reserve. The journey is a scenic drive through the Mexican highlands.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: Nestled in the lush landscapes of the Sierra Gorda, Villas El Encanto provides an idyllic retreat for nature lovers. Meanwhile, in the quaint town of Jalpan de Serra, Casa Blanca Hotel offers a welcoming atmosphere with its comfortable rooms and convenient location.

24. Celestún, Yucatán

Celestún, the Flamingo-filled wetlands on the Gulf coast
Celestún, the Flamingo-filled wetlands on the Gulf coast.

Celestún is famed for its vast stretches of untouched beaches and the Celestún Biosphere Reserve, home to one of the largest flamingo colonies in Mexico.

This quaint fishing village perfectly blends natural wonders and cultural experiences with its mangrove forests, fresh seafood, and laid-back lifestyle.

A boat tour through the estuaries of the Celestún Biosphere Reserve reveals the vibrant pink flamingos and a rich ecosystem teeming with birdlife, reptiles, and unique vegetation.

A map highlighting Celestun, Yucatan, with a small image of flamingos in the water in the lower left corner, positioned over the Gulf of Mexico.
Celestun Yucatan
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Celestún is about a 2-hour drive from Mérida, the cultural capital of Yucatán, making it an ideal destination for those looking to explore the natural beauty of the Gulf Coast.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: Hotel Beach Don Gonzalo presents a serene beachfront haven, offering guests eco-conscious accommodations. For a more intimate setting, Hotel San Julio in the heart of Celestún offers comfortable rooms and easy access to local dining and the beach.

25. Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres is a tranquil island paradise located just off the coast of Cancún, known for its stunning white-sand beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and laid-back island vibe.

This small island offers a peaceful escape from the bustle of Cancún, with attractions like the underwater MUSA museum, the idyllic Playa Norte, and the ancient Mayan temple dedicated to Ixchel at Punta Sur.

Visitors can enjoy snorkeling and diving in the vibrant coral reefs, exploring the island by golf cart, or simply relaxing on the beautiful beaches.

An inset image of a wooden pier extending into clear blue water with the label "Isla Mujeres" is overlayed on a map of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea region, showing parts of southern United States, Mexico, Central America, and the northern coastline of South America, along with various islands. Major cities and countries are labeled, while a purple marker indicates the location of Isla Mujeres near the Yucatan Peninsula. The image includes attributions for map data to ©2024 Google and INEGI, and a note stating "Panorama Created by Mappxr.co".
Isla Mujeres
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Isla Mujeres is easily accessible by ferry from Cancún, with regular departures throughout the day from multiple terminals, offering a quick and scenic ride to the island.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: Zoëtry Villa Rolandi Isla Mujeres Cancun offers an exclusive and luxurious stay with stunning sea views and gourmet dining. Casa de los Sueños provides a more intimate boutique experience, with beautiful accommodations and a private dock.

26. Huasteca Potosina, San Luis Potosí

Huasteca Potosina's lush landscapes and cascading waterfalls
Huasteca Potosina’s lush landscapes and cascading waterfalls.

Huasteca Potosina is a breathtaking San Luis Potosí region renowned for its lush landscapes, stunning waterfalls, and deep turquoise rivers.

This area offers an array of outdoor adventures, from swimming in the surreal waters of the Tamul Waterfall and the natural pools of Xilitla to exploring the vast Sótano de las Golondrinas.

The region’s rich cultural heritage is showcased in its small villages, traditional music, dance, and ancient ceremonial sites scattered throughout the Huasteca, where visitors can immerse themselves in its natural beauty.

A map highlighting Huasteca Potosina in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, with a small photo insert of a scenic waterfall in the region.
Huasteca Potosina, San Luis Potosi
  • ✈️ How to Get There: The Huasteca Potosina region can be accessed from the city of San Luis Potosí or Tampico, Tamaulipas, with the journey taking visitors through the scenic landscapes of northeastern Mexico.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: In the heart of Huasteca Potosina, Hotel Casa Ortiz offers comfortable accommodations close to many attractions. Hotel Valles provides a peaceful oasis with thermal waters, spa services, and lush gardens for a more secluded retreat.

