Read on to find out which part of Mexico is best for you...
This part of Mexico’s a big hit with American tourists, but UK visitors are starting to throw their sombrero in the ring, as well. Los Cabos spreads out along the southern coast of the Baja California Peninsula, and draws a celeb crowd to its swanky shores. The two main towns are both skirted by seashell-white sand, but that’s where the similarities end. Cabo San Lucas is the liveliest of the pair – think of it as a party town with a bit of extra flair – we’re talking cocktail bars, boutique shops and a marina packed with six-figure yachts. Trace a trail along the coastline and you’ll reach the more restrained town of San Jose del Cabo. The top-notch hotels here are a magnet for luxury lovers. Plus, culture vultures come for the weekly art walk and to nose around the tucked-away galleries, followed by tipples at classy cocktail bars.
Take a look at our holidays to Los Cabos
Sometimes the Riviera Maya’s pigeonholed as Cancun’s quieter neighbour, where beach-hugging resorts take centre stage. The first-rate sands and high-class hotels play second fiddle to top-drawer daytrips in the area, though. Hundreds of crystal-clear cenotes are great for taking a dip with a twist, and eco-parks along the coast offer up submerged caves and jungle trails. Then there are the Caribbean waters, which deliver world-class snorkelling over one of the biggest coral reefs on earth. More of a history buff? The ancient Mayan ruins at Tulum are for you – here you can explore a well-preserved city, which dates back to the 13th century. It’s like an open-air archaeological museum, with 60 buildings to see, including a castle and a temple. If you’re willing to travel a little further, you can also visit Chichen Itza – its Kukulkan Pyramid features impressive ancient Aztec patterns. Plus, if you fancy turning up the pace of your holiday, the dusk ‘til dawn parties in Playa del Carmen are just a 20-minute cab ride away.
Find out more about holidays to Riviera Maya
Cancun couldn’t be more different from Mexico’s snooze-ready western shores. The beaches are a similar shade of marshmallow-white, but come with infinity pools, trendy bars and DJ booths on the waterfront. The sands hug the whole of the up-tempo Hotel Zone, where casual days morph into fast-paced nights. Ibiza-standard club sets, pyrotechnic shows and the famous Coco Bongo parties are just a flavour of the buzzing after-dark atmosphere – it’s no wonder Spring Breakers can’t keep away. And if you need a bit of a break from all of that partying, Isla Mujeres is just across the water. This tiny isle is all about embracing a slower pace of life – kick back on white-sand beaches and swim in the Caribbean Sea’s famous azure waters.
Tempted? Check out our holidays to Cancun
Mexico’s Pacific Coast is well-suited to slowed-down getaways, so head here if you’re after some R&R. Soak up the sun on the boardwalk-backed beaches of Nuevo Vallarta, or sip sea-view drinks in Puerto Vallarta’s quirky old town, before wandering along the arty Malecón promenade. Lots of the hotels are hemmed by emerald-coloured countryside, so there’s a real sense of seclusion. This part of the map is a winner when it comes to adventurous activities, too – it’s where you’ll find the longest and fastest zip-lining circuit in Mexico. And the Sierra Madre Mountains are great for wildlife walks, where you can spot the likes of jaguars, cougars, green iguanas and ocelots. If hiking sounds like too much leg work, visit a tequila distillery in the foothills of the mountains. You’ll get to learn all about the production process – from the agave plant to the bottle – and, of course, try a sample… or two.
Get the lowdown on holidays to Mexico’s Pacific Coast
Ready to book your escape to Mexico?
Browse our All Inclusive holidays to Mexico. Or, find out when’s the best time to visit Mexico. We’ve also made handy guides to the best hotels and best excursions in Mexico. Plus, if you’re feeling adventurous, you could tick off colonial cities and time-stamped temples on our Mayan Trail of Mexico tour.
Pssst. Head to the Discover homepage for our latest articles.
Author: Danielle Penny
With an award-winning gourmet restaurant, an adults-only mojito lounge and four pools on its roster, the beachfront TUI SENSATORI Riviera Cancun offers up a taste of the finer things in life.
The beachside Riu Palace Pacifico offers the finer things in life, including in-room whirlpool baths and gourmet dining.
The Riu Santa Fe Fe goes one step further than most hotels, with Ibiza-style pool parties, 24-hour dining and a slide-filled waterpark.
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