Reasons to Visit
Mexico is an historian’s paradise with an abundance of ancient sites from Olmec to Zapotec to Mayan at every turn. Added to the excitement of being able to transport you back in time to when these cities were teeming with life, the setting of these magnificent ruins is an attraction in itself, whether it is being engulfed in jungle surrounded by the howls of monkeys or atop a plateau with a magnificent view.
Mexico’s Mayan Riviera is famous for its white sand beaches and turquoise sea, perfect for relaxing, and we have some wonderful hideaways to recommend. The Pacific coast and the Baja peninsula are also well-known for their beaches, rolling surf and dramatic coastline. Less visited by the British, we have researched a fantastic selection of hotels here from boutique, activity based, friendly eco-lodge or plush resort-style.
You will find some of the best preserved examples of colonial history throughout many of Mexico’s cities. They not only retain some beautiful classic architecture but something of their historical soul which has been incorporated into modern bustling lives. They are a delight to simply wander round, or to shop, browse markets, sit in cafes, absorb local life and visit museums.
On the 1st of November, Mexico celebrates its 'Day of the Dead', a colourful synergy of ancient cultures and Catholicism, involving decorated skulls, candles, banners and parades. Celebrations take place across the country but there's something particularly enchanting about experiencing this tradition in the colonial towns and it's well worth timing your visit to coincide with these festivities.
Mexican food varies tremendously by region due to climate, geography and the degree of Spanish influence. Absolutely delicious, it suits all tastes, from fresh ceviche to sizzling steak to the more traditional tortillas, frijoles (beans) and guacamole. For the more adventurous, dishes such as spicy mole sauce (a combination of chocolate and chilli) or Chiles Rellenos (chillis stuffed with meat) work perfectly. All washed down with a swift tequila or an ice-cold Corona!
Whether it be visiting the colourful market towns around Oaxaca, the bustling colonial cities, the Indian highland villages of Chiapas or the harsh mountain communities of the Tarahumara around the Copper Canyon you will experience a diverse range of fascinating cultures during a trip to Mexico.
The Sea of Cortez and Baja California is fast becoming known as 'Mexico's Galapagos'. Best experienced by a wilderness focused adventure cruise this remarkable area is prolific with whales and dolphins and other wildlife during November-April.
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Once a delightful little fishing village, Playa del Carmen has over the years been extensively developed and is now the second largest town along the Mayan Riviera after Cancun. Despite its size and popularity, it still preserves a certain bohemian charm that makes it a pleasure to visit.
Once a delightful little fishing village Playa del Carmen has over the years been extensively developed and is now the second largest town along the Mayan Riviera after Cancun. "Playa," as it is called by locals, is a magical little town, that still preserves a certain bohemian charm.
It is a fun tourist town with plenty of bars, restaurants, shops, facilities and hotels, but those looking for a more peaceful experience would be better to stay in one of the more boutique hotels further along the Mayan Riviera and visit the town on a day trip or night out.
11 days from £2,100pp
14 days from £2,905pp
In the vicinity
37 miles away
38 miles away
46 miles away
63 miles away
Include a visit to Playa del Carmen on your tailor-made trip around Mexico by contacting one of our specialists...
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Further reading:Tours in MexicoWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout MexicoCountry Guides
Other countries in Central America, Mexico & Cuba:BelizeCosta RicaCubaGuatemalaHondurasNicaraguaPanama
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