27. Malinalco, Estado de México

Malinalco, a pre-hispanic mystique in a tropical setting
Malinalco, a pre-hispanic mystique in a tropical setting.

Malinalco is a charming town that blends natural beauty with deep historical roots. Known for its well-preserved Cuauhtinchan Archaeological Zone, which features a monolithic temple carved out of a single rock.

With its cobblestone streets and vibrant murals, the town exudes a peaceful atmosphere, making it a perfect retreat for those seeking tranquility and cultural enrichment.

Beyond its historical allure, Malinalco is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, including verdant hills and clear streams, which are ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, bird watching, and exploring local flora.

Map showing the location of Malinalco, Estado de Mexico, with an inset image of an old church and lush green foreground.
Malinalco, Estado De Mexico
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Malinalco is about a 2-hour drive from Mexico City, making it an accessible destination for a day trip or a relaxing weekend away from the capital’s hustle and bustle.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: Paradise Hotel Boutique & Lounge offers guests a serene escape amidst nature, with beautifully designed rooms and stunning views. Quinta Cielo – Hotel Boutique y Restaurante provides a comfortable and elegant base to explore the town’s historic sites.

28. Huasca de Ocampo, Hidalgo

Huasca de Ocampo, a basaltic prisms framing a colonial past
Huasca de Ocampo, a basaltic prisms framing a colonial past.

Huasca de Ocampo, set in the picturesque Sierra de Pachuca mountains in Hidalgo, is famed for its scenic beauty, including the Basaltic Prisms. These towering geometric rock formations line a picturesque ravine.

This “Pueblo Mágico” is steeped in history. It was initially established as a mining town, and today, it invites visitors to explore its charming cobblestone streets, traditional haciendas, and local legends.

The town and its surroundings offer a wealth of natural attractions, from the tranquil waters of the Presa San Antonio to the enchanting forests of the Peña del Aire, offering ample opportunities for outdoor adventures like hiking, horseback riding, and photography.

Alt text: A map highlighting the location of Huasca De Ocampo, Hidalgo in Mexico, with a small image insert of a waterfall representing the area.
Huasca De Ocampo Hidalgo
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Huasca de Ocampo is about a 2.5-hour drive from Mexico City, with the journey taking you through the changing landscapes of the Mexican highlands.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: Cabañas Los Cactus, offers guests the chance to stay in a piece of Mexico’s history, complete with modern amenities. For a more secluded experience, Cabañas del Bosque by Rotamundos offers rustic yet comfortable accommodations amidst natural beauty.

29. Valle de los Monjes

Valle de los Monjes, the enigmatic rock formation in Mexico's wilderness
Valle de los Monjes, the enigmatic rock formation in Mexico’s wilderness.

Valle de los Monjes, or Valley of the Monks, is a striking natural wonder famed for its towering rock formations, some reaching up to 60 meters.

These pillars’ unique shapes and sizes result from volcanic activity and erosion over millions of years, creating an awe-inspiring and mystical landscape.

The valley is a geological marvel and a cultural treasure where visitors can explore the area’s natural beauty, learn about the Rarámuri’s rich cultural heritage, and witness their renowned long-distance running traditions.

A split view image with the top half displaying a photograph of the rocky Valle De Los Monjes landscape with trees and clear skies, and the bottom half showing a Google map indicating the location of Valle De Los Monjes in northern Mexico with a purple diamond-shaped marker.
Valle De Los Monjes
  • ✈️ How to Get There: The Valle de los Monjes is located near Creel, a major hub for exploring the Copper Canyon area. Creel can be reached by the Chihuahua al Pacifico Railway (El Chepe) or by road from Chihuahua.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The Lodge at Creel Hotel & Spa offers cozy, cabin-style accommodations with modern amenities, serving as an ideal base for exploring. For a more immersive experience, Quinta Mision Hotel provides comfortable lodging with easy access to local tours.

30. San Juan Parangaricutiro Church

San Juan Parangaricutiro Church, solemn ruins engulfed by lava
San Juan Parangaricutiro church, solemn ruins engulfed by lava.

