Fantasizing about fleeing winter for sun, sand and some serious R&R? Look no further. Here, our top 5 destinations in Mexico where you can escape the cold in style.
The Draw: Surfing.
Experts will thrill to the highs and lows of the legendary Zicatela pipeline, while beginners can get their groove on at Playa Carrizalillo, a more sheltered cove set fetchingly between the two rocky headlands. The beach has a small bar and several palapas on the sand. Book in for some lessons with the well-regarded Oasis Surf Academy, a professional, friendly outfit located at the top of the steps above the beach.
Where to Stay: The reasonably priced and dramatically situated Villas Carrizalillo are strung along a clifftop and overlook a beautiful beach. Check rates.
Where to Eat: Carmen’s Cafecito is a buzzy breakfast spot serving pastries, juices and local specialties.
Discover more surfing spots in Mexico
2. Riviera Maya
The Draw: Spa, sun and romance. The perfect trifecta for a memorable winter escape.
Where to Stay and Eat: The Tides Riviera Maya offers 30 luxurious private villas set in lush tropical jungle along a 7-mile stretch of beachfront. Rooms have canopied beds, hand-crocheted hammocks and outdoor showers. Couples can choose to dine anywhere in the resort: beachside, poolside, in their villa, or at the ultra-romantico restaurant La Marea, on a terrace overlooking the ocean. The spa draws on ancient Mayan healing rituals and treatments inspired by the ocean, along with unusual treatments like a lunar massage performed at the edge of the sea.
The Draw: A decadent party scene.
If you’re ready to let your hair down and check out some beautiful Pacific beaches, Cabo might be just the winter tonic you’re looking for. Visit El Arco, the monumental rock formation at the east end of town, and Lover’s Beach (Playa del Amor), a lovely stretch of unspoiled sand along the way.
Where to Stay: Temptation Resort Spa is ideal for younger couples and singles, this over-21 all-inclusive offers diversions like a “jacuzzi lounge bar” overlooking the Sea of Cortez, swim up bars (tops are optional) and a spa. The décor in the 133 rooms is hip and minimalist, and the nightlife can be wild, with popular theme nights in the disco. Check rates.
The Draw: Family fun in the sun.
This resort town on the Pacific Coast wraps around scenic Banderas Bay, with its dramatic Sierra Madre backdrop. Safe, friendly and bursting with family-friendly activities, Puerto Vallarta offers kids distractions like snorkeling, whale-watching and jungle adventures while keeping parents entertained with world-class restaurants, golf courses and a thriving art scene.
Where to Stay: The CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa features a large swimming pool, beachfront and kid’s club.
5. Riviera Maya
The Draw: Eco-adventures.
A growing interest in adventure tourism has encouraged conservation of this area’s fragile eco-system and fostered a recognition of the importance of sustainable tourism. There's everything from snorkeling in cenotes and underground caves to zip-lining through jungle or floating along clear lagoons in an inner tube.
Where to Stay: Get back to nature in Tulum. Many beachfront hotels rely on solar and wind power, and some have sea turtle preservation programs.
Where to Eat: Casa Banana, the restaurant of Hotel La Nueva Vida de Ramiro is a palapa-style space romantically lit with candles and lanterns. The menu is a melange of classic Mexican and a wood-fired Argentine-style grill.