Nearly 12 million international tourists visited Mexico last year, reflecting former president Vicente Fox’s vision to make tourism, “…a top priority activity for federal government, which is why [Mexico] invests millions of dollars a year in…projects that promote Mexico’s culture and natural attractions.” This cultural investment has obviously paid off in making Mexico the go-to beach resort location of North American tourists and many others around the world. Luxury Travel Mexico.
But now that the word is out on Mexico’s beautiful destinations, where does one go for luxury travel in Mexico? Avoiding crowded beaches and hand-picking a special experience is vital to a luxurious Mexico trip, and THIRDHOME has compiled the best destinations and properties to help you feel less like one in 12 million, and more like the unique member that you are.
A THIRDHOME membership allows access to homes in all of these fantastic destinations in Mexico below, and all over the world! Members of The Club book trips every day for a fraction of the price by using their THIRDHOME membership.
Luxury stays in these Handpicked Mexican destinations are available now! Plan your trip today!
What to do: Welcome to the original Mexican beach resort, graced by the likes of Elvis, Sinatra, and President Kennedy, this ‘Pearl of the Pacific’ drew plenty of crowds in the 1950’s. Acapulco is one of the older Mexico resort destinations, but it still retains an old-timey Golden Age charm. With beautiful cliff sides, delicious food and gorgeous views Acapulco is sure to deliver a serene getaway on your next Mexican holiday.
Bahias de Huatulco
What to do: Crucecita, in the state of Oaxaca, was once only home to one small fishing village. In the late 1980’s, development began on several resorts and golf courses. Development was heavily regulated, leaving large swaths of land untouched, and limiting the height of resorts. This left Crucecita with much of its original Southern Mexican charm. Bahias de Huatulco refers to the nine bays on the coast of Crucecita, around which many resorts were constructed. Due to limited air access, only about 20% of Huatulco’s tourism is foreign, making this a perfect getaway from the average coastal tourist city. Bahias de Huatulco has been praised for its sustainable practices in tourism and is gaining more popularity due to its coffee plantations, music and hiking routes. Although air access is limited there is a small airport about 20 minutes away from the resort area.
Cabo San Lucas
What to do: On the tip of Big Sur, Cabo San Lucas has some gorgeous natural wonders. Hike out to El Arco, a gorgeous natural stone arch that dips into the sea. On your way, pick between visiting Lovers Beach or Divorce Beach, depending on the mood (choose wisely). Take a dive into Chileno Bay to snorkel among the tropical fish and sea turtles. If you are feeling a little wild, Cabo San Lucas does have the best nightlife variety out of any Big Sur city.
What to do: Set on the edge of the Yucatán Peninsula is the world-famous tourist destination of Cancún. “The Glistening City” was established in 1970 and is located about an hour South of Playa Del Carmen. The area was a large gamble for the Mexican government who had to fund the first 9 hotels on its own due to hesitance on part of investors, but it has most certainly paid off for Mexico and tourists alike. Many modern, pyramid and tower-like resorts decorate the virgin beaches of Cancún.
What to do: In the southern region of Baja Sur, La Paz is an upbeat and international town. The quirky Baja settlement was first home to Neolithic cavemen, then to Hernan Cortez’s conquistadores in 1535, then to William Walker’s Republic of Sonora in 1854, and finally to Mexican citizens and foreign ex-patriots. Its remote location and rich history have made the city a fan favorite among international travelers. If you’re looking for an unforgettable stay on the Sea of Cortez, look no further. With one of the highest standards of living and quality of life in Mexico, La Paz lives up to the inherent luxury of other Baja resort destinations. You can also travel from La Paz to the UNESCO protected Isla Espíritu Santo, which features impeccable diving, snorkeling and kayaking.
What to do: The Jalisco-based city of Manzanillo faces the beautiful waters of the North Pacific. Unlike many of the cities on this list, tourism is not the mainstay of this city. Seaport trade is the real business in town, and recreational fishing is the primary tourist draw. Manzanillo is known as the “Sailfish Capital of the World” and hosts The Dorsey Fishing Tournament every year. Besides numerous fishing opportunities, the city also has a view of the optical phenomena known as the “Green Flash.” Appearing for only a second or two, these green lights occur as the light from the setting sun diverges into many colors, making for a magical sunset.
