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Porcelain skulls | © AndyG / Pixabay
Porcelain skulls | © AndyG / Pixabay

15 Breathtaking Photos of Southern Mexico That Will Make You Want to Book a Trip Right Now

Picture of Stephen Woodman
Updated: 15 March 2018

The southern Mexican states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Guerrero are historically the poorest in the country. Yet the region has long been noted for its unique and fascinating atmosphere. A traditional refuge of indigenous culture, the southern states are blessed with stunning natural beauty, splendid architecture and vibrant, colourful cuisine. With that in mind, here are 15 photos of southern Mexico that will make you want to book your tickets now.

The Mayan ruins of Palenque in Chiapas may be Mexico’s most stunning archaeological wonder. The elegant temple structures are very well-preserved and the surrounding jungle teems with all manner of exotic wildlife: from panthers to parrots.

The Mayan ruins of Palenque | © k_tzito / Pixabay

Over the past decade, the town of Puerto Escondido in Oaxaca has established itself as one of Mexico’s top surf destinations. Famed for the break known as the “Mexican Pipeline,” the town offers incredible waves and beautiful scenery.


Puerto Escondido | © Eneas De Troya / Flickr

The state of Chiapas boasts El Chiflon waterfall, one of Mexico’s most splendid natural sights.


El Chiflon waterfall | © lawepw / Flickr

The waterfalls of Agua Azul, which literally means “blue water,” are also found in Chiapas. The location boasts a series of stunning cascades that vary in size.


The waterfalls of Agua Azul | © Jose Antonio Tovar / Flickr

Hierve el Agua, which translates as “the water boils,” are a series of stunning rock formations which are formed by fresh water springs. The rocks resemble cascading waterfalls and are situated around 43 miles (70 kilometers) east of Oaxaca City.

Hierve el Agua in Oaxaca | © Eduardo Robles Pacheco / Flickr

The Sumidero Canyon is a stunning natural wonder located in Chiapas. A soaring yet narrow canyon, the area boasts plentiful plant and animal life so visitors flock to the photogenic site all year round.


The Sumidero Canyon in Chiapas | © Victor Pineda / Flickr

In 1994, the Zapatista army took up arms to draw attention to the plight of Mexico’s impoverished indigenous peoples. The movement also established several autonomous communities in the state of Chiapas, which focus on providing education and healthcare to residents.


Zapatista mural | © Mr. Theklan / Flickr

The women of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec are world famous for their colorful traditional dress, which was famously adopted by the artist Frida Kahlo.


Woman in traditional Tehuantepec costume | © Antonio MaloMalverde / Flickr

Tuc-Tucs are still a popular mode of transport in the elegant colonial city of Oaxaca City.


Tuc-Tuc in Oaxaca City | © mini malist / Flickr

Oaxaca City is famed for its colourful traditional markets, which are the focal point of the region’s exciting culinary culture.


Market vendor in Oaxaca | © Eddy Milfort / Flickr

Caldo de piedra, or stone soup, is a delicious fish stew that is brought to the boil with the help of a piping-hot stone.


Caldo de piedra | © victorfotomx / Flickr

Chapulines, or grasshoppers, are served as a crunchy snack in markets across Oaxaca.


Chapulines | © César Rincón / Flickr

Mexico is the home of 23 different species of parrot, many of which live in the jungles of Chiapas.


Parrot | © AngieToh / Pixabay

The Mexican howler monkey is native to southeastern Mexico.


Mexican howler monkey | © Umberto Nicoletti / Flickr

The jaguar is the largest cat species in the Americas. Around 4,000 of the creatures live in Mexico, many of them in the tropical forests of Chiapas.


Jaguar | © cmart29 / Pixabay