Mexico holidays 2019
Filled with tropical jungles, jaw-dropping coastlines and a passion for fiestas, you’ll never forget a holiday in Mexico. The Caribbean Riviera is home to world class beaches, internationally acclaimed nightlife and sublime natural beauty.
Playa del Carmen offers a slightly more relaxed vibe, making it great for nature lovers and non-stop shoppers.
Those who love the water should head to Akumal, a hot spot for Sea Turtles and excellent reef and cave diving options.
There truly is a Mexican travel experience suitable for everyone.
Most popular hotels in Mexico
Moon Palace Cancun
Royal Solaris Cancun Resort Marina & Spa - All Inclusive
Ocean Riviera Paradise
Playa del Carmen
Ocean Coral & Turquesa
Grand Sunset Princess All Suites & Spa
Playa del Carmen
Oleo Cancun Playa Boutique Resort
Grand Oasis Cancun
All Ritmo Cancun Resort and Waterpark
At a glance
- Time Zone: GMT +
- Average flight time: 10h 25m
When to go
(°C) Avg. High Temp
Things to do in Mexico
With extensive coastlines, exciting cuisine and many artistic and archaeological lures, you will not be bored in Mexico.
Top attractions in Cancun
- Tres Rios Ecopark, for horseback rides along the coast.
- Xoximilco Cancun, for a floating Mexican fiesta. Think booze cruise, not one for the kids.
- Mayan museum of Cancun, for a fantastic glimpse into ancient Mayan culture.
Top attractions in Playa del Carmen
- Xplor theme park, for zip lines, cave swimming and ATV riding.
- Xcaret Park, for the zoo and nature park where you can snorkel with sharks.
- Quinta Avenida, for souvenir shopping and nice bars and restaurants.
Top attractions in Akumel
- Cenote Santa Cruz, for a guided walking and wading tour of this wonderful natural cave like structure common to the Yucatan peninsula.
- Akumal Monkey Sanctuary, for a guided tour of this nature sanctuary promising close up monkey business.
- Centro Ecologico Akumal, A great place to see and learn more about Sea Turtles and local conservation efforts.
For a real escape, discover Mexico’s hidden secret, Isla Mujeres. Home to amazing coral reefs with hundreds of species of tropical fish, the island’s shallow waters make it a heavenly snorkelling spot.
For even more travel inspiration, check out our blog on Mexico's dreamiest places.
What to eat in Mexico
Mexico holidays are not complete without sampling the unique and mouth-watering cuisine on offer. Most dishes are primarily the result of Mayan and Spanish influences, so you will find the depth of Spanish flavours blended with the taste for spice found in Latin America. Some of the staple dishes we recommend you try are;
- Mole Sauce, pronounced ‘moh-lay’, is a traditional sauce made of onions spices, garlic, spices, herbs, nuts chillies, and dark chocolate…that’s right we said chocolate.
- Tacos al pastor, a tasty national dish made from succulent chicken and pork and wrapped in a hard-shelled tortilla.
- Enchiladas – Just like a taco, but then covered in a chili sauce and bakes.
- Burrito – strips of meat combined with beans, sauces and rice, all wrapped up in a soft tortilla.
If you’re looking to eat out, then you can’t go wrong with:
- Restaurante Condimento In Cancun, for a blend of Mexican and international food with highly rated service.
- Go for the Tostados at Zitla in Playa Del Carmen and soak up the rustic alfresco Caribbean vibes.
- For a basic but authentic dining experience in Akumal, try Loncheria Akumalito for traditional Mexican eats, at good prices with no frills.
Mexico family holidays
Family holidays in Mexico all centre on the outdoors, from the beach to adventure parks, as well as the Aztec ruins which are all waiting to be explored.
If you are looking for family-friendly accommodation in Mexico, you need to look no further than the resorts and complexes that offer kids’ clubs, water parks and pools, all ideal for family travel. With many of the hotels located on the beachfront, you and all the family are guaranteed to have fun on the beach and in the cobalt sea. Playacar is a top pick because of its sleepy atmosphere but excellent location next to the busy Playa del Carmen.
For activities for all ages, Mexico is brilliant. Whether it be a history lesson at the ancient Mayan cities, or a trip to one of the three best adventure parks on the Yucatan Peninsula – Xcaret, Xplor or Xel-Ha – all include zip-lines, stalactite river rafting, wildlife watching and jungle trails, all easily accessible from Cancún.
Culture in Mexico
Mexico’s cultural heritage is a unique blend of ancient Mayan culture and Spanish influences.
Hints of its Spanish past are evident in the dusty colonial towns and cities provide beautiful plazas and shady pueblos, while the various museums, galleries and archaeological attractions shed light on the more distant past.
The city of Guadalajara, is strewn with colonial plazas and landmarks. The neoclassical Teatro Degollado, a twin golden-spired cathedral, and The Palacio del Gobierno, which houses famous murals by painter José Clemente Orozco, are just a few of its' treasures.
Before your holiday in Mexico is over, be sure to check out Mexican folk art, which includes clay pottery, embroidered cotton garments, colourful baskets and rugs. For more colour, you need to become acquainted with Mexico’s most famous artists, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. You can view their work at the Frida Kahlo Museum and the Museum Dolores Olmedo, both in Mexico City.
Best beaches in Mexico
A Mexico holiday will offer endless opportunities for exploration and its many beaches are a great place to start. When temperatures never go below 20°c, you can rely on the Mexican weather for sunshine-filled beach days.
Best beaches in Cancun
- Puerto Morelos, for less crowded sandy beach, head 30 minutes south of Cancun party central.
