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The warmer months are a popular vacation time for many people. But that doesn’t mean one size fits all when it comes to the perfect vacation — especially in Mexico, where different destinations, hotels and activities appeal to diverse types of travelers.
Here’s a quick rundown of how Mexico stacks up with several key summer vacation profiles.
Families Travelers with kids will find countless opportunities to share unique experiences together. The Riviera Maya is home to family-friendly parks such as Xcaret and Xel-Ha, where visitors of all ages can connect with nature and culture. Swimming, snorkeling and live music and dance are among the offerings. Just up the coast, The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun allows families to partake in its turtle preservation program through mid-fall.
Families looking for extra space might want to consider a trip to Los Cabos, where Hacienda Encantada Resort & Residences has three-bedroom/four-bathroom villas with their own private pool.
Even Mexico’s big cities can be surprisingly kid-friendly. At The St. Regis Mexico City, for example, the Learning & Cooking program allows children to become a “chef for an hour” with the hotel’s pastry chef, while the Adventure & Knowledge program takes families to El Papalote, an interactive museum.
Couples Probably the easiest way to assure that a romantic summer vacation isn’t spoiled by the presence of children is to book a hotel where the little ones aren’t allowed. Mexico has plenty of options in this category, of course.
On the Caribbean coast, adults-only hotels include Royal Hideaway Playacar, which offers decidedly adult experiences such as afternoon tea, and Barcelo Maya Grand Resort, which features swim-up suites with inspiring views.
In Los Cabos, top adults-only hotels include Secrets Puerto Los Cabos, Breathless Cabo San Lucas and Marquis Los Cabos. And in Acapulco, couples can follow in the footsteps of the many celebrities who’ve checked into Las Brisas Acapulco, or enjoy the hip, modern vibe at Hotel Encanto, which also offers stunning views of the bay.
Or, couples can head to Puerto Vallarta to conjure the passionate romance of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton at Casa Kimberly, Taylor’s former home that is now a hotel.
Budget-Conscious The exchange rate certainly works in the favor of visitors from the north who vacation in Mexico. In Guadalajara, for example, chic boutique hotels such as Casa Fayette can be had in July and August for about $125 a night, according to the Guadalajara Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Mexico City is a surprisingly wallet-friendly place to stay, with lots of walkable neighborhoods and interesting attractions that are cheap or free to visit — including the Metropolitan Cathedral, built in 1573, and the Soumaya museum, which exhibits art from a variety of eras.
Budget-friendly hotels in Mexico City include ibis Mexico Alameda Hotel, which is part of AccorHotels, NH Mexico City Centro Historico, Hotel Plaza Revolucion and One Ciudad de Mexico Alameda, which is part of Posadas.
Culture Seekers The International Bureau of Cultural Capitals named the Yucatan city of Merida as Cultural Capital of the Americas for 2017, so it’s only natural to include it in this section. Merida visitors can easily explore the Maya wonders of the Yucatan peninsula, which total more than 2,500 sites — including the world-famous Chichen Itza, Ek’ Balam and Uxmal sites .
Mexico City is another must for people interested in history and culture. The National Museum of Anthropology is one of the world’s best facilities dedicated to anthropology. And a quick flight away is Oaxaca, location of Monte Alban (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the former capital of the Zapoteca people. Oaxaca is also great place to infuse hotel stays with history and culture. ; Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles is set in an 18th-century hacienda, while Hacienda La Noria serves delicious traditional dishes in its acclaimed restaurant.
Nature Lovers Mexico’s southern region is especially rewarding for travelers craving natural beauty. In the southeastern state of Campeche, tropical reserve Calakmul is a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site, featuring the remains of an ancient civilization against a lush jungle backdrop. The Miguel Colorado Cenote, Champoton River, Xpicob artificial reef and Balam Ka’ax provide more reasons to visit Campeche. Also worth putting on any nature-oriented itinerary is the southern state of Chiapas. Boat rides along the Sumidero Canyon are especially scenic at the foot of dramatic cliffs that rise along the Grijalva River. The picturesque waterfalls and ancient Maya ruins of Palenque in the Lacandon jungle also provide memorable photo opportunities.