From the soothing rhythm of Cancun’s crystal waters lapping against the sand, and the sight of Puerto Vallarta’s sweeping emerald jungle canopy, to the fire of spices and zest of limes in every bite of sizzling street food - Mexico is as colourful as they come. There are very few countries in the world that appeal to the senses quite like Mexico. This is a destination that oozes character and charm at each and every turn.
It is almost impossible to visit Mexico and not be drawn to its mesmerising coast, and for good reason. Not only do the beaches boast the white sands and blue sea so synonymous with the exotic Caribbean, but they’re also home to majestic cenotes and hidden caves ready to be discovered and explored.
Mexico’s Caribbean coast is most recognisable as the home of Chichen Itza on the Yucatan peninsula. Classed as one of the seven wonders of the world, these Mayan ruins offer visitors a unique insight into Mexico’s extensive history. A day trip to Chichen Itza ought to be on the itinerary of anyone spending their holiday on this side of the country.
Playa del Carmen invites its visitors to enjoy Mexico’s natural beauty from a little higher up. Ziplining through the canopy is the ultimate way to take it all in whilst satisfying your inner thrill-seeker at the same time. The jungle is equally as beautiful looking up instead of down, and guided trips are the best way to uncover the best of its flora and fauna as well as its serene waterfalls and rivers.
Putting Mexico into words is one thing, but experiencing all that it has to offer is something else entirely, and there’s only one way to find out.
Who visits Mexico?
Mexico is for those seeking absolute escapism, whether that be on Cancun’s impressive stretch of beach, hiking through the wilderness of Puerto Vallarta and Playa del Carmen, or exploring the depths of the tropical reefs decorating its oceans. Distinct in its own right for its historic sites, unrivalled cuisine, and effortless beauty, Mexico simply sells itself.
Currency: Mexican Peso (MXN)
Flight time from UK: 10-11 hours
Time difference: GMT-6
Mexican cuisine is packed with flavour, spice and variety - most certainly a recipe for success. Corn and beans are the staple of most Mexican dishes, and you’ll commonly find these flavoured with simple yet delicious ingredients such as tomato, lime, chilli and salt.
If you want to taste Mexico’s freshest ingredients, a seafood dish is highly recommended, especially in coastal resorts such as Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Popular choices include shrimp soup, ceviche scallops served in a crispy taco, grilled red snapper with fresh salad, and lobster straight from the Caribbean coast.
While meat in Mexico is not always the best cut, cooked slowly and marinated in herbs and spices that pack a punch, you’ll find the zing of Mexican ingredients impossible to resist. You’ll most likely have the chance to sample these classic flavours in a quesadilla or tostada in your local restaurant or even in the luxury of your hotel.
Vegetarians will find it easy enough to source suitable dishes in Mexico, with many restaurants filling wraps and tortillas with rice, vegetables and guacamole. However, take note that not all restaurants and kitchens will cater to vegetarians as extensively as they do in the UK.
A luxury holiday in Mexico is all about indulgence and its sweet treats certainly won’t disappoint. Favourites include pastries such as pan dulce - a popular breakfast dish, and fresh fruits mixed with yoghurt or milk. You’ll also find churros and dulce de leche corn cakes on the menu in most establishments.
Most people travel to Mexico by air as this is the quickest and simplest route.
For those staying on the Caribbean Coast, flights to Cancun International Airport are available all year round, but most include a layover in the USA for part of the journey. Direct flights from Europe are available, however they are more infrequent.
If you plan to explore the centre of Mexico, flights to Mexico City International Airport are readily available. Again, the majority are non-direct, but direct flights are also available.
Mexico can also be accessed via the United States for those looking for some adventure en route. Visitors most commonly cross the border by car or bus from San Francisco or the southern states of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. While UK driving licenses are valid in Mexico, it’s worth applying for an international driving license before you travel, as these are more widely recognised.
Mexico can be reached by boat or cruise from Los Angeles on the west coast and Miami on the east.
One of the easiest ways to see the best parts of Mexico is on an organised tour. And of course, a luxury holiday in Mexico wouldn’t be complete without witnessing the overwhelming wonder of Chichen Itza. Trips are readily available from popular resorts, taking between two and three hours from the Cancun and Playa del Carmen regions. Prices vary per provider, but we highly recommend setting aside some spending money for this trip as it is well worth your time.
You may also find that many tour providers will make a day of it and stop at other attractions along the way. The colourful city of Valladolid is a common stop-off point, along with an hour or two spent at one of the cenotes that Mexico is famed for - and for obvious reasons, they are truly enchanting.
Whilst public buses are the most popular way of getting between towns, for those who’d rather avoid long journeys, affordable domestic flights run regularly between Mexico’s most popular cities. This the most efficient way of getting around the country.
Car hire is available in Mexico, and can often prove to be much quicker than public transport due to the number of stops, particularly on second class routes. However, drivers should be prepared for a much less safe and organised road system to the UK, and it’s worth reading up on the rules of the roads beforehand, too.
When to go
You won’t see temperatures fall below 20 at any point of the year in Mexico, and in summer months between May and September highs can reach the mid 30s. September and October can see a little more rainfall than other months, but this doesn’t tend to last too long. December through to February are the ideal months for those who prefer cooler climes in the low to mid 20s.
If you’re hoping to catch a festival or carnival that the Mexican’s are so infamous for, you certainly won’t find this difficult. Virtually every month of the year welcomes a celebration - whether it’s to honour religious saints, local music and film, or the more widely recognised Day of the Dead which takes place in early November.
Mexican festivals bring bright colours, loud music, great food and plenty of people ready to party - perfect for experiencing the best of the local culture during a luxury holiday.
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