Holidays to Mexico combine all the beauty of the Caribbean coast with a fascinating ancient history. From the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza to powder-white beaches along the Riviera Maya, the east side of Yucatán is a traveller's paradise. Lose yourself in the cenotes of Tulum, swim with the green turtles of Akumal Bay, dive deep into the steamy jungles of Calakmul, or climb all 130 steps of the Coba pyramids.
Also the home of the fiesta, Latin America, has a contagious energy that will stay with you long after you leave. An outrageous nightlife can be found in Punta Cancun, with acrobats, DJs, and dancers stealing the show. There are plenty of things to do with the family too, from beach days to exploring the eco-themed parks, Xcaret and Xplor Park. So, if you want to visit ancient sites, swim with the fish, or sample the clubbing scene - Mexico holidays are for you.
Places to stay
Extending along the Yucatán, on the east coast of Mexico, is the Riviera Maya. The idyllic peninsula is dotted with some of the world's most exotic resorts, including Playa del Carmen and Playacar. It's also home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza, Mexico's most visited Mayan sites. Running over 700 miles along the eastern coast is also the second-largest barrier reef in the world, making Mexico holidays a must for diving and snorkelling.
Playa del Carmen
Venture a little further south, and you’ll find Playa del Carmen, ranking as one of Riviera’s trendiest spots. The nightlife offers a good mix of laid-back vibes and full-on party mode. Bars will start around Avenida Quinta, with live music at Kitxen or Senor Frogs, and move up an octave near the beach on Calle 10 and Calle 12. Around 12am is when the clubs really kick-off, keeping you going until 4 am. Rio Secret is a must-see. It has an underwater river lined with stalactites and stalagmites.
Located on the south side of Playa del Carmen is Playacar. Celebrated for its upmarket all-inclusive resorts and luxurious golf clubs. Lesser known than Playa del Carmen, Playacar holidays are perfect for those looking for a calm getaway tucked behind lush jungle. Adult-only and family resorts are dotted throughout Playacar, offering the ideal springboard for exploring the powdery white beaches and Xaman-ha ruins. An excellent destination for marine life and underwater caverns, you're only 6km from Xcaret Eco Theme Park.
Head north, and you’ll find Cancún, on the Riviera’s northern tip, a party paradise that’s annually gate-crashed by MTV camera crews and Spring Breakers. The most popular destination is Coco Bongo. Packed out every night, it pulls in the crowds with spectacular ribbon dancers, acrobats, and DJs. Deep-Sea Fishing is also a popular affair in Cancun, where licensed captains will help you reel in your catch for that balmy evening BBQ. Book yourself a seat on the Captain Hook Cancun for the best dinner cruise in the Caribbean and sail the seas on an 18th-century Spanish galleon replica.
North of Cancun is the tranquil destination, Playa Mujeres. Far away from the city's nightlife, Playa Mujeres was once a tiny fishing village that has retained its unique charm. Lined with soft white beaches, nearby coral reefs, and an excellent golf course, the region is perfect for those who like their Caribbean holidays laid-back and relaxed. Set on a quiet peninsula, holidays to Playa Mujeres are all about world-class luxury, from private dinners on powdery beaches to romantic boat rides over glassy waters.
Just 10 miles off the eastern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula is the island of Cozumel, 29 miles long from northeast to southwest. Geologically similar to the Yucatán, it is home to dolphins, manatees, and sea turtles, making it another ideal spot for uncovering Mexico's diverse marine life. Cozumel is an excellent alternative to holidays in Riviera Maya if you want to unplug from the world. Lay back on the untouched sandy shorelines dotted along the west and south sides.
Over on the Pacific coast, Puerto Vallarta is a vibrant city with an old Mexican feel, from its cobblestone streets and distinct architecture. Lush jungle and mountains roll down into white sand beaches. Famous for its LGBTQ+ nightlife and annual White Party, it might just have the edge over Cancun. Puerto Vallarta holidays are great for food and art lovers, boasting fantastic galleries and restaurants considered to be only second to Mexico City. To experience an authentic taste of Mexican life, take a day trip to one of the small nearby historic towns such as San Sebastien del Oeste.
Unmissable places to visit in Mexico include the exciting capital, Mexico City. Visit world-class museums such as the National Museum of Anthropology, alongside designer shopping and art galleries. Be sure not to miss the stunning historic centre with impressive colonial architecture dating back to the 16th century. Highlights include the bustling Plaza de la Constitucion, the spectacular Catedral Metropolitana, the National Palace and the Aztec relics at Temple Mayor. Add a visit to the majestic volcanic mountains of Iztaccihuatl and Popocatepetl, providing a dramatic backdrop to the city and plenty of opportunities for adventure in the scenic highlands.
From secluded palm-fringed beaches to lively party spots, Mexico has some of the most pristine beaches in the world. From the Riviera Maya, starting a few miles south of Cancun, down to Tulum, you could be spotting turtles one day and exploring Mayan ruins the next.
When the sun begins to set, Mexico comes alive with the bustle of locals and tourists ready to dance the night away. Home to renowned hotspots such as Pink Kitty, Coco Bongo and Mandala, where you can keep partying until the early dawn (4-6am).
Playa del Carmen, Cancun and Puerto Vallarta are excellent destinations for those who want a generous dose of high-octane clubbing with their holiday. For the best LGBTQ+ nightlife, book a stay in Puerto Vallarta. Head to Punta Cancun for the ultimate and downright bonkers clubbing experience, and venture to 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen for beachfront vibes.
History & Culture
Holidays to Mexico would be incomplete without visiting the Mayan ruins. The country is filled with traces of ancient times, from the Pyramid of Kukulcan to the ruins of Palenque and the fortress of Tulum, each historical site scattered across the country tells a unique story.
Take a walk through the Avenue of the Dead in Teotihuacan, where you can witness sacred artefacts, including the Temple of Quetzalcoatl. Or spend a few hours exploring the archaeological site of Mitla, where you’ll discover intricate mosaic fretwork covering the many tombs, panels, and friezes here.
Unsure of the best time of the year to visit? Check the weather in Mexico to see which month is right for you.
More Travel Guides
We also have travel guides available for destinations, including Cancun | Playacar | Playa del Carmen | Playa Mujeres | Puerto Vallarta | Riviera Maya