San Juan Parangaricutiro Church, often called the church buried in volcanic ashes, presents an extraordinary sight, a testament to nature’s unpredictable power.

This sacred site, nestled in the remnants of the old San Juan Parangaricutiro village, stands partially engulfed by lava, with only the tower and altar visible, following the eruption of the Parícutin volcano in 1943.

The contrast of the enduring church against the desolate lava field creates a surreal landscape, inviting visitors to ponder the resilience and perseverance of the human spirit.

Alt text: A map of Central Mexico highlighting the location of San Juan Parangaricutiro Church in Michoacán, with an inset photo showing the remains of the church surrounded by vegetation.
San Juan Parangaricutiro Church
  • ✈️ How to Get There: The closest major city is Morelia, about a 2-hour drive away. Visitors can fly into Morelia’s international airport and rent a car or take a bus to the site.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: Mansion del Cupatitzio in Uruapan offers an elegant retreat amidst lush gardens bordering the national park. Alternatively, Hotel Santa Fe in the heart of Paracho provides a warm and inviting atmosphere with its traditional decor and comfortable amenities.

31. Guadalupe Valley

The scenic Guadalupe Valley
The scenic Guadalupe Valley, cradling Mexico’s finest vineyards.

Guadalupe Valley is Mexico’s premier wine country, often hailed as the Napa Valley of Mexico. This hidden gem is a haven for oenophiles and foodies, boasting an impressive array of boutique wineries, gourmet restaurants, and scenic vineyards stretching across rolling hills.

The valley’s unique microclimate and rich soil conditions create the perfect environment for producing a diverse range of high-quality wines. It is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Mexico’s burgeoning wine scene.

A map highlighting Guadalupe Valley in Baja California, Mexico, with a purple marker, paired with a small inset photo at the top left corner showing a yucca plant in the foreground and a sunlit rocky landscape in the background.
Guadalupe Valley
  • ✈️ How to Get There: The easiest access is via the city of Ensenada, just about a 90-minute drive from the U.S. border at San Diego. The scenic drive through the Baja Peninsula sets the stage for a relaxing retreat in this lush, verdant valley.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: Entrevalle Hotel Boutique provides an intimate and luxurious stay amidst the picturesque vineyards, complete with personalized services. Alternatively, El Cielo Winery & Resort, another exquisite choice, immerses guests in elegance and comfort.

32. Grutas de Tolantongo

Grutas de Tolantongo, a thermal paradise hidden in rugged canyons
Grutas de Tolantongo, a thermal paradise hidden in rugged canyons.

Grutas de Tolantongo is a mesmerizing natural spa in the Mezquital Valley. It is renowned for its warm, turquoise thermal springs, steamy caves, and majestic river that carves through the breathtaking canyon.

This oasis offers a sanctuary of relaxation and adventure, where visitors can soak in the healing waters, explore the cave systems, or float along the serene river, surrounded by the rugged beauty of the cliffs.

An inset image of the Grutas de Tolantongo (cave and hot springs complex) at the top left, overlaying a map of Mexico highlighting the location of the attraction with a purple pin near Mexico City. The map includes state and country names, boundaries, and nearby Gulf of Mexico.
Grutas De Tolantongo
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Located about a 3-hour drive north of Mexico City, Grutas de Tolantongo can be reached by car or bus. The journey offers scenic views of the Mexican countryside, leading to this secluded paradise.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The area offers various accommodations, from rustic cabins to comfortable hotels within the complex. Options like the Hotel Boutique Otomi cerca de Tolantongo provide direct access to the thermal springs and stunning canyon views.

33. Los Prismas Basalticos

Los Prismas Basalticos, nature's geometric marvel
Los Prismas Basalticos, nature’s geometric marvel in a forested setting.

The Los Prismas Basalticos is a hidden geological marvel featuring towering basalt columns formed by the cooling of volcanic lava—these natural sculptures are framed by lush vegetation and cascading waterfalls.

This natural wonder is a feast for the eyes and a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, offering hiking, picnicking, and photography opportunities. The juxtaposition of the striking basalt formations against the soft, flowing water creates a harmonious blend of ruggedness and serenity.

