Mexico beach vacations span that country's Caribbean, Gulf, and Pacific coasts. From the sunny Yucatan Peninsula, home to Cancun and Playa del Carmen, to the Pacific Coast, home to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Acapulco, Mexico's many beaches are a mecca for North American travelers. Mexico offers affordable accommodations, vibrant nightlife, delicious cuisine, history, and lots of exciting and reasonably-priced shopping.
Located on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula jutting into the Caribbean Sea, Cancun was developed as a resort area in the 1970's by the Mexican government. Today, the area is lined with resort hotels and is noted for its fine restaurants, shopping, dusk 'til dawn nightlife, and variety of water sports.
Outside of town, visitors can marvel at the Mayan architecture of seaside Tulum and the elaborate ancient city carved out of the jungle, Chichen Itza. Other daytrips include a short boat ride to Isla Mujeres (the Isle of Women) and the peaceful beaches, shopping, and fishing village there.
Just off the coast from Playa del Carmen, south of Cancun, is the island of Cozumel, a 40 mile long by 10 mile wide island best known for its excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities. Less crowded and more relaxed than Cancun, Cozumel offers visitors a variety of scenic beaches (mostly on the island's western shore), diverse and affordable shopping, and delicious courtyard restaurants. Another highlight is Cozumel Reefs National Park, a 30,000 acre protected reserve at the southern end of the island, which contains approximately 85 percent of the island's dive sites.
Puerto Vallarta, along Mexico's Pacific coast, was a quiet, picturesque fishing village when Hollywood arrived to film "The Night of the Iguana" in 1963. The movie's stars, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, fell in love with the area and the resort town has been popular with vacationers every since.
Today, visitors can enjoy the many white sand cove beaches; stroll the Malecon, the pedestrian shopping street lined with air galleries and elegant shops; and view the pink bridge that once connected Taylor and Burton's separate, but adjacent homes.
Cabo San Lucas
At the very tip of the Baja Peninsula lies the former fishing village turned lively resort - Cabo San Lucas. This arid resort area boasts championship golf courses, scenic and rugged offshore rock formations, vibrant nightlife, and miles and miles of white sand beach. Cabo is also home to some of the world's best sports fishing, and visitors flock to the area to try their luck against marlin, swordfish, and tuna.
Other Beaches in Mexico
Other popular Mexico beach vacation spots include Acapulco, known for its cliff-divers, romantic open-air restaurants, and scenic harbor; Mazatlan, along Mexico's Pacific coast and home to miles of white sand beach and lively nightclubs; and Hualtulco, a quiet seaside town on Mexico's Pacific coast with long stretches of uncrowded beaches and carefree, relaxed resorts.
Planning Your Vacation
Most Mexican resort cities are accessible via flights from Dallas, Houston, and Miami. In addition, a variety of tour operators, such as Apple Vacations, combine charter flights with accommodations and transportation to and from the airport. Consult a good travel agent for help in finding the most convenient and most affordable travel packages.