Mexico's Yucatan peninsula offers up some of the best-looking beaches in the country - huge sweeps of white sand dotted with palms and lapped by bright-blue waters. Around Cancun, they're backed by top-class hotels, while further south along the Riviera Maya they have more of an undeveloped feel.
Mexico is much more than just sand and sea, though. Mayan, Aztec and Spanish cultures have all influenced the makeup of Mexico over the centuries. Today, you can see reminders of this history all over the peninsula, from the temples and pyramids at Coba and Chichen Itza to the clifftop ruins at Tulum.
The area is a bit of a natural beauty, too. Lush greenery, tropical jungle and mangroves all make appearances here, as do cenotes - freshwater lakes formed when soft limestone caves collapse. They make fantastic swimming spots. Some are open-air and look like lakes, while others are underground and reachable by small, almost-hidden openings.
Up in the north of the peninsula is Cancun. It sits at the lively end of the scale, with first-rate shopping, loads of dining options and world-famous nightlife. At the other end of the scale are Tulum and the Riviera Maya. Tulum is a sleepy town with a bohemian feel - instead of glitzy shops and restaurants, you'll find roadside craft stalls and ramshackle beach bars serving margaritas and fish tacos. Playa del Carmen fills the middle ground - there are plenty of bars, restaurants and shops along 5th Avenue and the beachfront, but the tempo is turned down a few notches compared to Cancun.
Mexico Family Holidays
Mexico is a popular pick with families, thanks to its first-class beaches. But there's more to this part of the world than just sand - children will love snorkelling and swimming in the Riviera Maya's eco-parks or playing at being explorers at ancient Mayan sites. Some of the best family-friendly hotels here include the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun and the Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda.
Hotels in Mexico
Mexico offers up some fantastic adults-only hotels. Stay at Secrets Silversands, where you can flit between eight pools, nine restaurants and a white-sand beach, or check in to a sleek suite at the Excellence Riviera Cancun. Mexico is also home to a handful of 'Leading Hotels of the World', including the Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita and Grand Velas Riviera Maya. See our full list of luxury hotels in Mexico.
The Sovereign Standard
To help you choose your perfect holiday we have rated all of our hotels using our own system.
Classical Sovereign hotels are more modest hotels offering charm and character, or an exceptional location. Many of these hotels have been firm favourites with Sovereign customers for countless years and offer great value for money.
Luxury Collection hotels offer everything you would expect to go hand in hand with a luxury holiday. They offer high standards of service and attention to all those important little details.
Exclusive Collection hotels provide the ultimate luxury; they are the finest, most opulent hotels offering superlative service and excellent facilities, which will satisfy the needs of even the most discerning traveller.
Family Collection hotels are some of the finest family-friendly resorts and offer a wide range of facilities for both children and parents. Families can enjoy a whole host of amenities including fun kid's clubs, a dedicated children's pool and spacious accommodation.