An interactive map of Mexico highlighting "Los Prismas Basalticos" with a purple diamond marker slightly northeast of Mexico City.
Los Prismas Basalticos
  • ✈️ How to Get There: Located about a 2-hour drive from Mexico City, Los Prismas Basalticos are accessible by car or bus. The route to Huasca de Ocampo provides a glimpse into the diverse landscapes of central Mexico.
  • 🏨 Where to Stay: The area around Huasca de Ocampo offers a variety of accommodations, from quaint guesthouses to cozy country inns. Properties like the Hacienda Santa Maria Regla offer guests a historic and luxurious stay with stunning views.

Final Thoughts

Exploring Mexico’s hidden gems is an adventure beyond mere sightseeing; it’s an immersive experience connecting you with this multifaceted country’s essence.

Each destination’s unique charm and story contributes to a richer, more nuanced understanding of Mexico’s cultural tapestry and natural splendor.

Image Sources and Copyright Information
  • Rustic Cabin in Forested Village: © Cojocearo/Shutterstock
  • Chiapa de Corzo Town Square and Historic Archway: © DouglasDepies/Shutterstock
  • Solitary Tree in Shallow Waters with Mountain Backdrop: © javarman/Shutterstock
  • Surreal Staircase Structure Amidst Lush Greenery: © Marcos Botelho Jr/Shutterstock
  • Tropical Lagoon with Palm Trees and Hut: © David Min/Shutterstock
  • Cobblestone Street in San Miguel de Allende: © Rubi Rodriguez Martinez/Shutterstock
  • Winding Road Through Copper Canyon: © Quinn Aikens/Shutterstock
  • Hidden Beach View through Rock Formation: © miguelnaranjo/Shutterstock
  • Tropical Beach with Moored Boats: © Lux Blue/Shutterstock
  • Ancient Mayan Ruins in Calakmul, Campeche: © marcosdominguez/Shutterstock
  • Sumidero Canyon River View: © FCHM/Shutterstock
  • Cascading Waterfall Amidst Lush Greenery: © JC Gonram/Shutterstock
  • Cactus Overlooking Blue Bay with Sailboat: © Leonardo Gonzalez/Shutterstock
  • Aerial View of Queretaro City at Dusk: © Axolotl Photography/Shutterstock
  • Old Stone Industrial Structures Against Blue Sky: © Robert Harding Video/Shutterstock
  • Cobblestone Street in Cuetzalan, Puebla with Lush Greenery: © Gerardo Borbolla/Shutterstock
  • Twilight at Tapalpa Main Plaza: © Livier Garcia/Shutterstock
  • Coastal View of Mazunte, Oaxaca: © Karla Acosta/Shutterstock
  • Tepoztlán Church with Festive Decorations: © Matt Gush/Shutterstock
  • Tunnel Entrance in Real de Catorce: © Arturo Verea/Shutterstock
  • Coastal Villa Overlooking the Beach in Todos Santos, Baja: © VG Foto/Shutterstock
  • Tropical Beach Scene with Boat and Palm Trees: © zstock/Shutterstock
  • Stream Flowing Through a Forest: © dani_cast29/Shutterstock
  • Flamingos in Celestun, Yucatan: © SL-Photography/Shutterstock
  • Tropical Pier Leading to Thatched Hut Over Clear Blue Water: © Subbotina Anna/Shutterstock
  • Aerial View of Cascading Waterfalls in Huasteca Potosina: © Rubi Rodriguez Martinez/Shutterstock
  • Colonial Church with Bell Tower and Pathway: © Sailingstone Travel/Shutterstock
  • Waterfall Amidst Basalt Columns: © Belikova Oksana/Shutterstock
  • Rocky Spires in a Forested Landscape: © Esdelval/Shutterstock
  • Church Tower Rising Above Lava Field: © Esdelval/Shutterstock
  • El Capitan Peak at Guadalupe Mountains with Yucca Plant in Foreground: © Invisible Witness/Shutterstock
  • Terraced Thermal Pools at Grutas de Tolantongo: © Galyna Andrushko/Shutterstock
  • Basaltic Prisms with Waterfall: © Faviel_Raven/Shutterstock