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As one of the largest nations in the Western Hemisphere, Mexico packs a lot of diversity into its travel offerings. And in recent years, it’s become easier to mix and match a greater number of destinations in multicity vacations, thanks in large part to new highways and improved infrastructure, which has helped to shorten travel times.
Here are a few ideal pairings around the country.
Mazatlan and DurangoMazatlan, Mexico’s so-called “pearl of the Pacific,” is a rewarding place for sun and nature lovers. And a highway that debuted in 2013 links it conveniently to the inland city of Durango, reducing what had once been a five-hour trip to about three hours each way.
Both one-day and overnight trips to Durango are now increasingly popular, allowing visitors to explore Durango’s historic, colonial-era downtown, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nearby, Tecuan ecological park offers activities such as biking, fishing and hiking.
Pronatours, the tour operator arm of El Cid Resorts, offers a 12-hour day trip from Mazatlan to Durango that includes a city tour, a cable car ride and admission to the Pancho Villa museum (the Mexican revolutionary was born in that state). The trip itself is part of the memorable experience, especially during the crossing of the Baluarte Bridge, the third-highest cable-stayed bridge in the world and — with its road deck soaring more than 1,300 feet above a picturesque valley — the highest bridge in the Americas.
Vallarta Nayarit and GuadalajaraFrom beaches and cuisine to nightlife and outdoor excitement, the popular Pacific coast destinations of Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit offer plenty of activities and attractions for vacationers. And when you combine that region with Guadalajara, one of Mexico’s biggest cities, the vacation options increase exponentially.
A new highway linking Puerto Vallarta, Nayarit and Guadalajara, which has been constructed in stages over the past several years, continues to cut travel time. Easy multidestination itineraries are provided by companies such as Puerto Vallarta Tours, which offers a two-day “Guadalajara Overnight” excursion that includes visits to the agave fields of Tequila as well as a tour of historic downtown Guadalajara and stops at Tonala and Tlaquepaque, both of which are known for their arts and crafts.
Acapulco and Mexico CityThe 150-mile Autopista del Sol (Sun Highway), which has connected Mexico’s capital and the nation’s first large-scale beach resort destination since 1994, was one of the earliest examples of how better highways can increase a destination’s popularity.
A company called Tour by Mexico offers an eight-day itinerary that starts in Mexico City, with visits to the National Palace and world-famous National Museum of Anthropology, as well as the pre-Hispanic Teotihuacan pyramids. On the fourth day, guests depart Mexico City for Cuernavaca, where the year-round pleasant climate has resulted in the nickname the “city of eternal spring.” A stop at Taxco, a historic silver mining town, is also included before travelers arrive at Acapulco, where they have an opportunity to witness the legendary cliff divers and arrange for a variety of additional activities.
Upscale travelers might consider combining a stay at the sumptuous St. Regis Mexico City with Acapulco’s Boca Chica, a stylishly reimagined member of Design Hotels that once welcomed movie stars.
Los Cabos and La PazThe luxurious accommodations and outdoor wonders of Los Cabos are easily combined with the lesser-known destination of La Paz, the capital of the state of Baja California Sur.
Located 115 miles northeast of Los Cabos, La Paz offers vacation opportunities such as gray whale watching, swimming with whale sharks and snorkeling at Espiritu Santo Island. Visitors can also join a turtle protection group to help rescue endangered black turtles.
Travelers looking for a consistent accommodation experience during dual-destination visits in Baja California might want to consider Hyatt Place, the select service brand that has a presence in both Los Cabos and La Paz; both properties can help with recommendations and organizing activities.