Powder-soft, white sand beaches. Crystal-clear Caribbean water. Year-round balmy weather and tropical breezes. World-class shopping, recreational pursuits, and modern, reliable infrastructure.
Just a 25-minute boat ride off the northern tip of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula is a sliver of an island called Holbox (pronounced ol-bosh). In the Mayan language it means “black hole.” For the increasing number of visitors (as well as a small number of pioneering—mostly part-time expats and full-time business owners) who make their way here it’s a tropical getaway that’s quite different than spots like Cancún and Playa del Carmen on the nearby Riviera Maya.
The deep influences of centuries of Spanish occupation are clearly visible almost everywhere in Mexico, from small villages and large cities. The spectacular architecture and beautiful stonework, along with the layout of villages and cities, provide a distinctive and historic European feel throughout much of Mexico.
If you visited Playa del Carmen 10 or 15 years ago, you wouldn’t recognize it today. This once sleepy seaside town on Mexico’s Riviera Maya used to be primarily known as the place to catch the ferry to the island of Cozumel just offshore.
Santiago de Querétaro, in Mexico’s Colonial Highlands, has a lot going for it: an ideal climate, top-notch but affordable medical care, a well-kept Spanish colonial centro, friendly local people, and much more.
The southern part of Mexico’s Caribbean coast is a mostly undeveloped stretch of stunning, isolated beach called the Costa Maya. Unlike the tourist-driven beaches of the Riviera Maya further north, this length of coastline snuggles up against lowland jungle for some 62 miles and is largely inaccessible by road.