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With summer rapidly approaching, it’s a good time to start planning warm-weather getaways. And while some travelers may think of Mexico as a dream destination during the cooler months, it’s also a rewarding place to visit when the temperatures climb, thanks to the wide variety of activities, events and attractions that await — not to mention the value-pricing that often accompanies summer travel south of the border.
Here are a few reasons why Mexico should be on every traveler’s radar this summer.
Family Travel OptionsWith most children out of school for several weeks, summer is the logical time to take the whole family on a new adventure — and Mexico has abundant selections to choose from.
Palace Resorts has several family-friendly properties with interesting activities and good deals this summer. At Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort, Cozumel Palace, Beach Palace and Playacar Palace, kids under the age of 12 stay free this summer in the Family Deluxe and Family Luxury Connections Suite categories. Guests staying five to eight nights also receive a $1,500 resort credit that can be used for services and amenities such as golf, spa and tours.
Guests who do not utilize their entire resort credits can roll the cash value over to subsequent stays at any of Palace Resorts oceanfront properties. Guests can also take advantage of tour packages to visit nearby nature parks, including Xcaret, Xel-Ha Park and Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve.
Also new for families: This spring, Mayakoba Resort introduced Camp Mayakoba, a program of new activities available to all guests of the resort’s three hotels: Fairmont Mayakoba, Rosewood Mayakoba and Banyan Tree Mayakoba. Kids ages 12 to 17 can enroll in the new Yucatan Ranger program, which offers organized activities such as kayaking, archery, hiking, golf and croquet.
Outdoor ExcitementThe warmer months offer near-perfect conditions for enjoying the great outdoors in Mexico, and there are plenty of exciting ways for sports enthusiasts and thrill-seekers to find their bliss.
In Riviera Nayarit, International Surfing Association kicks off its 2015 World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championship May 10-17, highlighting the region’s growing popularity for water sports.
But the possibilities extend far into the summer. Those seeking a bit of an adrenaline rush can consider flyboarding, a sport invented in 2011 that uses a water propulsion system to send brave souls high into the air. Vallarta Adventures provides instruction and gear for this sport along the shores of Riviera Nayarit.
Swimming With Whale SharksEvery year from May through September, dozens of whale sharks converge in the warm waters off the coast of Cancun to feed. And every year, lucky travelers head into the waters to spot them during scuba and snorkeling tours. Swimming alongside these magnificent creatures is a truly unforgettable experience. The annual Whale Shark Festival — which takes place this year July 18-24 on Isla Mujeres — is yet another way to celebrate the lives of these beautiful beasts.
Unique EventsMexico is home to countless celebrations, festivals and events throughout the year, and summer is no exception. Among the diverse gatherings this season is the San Miguel de Allende International Chamber Music Festival, slated for July 3 to Aug. 22. Now in its 37th year, this music festival attracts an international roster of talent. This year’s lineup includes the Grammy-winning Parker Quartet, the Hermitage Piano Trio and the Los Angeles-based Calder Quartet.
Also in San Miguel de Allende (as well as the city of Guanajuato) is the Guanajuato International Film Festival, which draws filmmakers and other creative types for several days of screenings and workshops from July 17-26. For more traditional Mexican culture, consider the Zacatecas International Folklore Festival, which brings traditional dance and music to the city of Zacatecas July 26 to Aug. 2.
Or, try something completely different in the nation’s famously progressive capital. Mexico City hosts the World Naked Bike Ride in June — an international event that takes place in cities around the world — and the Mexico City Gay Pride March, slated for June 27.
Unspoiled NatureVisitors to Mexico can enjoy natural beauty both on land and under water. From Riviera Maya, visitors can head out to the warm Caribbean waters for snorkeling along the Great Maya Reef, also known as the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, which runs some 600 miles along the coast and is the largest coral reef system in the northern hemisphere.
Nature-lovers can also consider combining visits to the uncrowded beaches of Veracruz with adrenaline-pumping activities inland, including whitewater rafting.
Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureauwww.cancun.travel
Convention Visitors Bureau Riviera Nayaritwww.rivieranayarit.com
Mexico City Secretary of Tourismwww.mexicocity.gob.mx
Mexico Tourism Boardwww.visitmexico.com