15 Countries You Should Visit Before You Die


Why to go when you’re young: Mexico offers its best to anyone young and looking for endless summer by day with high-adrenaline beach parties by night.

Where to head first: Depends where you’re coming from — just keep costs low. Flights to Cancun from the US East Coast are significantly cheaper, as are flights to Puerto Vallarta from the West Coast.

Why is Mexico, that spring-break staple and body-shot buffet, an absolute must for your 20s? Because it’s a diverse, beautiful, culture-rich, one-in-a-million country near enough to visit by foot from American soil. Your youth is the time to enjoy frosty buckets of beer on the beach, guilt-free, from the shade of a palapa. It’s also the time to trace the long arc of history right to your hostel door.

Mexico is a melting pot of Europeans and indigenous cultures; still today you can visit Mayan and Aztec communities. Mexico rocks 68 indigenous languages, nearly equal to China and India in regional dialects. The landscape will also blow you away: raging waterfalls, some of the highest peaks in North America, the deepest canyons (yes, deeper than the Grand Canyon). Add to that regional cuisine that extends far beyond tacos al pastor and chilaquiles, and ruins that include some of the largest pyramids in the world (Giza who?). If you make it in your 20s, you don’t have to be making bank to see and do it all. Everyone else your age is in Costa Rica. But you know better now.