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Plan your next holiday to Mexico

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Mexico holidays: Beautiful beaches and fascinating history

Packed with unforgettable attractions, gorgeous beaches and buzzing resort areas, Mexico has cemented its title as one of the most popular holiday destinations. The great weather certainly doesn't hurt either!

No matter what type of holiday you're after - whether it's a relaxed beach holiday or a busy city break - Mexico is extremely varied, meaning that you'll be able to find exactly what your heart desires. Even though the country is popular for romantic getaways and group trips, it's also become a hotspot for family holidays, thanks to its excellent resorts.

Spend your time in Mexico lounging on the sun-kissed beaches of Cancun and Mazatlan, exploring ancient history at Teotihuacan and Chichén Itzá or experiencing the modern offerings of Mexico City and Guadalajara. When it comes to Mexico, the options are truly endless.

Popular Mexico holiday destinations

From mountains and deserts to beaches and cities, Mexico has it all. While many travellers head straight to the famous resorts on the country's Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, you can find excellent holiday destinations in the interior as well.

The good news is that no matter where you choose to base yourself on your holiday, there are always fantastic day trip options to ancient ruins, cenotes (natural swimming pools) and cities.

This is why Mexico is one of our most popular holiday destinations - and it's always worth keeping an eye out for early bird deals and last-minute holidays to grab the best price for a trip here. Find out more about Mexico's most popular holiday spots below.


One of the most popular holiday destinations on the Yucatán Peninsula, Cancun is a tourist hotspot that pulls out all the stops. There's accommodation here to suit all budgets, but Cancun is a great place for having an all-inclusive holiday.

The resorts along Cancun's number seven-shaped strip of pristine beaches are highly sought after, and this is where you'll find some of the top luxury hotels. When you're not lounging on the beach, there is a wide range of activities and day trip options in the surrounding area. Have a round of golf, go snorkelling or take a trip to Chichén Itzá, which is 2.5 hours away.

Mexico City

If you're keen to break up your Mexico beach holiday with a few days in the city, Mexico City delivers everything you need for an action-packed city break. Mexico City is a great place to be to learn more about culture, taste delicious food and drink and take half-day trips to some of Mexico's most famous sites.

Once you've had your fill of buzzing neighbourhoods like Centro Historico, Polanco, Roma, Narvarte and San Rafael, squeeze in a few half-day trips to places like Teotihuacan, a sprawling ancient city complete with pyramids, or San Miguel de Allende, a colourful city packed with attractions.


Guadalajara is the capital of the state of Jalisco, a state that's known as the birthplace of tequila and mariachi! With those kinds of credentials, Guadalajara is another top choice for a city break in Mexico. Start with a visit to the city's Centro Historico neighbourhood, where you'll find its oldest, grandest buildings as well as plenty of museums.

After that, grab some fresh, hot food from the stalls at Mercado Libertad, catch a lucha libre wrestling match or take a half-day trip to the Guachimontones, a dramatic ancient stepped pyramid that was once part of a city.


Another popular beach destination in the Yucatán Peninsula, Tulum is a more laidback option compared to Cancun. The more expensive luxury resorts can be found along Tulum's beaches, while you can find accommodation to suit all budgets in downtown Tulum.

Tulum's most famous attraction has to be the Mayan ruins that overlook its beaches, but you'll also find plenty of fantastic eateries, museums and parks in the town itself. There are amazing day trip options nearby, including Mexico's renowned cenotes, the Coba Ruins and Chichén Itzá.

Playa del Carmen

Located roughly midway between Cancun and Tulum, Playa del Carmen is another top holiday destination in the Yucatán Peninsula. It's the ultimate beach holiday spot as you'll be spoiled with gorgeous beaches to the north and south! A hotspot for snorkelling and diving, the beaches of Playa del Carmen feature soft white sand and azure water - and some of them are even visited by sea turtles!

With such an enviable location, Playa del Carmen is a great base for visiting cenotes, multiple Mayan ruins and going on boat excursions. Plus, it also happens to have a stellar food scene.


For something a little different, head to the Pacific coast and base yourself in Mazatlán, a resort city that's been nicknamed the 'Pearl of the Pacific'. Start your Mazatlán explorations with a stroll along the malecon; this seaside promenade stretches 13 miles along the coast, taking in monuments, beaches and glorious views.

If you're lucky enough to be around in February, Mazatlán is known for hosting one of the best Carnival celebrations in the whole country! For those keen on watersports, Mazatlán has long been a favourite surfing haunt.

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Where can you find the best beaches in Mexico?

Most holidaymakers come to Mexico and head straight to the beach. And who can blame them?! With palm-fringed beaches, fantastic coral reefs, eye-popping blue water and gorgeous coastal resorts, Mexico thoroughy deserves its top spot as a beach holiday destination.

If you're a beach connoisseur and only want the best of the best, we've rounded up some of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico.

Tulum Beach

Located about two hours away from Cancun by car, Tulum's beach is renowned for the iconic 13th-century Mayan ruins that overlook its sands. The beach here offers soft white sand, clear turquoise waters and many limestone rockpools that are ideal for swimming. You'll also find plenty of beach resorts and hotels in the area.

