When you think of a vacation in Mexico, you’re probably thinking of white sandy beaches, blue ocean water, and plenty of sunshine. You’re not wrong! Located on the Caribbean Ocean, Cancun is a beach lover’s paradise and attracts more than six million visitors a year.
How to Plan a Mind-Blowing Mexico Vacation
There’s no question it’s one of Mexico’s best places to visit. Don’t get stuck on thinking Cancun is the only place with amazing beaches and stunning blue water. Fortunately, there are other places not far from Cancun with even more wow-factor and worth bringing to your attention.
Pack your bags for an amazing Mexico vacation because these five vacation getaways will blow your mind!
Adventurers will fall in love with Tulum and all it has to offer. Located on the Yucatán Peninsula, this coastal town has everything you need for non-stop excursions. Not only will you find beautiful, white sandy beaches, but you’ll also discover Mayan ruins, exotic wildlife encounters, shopping, and restaurants that make it worth the visit alone.
Want even more of a reason to plan a vacation in Tulum? The Yucatán Peninsula boasts the world’s largest number of cenotes. These underwater sinkholes are magical for snorkeling, diving, and swimming.
Located only 80 miles south of Cancun, you’ll still fly into Cancun to start your vacation. You could even spend a few days there first before heading an hour and a half away to Tulum.
Playa Del Carmen
Playa Del Carmen is the place to go for those looking for luxury beach clubs and world-class shopping. You’ll also find plenty of restaurants, bars, and some of the most popular nightclubs in the world.
A five-mile-long pedestrian walkway known as la Quinta Avenida (or “Fifth Avenue”) offers everything from high-end hotels to street performers. There’s no shortage of things to do here. You’ll find it all located along its famous Fifth Avenue with Mexican-style decor.
The gorgeous beaches of Playa Del Carmen are located in the heart of the Mexican Caribbean, a mere 45 miles from Cancun. They feature 75 miles of beautiful, sandy shoreline and are the real reason for visiting this paradise on Earth.
Looking for a quiet getaway with fantastic beaches to watch the sunset? Isla Mujeres, also known as Women Island, has some of the most picture-perfect beaches you will ever find. Located a short half-hour from Cancun, you’ll need to catch a ferry to get to it. Once you’re there, you’re on island time and can let all your worries wash away.
What is there to do on this tiny island? Not much, and that’s precisely what makes it so perfect. Plan to spend your vacation enjoying the sugar sand beaches, snorkeling in the bright blue water, and sipping on a cool drink.
You don’t need to go to Jamaica to feel the magic of the Caribbean. This sleepy little island is a dream for anyone wanting a Caribbean experience without the crowds. Located about two hours north of Cancun, Holbox is only one mile wide and 26 miles long.
What reasons do you have for visiting Holbox? Let me count the ways! For starters, the color of the water is almost unbelievable. It’s a turquoise blue unlike anything you may have ever seen. You’ll find pink flamingos on the sandy, white beaches, and chances are good you’ll see giant (yet gentle) whale sharks while you’re swimming.
Your laidback Mexican beach getaway will seem like something from another world while you’re in Holbox.
Yet another stunning beach that will blow your mind is in Xcacel (pronounced ISH-kah-cell). The beautiful blue water and shimmering sandy beach are eye candy to behold. There’s more to Xcacel than this, though.
Turtle lovers will be in sealife heaven with the Turtle Sanctuary located here. Visit between April and October and you have a good shot at seeing newly hatched green sea and loggerhead turtles making their way to the ocean. You can even volunteer for the day to help ensure their safety.
Want another reason to visit? Xcacel has a fantastic cenote located just steps away from the ocean. This freshwater sinkhole is surrounded by tropical foliage and is a wonderful escape from the Caribbean heat. The beauty of the surroundings and the crystal clear water looks like something straight out of a movie.
Final Thoughts on Planning a Cancun Mexico Vacation
Before you book your next vacation to Cancun, consider visiting one of these outstanding choices instead!
Karee Blunt is a nationally syndicated travel journalist, focused on discovering destinations and experiences that captivate and inspire others through her writing. She is also the founder of Our Woven Journey, a travel site focused on inspiring others to create memory-making adventures with their loved ones. Karee is passionate about encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone and live the life they dream of. She is the mother of six kids, including four through adoption, and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about Karee on her about me page.