Beautiful beaches. Exciting cities. Gorgeous hotels. Little islands. Peaceful national parks. Up-and-coming wine regions. Mexico is the ultimate quick-getaway destination. Here are 17 must-see spots to explore south of the border.
Ánimas Bajas: Feast on small-batch mezcals, a seven-course tasting menu, and wine pairings before stumbling through lush gardens to go back to your treehouse in Los Cabos.
Cozumel: Hide out amid a dramatic lobby, an airy restaurant, a wood-burning pizza oven, a self-serve bar, a long pool, and streamlined rooms in the jungle.
Guadalajara: Set the tone of your trip with a tree-lined neighborhood, an Art Deco mansion, a new hotel, a restaurant with a tropical vibe, a retro bar, modern rooms, and a rooftop pool in the capital of Jalisco.
Guanajuato: Discover the mountains of Central Mexico, a colonial city, tightly clustered buildings, winding alleys, a network of underground tunnels, gorgeous architecture, and a boutique hotel with a rooftop bar in the most beautiful place in Mexico.
Isla Holbox: Enjoy cheap cervezas, a flamboyance of flamingos, hammocks, kiteboarders, lobster fishermen, overgrown mangroves, sandy roads, street art, and whale sharks on the Yucatán Peninsula’s best-kept secret.
Isla Mujeres: End a perfect day with a conch-shell shower, happy hour, a Cadillac Margarita, a bar with swinging seats, chips and guacamole, and a big smile on your face on a small island east of the Yucatán Peninsula.
Ixtapa: Search for the green flash, a cool breeze, sparkling turquoise water, gliding catamarans, and whales from your cliffside plunge pool.
Loreto: Kayak through Mexico’s largest marine reserve, beaches, mangroves, rocky islets, turquoise water, massive rock formations, and pods of dolphins in Baja California.
Marieta Islands: Take a day trip to see an uninhabited archipelago, a former military testing site, caves, rock formations, a national park, and a hidden beach northwest of Puerto Vallarta.
Mexico City: Explore a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a church and a monastery that the Spanish built after their conquest of the Aztec Empire, brightly colored buildings, street vendors selling ice cream, and canals in one of the capital’s 16 boroughs.
Puerto Escondido: Fall in love with a fishing village, white-sand beaches, grazing horses, slow-moving oxen, papaya farms, green mountains, an artist community, olive ridley sea turtles, and a little hotel with individual cabanas south of Oaxaca.
Quimixto: Carve out time for yourself with a quick getaway, yoga, meditation, a private beach, a little eco-resort, suites and casitas tucked into a jungle-shrouded hillside, and an oceanfront spa just a boat ride away from Puerto Vallarta.
San Benedicto Island: Step up your scuba-diving game with a shark lover’s paradise, schools of Moorish idols and triggerfish, breeding humpback whales, and uninhabited islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
San Miguel de Allende: Find real Mexican culture, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a pink neo-Gothic church, Baroque buildings, cobblestone streets, colorful homes, and rooftops with gorgeous views in a colonial city.
Tulum: Make your dream about a Mayan walled city, a biosphere reserve with crocodiles and sea turtles, underground cenotes, a gorgeous beach, and gourmet restaurants come true on the southern end of the Riviera Maya.
Valle de Guadalupe: Head south of the border for warm days, cool nights, ocean breezes, an ideal grape-growing climate, and a burgeoning wine region.
Zihuatanejo: Return to an old favorite, breathtaking scenery, a well-protected bay, a charming fishing village, and an amazing boutique hotel on the Costa Grande.