Although Mexico is best known for its beach resorts, there really is so much more to this beautiful country. If you head inland, you will be able to explore villages and cities. From the mountains, to beaches, to the jungle, there are so many beautiful and undiscovered areas. Yearly festivals let you see the culture and enjoy the food. Mexico is a country full of things to see and do! And if you are bringing your private vehicle from the United States, I highly recommend that you buy a Mexican auto insurance policy because US car insurance policies are not valid in Mexico.
Best Time to Visit
Do you want to experience one of Mexico’s many festivals during your stay? Be sure to time your trip around one of the many and unique celebrations. Do you want to relax, sit on the beach sipping a cocktail? Then be sure to plan your trip to avoid those celebrations.
U.S. spring breaks tend to create crowds at Mexico’s beach destinations and during school holidays at Christmas, Easter and during the summer months, Mexican families like to travel. So if you don’t like crowds – plan around these times.
Where to Go in Mexico
The list is long and the choices are many! I think planning your trip to Mexico has to start with deciding what you want to do. Do you want an all-inclusive package where you will sit on the beach sipping cocktails? Do you want to be in the middle of the spring breakers dancing the night away? Do you want to spend your day walking through ruins of Mayan architecture?
Where you go in Mexico depends on what it is you want to do on your vacation. Here are a few suggestions:
- Cancun, the resort capital of Mexico, is extremely popular with spring break goers and travelers looking for all-inclusive resorts. However, what many don’t realize is that Cancun is not all party and luxury. Head away from the hotel areas into the city, and you will find everyday Mexicans enjoying their daily lives with traditional local food and dancing the salsa. The prices are lower outside the resort area and the experience much more Mexican authentic.
- Playa del Carmen is one of the hippest places to visit in the Yucatán Peninsula. The area is full of chic cafes, all inclusive resorts and lively bars and night clubs. If you are someone that wants to relax on the beach during the day and party in the evening – this is the spot for you!
- Some of the best beaches in Mexico are in Tulum. The area is also home to some of the most picturesque ruins in Mexico. If you are a diver, Tulum also offers excellent diving and snorkeling opportunities and beautiful nature reserves. Add in fun water parks, great street art and more and Tulum, is the perfect place to escape the usually crowded tourist locations in Mexico.
- Los Cabos – where the desert meets the sea and the sun shines 350 days a year. Los Cabos encompasses Cabo San Lucas, San José del Cabo, and the Resort Corridor (which sits between the two areas). It is the ultimate seaside vacation location for surfers, divers and those that love the beach. Add in great golf and sport fishing and Los Cabos becomes a must visit spot for many going to Mexico.
- Cozumel is an island just off Playa del Carmen. It’s natural beauty and crystal clear water make it one of the most popular tourist areas in Mexico.
- Puerto Vallarta is Mexico’s prettiest resort town offering something for every type of traveler. Beautiful beaches and lush jungles and nightclubs for the evenings, Puerto Vallarta has something for every member of your traveling party. It is much less “touristy” than Cancun.
- Acapulco was once known as the “go to” spot for the rich and famous (Elvis Presley, John F. Kennedy and Frank Sinatra were frequent visitors to the area). After a few years of bad press regarding violence tarnished Acapulco’s reputation, it is once again becoming a sought after destination. Spring break visitors enjoy a vibrant nightlife and the water-front promenade and cuisine offers a perfect spot for a Mexican get-away.
- Guadalajara, the second largest city in Mexico, is the place to go if you are interested in Mexican culture. The city offers many museums and cultural sites that preserve Mexican history. Since Guadalajara is the birthplace of mariachi and tequila, I’m sure you can find many spots to dance, sing and drink the night away!
- Mérida is the capital and largest city of the Yucatán Peninsula and the place to go if your main interest is Mexican culture. Museums, art galleries and restaurants can keep any visitor busy for several days.
- Mexico City has gotten some bad press over the years for having high crime rates, however, the city has gone through a big transformation and is more and more coming back to life as a tourist destination. Many international restaurants are popping up and making a large contribution to a cultural scene and haven for foodies. Travelers interested in history can’t go wrong in Mexico City. The city is full of museums dedicated to preserving Mexican history and heritage.
Set Your Budget
Mexico is generally very affordable. Budget travelers can survive on very little per day ($50) if they do it correctly. On the other end, if you are a luxury traveler, you can spend lots and lots of money in Mexico. Just like any other vacation, it all depends on how you like to travel, the type of resort you like to stay in and how much you can afford to spend on vacation. If you want to add in some touring excursions, be sure to add in the cost of transportation to and from your resort. A couple can realistically vacation in Mexico for under $1,000 for a week or a luxury visitor can spend $1,000 per day. Know you budget before planning and you will be able to find just the right spot, resort and experience for visiting Mexico.
Whether you’re looking for an all-inclusive resort, family vacation spot, friend’s trip with nightlife, adventure travel or rentals in Mexico to stay a while, you’ll be able to find the right spot in Mexico!