Although it is hardly a newly discovered tourism and vacation destination, millions of people continue to travel in Mexico each year, and not without good reason. The country’s landscape has been blessed with every imaginable kind of natural feature, from dry and hot deserts to tropical white-sand beaches, from high plains to exotic jungles in the mountains. And when you travel to Mexico, you’ll find somewhere marvelous to visit, where the weather is good any time of year.
When you first think about vacation spots in Mexico, most likely Puerto Vallarta and Cancún are the first destinations that come to mind. While either of the two would be an excellent choice, there are many more wonderful sandy beaches along both coasts that you can visit during your time traveling in Mexico. Sayulita is a haven for water sports fanatics—the perfect place to get away from it all, yet still be close to the major amenities and the international airport of Puerto Vallarta.
Puerto Escondido is a surfing mecca on the Pacific coast. It attracts the young, beautiful, and bohemian of Mexico. The beaches are gorgeous, and there are plenty of sheltered coves where swimming is safe and the water is soothingly warm.
La Paz is one of the main Mexican tourism destinations for people who come to fish or scuba dive in the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez. The beaches are fine white sand, and the beautiful bay attracts yachtsmen who give La Paz a truly international flavor. Jacques Cousteau called the Sea of Cortez the “world’s aquarium.”
Playa del Carmen, on the Yucatán Peninsula, is laidback with enough nightlife, restaurants, and golf courses that you won’t feel you’ve left civilization behind. It is an amazing Mexican tourism destination, but not as overwhelming as Cancún. The main attractions in Playa del Carmen are fishing and diving. The nearby Costa Maya has many long stretches of white-sand beaches and, just offshore, the Chinchorro Banks reef system offers some of the best diving and fishing in the world, where the water is warm and clear.
In Mexico’s colonial Highlands you’ll explore narrow cobbled streets and discover architectural treasures hidden behind high brick and stone walls. The Spaniards were private people; they didn’t care much about impressing others with the size or design of their homes, so you’ll never know what to expect walking inside, usually through an unassuming metal door.
But delightful and historic architecture isn’t the only tourism attractions of the Mexican colonial towns. You’ll also find art galleries; unique local crafts, such as the famous black pottery in Oaxaca or silver jewelry and Talavera ceramics in San Miguel de Allende; sophisticated restaurants; cozy bars and coffee shops; and welcoming, beautifully restored hotels and B&Bs in all price ranges. You should plan to spend at least a few days traveling in the towns in order to fully appreciate everything the place has to offer.
In addition to many natural wonders—volcanoes, canyons, lakes, deserts, jungles, mountains, and pristine landscapes—archeology buffs will find numerous Maya and Aztec ruins to keep them busy for a lifetime. A visit to Teotihuacán near Mexico City, Cobá and Chichén Itzá in Yucatán, or Palenque, close to the Guatemalan border, will make your travels in Mexico unforgettable.