Akumal Beach

Not too far from Playa del Carmen, Akumal Beach is a favourite beach hotspot for visitors and locals alike. This gorgeous beach is home to stunning coral reefs, making it an ideal spot for snorkelling and diving. Remember to keep your eye out for sea turtles! Hotels, restaurants and bars can be found nearby.

Cancun Beach

Stretching across 14 miles, Cancun's beach is one of the best beaches in Mexico and boasts sapphire-blue waters and pristine white sand. This beach is best known for its water activities, including snorkelling, paddle boarding, scuba diving, kayaking and fishing. It's a true watersports paradise!

Playa Norte

Playa Norte on Isla Mujeres features shining white sand and crystal-clear waters. If you are looking for a family beach holiday, pick this beach, which offers calm and shallow water with safe swimming opportunities for kids. The beach area also has plenty of beach bars, restaurants and resorts.

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When is the best time to visit Mexico?

Mexico is such a vast country, with two coastlines that experience very different climates, as well as an interior that can experience at-times extreme temperatures. It's always worth checking the best weather months for the area you're planning to visit.

As a general rule of thumb, though, December to April is considered the high season, as this is when Mexico is at its driest but is still enjoying hot temperatures. This is why Mexico is such a popular choice for a winter sun holiday. That said, Mexico still gets visitors during its rainy season, which lasts from May to September; you can expect short and intense spells of rain during this time with plenty of sunshine-filled intervals in between.

The Caribbean coastline can be affected by the region's hurricane season, which runs from June to November.

Are holidays in Mexico safe?

Mexico is listed as one of the World Trade Organization's top 10 most visited countries in the world. And it's easy to understand why, with the fascinating history, gorgeous natural surroundings and vibrant entertainment offered in Mexico's cities and resorts.

As with many holiday destinations, we'd recommend following the usual common sense and vigilance you'd employ on any trip and you should experience a safe trip in the country. This includes sticking to the major downtown and tourist areas of Mexico's big cities, where most of the interesting sights are in any case. The major beach resorts are considered to be even safer and are very popular with visitors; the vast majority of travellers to these areas experience no issues at all.

For advice on particular areas and the latest advisories, always check out the UK's official travel advice for Mexico before departing on your holiday.

The best things to do in Mexico

If you love variety, you'll adore Mexico. This country is home to vibrant, history-filled cities, stunning stretches of beach, jaw-dropping natural beauty and some of the most renowned ancient ruins.

While it's easy to find plenty of things to do no matter where you choose to base yourself, there are some places and activities that would make worthy additions to anyone's travel bucket list. Here are some of our unmissable things to do in Mexico.

Top things to do in Mexico

  1. Visit Mexico City's historic centre, including the Metropolitan Cathedral

  2. Marvel at the Pyramid of the Sun, a pre-Aztec wonder

  3. Embrace your adventurous side at Copper Canyon

  4. Explore Chichén Itzá, a world-famous Mayan pyramid complex

  5. Try out cave diving at Sistema Dos Ojos

  6. Climb Pico de Orizaba, Mexico's highest mountain

  7. Bask in beach resort life in Cancun

  8. Go snorkelling at Cabo San Lucas

  9. Enjoy spectacular views in mountainous Monterrey

Find more things to do in Mexico


The most beautiful cenotes in Mexico

Cenotes are one of Mexico's most outstanding natural features. A cenote is a natural sinkhole that's been formed when limestone collapses and the cavity then fills with groundwater. These natural swimming pools attract swimmers and divers, and you can find over 10,000 cenotes in Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula alone!

A trip to Mexico isn't complete without a lengthy stop at a cenote. While there are many beautiful cenotes in Mexico, we've gone ahead and compiled a list of some of our favourites. Check them out below.

1. Chaak Tun: If you're anywhere near Playa del Carmen, you'll want to visit this hidden gem with its impressive stalactites and many hidden corners.

2. Maya: You can enter this gorgeous cenote by rappelling 85 feet through a hole in the dome-shaped rock above the water.

3. Samula: Located near Valladolid, Samula is one of two popular and beautiful cenotes in Dzitnup (the other being X'keken).

4. Zaci: Located in the heart of Valladolid, this beautiful cenote is accessible via stone stairs that wind their way around the walls of the cavern.

5. Dos Ojos: These are actually two cenotes north of Tulum connected to a huge cave system, and it's easy to join a guided cave dive.

6. Gran Cenote: This cenote near Tulum is actually part of the longest surveyed underwater cave system in the world.

7. Ik Kil: One of Yucatán's most famous cenotes, this pool is close to the Chichén Itzá ruins, and was was once considered sacred by the Mayan people.

8. Jardín del Edén: With a name meaning 'Garden of Eden', this open-air cenote is just as beautiful as you'd expect it to be.

9. Tamcach-Ha: This underground cenote has jumping platforms for the brave - one at around 15 feet and one at around 30!

10. X'keken: Located right near Cenote Samula, this cavern features turquoise waters and exquisite rock formations.