Destination Spotlight: Mexico
Mexico has been a long-time favourite destination for Canadian travellers. With its gorgeous beaches, diverse landscapes and vibrant culture it’s easy to see why. From the pristine shores of Cancun to the lush mountains of Puerto Vallarta and the picturesque deserts of Los Cabos – it can be hard to narrow down which Mexican hotspot to visit first.
To help you start daydreaming about your Mexican vacation, we put together the ultimate guide on exploring Mexico. From the best places to visit to the top things to do in each destination and where to stay, start planning your dream getaway to Mexico and look forward to sunnier days ahead.
Mexico is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. While the pristine shores of Cancun are always a popular choice, outside the hustle and bustle of the Hotel Zone and approximately 30 minutes down the coast is the exclusive resort enclave of Playa Mujeres. This tropical oasis is home to some of the world’s most luxurious resorts and is the perfect spot for those dreaming of a tranquil beach getaway.
What to do: Kick your relaxing vacation up a notch with a scenic cruise along the coast to Isla Mujeres, just 13 kilometres off the mainland. Soak up the sun on deck as you sip on your favourite drink from the open bar before spending the day at a private beach club.
Where to stay: Riu Dunamar is located on a gorgeous stretch of beach in Playa Mujeres and has something that everyone in the family will love – from a sprawling pool complex to an on-site water park.
Experience the lively Mexican culture on a vacation to Puerto Vallarta! Nestled on the Pacific Coast, Puerto Vallarta is home to breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural experiences. Visit Old Town to sample delicious cuisine at one of the local restaurants lining the district’s cobblestone streets as you listen to talented musicians play in charming zocalas (town squares). Then, stroll along the city’s mile-long waterfront boardwalk, the Malecón, where you can mingle with the locals and shop for handmade souvenirs.
What to do: Immerse yourself in the local way of life with a visit to the town of San Sebastian. The charming village is nestled deep within the Sierra Madre Mountains with a fascinating history and culture.
Want to get outside and breathe in the fresh air? Embrace Mexico’s nature on the car-free island of Isla Holbox, which is located within the Yum Balam Nature Reserve. To get to the island, you have to fly into Cancun and take a ferry ride – but the trek is well worth it to experience the area’s untouched beaches and exotic landscapes. With just a handful of resorts on the island, you’ll feel like you have the place to yourself!
What to do: Since cars aren’t allowed on the island, bicycles are the preferred mode of transportation on Isla Holbox. Your hotel concierge can arrange bike rentals for you, so you can ride along scenic coastal trails and into the charming downtown area!
Where to stay: The intimate Mystique Blue Boutique Suites is the perfect place to experience Isla Holbox, with just 38 luxurious suites nestled on a pristine stretch of white-sand shoreline.
Los Cabos is famous for its distinctive picture-perfect landscapes, where the serene desert of the Baja California Peninsula meets the sparkling waters of the Pacific Ocean. The popular Mexican destination’s wide variety of landscapes means there are plenty of opportunities for exploration and adventure – whether you want to zoom across the desert on an ATV, bike through nature preserves or whale-watch off the coast of Cabo San Lucas.
What to do: One of the best ways to admire the diverse coastline of Los Cabos is on a boat cruise. Pass by popular landmarks like the iconic El Arco rock arch, Lover’s Beach and Pelican’s Rock which are best seen from the sea!
Where to stay: Wake up to views of Cabo’s breathtaking El Arco every morning at Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas. Watch the sunrise from your balcony as you enjoy breakfast from the 24-hour room service.
Riviera Maya isn’t just a world-class beach destination – although it is home to some of tropics’ best white-sand beaches and all inclusive resorts – it’s also the birthplace of the legendary Mayan civilization dating back thousands of years. Whether you’re a history buff or just interested in learning more about Mexico’s rich history, Riviera Maya is home to numerous popular Mayan sites that you can explore including Tulum, Chichén Itzá and Coba.
What to do: No visit to Riviera Maya is complete without a tour of the ancient ruins of Tulum. The walled city is perched on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea and is one of Mexico’s best-preserved sites. You can tour the pyramid of El Castillo, the Temple of the Frescoes and the Temple of the Descending God.
Where to stay: After a day spent learning about Mexico’s ancient history, head back to the adults only Hideaway at Royalton Riviera Cancun to refuel with a gourmet meal. The resort offers unlimited reservation-free dining, so you won’t have to stress about making your seating time!