I sometimes marvel at how quickly the past few years have gone by. In 2015 my husband and I were living in a small village in Mexico, in a studio apartment with views of the ocean. It took us only five minutes to walk to the beach. Now, we are back in the U.S. with a baby dreaming (quite regularly) of Mexican beaches and beautiful Mexico beach rentals. It’s safe to say that a Mexican vacation is in our future.
Though we were lucky to spend a lot of time in Mexico, we had a home base in Sayulita and didn’t venture much farther than its borders most of the time. There are so many places in Mexico that we still need to explore. Here are the top five cities and beaches on my list.
Playa del Carmen
I’m a travel blogger. Playa del Carmen is the city where, over and over again, I watch travel bloggers arrive in and then never leave. I’ve never been to Playa so it’s hard for me to understand that kind of appeal, but I know there’s something special about the place. Nearly every day I see photos taken by friends of Playa’s white sand beaches, turquoise blue oceans, and small local restaurants turning out delicious Mexican food. Okay, strike that, maybe I do understand the appeal after all.
Located on the Caribbean coast near the architectural ruins of the same name, Tulum is famous for its stunning beaches and great restaurants. The thing I’m personally most interested in when it comes to Tulum, though, are the beautiful cenotes that are sprinkled throughout the area. For those that have never heard of cenotes before, they are natural swimming holes formed by limestone sinkholes and they are incredible.
Photo of a cenote by Son of Groucho on Flickr creative commons
Like many of the beautiful beach towns in Mexico, this pacific beach paradise has boomed in the last thirty years, reinventing itself from a sleepy fishing village to a tourist hot spot. That said, Zihuantanejo still retains much of its charm. Downtown, there are cobblestone streets and festive local restaurants and the beaches of Zihuatanejo have a lot to offer to young and old alike- from fishing and snorkeling opportunities to just spending a day resting in the sunshine.
I’ve seen other travel bloggers name Isla Mujeres the most kid-friendly beach in Mexico and now that we’ll be traveling with a wee one that’s definitely a title that gets my attention! Isla Mujeres is all about the beaches and boasts some of the most breathtakingly blue water that you will ever see. Though Isla Mujeres is located near the tourist hotspot Cancun, it’s quieter and more affordable than it’s neighbor. As someone who isn’t interested in a wild nightlife scene, that’s a fact that appeals to me.
A hot-spot for yoga and other retreats, Holbox Island is famous for it’s crushed-coral beaches, yet it flies under the radar and attracts fewer tourists than many of the other popular Mexican towns. The island is only 26-miles long and is separated by the mainland coast of Mexico by a lagoon that provides sanctuary to thousands of exotic birds.
Holobox Island. Photo by droneplcr on Flickr creative commons
So, those are the top five Mexican destinations on my list. What Mexican beaches have you pining for a vacation this winter?