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Some people call them micro trips. Others call them micro vacations, micro-cations or just micro travel. Whatever the term, the concept is the same: pack a complete vacation getaway in a relatively short amount of time — generally, one weekend, give or take a day or two. And Mexico, thanks to its proximity and diversity of destinations, is especially well-positioned to benefit from the demands of time-pressed travelers who want to have it all, but without committing more than a long weekend.
For a micro vacation to be successful, travelers should choose a destination that meets certain criteria.
It should be easily accessible and require a relatively short flight. The destination should offer an array of experiences and activities that travelers would want from a longer vacation, but that can be easily arranged within a shorter time frame. Advance planning is crucial so that vacationers can squeeze the maximum amount of pleasure out of every hour.
Here are a few top places for a micro trip in Mexico, along with recommendations about things to do during a shorter stay.
Cancun and the Riviera MayaThe fact that Cancun has more airline service than any other destination in Mexico makes the state of Quintana Roo a logical choice for a quick getaway. The wide range of all-inclusive hotels in Cancun and the Riviera Maya is another selling point, as well. The JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa is so cognizant of its micro vacation appeal, in fact, that it has introduced an appropriately named Micro Trip package. The three-day offering features a pre-set program of activities, including a 30-minute meditation session, morning fitness classes, a cabana rental, a jungle boat excursion and even a pasta-making class.
Also positioning itself as a convenient choice for micro trippers is Grupo Xcaret, which operates Hotel Xcaret Mexico, where guests can hop aboard the free shuttle service to nearby Xcaret Park, the eco-themed attraction that offers plenty of activities and entertainment to fill an entire day. The next day, guests can join a trip to Chichen Itza, a world-famous archeological site, and take a dip in a picturesque cenote, with excursions arranged by Grupo Xcaret’s own Xichen Tour company.
Los CabosPeople living in the Western United States are especially aware of the convenience of a quick and indulgent getaway at the tip of the Baja California peninsula. Las Ventanas al Paraiso, a Rosewood Resort, makes it easy to plan the perfect micro trip with its “Stay Your Way” survey, which guests can complete before leaving home, to indicate their personal preferences and choose activities before arriving at the hotel. The resort also recently launched a Path to Paradise package that further streamlines the visit, with roundtrip VIP transfers from the guest’s home to their local airport, in addition to airport transportation on the ground in Los Cabos.
Mazatlan Since it’s a smaller tourist destination, Mazatlan is an easy place to navigate for visitors looking to stuff a full vacation into three or four days. The wide beaches of the Golden Zone are a big draw for guests at hotels such as the various El Cid properties, where all-inclusive options take the guesswork out of mealtime. Catamaran cruises from Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort whisk guests to the uncrowded beach at Deer Island, and visitors can also enjoy relaxed day trips to a mezcal factory and perhaps dinner and a show at the historic Angela Peralta theater.
Mexico CityAs one of the world’s largest cities, Mexico City is a multifaceted destination with countless options for short visits. First-time visitors might find it easiest to sign up for a guided visit to make sure they don’t miss anything.
Tia Stephanie Tours recommends three- or four-day stays with stops at some of the destination’s most legendary attractions, including National Museum of Anthropology, the Jumex art museum and the historic city center. A ride along the centuries-old canals of Xochimilco, as well a stroll among the stunning pyramids of Teotihuacan, are also must-dos for first-timers. Repeat visitors, of course, will find lots to occupy their long weekend, from shopping and dining to nightlife and exploring lesser-known museums that dot the city.
Riviera NayaritThe Puerto Vallarta airport provides easy access to the Riviera Nayarit, where micro vacationers can spend their first day enjoying the state’s unspoiled beaches and perhaps checking into a family-friendly hotel in Nuevo Vallarta or a luxurious resort in Punta de Mita.
Nayarit’s wonderful beach towns provide even more diversions, especially in places such as Sayulita, where dining at an open-air cafe and enjoying the Bohemian chic beach vibe is a must. Visitors can also immerse themselves in cultural activities in the town of San Pancho or indulge in a Sunday brunch at La Patrona equestrian club. The beautiful Isla Mexcaltitlan and Novillero, which is billed as Mexico’s longest and widest beach, also provide diversions for travelers looking for a memorable Mexico vacation in a short amount of time.