What to do: Founded in 1992, Nuevo Vallarta was built for the sole purpose of attracting tourists to its modern infrastructure and attractions. The resort sits about 15 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta and attracts mostly U.S. and Canadian tourists. Nuevo Vallarta stores typically accept pesos and USD making it an easy place to travel from the states. Home to a beautiful marina, a PADI Dive Center and many individual resorts Nuevo Vallarta is perfect for those looking to enjoy the beach and an array of watersports.
Playa Del Carmen
What to do: Besides relaxing pool or beachside with a tropical drink in hand, Playa Del Carmen is full of exciting and unique activities. History lovers can step back in time and explore the mysteries surrounding the amazing Mayan ruins at Tulum and Chichen Itza. But, make sure you don’t miss your chance to see Rio Secreto! Very few places in the world boast the perfect conditions for an underground river, and Playa Del Carmen is one of them! Rio Secreto has carved out a massive system of caves underneath Riviera Maya over the years. Guests who are looking to stay on resort property can play the Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course at Vidanta’s Riviera Maya.
Punta de Mita & Riviera Nayarit
What to do: This tiny fishing village is now home to several resorts, golf clubs and private beaches. The Pacific Coast offers pleasant breezes throughout the year and is home to a diverse ecology of marine life. Many old fishing ports have since been turned to upscale resorts that merge gracefully into the azure coastal waters. This region of Mexico is big with surfers but is still primarily known for its calm and luxurious accommodations.
San José del Cabo
What to do: Some refer to San José del Cabo as the quieter version of Cabo San Lucas. The downtown area has nice shopping, adobe houses converted into restaurants and several golf courses. The area is also home to some very modern and avant-garde developments, redefining the Mexican beach resort and raising expectations for Cabo travel veterans. For peaceful relaxation, San José del Cabo is the Cabo for you.
San Miguel de Allende
What to do: This gem of a city was almost a ghost town by the end of the 20th Century, but when local artists recognized that the Baroque colonial architecture had potential, a number of initiatives were moved to the city to ensure its continued existence. Post World War II, many U.S. soldiers studying on the G.I. Bill would come learn art in San Miguel de Allende thanks to the city’s commitment to education and the arts. Founded in 1541, San Miguel is now a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its architecture and role during the fight for Mexican Independence. There are no beaches in San Miguel de Allende, but the lack of waterfront is made up by its rich history and artistic appeal. Festivals, such as The Day of the Dead, are celebrated with a special zeal in San Miguel, which is accentuated by the town’s Mexican fairy tale aesthetic. This city was just voted as Travel & Leisure’s Best City in Latin America, and Best City in The World.
Valle de Bravo
What to do: Surprisingly enough, Valle de Bravo is not a coastal resort town. On the shores of Lake Avandaro, Valle de Bravo is where the capital’s elite go to play. If you really want an authentic upscale Mexican experience, Valle de Bravo is the place to go. Historic temples, parishes and museums harken back to colonial times, and even to some Aztec heritage. In 2005, Valle de Bravo was dubbed Pueblo Mágico by Mexico’s Secretariat of Tourism, to recognize the city’s “…symbolism, legends, history…in other words, ‘magic’ in its social and cultural manifestation, with great opportunities for tourism.” The city has also hosted world-famous events including El Circuito Avandaro (auto racing) and La Festival de Rock y Reudas (rock music festival). Come live, play and eat like a local at Valle De Bravo today.
What to do: Far from the prototypical coastal party town, Zihuatanejo is a small-town getaway which had been relatively unheard of until Ixtapa was built next door and tourists flocked to the Pacific Coast of Mexico. It still retains much of that fisherman village charm with plenty of local shops, restaurants and cafes. Lounging on the beach, exploring the historic cobbled streets and enjoying the peaceful quiet of Zihua are some of the best ways to spend your vacation. It’s still a well-kept secret, so book your trip before the rest of the world finds out.
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