01908 886491 woburn@etwtravel.co.uk

Let us help you discover the magic of MEXICO!

With windswept tropical beaches across 9,500 km of coastline, a rich culture and history alongside beautifully preserved colonial towns, and mouth-watering cuisine, it is little wonder that Mexico is one of the most visited destinations in the world.

The multi-faceted country is bursting with life, flavour, and diversity. Whether you crave nightlife, relaxing on the beach or spiritual solitude, the jungles, mountains, oceans, and deserts provide a vast canvas of extraordinary diversity for the holidaymaker.

Mexico’s sun-kissed coastline has sugar-white sands scattered with luxurious all-inclusive resorts and waterside Mayan ruins where you can spot turtles, sharks and other marine creatures in the tropical waters. Inland has active volcanoes, ancient pyramids, and fascinating cities waiting to be discovered. Dozens of UNESCO World Heritage sites and a dizzying variety of towns and cities with complicated history and a vibrant culture make Mexico an outstanding destination. While UK visitor numbers have not yet returned to their pre-Covid levels of 600,000 arrivals, direct flights are available to Cancun and Mexico City.

EASTERN COAST MEXICO

The state of Quintana Roo is on the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula and is better known by its brand names of Cancun and Riviera Maya, which includes Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, and Tulum. The appeal is obvious, with a Caribbean Sea outlook, all-inclusive resorts, golden beaches, nightlife, and entertainment for all budgets and ages, with the added offshore attractions of Isla Mujeres and Isla Holbox.

Cancun has a reputation as a resort brimming with buzzing nightlife, white sandy beaches, and turquoise waters as far as the eye can see. Located along the Mayan Riviera, beaches such as Playa Defines and Chac Mool are calm and relaxed spots offering several water sports and access to the Mesoamerican Reef, the second largest in the world. Visitors to Cancun also have the option of day trips to experience Mayan ruins, such as those at Tulum and Coba.

Playa del Carmen boasts an exciting food scene, with food outlets offering everything from delectable tacos and tostadas to sushi and stunning seafood, accompanied by a trendy bar culture. All-inclusive resorts, villa rentals and boutique properties abound in this area. Offshore Cozumel is an island best known for two things – coral reefs and cruise ships. The brilliant blue water, laid-back beaches, and abundant water sports activities make this a hugely popular destination. Numerous outfitters and resorts offer kayaks, paddleboarding and snorkelling gear. The island is also a quiet place to learn about Mayan culture at the San Gervasioarchaeological site.

Tulum appeals to history buffs and water lovers alike. Positioned along a stretch of the Riviera Maya, about 40 miles south of Playa del Carmen, Tulum offers some of the best hotels in Mexico, ranging from small boutique hotels to wellness retreats to all-inclusive resorts. The atmosphere is more laid back than in other coastal towns, though there are plenty of beach clubs and rooftop bar options for the evenings. It is also home to Mexico’s most famous waterfront, Mayan ruins, mainly because of its location. Built on a bluff facing the rising sun, it is the only Mayan ruin located on the beaches of the Caribbean with spectacular views. From here, it is easy to visit Chichen Itza, one of the more considerable Mayan ruins or sample some of the dramatic and secluded swimming spots in the unique underwater caves spread around the Yucatan Peninsula.

Isla Holbox is north of Cancun off, on the coast of the Yucat√°n Peninsula. At only 26 miles long and car-free, expect quaint boutique hotels, stretches of quiet white sandy beaches and opportunities for snorkelling and sailing in the crystal-clear waters. The surrounding area is home to more than 100 species of birds, including vibrant-coloured flamingos.

For something different, a visit to the rustic retreat of the Bacalar Lagoon, the second largest lake in Mexico, where colours change from aquamarine to cobalt because of the different depths of water, earning it the nickname of the “Lake of Seven Colours”. The two-hour drive from Tulum helps it retain its remote feel with a reputation for eco-friendly resorts and mangrove channels for kayaking. Life is slow-paced here, and early nights are the norm for visitors and locals alike.

