Basking on the beach beneath the stunning sun, in between visits to ancient Mayan pyramids, and diving or snorkelling above some of the world’s most varied underwater wildlife. Relax with the family in child-friendly resorts or party ’til late in Cancún, where the bars, clubs, and superclubs keep pumping until the early hours.
Mexico’s eastern side lies beside the Caribbean Sea, while to the west you’ll find the Pacific. The resorts at these outer edges of the country offer coasts made up of white sand and crystal-clear waters, but there is much more to visit between these two gorgeous shores. Pueblos are tiny settlements where South American Indians have lived for over a millennium, and sprawling mega-cities such as Mexico City provide all the culture, entertainment, and shopping you could want.
Explorers – Discover gorgeous jungles, underwater caverns, eco parks, and ancient ruins
Party-goers – Cancún may be the party capital of Mexico, but there are exciting bars and pulse-pounding nightclubs in most of the country’s resorts
Festival lovers – Mexico celebrates almost endless festivals throughout the year, including the famed Cinco de Mayo, the Dia de los Muertos, and the carnival in Mazatlán.
Cancún is Mexico’s premier tourist destination, and welcomes guests to its shores to enjoy watersports and waterparks, retail therapy, and festivals the like of which you’ve never seen before. The days are long and warmed by spectacular weather, and the nightlife is legendary, with themed nightclubs that include the wild and hysterical Coco Bongo club, the state-of-the-art fun of DadyO, and the gigantic club The City is rumoured to be the largest in South America
Riviera Maya is the resort to visit if you are seeking flour-white beaches and one of the world’s largest reefs to snorkel or dive to, as well as eco-parks that overflow with exciting tropical wildlife, jungles, and limestone caves to explore. You’ll find this resort on the east side of the Yucatán Peninsula, where you’ll also have the opportunity for laid back fine dining and sophisticated bars, and day trips to Tulum’s ancient Mayan ruins.
The beautiful city of Playa del Carmen lies on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, and attracts visitors from across the world. There’s something cooler and a little more sophisticated about the area’s 5th Avenue and chic galleries and boutiques. The nearby Cozumel Island is known as one of the best diving spots for in the world, with its underwater caverns and vibrant range of tropical fish.
Puerto Vallarta is a tourist hub where entertainment and performances are everywhere you turn. The resort’s beaches resonate with the sound of mariachi bands, and the malecón (pedestrianised walkway) is popular with musicians and street artists eager to show you their talents and play you their beautiful music. The bay is one of the most picturesque beach areas in the whole of Mexico.
Don’t just stick to the beaches –you have the opportunity to visit ancient Mayan pyramids, encounter tropical fish by snorkelling above coral reefs, and enjoy the uniquely Mexican culture and cuisine. If you stay in Cancún, don’t miss out on seeing Chichen Itza in the flesh or the archaeological eco park Xcaret, while if you are on the western side near Puerto Vallarta you can’t miss the Los Arcos National Marine Park, with its array of tropical fish and warm water.
The Marine Turtle Observation experience in Cancún is an unforgettable day out, where you and the kids can snorkel with sea turtles at the second largest coral reef in the world. You’ll also find waterparks to entertain the whole family, an interactive aquarium where you can pet rays and turtles, natural history lessons in Mexico’s ancient ruins, and, of course, the gorgeous beaches of both the east and west coast. There are plenty of child-friendly hotels to enjoy in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Puerto Vallarta.
In Mexico, you will never run out of wonderful diving spots, explosive green scenery, and sweeping canyons and mountains to explore. This is the country with the world’s second largest barrier reef, so it is a huge hit with divers and snorkelers, but if the ocean isn’t your thing you can still find yourself overwhelmed by Mexico’s natural beauty. Highlights include Copper and Sumidero Canyons, the astonishing geology of the Yucatan Peninsula, and El Sotano de las Golondrinas, the largest cave shaft in the world.
The Mexican cuisine is legendary, with its tongue-teasing fajitas, enchiladas, and burritos – but you’ve never truly tasted Mexican food until you’ve tried it in the street on its home territory. And the famous dishes are just some of the joys you’ll discover during your travels, as you’ll have the chance to chow down on salsa-topped chilaquiles for breakfast, the traditional pozole soup which was historically used in religious ceremonies, and the wonderful street corner treat elote, which is simply corn on the cob with Mexican flavourings.
The Mexican nightlife is a varied, colourful thing. You can dance until late in some of the most exciting nightclubs in America if you are hungry for a traditional night out, or some more unique experiences such as a mariachi party, or a feast at a cantina while sampling the local mescal or pulque, or even a late-night gathering on a trajinera in Cancun’s Xoximilco, which is a Mexican watercraft! There are also child-friendly experiences at night in the holiday resorts, such as karaoke and restaurants with floor shows.
The most popular airports in Mexico are Mexico Airport (MEX), Cancun International Airport (CUN)
Tap water in Mexico may be contaminated, so be like the locals and avoid drinking it. Always either ask for drinks to be served without ice, or to make sure that the ice cubes are made with purified water. Read travel advisories before booking and make sure to avoid undesirable areas, stick to the tried-and-tested tourist-friendly spots, and use registered taxis.