In Mexico, they measure their restaurants on a scale of Bueno, Barato and Bonito. It just rolls off the tongue, so you don’t care to question what it means – it just sounds good. Bonito? Perfect! But if you must know, they stand for: good, cheap and nice (or pretty). While this is a good barometer for deciding on where you’re going to get your daily dose of Chilaquiles, Mexico offers an immeasurable world of beauty too profound to rate on a scale.
Whether you’ve been to Mexico ten times or two, or you’re a first timer – there’s always a neighborhood uncovered, a restaurant you missed when you passed by on your way to another eatery, and artisans who are making precious Mexican treasures that never get old. We’re unpacking a trip to some of Mexico’s favored destinations, so get ready for un buen tiempo!
Cancun is a precious paradise of blue waters and classic tourist attractions. During your time in Cancun, we don’t blame you for wanting to nestle your bum in the sand with a book or cervezas and call it a day. Sand studded shores include Playa Marlín and Playa Delfines, the perfect place if avoiding crowds is sort of your thing. However, there is much more to Cancun than what meets the eye. Just a short drive away, you can visit Tulum. Tulum harvests a rich history featuring the Mayan Ruins. For more Mayan archaeology, you can explore Chichen Itza. If you’re up for an underwater adventure, take the whole family to Musa® Museo Subacuatico de Arte on Isla Mujeres, an art exhibit that features submerged statues. Sounds cool, right? For something more lowkey, locals and tourists alike recommend a stroll down Avenida Kukulkan. The pathway is lined with enough flora and fauna to go around. To wild out on a perfect trip, partake in an aqua and earthly excursion when you ride an ATV to a beach destination of your choice. Once there, you can hop on a speedboat and cool off in the wavy waters of Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya. For a day filled with the local spirit, head to Mercado Ki Huic – the oldest handcraft market decorated in vibrant fabrics, over 100 artisans and a rich heritage of the region. For your stomach, Mercado 23 is the place to be for local goods, handmade crafts and fresh produce like strawberries and papayas. From Churros to Ceviche, there’s something savory and sweet for the perfect Cancun trip. When the sunny day is done, get geared up in your best vacation attire for an evening spent at Coco Bongo. Not like anything you’ve seen before, this destination includes acrobats, conga lines and memories to last a lifetime.
Come with us to Puerto Vallarta and explore a kingdom of Mexico’s hidden gems. But first, we begin with some of the classic destinations. For a more upscale stay with your friends and family, the Marina is the neighborhood to be. However, if you’re suiting up for a sweetheart getaway, the neighborhood of Centro is your place. Romance is in the air in this little tucked away neighborhood. After arriving in the neighborhood of your choosing, walking the streets is a must to shake out those travel legs. While at it, take part in the Vallarta Food Tour to get your fill of all of Mexico’s favorable dishes. When the water beckons you, retreat to Playa Las Gemelas for a break from the crowded beaches along the Pacific. For fun with the kiddos, head to Aquaventuras Park to splash around in something other than the ocean. Then, get the whole family to throw on their best getaway garb for an immersive experience at Rhythms of the Night. This spectacle artfully draws inspiration from the customs of the ancients that once called Puerto Vallarta home. If you’re looking to switch up your beach routine for some more culture, head to Malecón to witness art installations and unique shops. You can also take a bike ride through Sierra Madre Occidental. In Malecón, there’s much to do such as gazing at bold open-air sculptures, browsing art galleries and the Naval Museum and treating your taste buds to food from traditional to gourmet-style dishes. But, a proper trip to Puerto Vallarta isn’t complete without a trip to Nuevo Vallarta. Here you can explore Bucerias’ Art Walk, a destination that claims to bring the art to the streets by showcasing local artists through galleries, street stands and more. This relaxed place invites the most energetic traveler to come and wind down with art and delectable foods. Complete your time in this stunning location with a sunset sail in Banderas Bay.
