Living large in Mexico: 7 essential destinations you shouldn’t miss
Want to go on a luxurious vacation that won’t bankrupt you? Look south of the border, as Mexico is home to a number of tantalizing destinations which cost a lot less than you think.
From beach towns that are deliciously tropical to inland destinations that are rich in history and culture, there are a variety of experiences you can have in Mexico.
Below, we’ll go over our favorite getaway destinations in this amazing Latin American country…
Cabo San Lucas
Located at the southern end of the Baja California peninsula, Cabo San Lucas is a favored holiday destination for those looking a higher end experience.
In its hills, you’ll see some of the nicest luxury homes in Mexico, which can be reserved if you are looking for a more inspired living space to be while on holiday.
When you aren’t lounging alongside your very own infinity pool, Cabo San Lucas offers many attractions that will keep you busy.
From trips to the dramatic sea stacks and rock arches at Land’s End to its luxurious beaches, your days will be action-packed, and by night, its famed dining and nightlife scene will keep you and your travel companions going well into the small hours of the morning.
A historic city situated beneath the verdant slopes of the Sierra Madre Mountains, Puerto Vallarta charms visitors with its cobblestone streets and its excellent street food scene.
Its beaches are also subject to a consistent, good swell that sweeps in from the open Pacific Ocean, making it an excellent destination for surfers, especially in wet season.
Those less active will still be able to appreciate the beauty of their surroundings, particularly south of town, where the mountains meet the ocean in dramatic fashion, forming sheer cliffs which create some atmospheric pocket beaches you shouldn’t miss.
LGBT tourists will love this place as well, as Puerto Vallarta is known for having one of the most active gay communities among all the resort destinations in Mexico.
When people think of getaways in Mexico, Distrito Federal doesn’t immediately register in their minds, thanks in large part for its past reputation for crime and air pollution.
Significant progress on both issues has been made since the 1980s, making significant tracts of this historically and culturally rich metropolis safe for foreign visitors.
Mexico City offers a wide selection of restaurants, from authentic taco stands serving the best tacos el pastor you’ve ever had to fine dining establishments offering a global selection of cuisines.
As for attractions, the Zocalo is a must, as it is where the Metropolitan Cathedral, the remains of an ancient Aztec temple, and one of the tallest flagpoles in the world can be found.
Mexico City also has one of the greatest concentration of museums in the world, with the National Museum of Anthropology being among the standouts.
Fancy yourself a foodie? If so, a visit to Oaxaca is an absolute must. While this destination has its share of historic buildings, and an impressive archeological site known as Monte Alban lies within a short drive of the city, visitors are flocking here for the dishes served up in its restaurants and markets.
Start with a visit to Mercado 20 de Noviembre, as it is home to stalls that not only sell fruits, vegetables, and meat, but they also have market eateries that cook meals from these ingredients.
Walk through the hall where they prepare the meat, and you will understand what we are talking about. Be sure to try a dish prepared using this region’s signature mole sauces – you won’t regret it.
Finally, purchase some chocolate made by local artisans. Whether you opt to consume it in bar form or as a hot chocolate drink spiced with cinnamon, the passion that the indigenous people have for this treat enhances the quality of the product, which has made this region globally famous in recent times.
A few hours south of the city of Oaxaca lies the sleepy town of Puerto Escondido. Whether you are seeking a place to carve up the surf or you are simply longing for a slower pace of life, Puerto has what you need.
The nightlife scene here is more laid back than in more popular destinations like Puerto Vallarta or Cancun, making it a great place to go if you are looking to avoid warehouse-style nightclubs with thumping bass.
Playa del Carmen
Want to enjoy the splendor of the Riviera Maya without having to deal with the brashness that comes with staying in the Cancun area, all while avoiding the isolation that comes with staying at many all-inclusive resorts?
Playa del Carmen is the perfect place for you, as it has all the services one would expect in a resort town while having a laid back nature that is sorely missed in other places around the world that are similar in their makeup.
Another plus lies in the fact that is situated within a short drive of many local attractions. This includes the likes of Rio Secreto, an underground river and cave complex, and Xcaret, an eco-theme park that uses local geography and the area’s Mayan heritage to create a unique entertainment experience.
Want nothing to do with with the all-inclusive scene while in the Riviera Maya? Spend your luxury holiday on Isla Mujeres.
Sitting six kilometers off Cancun, it is close enough for you to partake of amenities on the mainland when you need them, but it is far enough from the clubs for you to enjoy peace and quiet at night.
This is enhanced by the fact that only vehicles on the island are scooters or golf carts – no car ferries run to the island.
The nightlife scene here is tame as well, as there is a small selection of chill beach bars and pubs at the north end of the island.
This leaves the central and southern sections of the island blissfully quiet once the sun goes down, giving extrovert/introvert couples and travel groups enough options to keep everyone happy.
As for things to do, the waters off Isla Mujeres are famed for their reefs, making it an excellent place for avid snorkelers and divers to putter around looking for clown fish and colorful corals.