Looking for vacation ideas? Mexico is a great choice, a beautiful country with amazing cultural and natural diversity. Here are four of the best places to explore, unwind and have fun!
One of my favorite destinations in Mexico, Puerto Vallarta is the perfect combination of tourism and Mexican culture. Nestled between Bahia Bandera (Flag Bay) and steep mountains, Puerto Vallarta offers several beautiful beaches. The Malecon (or Boardwalk) is the best in Mexico, and if you go to the Old Malecon, you might catch some local kids performing traditional dance. Either way, there is lots of shopping. The surrounding areas are scenic and interesting, including Bucerias. Another bonus I really appreciated was the option to take buses from the hotel zone to downtown Vallarta, Bucerias and anywhere we wanted to go.
I have never enjoyed a beach like the beaches in Cancun. The water was warm as bath water and crystal clear and washed up on a lovely white sandy beach. The surf and waves were perfect to play in. However, if you want to enjoy Mexican culture, I didn’t see much of it in Cancun. The Zona Hotelera is far from Cancun itself, and getting around was relatively expensive. Cancun is definitely more of a tourist destination. That said, if you are going to Mexico for a beach, Cancun is the place to go.
Playa Del Carmen
A 35-45 minute taxi ride from the Cancun Airport, Playa Del Carmen is much more like Vallarta in that it provides an excellent mix of Mexican culture, shopping and food, in conjunction with an excellent beach. The water, like Cancun, is warm and clear. The sand is white, and the waves playful. Playa del Carmen also provides easy access to the Tulum and Cobá Mayan archaeological sites. Tulum is about an hour, but worth the trip. If you decide to go to Tulum, you will see some amazing ruins, lots of iguanas, and, if you look closely, “stinger-less” bees can be found in some of the trees. Cobá is a little farther, but you can actually climb one of the temples, something you cannot do in Tulum. If you do go to Tulum, be sure to bring sunscreen as natural shade is scarce.
Puerto Peñasco / Rocky Point
Admittedly Puerto Peñasco is not as glamorous as the first three destinations, but it is Arizona’s beach. It’s a drive rather than a flight away, making it an excellent choice for many families in Arizona and Southern California. A four- or five-hour drive from Phoenix and Tucson, it provides quick access to Sea of Cortez. The temperature of the water in March varies from 64 to 70 degrees. The beaches are nice, but depending on the area and the tide, there are large rocks (after all, it is called “Rocky Point”). However, those rocks provide a great opportunity to see marine life; octopus, star fish and stingrays can be spotted on occasion. Puerto Peñasco has a good mix of tourism and Mexican culture, and there are a number of things to see and do in the area.
From the white sands of Cancun to the rocky shores of Puerto Peñasco there is lots to see and do in Mexico. As you consider your vacation options, keep Mexico in mind—you’ll make memories that won’t be soon forgotten.