Everyone knows Mexico is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches,unparalelled cuisine and friendliest people,but there are also plenty of hidden gems that can be found just off the beaten path near some of the nation’s most popular vacation destinations.
Hidden Beach-Marieta Islands
Situated close to Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit on Mexico’s Pacific coast,the Marieta Islands boast fantastic rock formations and pristine sandy beaches. The islands were originally formed by volcanic activity and are home to the ever-popular Hidden Beach,known locally as Playa del Amor for its unmistakable romantic vibe. It is accessible only by an easy 50-foot above water swim through a cave-like water tunnel that leads swimmers into the bowels of the island itself,depositing them on the enclosed beach area and circular cove.
Las Pozas Wilderness Garden-Xilitla
Spanning more than 80-acres,Las Pozas (the pools) wilderness garden is located in central Mexico near the town of Xilitla,which is known for its breathtaking mountains,rugged landscape and fresh springs. The region is also home to a wide variety of tropical plants,including orchids,but one of its most remarkable destinations is undeniably Las Pozas,a sculpture garden built by British Surrealist poet Edward James between 1949 and 1984. Here,visitors will thrill to discover a veritable wonderland of whimsical yet impressive structures,including massive staircases leading to nowhere,a “library” with no books,swimmable pools and a variety of other remarkable buildings and fanciful sculptures.
Located just south of Tulum along Mexico’s Caribbean coast in the Riviera Maya,Cenote Angelita is a natural water-filled sinkhole that is a favorite among divers worldwide. Cenotes are formed when a portion of the region’s limestone bedrock collapses,exposing the groundwater beneath. With a circumference of 100 feet and a depth of at least 200 feet,Cenote Angelita goes straight down to a tree-lined underwater river that emerges from water that appears shrouded in mystery,thanks to a naturally occurring layer of hydrogen sulfate that creates a cloudy effect and brings out strange hues in the filtered sunlight.