Luxury Mexico Holidays

Party capitals and Caribbean coasts

Mexico

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.

Ellen Pickover

The beaches in Mexico have so many watersports options available - if you’ve got children who like trying out new things, they’ll love it. 

Destinations in Mexico
Cancun
Cancun is the king of the Mexican beach resorts, matching an action-packed city with a sandy beach of sleek hotels and big-name restaurants. You’ll find it on the east coast.
Playa Mujeres
The beach resort of Playa Mujeres streaks along the coastline north of Cancun. A discerning clientele makes a beeline for its stylish marina, five-star hotels, golf club and spa retreats.
Riviera Cancun
The Riviera Cancun is the yellow brick road between the high-octane city of Cancun and laid-back Playa del Carmen. Miles-long beaches paint the whole coastline with lunar-white sand.
Riviera Maya
The Riviera Maya is a heady mix of water’s-edge hotels, yoga retreats and silk-white beaches. A rainforest backdrop sprinkled with Mayan ruins finishes off things with a flourish.

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Flight Information

Flight time from the UK to Mexico's Caribbean coast is around 11 hours.

When to go

Mexico is a year-round beach destination, with temperatures rarely dipping below 20°C – even in winter. The summer months are at their hottest between May and September, which have average temperatures of 28°C. While short rain showers are possible, they are helpful in taking the edge off the heat.

Visa Information

UK citizens travelling to Mexico do not currently require a visa. You will need to fill out a tourist card, which you will be provided with on arrival.

Tipping

Mexico has a tipping etiquette similar to the USA. Service employees typically receive little or no base salary, so tips make up the bulk of their salary. Try to tip about 15% of the bill in restaurants and bars unless the bill includes propina (gratuity). Taxi drivers do not usually get tipped unless they have provided an extra service like loading or unloading your bags.

Introduction to languages

The official language of Mexico is Spanish. English is widely spoken too, so getting by is easy.

Health

No vaccines are required or recommended for travel to Mexico, however all routine immunisations should be up to date. For full details, please contact your GP.

Our pick of the top hotels in Mexico
Every one of our hotels is handpicked and personally visited by our team

Excellence Riviera Cancun

Mexico, Riviera Cancun

Secrets Playa Mujeres

Mexico, Playa Mujeres

Hard Rock Hotel, Cancun

Mexico, Cancun

Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda

Mexico, Riviera Maya

Grand Velas All Suites Resort & Spa

Mexico, Riviera Maya

Paradisus Playa Del Carmen-La Perla

Mexico, Riviera Maya
View all hotels in Mexico
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