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20 Things You Have To Do In Mexico

Posted by Emily Cummings on 9/21/16 2:24 PM

ILP Mexico

Teaching English and going on some fabulous vacations while you volunteer abroad are a given, but don’t miss out on these must do’s while in Mexico. So you are all set with your application and paperwork to teach English abroad in Mexico — which is super exciting. You've done your research, packed your bags and are ready to go. 

Haven't applied yet? We can help you out here!

Whether you plan them or not, your ILP semester is going to be filled with sun, sand, cute kids and incredible experiences,  but you'll be missing out if you didn't see or do these 20 things. 

  •   See a World Wonder 
  •   Eat Spicy Mangos 
  • See An Underwater Museum 
  • Lounge on Beautiful Beaches 
  • Hang in Hammocks
  • Visit The Butterfly Sanctuary
  • Instagram Some Rad Murals 
  • TACOS 
  • Experience Magic Cities 
  • Snorkel In Crystal Clear Water
  • Go Ziplining
  • Explore Ancient Ruins 
  • Find Where Chocolate Fills the Air 
  • Soak in Hot Springs
  • See Frozen Waterfalls
  •   Go Latin Dancing
  • Drink Juice Out of A Bag 
  •   Find The Monkey Sanctuaries
  •   Learn the Language 
  •   Find Some Flea Markets

See a World Wonder 

As an ILP volunteer in Mexico, crossing Chichen Itza off your list of 7 World Wonders to see couldn’t be easier. Spend the day exploring the surrounding Mayan Ruins. If you are there at the Spring Equinox, you can see the shadow of a giant snake slithering near one of the massive staircases!

ILP Mexico

Eat Spicy Mangos 

Snag a fruit cup filled with mangoes, strawberries, watermelon and jicama and spiced with chile pepper and lime on the way home from teaching. You might have been expecting falling in love with your cute kids, but you didn’t think about how much you would love paying 25 cents for a mango.

Teach English in Mexico

See an Underwater Museum

On one of your ILP vacations in Cancun, grab your snorkel great to see an underwater museum. Statues and ancient artifacts are cool to see behind glass, but when in Mexico, snorkel your way through the sites! 

Lounge on Beautiful Beaches 

Soap up the Mexican sun by spending an afternoon on some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. No volunteer experience in this country would be complete without some serious beach time. We’ve got a list of the best beaches in Mexico, so you can out which type of paradise is perfect for you. 

ILP Mexico

Hang in Hammocks 

Make the most of the warm weather by stringing up hammock between two palm trees. After a day of teaching, eating awesome Mexican street food, and adoring tiny cactuses and succulents, you’ll want to relax. 

Visit The Butterfly Sanctuary

For our Fall Volunteers, the city of Michoacán is home to an enormous Monarch Butterfly migration, meaning your dream of standing in a swirl of colorful butterflies is about to come true.

Get more details about this butterfly bucket list adventure here:  

Instagram Some Rad Murals 

Mexico’s streets are a colorful collage that make for the ideal Instagram (when you’re not photographing cute succulents, impromptu soccer matches or beaches, of course!). Along with rad murals, you're sure to find bright colorful walls of any color of the rainbow.

ILP Mexico


Every day can be taco Tuesday when in Mexico. If you need more convincing, try out the quesadillas, tamales, tostadas or eat authentic mole! Get your fill of fab Mexican food for an entire semester. 

Experience Magic Cities 

Volunteers living in Mexico have the chance to visit some of the country’s famous Magic Cities. They are sprinkled all over the country and you never quite know what you’ll find in the colorful alleys, or lively town squares. 

Snorkel In Crystal Clear Water

Get scuba certified or snag a snorkel mask and flippers to see the colorful fish and reefs that hide beneath Mexico’s crystal clear oceans. 

ILP Mexico

Go Ziplining 

For thrill seekers, see Mexico by zip lining over dense jungles and past scenic beaches. If you vacation in Puerto Vallarta, you can experience the longest zipline in Mexico. Or maybe you'd rather zip line over natural hot springs — it's one of the best places to zip line in all of Mexico. 

Explore Ancient Ruins

You’ll never get sick of exploring the towering ruins that are thousands of years old.  ILP volunteers only teach part time, leaving plenty of room for vacationing around the country. 

ILP Mexico Volunteer

Find Where Chocolate Fills the Air

Any chocolate lover can visit the city of Oaxaca and spend a day breathing in chocolate, literally. This city is where rich mole was invented, and even has a chocolate museum. Leave room in your suitcase for some tasty souvenirs from this city because you've got to visit their markets and get some woven goods.

Soak in Hot Springs

Fit in some relaxation time by soaking in these hot springs, in Hildago, Mexico. Bring a waterproof flashlight to explore the tunnels. Oh, and just so you know, this amazing spot is close enough to explore on a weekend if you're an ILP volunteer. 

ILP Mexico

See Frozen Waterfalls 

Mexico is home to some amazing waterfalls, hot springs, and beaches, but you can also find a frozen waterfall in this warm and humid country. The Hierve el Agua is outside of scenic Oaxaca, so get your fill of chocolate before exploring exactly what this huge frozen waterfall is all about. 

Go Latin Dancing 

Be sure to pack some dresses perfect for Latin Dancing if you're going to travel around Mexico. Even with all the tacos, beaches, markets and soccer games, you’ll have plenty of room in your schedule for Latin Dancing. 

Teach English Abroad

Drink Juice Out Of A Bag

When you purchase a drink to go, you'll get to experience juice in a bag! They pour it into a plastic sack and poke a hole for your straw. On your way to class, sip on a bag full of the most delicious juice you can find. Try the orange, pina, carrot, grapefruit and of course, horchata; You’ll quickly get used to drinking out of a bag because these juices are going to be your favorite way to breakfast. 

Find The Monkey Sanctuaries 

Explore one of Mexico’s hidden gems when you visit Tulum. You can snorkel through caves, visit a beach that’s framed by Mayan Ruins, and spend an afternoon feeding and taking care of monkeys. 

ILP Mexico Vacations

Learn the Language 

Ever wanted to pick up a language while traveling? Come learn basic Spanish while you live abroad! Spanish is one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn because so many words are similar to English. Learn your vocabulary during a semester abroad in Mexico and learn a thing or two from your kids to come home speaking like a native. 

Find Some Flea Markets  

Stumble onto some quirky souvenirs at the Mexican flea markets, or get a handmade dress made for you that’s perfect for Latin dancing. Spend an afternoon exploring the streets around your city to see what you can find! 

Volunteer in Mexico


Learn more about volunteering abroad, teaching English, and living in Mexico with International Language Programs — just click below!

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Topics: Mexico

Exploring The World For Over 25 Years

Hi! We are ILP, a non-profit org that has service abroad opportunities for college-age volunteers. Check out our tips for making the most of your time traveling and living abroad.

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