Mexico is a favorite vacation spot for American visitors for so many reasons. Sure, it’s close (making for a fast flight). But, what really draws people to it is Mexico’s rich culture combined with its natural beauty. Picture sunshine and palm-fringed beaches, lively festivals deep-rooted in tradition, and spiced-up cuisine that’s as diverse as the landscape. Mexico an experience that will have you coming back again and again. So whether you’re planning your first trip south of the border or have visited in the past, here are our four favorite Mexican vacation destinations welcoming American tourists right now.
While Cancun wears its reputation of being a partygoer’s paradise with pride, it’s actually the destination’s softer side that will truly win you over. Along with its sapphire waters, white sand beaches, and spectacular sunsets, you’ll get to experience markets filled with handcrafted goods, luxury resorts and spas, decadent international cuisine, and countless options for all types of water activities. From exploring the world-famous Mayan ruins (just a day trip away) touring the majestic mangroves, your epic adventures await.
From the pristine blue waters of the Sea of Cortez to the cacti-filled desert and rocky mountainsides, this incredible destination at the tip of the Baja peninsula is full of magical contrasts. In ideal location for anyone who wants to check off as many activities as possible, Los Cabos offers plenty of experiences for the thrill seeker. Beyond the typical snorkeling and surfing, you can also swim with whale sharks, zipline 300 feet above washed-out canyons, ride camels on the beach, and rock climb the Sierra de Laguna Dry Forest for some amazing views.
Whether it’s a celebratory destination wedding, an all-inclusive family adventure, or a romantic, adults-only getaway, Puerto Vallarta is one of Mexico’s most versatile vacation spots. You can swim and interact with dolphins in the wild , get in a game at one of the world-class golf courses at Playa Norte, cross the Jorullo suspensive bridge by ATV over a lush jungle, and sip a cocktail on the golden sands along the shore. Downtown you can stroll on the iconic mile-long esplanade, the Malecón, attend a festival at the Kiosk, and take in spectacular views of the Banderas Bay.
Riviera Maya – Tulum
South of Cancun you’ll find the sublime and relaxing paradise of the Riviera Maya, a secluded slice of Mexico’s Caribbean coast surrounded by the lush natural beauty of the Yucatan and plenty of places to visit. One of those, Tulum, is famed for its well-preserved ruins of an ancient Mayan port city along with its pristine beaches and the Parque Nacional Tulum, filled with cenotes and mangroves. Nearby you can zipline into the sacred subterranean caverns of LabnaHa Eco Park, swim within the world’s three longest-running underwater cave systems, and visit the impressive, world-famous ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza. Of course, while Tulum is buzzing with activities, you can always end the day on a beachside hammock with your favorite cocktail as the sun sets into the sea.
Riviera Maya – Playa del Carmen
Once a small fishing village, Playa del Carmen has seen impressive population growth since the 1990s. Referred to simply as “Playa” by locals, it is a haven for foodies, golfers, newlyweds, and shoppers who want everything from local handicrafts to familiar name brands. Playa del Carmen is famous for its La Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue), lined with shops, restaurants, and bars as palm trees adorned with twinkling lights sway in the breeze. Nearby is the Meso-American Barrier Reef—the second largest coral reef in the world—full of amazing species that draws in snorkelers and scuba divers from around the world.
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