Mexico holidays

From breathtaking beaches to bustling nightlife, Mexico offers a holiday retreat like no other. If you’re looking for a getaway where you can visit ancient sites, bask on sun-splashed sands or party the night away at a fiesta, Mexico holidays are for you. This unique destination boasts a fascinating fusion of contrasts, from the wide variety of landscape to the subtle blend of modernity and traces of ancient times.

Holidays to Mexico are a paradise for beach-lovers too. The warm Caribbean Sea laps at powder-soft sands fringed by lush palm trees and vibrant rainforests. Crystal-clear waters surrounding Mexico provide a stunning submarine ecosystem for scuba divers and snorkellers to explore. And if you want to get a taste of Mexico’s magical past, unleash your inner Indiana Jones and pay a visit to the ancient Mayan pyramids, deep in the heart of the jungle.

 

History and culture

A country awash with vibrant tradition and culture, Mexico also boasts an exciting and illustrious history. Centuries of civilisations have transformed this location into the diverse place it is today. From the Pyramid of Kulkucan to the ruins of Palenque, 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.

The colourful culture of Mexico has undergone a sizeable transformation over the past few decades. It’s heavily influenced by ancient civilisations such as the Maya and Aztec. Music and dance are an essential aspect of Mexican culture. Just witness one of the events throughout the year to experience the extraordinary blend of vibrant colour, costumes, and movement.

Carnaval is celebrated right across the county in early March, during which spectacular parades fill the streets for days on end. Another important event is the Day of the Dead, a symbolic two-day festival that celebrates life and death.

 

Beaches

Aside from its exquisite cuisine and bustling culture, Mexico is also home to an impressive coastline and some of the world’s most incredible beaches. From soft, secluded sands framed by jungle landscape to livelier spots perfect for thrill-seekers, there’s something to suit every beach-lover here.

 

Tulum Beach

History-buffs should spend a day down at Tulum Beach, where they can uncover the secrets of Mexico’s past with a stroll around the 13th-century Mayan ruins located around the edge. This breathtaking beach features crystal-clear waters and palm trees swaying in the breeze – the perfect example of an idyllic beach setting.

 

Cancun Beach

Those who prefer somewhere with a little more going on should journey to Cancun Beach, where the incredible coral reef provides snorkelling, diving, and scuba diving opportunities. You’ll also find many restaurants here, where you can sample delicious Mexican cuisine should you begin to feel hungry.

 

Playa Norte

Perfect for families with younger children, Playa Norte is one of the most beautiful beaches across the country. Home to shallow waters and 690km of glistening white sand, it’s the perfect place to unwind with a good book and feel your troubles slip away.

 

Food and drink

Mexico is a food lover’s haven. Mexican cuisine boasts a beautiful blend of cultural influences that have made their mark on the country over time. The number-one ingredient used in nearly all Mexican dishes is corn, which is effortlessly incorporated into recipes in every conceivable way. Popular dishes include tacos al pasto (tacos prepared with spit-grilled pork) and chiles en nogada (a green poblano chilli stuffed with picadillo).

Head to Mexico City to experience authentic cuisine at some of the best places to eat in the country. La Opera is a renowned favourite and boasts traditional, flavourful dishes and a stunning interior. Or take a trip to the Comedor Lucerna food hall, serving everything from delicious hot dogs to seafood and chilled draft beer.

 

Nightlife

When the sun begins to set, Mexico comes alive with the bustle of locals and tourists ready to dance the night away. Guadalajara is among the most popular locations for partying and hosts a vibrant LGBTQ+ scene. As the second-largest city in Mexico, it’s home to many bars and clubs that stay busy from dusk ‘till dawn.

Cabo San Lucas is another must-visit party destination. Every year, this resort city is filled with avid spring breakers and sun-lovers looking to get the most out of their holiday. Home to renowned hotspots such as Pink Kitty, Coco Bongo and Mandala, the downtown tourist district offers one of the country’s liveliest party scenes.

 

Places to stay

Extending along the Yucatan Peninsula on the east coast, Riviera Maya is dotted with some of the world’s most exotic resorts. If you want to kick up your heels and dance the night away, Cancún’s nightlife is world-renowned, with bars, clubs, and superclubs pumping out tunes into the early hours.

Cancún, on the Riviera’s northern tip, is a tropical party paradise that’s annually gate-crashed by MTV camera crews and Spring Breakers. Enjoy ice-cold buckets full of beer on its sugar-white beaches while you do some celeb-spotting. Venture a little further south, and you’ll find Playa del Carmen, home to some of Mexico’s best white sandy beaches.

 

What should I pack?

When it comes to packing your suitcase, it’s best to check the weather forecast before you head off on holiday. Plenty of cool summer clothes are a must, but be sure to bring along a light jumper or jacket just in case. It can cool down in the evenings, and the climate tends to be milder in high-altitude areas.

If you’re planning on hitting the beach or lounging around the pool, bring your swimwear, sunglasses and plenty of sun cream. And if you’re heading out on a walk or a hike, functional clothing, suitable footwear, and a waterproof backpack are essential.

 

More Travel Guides

We also have travel guides available for destinations including Cancun | Playa Del Carmen Playacar | Playa Mujeres | Riviera Maya

Map of Mexico

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23-30 ℃

The climate in Mexico varies from state to state, but you’re guaranteed temperatures between 23°C and 30°C, even during the rainy season (May to October).