The capital of the Yucatan Peninsula, Merida, is slightly inland, only 40 minutes from the coast. This provides an excellent base for those who want to explore ruins, with several within a two-hour drive, such as Chichen Itza and Uxmal. Merida itself has retained many of its colonial features. Narrow winding streets are lined with colourful buildings and open onto large plazas and cathedrals. Several galleries, museums, and dozens of cafes and restaurants are dotted around the city.

CENTRAL MEXICO

For those who are starting their adventure in Mexico City, the thriving capital has some of the country’s top boutique hotels, architectural splendour, and world-class eateries. The city is a fusion of the country’s history and culture with several UNESCO sites. Dynamic, intense, and vibrant, Mexico City is the fifth-largest city in the world. Ornate colonial buildings mingle with mid-1900s apartments and soaring modern skyscrapers, with leafy parks and boulevards providing respite in this sprawling urban jungle. The capital city is a mecca for art, fashion, and food, with bars and restaurants regularly featuring in the world’s “best of” lists, even though street food carts provide a great alternative. If you like museums, be prepared. There are over 170 of them in Mexico City, where the magnificent Palace of Fine Arts houses two of the largest in the country.

Situated between Mexico City and the Yucatan Peninsula lies the city of Oaxaca, celebrated for its rich cultural heritage and preserved indigenous roots. Nowhere is this more visible than at Monte Alban, a site of ruins of Zapotec and Mixtec peoples. In the city itself, traditional markets showcase unique arts and craftsmanship, while various museums trace the history and culture of the area. The arid desert landscape belies Oaxaca’s embarrassment of riches, where the cuisine, architecture, and ethnic diversity flourish in this stunning city. Wandering the neat grid of cobblestone streets lined with sun-baked 19th-century buildings, Oaxaca has turned into something resembling an artist’s colony, and there are inspired touches at every turn, with courtyard cafes, galleries and boutiques shops set amongst the many markets and food vendors. 

PACIFIC COAST MEXICO

Over 2,000 km from Cancun on the Pacific Coast, Ixtapa-Zihuatenejo is technically two separate places, but their proximity and a great variety of activities suggest one resort. All-inclusive hotels line the streets and shores of Ixtapa, where beaches such as El Palmer are perfect for sunbathing, snorkelling, kayaking, and surfing. Modern-day luxuries such as resort restaurants, golf courses and marinas are popular. If you are looking for something more traditional, head to Zihuatanejo, a small fishing village that offers similarly beautiful beaches, white sands, and azure waters but with fewer crowds.

BAJA CALIFORNIA

In the far north of Mexico, on the peninsula that resembles a huge leg stretching down from its richer neighbour California, Los Caboshas has become popular with Americans due to its proximity to the US Border. The area contains two resorts in Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabolinked by 20 miles of coastline, much of its breath-taking scenery, with sweeping views over the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of California from the rocky cliffs complementing the pristine beaches and clear waters. While both are very much resort towns, they offer an authentic taste of Mexico, from local cuisine to colonial architecture and charming town centres, and are both easily reached from the USA.  

WEATHER

There are good reasons to visit Mexico all year round. Generally, the best time is the high season between December and April, when temperatures are at their coolest, and there is little chance of rain. This is why Mexico is a popular choice for winter sun holidays. The rainy season is between June and October. If you handle the humidity, the landscape is lush, and low-season bargains can be had. September and October are the wettest and most active periods for hurricanes. November offers a quieter time before the crowds arrive. However, Mexico is a vast country with two coastlines that can experience very different climates.

SMART FACTS

The formal name for the country is the United States of Mexico.

It is home to 35 UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Mexico City is built on a drained lake, so the city is constantly sinking by as much as 12 cm per year.

It has 113 million more Spanish speakers, more than any other country.

The people of Mexico drink more Coca-Cola per head of population than any other country. However, the Mexican version includes sugar cane rather than the American version with corn syrup.

The Great Pyramid at Cholula is larger than any in Egypt.

Mexico not only has the largest number of volcanoes in the world but also the smallest, near Puebla, Cuexcomate, which is inactive and only 43 feet tall.

Start your journey now.