Travel experts agree that Mexico offers some of the world’s best winter vacations, from the Caribbean beaches of Cancun and the Riviera Maya region to the fantastic street fare of Mexico City, the amazing wineries in Valle de Guadalupe and wintertime whale-watching in Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta, there is something to suit even the most sophisticated traveler.
“The coast of Mexico is everything the British winter is not: light, colour, exoticism; warm and spicy exuberant,” wrote Condé Nast Traveler. “Parties on the beach, yoga under the trees, a dip in dappled-light cenotes.”
The prime real estate in Tulum, which lies in the Riviera Maya just south of Cancun and Playa del Carmen in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, received special mention by Condé Nast, along with Isla Holbox and Merida (also on the Yucatan Peninsula) and the surf town of Sayulita, which lies just north of Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s Pacific coast.
“We fell for the cosmic vibes of Tulum and the little barefoot island of Isla Holbox, off the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula,” wrote CNT. “For the haciendas and small resorts on the Riviera Maya; for colonial Merida.”
Of course, the weather in Mexico – on both the Caribbean and the Pacific coasts – is ideal in January, which means hot but not too hot and practically no rain. After the U.S. election ended, TripAdvisor noted that Mexico is the top country where travelers booked new trips, reflecting renewed efforts to escape reality as well as to celebrate victory, depending on which side voters happen to be on.
Travel and Leisure also recognized Mexico as a great option for travelers looking to enjoy the best winter vacations, tapping Valle de Guadalupe and Veracruz as two of the “50 best places to travel in 2017.” The wine region of Valle de Guadalupe lies just 80 miles south of San Diego, making it an easy trip for anyone living in the western United States. Known worldwide for its red blends, most bottles are not permitted to be exported so a visit is the only way to try the wines.
“Start at Decantos Vinícola, which uses a flavor-preserving antigravity decanting method for its rich Malbecs,” wrote Travel and Leisure, which also recognized two “design-forward hotels,” including Finca la Divina, a four-room bed and breakfast with a nice pool and a new 58-suite hotel scheduled to open this year at the hacienda-style El Cielo Winery.
If you can’t make it to Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Tulum in Mexico’s Riviera Maya,Travel and Leisure suggests heading to Veracruz instead. Situated on Mexico’s Gulf coast, Veracruz is known for having the best seafood and really nice beaches.
“Enjoy dishes like spicy crab broth on the Emerald Coast, a 12-mile stretch of beach free of crowds and lush with vegetation,” wrote T+L.
The Maison Couturier received special mention by the travel publication for its gorgeous surroundings, which include the banana plantations of San Rafael, which is home to a thriving French community that was established in the early 1800’s. Here, you can find artisanal cheeses and pan de agua, a type of French bread baked in a wood oven. Insider Tip: While here, check out the famed Mexican village of Papantla, which is known for its pre-Columbian architectural ruins and vanilla farms that date back several centuries.
Finally,Mexico offers the best winter vacations because it is safe. Yes, you read that right: Mexico’s popular destinations are safe for travelers. According to the latest list of travel warnings from the U.S. State Department, places like Cancun,Playa del Carmen,Tulum and Cozumel in the Riviera Maya on Mexico’s only Caribbean coast are safer than many U.S. cities, while no advisor is in effect for popular expat communities like San Miguel de Allende, Merida and Veracruz, which is good news for people living in Mexico.