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Why Mexico? Because the Caribbean Sea is impossibly blue. Because ancient Maya civilisations left their glorious stamp, and because well, burritos! To help you plan, we talked to Charlotte Campbell from House of Travel Papamoa for all the facts.
WHERE DO KIWIS STAY?
A trip to Mexico offers some amazing fully inclusive luxury stays — with both couples-only or family-friendly resorts, there is something for everyone.
Sun soaked beach resorts
Sometimes you just need a beach, especially when it fronts the Caribbean Sea. Cancún is a busy tourist town with a great shoreline, warm water, plenty of shopping and a heaving nightlife.
CABO SAN LUCAS
White sand, yachts and water sports
A resort city in Baja California Sur, Cabo boasts a slew of water activities, from jet skiing to parasailing. The wharf’s pedestrian walkway is lined with trendy hangouts.
Just 90 minutes south of Cancún is the bohemian town of Tulum. Between the laid back beach clubs and shabby-chic cafés, there’s a mesmerising cliff-clinging Mayan temple and miles of pearly white beaches.
SAN JOSÉ DEL CABO
Indulgence favoured by celebrities
The Hollywood elite (and in-the-know Kiwis) flood here for an all-round hedonistic lifestyle. With a bevy of plush bars and decadent dining.
WHAT ARE THE BEST THINGS TO DO?
ANCIENT CANCÚN TEMPLES
The Ek Balam temple
Is a little less visited than its famous neighbour, Chichen Itza, but rises out of the jungle like a Mayan beacon. You can make the relatively easy climb to the top of the Oval Palace, or if you like a challenge, hike up the steep steps to the acropolis — the views are staggering.
SWIMMING IN UNDERWATER CAVES
The Yucatán Peninsula is well known for its ‘cenotes’ — beautiful sinkholes suitable for swimming. Go for a dip at Ik Kil, and climb down the natural limestone stairs before jumping into its teal water.
A FOOD LOVER’S HAVEN
As well as the infamous guac, don’t miss delicious carne asada in Mexico’s north (beef marinated, grilled and then sliced into burritos), Pacific Coast seafood, and for die hard foodies, the central city of San Miguel de Allende boasts Hotel Matilda. Its restaurant, Moxi, is overseen by Enrique Olvera, one of the country’s most celebrated chefs.
Blue sea and golden sand
But of course. Mexican beaches offer swathes of platinum sand and clear blue water. In Cancún, Playa Tortugas is the beach favoured by locals, while the sleepy isle of Isla Mujeres, 12km off the Yucatán Peninsula, is home to the pristine Playa del Norte.
Already mentally packing? Our best holidays in the Americas are just a click away.
Air New Zealand (with partner airlines) will get you to Mexico City in 17h 35m with one transfer in Houston.
The best time to visit Mexico is during the dry season between December and April, when there is virtually no rain. The coolest months are between December and February, although temperatures can still reach averages of 28℃ during the dry season. The wet season begins in the south in May and lasts until October.
Tourists can stay up to 180 days on an NZ Passport. You will need an ESTA for transiting the USA.
It’s best to prebook transfers and tours. Ask about cheap airline options in between cities.
Mexico is vast. 7-10 days in the Yucatán Peninsula will give you a nice balance of beach and Mayan Pyramids. There are also tour options from Mexico City to Cancún in 10 days.
VIDEO FROM HOUSE OF TRAVEL
Let's go somewhere different.
Where should I go in Central & South America?
Two unforgettable days in Quito.