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10.5 hours
A flight from the UK to Cancun International Airport (CUN) takes around 10.5 hours.

Mexico is best for...

Adventure lovers: A holiday to Mexico wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Xel-Ha Park. From courage-testing high dives, to safe and supervised snorkelling activities for young children, Xel-Ha Park gives you the chance to discover new activities and challenge yourself.

Party animals: Put on your party sombrero and experience Spring Break in Cancún. You’ll find everything from all-out raves and pool parties, to sophisticated shindigs and clubs with casinos.

History fans: Step back in time at Chichen Itza and explore the dramatic Mayan ruins. Pronounced ‘chee-chen eet-zah', this is one of the most spectacular and fascinating examples of Mayan architecture.

Fast facts for Mexico

Language: There are more than 60 indigenous languages spoken around Mexico (including Mayan dialects), but Spanish is the language spoken most widely.

Currency: The currency used is the Mexican Peso (Mex$).

Local time: Mexico is 5–8 hours behind GMT/UK time, depending on location. Cancun is 5 hours behind.

Fly to: Cancun International Airport. Transfers to the main resorts take just 25 minutes for Cancun or up to 2 hours for Playa del Carmen and Playacar.

Flight time from the UK: The flight time to Mexico is 10.5 hours.

Tourist Information: Further tourist information can be found at www.visitmexico.com.

Visa and health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/mexico for recommendations and advice on visas and health.

Holiday destinations related to Mexico:

Getting around Mexico

By bus: Buses are the most comfortable and cost-effective way to get around. You can even take your pick of travel class, so why not go VIP with first-class reclining seats and a television, as well as drinks and snacks?

By train: For a special trip, hop on Mexico’s only train service, the El Chepe. This will take you on a tour around the magnificent Copper Canyon (Barranca Del Combre), which is even bigger and deeper than Arizona’s Grand Canyon.

Events in Mexico

Day of the Dead: While some like to call it the Mexican Halloween, it’s actually a 3,000-year-old religious festival held (31 October to 02 November) in honour of celebrating life and mocking death. Fantastical parades, sugar skulls, and mystical altars make up an unforgettably atmospheric treat for the kids.

Spring Break concerts: From Tiësto and Paul Van Dyk to Snoop Dogg and Flo Rida, Cancún will treat you to performances by the biggest music names in the world (mid-February to mid-April). Look out for Inception Music Festival, which is 30 days and nights of sheer partying and supreme electronic dance music DJs.

Mexico safety and security

Do I need a passport?

You’ll need a passport to enter Mexico. Passports need to be valid for the entire length of your stay, but it doesn’t need to be valid for any particular period of time beyond this.

For more Mexico passport information and details of entry requirements to the country, head to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/mexico/entry-requirements.

Do I need a visa?

If you’re travelling to Mexico as a tourist, there’s no need to apply for a visa. However, you’ll have to fill out an immigration form, which you’ll be given during your outbound flight. You must have this form with you when you enter Mexico.

You’ll also need to bring your immigration form with you when you leave the country. If you lose it, you can get a replacement at the immigration office located in any of Mexico’s international airports. However, the immigration form can cost 500 Mexican Pesos to replace, so make sure you keep yours safe for the duration of your trip.

Should I get travel health insurance?

It’s always advisable to have comprehensive travel and health insurance in place when you go on holiday. That way, you’ll be covered for overseas medical expenses if anything happens, such as emergency treatment and even evacuation back to the UK if necessary.

Make sure you check thoroughly what is and isn’t included in your policy beforehand, and that you’re covered for any activities you’ll be doing while you’re away.

Any other tips?

  • Don’t lose your immigration form. You should be given one on your flight and you’ll need to hand it to the immigration officer when you enter. Be sure to hold onto this for the duration of your stay as you’ll be asked for it again when you’re flying home. If you lose it, you risk having to pay a hefty fine.
  • In most places in Mexico, you put toilet paper in the bin rather than flushing it down the toilet. However, hotels and resorts tend to be the exception.
  • Remember, the official currency in Mexico is Mexican Pesos and not US dollars. It’s possible to pay with dollars in most places, but it’s likely that you won’t get a very good exchange rate.
  • For more information and Mexico travel advice, head to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/mexico/health.

 

Mexico weather

Temperature: Mexico enjoys a tropical climate, though it gets cooler the further up north towards the US you go.

When’s the best time to go?

From Day of the Dead carnivals to sun-kissed beaches, our biggest piece of Mexico travel advice is to book yourself a holiday to this exotic destination right now. Mexico is technically in the Caribbean, so you can expect a tropical climate with warm temperatures all year round. In the summer season, the thermometer hovers between the high-20s and the mid-30s.

April and May tend to be the hottest months of the year, right at the end of the dry season and at the start of the wet season. Don’t worry too much, though, the ‘wet’ season isn’t nearly as bad as it sounds, and even in winter, temperatures can rise to 28°C.

While Mexico enjoys lots of blue skies and sunshine, there’s also a chance of rain. Between June and October, you can expect a little more rain than the rest of the year, but it usually only lasts for one or two hours during the evening. It’s also worth noting that hurricanes can occur between July and October. However, they rarely make landfall in Mexico, and hotels are well prepared to deal with them.

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