Down the western coast stands Cabo San Lucas. The spirited resort destination inhabits the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California. If you’ve been, you know that this treasured city in Mexico offers quite the luxurious beach getaway. Perfect for couples and newlyweds, many visitors find themselves enamored with Lovers Beach and The Arch of Cabo San Lucas. This famous rock formation is an icon and the perfect place for stealing a kiss from your special someone. And while the idea of visiting Los Cabos is to keep you there, we can’t help but recommend a short visit to San Jose del Cabo. Stepping into this elegant village is like entering into another world with colonial architecture and rustic streets that beam with Mexican charm. The town also offers an assortment of art galleries, bars and so much more. Back to where your trip begins, find time to spend at Cabo San Lucas Marina. Here you can shop ‘til you drop, dine in style and take photos with the Cabo sign. For a beach stay that’s uninterrupted by the howling party goers and bachelorette crews, head to Chileno Beach. It’s a wonderful destination for snorkelers and boasts enough quiet so you can hear yourself think. However, no matter what beach you’re on, you’re going to want to make sure you whale watch if you’re visiting during the months of December through April with Whale Watch Cabo. January through March reigns supreme for being the best time for seeing baby whales. For more sightseeing and less sunbathing, head to Iglesia de San Lucas for your fill of architectural bliss. If it’s a vacation without the little ones, make tasting Mexican wine a priority. Taste the grapes from Casa Madero, the oldest winery in the Americas, or enjoy a glass from the wines made at Valle de Guadalupe at The Cape. While you’re here, you can also learn to cook so you can bring new skills back from your travels. Souvenirs are overrated, right? Lastly, Cabo San Lucas offers a plethora of outdoor activities that doesn’t have you lazy by the beach every single day. Rev up for a wild canyon adventure, dip into a few hot springs and stroll through the beaches when you ride on a camel’s back. Hump day jokes need not apply. No matter what your itinerary looks like, you really can’t go wrong when you go to Los Cabos.
Cozumel is home to gorgeous beaches that accentuate the shape of the island. Vacationers and locals alike find their bliss at destinations including Playa San Juan, Playa Santa Pilar and Playa Palancar. You can even experience a little bit of heaven when you take a short boat ride from the shore to El Cielo Cozumel. This ocean spot is Cozumel’s best kept secret and features waters so clear you’ll wonder if you’re dreaming. A popular stop for most is at the San Miguel de Cozumel. This island museum offers more crafts and souvenirs than any shopper could bargain for. If you want to give your wallets a break, the Chankanaab Adventure Beach Park is a natural attraction that invites you to step away from the modern world to find tranquility on the island. While here, you can witness an awe-inspiring Sea Lion show or get your dose of adventure with a zip-lining course through the bright green trees. If nature is really speaking to you, don’t stop there. At Punta Sur Eco Beach Park you can witness more flora and fauna to your liking. Post park, head to Museo de la Isla de Cozumel. The little ones will appreciate learning about the geography of Cozumel as well as the Mayan history that lies beneath the surface of what makes Mexico what it is today. For a more in-depth experience, find your way to San Gervasio – a Mayan site – to see Ix Chel. After you’ve taken in the sights and sounds of the local influences, gear up for a ride around the island on a dune buggy. For our underwater navigators, you must make it point to explore the beautiful coral reefs that brighten up the water surrounding Cozumel. The best reef to visit is the Palancar Reef. Here lies a horseshoe of corals and impeccable coral formations for your viewing and photographing pleasure. Whether you’re lathered up in sunscreen on the beach or exploring the cultural pockets of the island, there’s no doubt you’ll enjoy your time in Cozumel.
Mexico City serves as the epicenter for art, street food delicacies and so much more, changing how people plan their travels to Mexico. Strap on your best walking shoes and explore its rich history and emblazing architecture. You can begin by strolling Centro Histórico. This area is home to the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral and Museo Soumaya, offering a curation of over 60,000 works of art. For the truest art experience, walk the halls of the Museo Frida Kahlo, her lifelong home and an oasis of all things Frida y Diego. For more of your Frida fix, stop by Casa Estudio in the San Angel district. After savoring every last bit of Mexico City’s art, you might be in the mood for something sweet. El Moro has been serving churros for over 80 years and what better way to snag one of these sweet-filled goodies than at an authentic churro restaurant? However, everyone knows that no trip to Mexico City is made complete without a visit to “The Lungs of Mexico City”. Chapultepec Park is dazzled with a free zoo, street food, gardens and a gorgeous lake. Now we’ve only scratched the surface. Take the family to the top of Mexico City when you soar to the top of Torre Latinoamericana. When your appetite gets to working, stop at any street food tent and treat your taste buds to chicharron de queso or the classic: taco al pastor. For more on culture, gaze at Palacio de Bellas Artes or glide on through Paseo de la Reforma. To round out a unique experience in Mexico’s capital, bob through floating gardens when you hop on a trajinera in Xochimilco, the “Venice of the New World”. Do yourself a favor and get your special someone or a group of friends on board for a trip you won’t forget in Mexico City.
Ready to plan your vacation to one of the many wonders of Mexico? Explore a new destination and have the trip of a lifetime when you book accommodations, flights and rental cars with Vacations by Marriott.