- Playa Forum, for a great beach in the hotel zone that has it all, calm blue water, powdery sands, sun lounger and umbrella rental and an array of food and drink options.
- Playa Delfines, another popular beach in the hotel zone, Delfines offers spectacular views and slightly stronger surf.
- Playa Tortugas is great for grabbing a drink and a bite to eat and for some Al fresco people watching, a small beach that is popular with locals.
As well as lounging around topping up your tan, there are plenty of fun to be had in the waters off Cancun.
- The Great Mayan Barrier Reef – One of the largest and most diverse barrier reefs in the world. Snorkelling and scuba trips make fantastic excursions.
- Another great option is the Cancun underwater museum, snorkel over the submerged sculpture designed to provide a healthy environment for marine life and coral.
Best beaches in Playa Del Carmen
Alongside Playacar that are plenty of other solid options for beaches in and around Playa Del Carmen.
- Mamita’s Beach Club – If you’re looking for a little VIP treatment to enhance your long day at the beach, then swing by Mamita’s to enjoy sand and sea in perfect comfort.
- Xpu-ha – A 30-minute drive south of Playa del Carmen, halfway to Tulum lies a highly underrated beach. Spend all day lounging at the Serenity club, take a kite surfing lesson or go ocean parasailing.
- Maroma – Just six miles north of Playa del Carmen is Playa Maroma. A relatively quiet jumping off spot into the Caribbean Sea that offers excellent snorkelling, kayaking and horseback riding.
Best beaches in Akumal
- Akumal beach is the undoubted highlight of the Akumal resort region. With palm trees, relatively calm waters and a colourful array of marine life on display what more could you want? This is a good option if you are searching for a laid-back vibe.
Best beaches in Cozumel
The tiny island of Cozumel has much more than its fair share of fun and beautiful beaches.
- Playa El Cielo – A top spot for spotting starfish.
- Playa Chen Rio – A quiet spot on Cozumel’s east coast to stop for a bite to eat with a sea view.
- Playa de San Martin – Another secluded east side spot, perfect for rest and relaxation.
- Punta Sur Eco Beach Park – For a small entrance fee this beach park will give you access to not just a gorgeous beach and reef but also a sea turtle nesting area, flamingos, a lighthouse and observation tower. There are even wild crocodiles on the roam, so take a guided tour or keep your eyes peeled.
If you still want more you can check our Mexico beach guide blog.
For the ultimate holiday in Mexico, you need to sample some of its energetic nightlife. Lively and diverse, after-dark Mexico offers something for everyone, from piano bars to all-night dance clubs.
Nightlife in Cancun
A popular haunt for party animals. The hotel zone draws world famous DJs and international pop acts.
If you want to mix with the locals then Yaxchilan Avenue in downtown Cancun blends bars, live music clubs and cantinas.
Nightlife on Islas Mujeres
Has a surprising amount of night life for a relatively sedate island. Head downtown to Playa Norte if you’re in the mood for a little bar hopping. Things do start to wrap up around midnight here, with only a few places staying open later.
Nightlife in Playa del Carmen
Quinta Avenida is the place to go for bustling bars, salsa dancing, all within easy walking distance of each other.
Nightlife in Tulum
An arguably more sophisticated after dark social scene can be found in Tulum, with cocktail bars, coffee houses and the Tulum Art Club being the highlights.
Nightlife in Cozumel
Head to Plaza Central in capital San Miguel for live music and tequila, as the rest of the island is quite sleepy.
Best resorts in Mexico for couples
You and your loved one are bound to fall in love all over again on a holiday in Mexico. There are many adult-only resorts and complexes, allowing you to relax in peace.
Whether you want a candlelit dinner on the beach, to be serenaded by a mariachi band, or a sunset cruise on a catamaran, Mexico has it all.
Couples holidays in Cancun
In Cancun you can snuggle up on the private beach at Beach House Maya Caribe or take a romantic boat trip out to a secluded islet.
Seek privacy in a quieter part of the Playa Del Carmen in a private apartment at Casaejido with the main strip and beaches only a 15 minute walk away, should you need them.
Couples holidays in Holbox
Head to the idyllic, car-free island of Holbox and soak up the natural beauty and rustic charm of the Villas HM Paraiso del Mar, a beach front hotel with lush tropical gardens
Couples holidays in Riviera Maya
You can find a quiet couples retreat in the Riviera Maya at Grand Sirenis Riveria Maya. The bold architecture of this Mayan inspired building is set among beautiful greenery on the waterfront and is within walking distance of real Mayan ruins.
Couples holidays in Tulum
Reconnect at the Kore Tulum Retreat, a spacious and luxurious property with stunning sea views and an extensive spa facilities and yoga classes.
Frequently asked questions about Mexico
When is the best time to visit Mexico?
Mexico can be considered a year-round destination for UK tourists. The coolest, but by no means cold time of year on the Caribbean coast is December, through February, which is also the driest part of the year.
The heat and humidity grow between June and the end of October. This coincides with the Atlantic hurricane season, which can affect Mexico’s Caribbean riviera. Though it is incredibly rare for Mexico to be directly hit by a hurricane, there will be more rain and stormy weather, especially in September.
Do I need a visa to enter Mexico?
UK passport holders do not need a visa to visit Mexico as a tourist. You will need to fill out an immigration form on arrival and keep it safe for when you plan to leave Mexico.
Is it safe to travel to Mexico?
Parts of Mexico suffer from high rates of crime but many areas are equally deemed incredibly safe. The Riviera Maya and all the big coastal resorts such as Cancun are considered incredibly safe to visit, with no special measures needing to be taken.