The Best Vacations in Mexico
San Miguel de Allende in Mexico’s central highlands exudes culture, cuisine and romance with its charming cobblestone streets and vibrant arts scene, boasting outstanding accommodations and chef-driven restaurants for an extra dose of magical charm.
Surfers flock to Todos Santos, a beach town which has managed to avoid the over-development seen elsewhere in Los Cabos. Families will appreciate its pristine sand and world-class dive sites.
Cozumel, located just off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, is one of the top cruise ship destinations in Mexico. Not only does the island offer gorgeous beaches and world-class diving, but its rich history also includes numerous ancient Mayan ruins that you can explore.
Most visitors gravitate toward the beaches around the cruise ship port for beach bliss; however, we advise exploring the more peaceful east side for a truly relaxing beach experience. While the west is home to hotels and beach clubs, while its quieter counterpart boasts long stretches of natural emptiness interspersed with unique beach bars like Rastas, Welcome to Miami and Mezcalitos where you can grab an invigorating coconut mojito and relax on a hammock while the sunshine cascades down on you.
Chankanaab National Park on the island is an irresistibly appealing destination for nature enthusiasts and history fans alike, providing both breathtaking sights and experiences that will open your mind to more about Maya culture. Here you’ll discover an ethereal natural lagoon used by pirates as hideout, along with a botanical garden with hundreds of exotic plant species – not to mention a detailed recreation of a traditional Mayan village for added learning fun!
Cozumel offers active vacationers one of the world’s premier whale shark swimming experiences. Between June and September, these gentle giants gather off its coasts to feed on plankton, making this an incredible once-in-a-lifetime opportunity you should not pass up!
If you prefer exploring land-based sights, take a jeep tour into Cozumel’s lush interior. Its southwest corner boasts gorgeous natural bays and jungle-covered beaches; but its jungles contain unexpected gems such as caverns and cenotes to swim in; charming villages and historic sites can also be found there – this trip offers the best opportunity to get acquainted with Cozumel while taking advantage of some of Mexico’s most stunning vistas!
2. Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta (known as PV) is one of the top beach vacation spots in Mexico. Renowned for its sun-kissed sand, azure waves, and world-class dining establishments, PV is also a haven for nature enthusiasts thanks to protected flora and fauna species as well as hidden beach coves teeming with life – add friendly locals as well as Mexican colonial architecture set against jade covered mountains for an alluring combination.
At PV’s beaches during its high season (October to April), it can become extremely crowded. By contrast, during its low season from May to October you’ll enjoy more space on the beaches and reduced crowds at many top restaurants; you may even have better odds of seeing Humpback whales migrate into Banderas Bay for feeding!
Sierra Madre Mountains frame Banderas Bay with breathtaking scenery and offer a host of outdoor adventures, from ziplining through nine different lines – including Superman! – to exploring its lush jungle. These exciting adventures are suitable for everyone in the family or experienced thrill seekers alike!
Hiking through the Sierra Madre Mountains of PV’s Zona Romantica region may also provide outdoor enthusiasts with an exciting outdoor adventure. Explore waterfalls, swim in natural pools, and explore rocky terrain during this guided trek through Sierra Madre National Park.
If you want a break from Puerto Vallarta’s bustle, take a trip north to one of San Sebastian del Oeste or Mascota’s charming towns – both are UNESCO protected villages that provide visitors with a taste of traditional Mexican life with its quiet cobblestone streets, stunning mountain views, and centuries-old structures.
Huatulco (pronounced WAH-TOOL-koh), located on Oaxaca Coast of Mexico, stands out with pristine beaches and its commitment to ecologically sound development. Perfect for families and couples alike, this coastal beach destination features 36 beaches tucked into nine bays that are great for swimming, snorkeling and other watersport activities.
Huatulco’s beaches are lined with palm trees and restaurants in palapas (palm beach huts). Bahia San Agustin is a stand-out among these beaches; though difficult to reach by car and surrounded by banana and papaya plantations. Once reached however, visitors will discover an idyllic horseshoe bay filled with sea urchins, rays, and tropical fish in plenty.
Huatulco resorts typically provide complimentary access to non-motorized water sports. Many also offer boat tours around scenic rocky outcroppings or to secret coves. If you prefer land activities, take a hiking tour up Mount Alban – its peak being the highest point in Huatulco! Alternatively, zipline through Hagia Sofia Eco Park for some jungle canopy fun or ride Hagia Sofia Zipline!
Are you curious to experience more of the natural beauty in Oaxaca? Join an organized birdwatching trip at Sierra Madre de Oaxaca National Park – home to more than 325 bird species – for some birding fun, or learn about its indigenous culture through a cooking class that explores local cuisine and traditions.
Boomer travelers often opt to stay at a resort in La Crucecita, home to many vacation workers and just minutes away from Huatulco beaches via taxi ride or villa in its hills like this stunning cliff-top gem that overlooks beach and ocean. Discover Cars provides price comparison services for rental cars available there as well.
Mazatlan (fondly dubbed the Pearl of the Pacific) is an idyllic beach destination beloved by surfers and beach enthusiasts. Offering endless entertainment opportunities from exploring its historic Old Town to participating in watersport activities to attending one of Mexico’s biggest carnival celebrations, there is something fun for everyone in this charming beach town.
Mazatlan’s sister island, Isla de la Piedra or Stone Island, can be reached via an idyllic channel. Here, there are lush emerald-colored cliffs that descend to the sea and an idyllic stretch of dark sand covered in palapas; unlike other beaches in Mazatlan, its waters are calm enough for snorkeling here! In addition, many palapa restaurants (or island structures with thatched roofs and open sides) serve exquisite seafood, chicken dishes, soups, quesadillas and more – ideal conditions!
Mazatlan offers many beautiful beaches, such as Playa Brujas. Here you will find powerful waves perfect for surfers of all levels – just be sure to wear a protective suit when entering the water for the first time!
Tangolunda Bay offers clear waters perfect for swimming and strolling the shore, while Olas Altas Beach provides another beautiful spot for swimming and snorkeling. Playa La Etrega provides the ideal place to unwind under the sun.
The city’s Malecon (boardwalk) is lined with artistic statues and historic monuments such as Fisherman’s Monument. Take advantage of the opportunity to experience surfing, scuba diving, kayaking, parasailing, jet-skiing and more on this picturesque boardwalk!
Nightlife here is vibrant, boasting numerous bars, cafes and restaurants as well as several clubs that host salsa dance lessons weekly.
An exhilarating experience in Mazatlan is taking part in a comparsa parade, an organized procession celebrating local events and traditions. One of the region’s most beloved comparsas takes place each February during American Spring Break; it has earned itself a reputation as being among the world’s most colorful and exciting celebrations with street vendors, live music performances, beautiful floats and even the ceremonial burning of a giant puppet!