Mexico’s Wonderful Secrets
Everyone’s heard of Cabo and Cancun, but Mexico has more. So much more! Here are some of the lesser-known gems in this wonderful country – and each one of them could be worth a week-long trip in itself.
Huatulco: Or, in other words, a beachgoer’s paradise. This charming town near Oaxaca is a wonderful place to spend a week on the beach. And it’s one of Mexico’s most forward-thinking destinations, loaded with rules to protect the environment and preserve the ambiance. Buildings cannot be more than six stories tall, and the wonderful, lush surroundings are mostly untouched.
Punta Mita: Just sixteen kilometres north of Puerto Vallarta, you’ll feel like you’ve entered into another world. And a world loaded with glam! From vacation rentals to high-end hotels like the Four Seasons, golf courses, and private beaches, here you’ll be able to lay down for a week and truly relax.
Guanajuato: If you Instagram a picture of yourself standing in this central Mexican city, before a hill piled with houses in every color – vibrant and bright like the feathers of tropical birds – your followers will be convinced that you hacked into Photoshop. And you might have trouble believing this place yourself. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, this Guanajuato is a kaleidoscope in every sense of the word: from the bustling plazas to the lovely Mercado Hidalgo, where you can buy authentic souvenirs aplenty. Don’t miss the city’s famed underground streets and tunnels, which you can explore on a walking tour or at your own leisure.
San Miguel de Allende: Visit this wonderful mountain city, part of the state of Guanajuato, and ninety kilometres east of the city of that name. Walking the cobblestoned streets, it will feel like you’ve stepped back in time. And there’s history here for sure: from the days when this was a stopover point for transporting silver out of the mountain mines, to when it fell into disuse, until it was revived by a Chicago native who transformed it into the artist’s and expat’s hub that it is today.
Zacatecas: Also in Mexico’s centre, this wonderful, colonial city is a must for history lovers – or anyone who wants to see how the real Mexico is, away from the crowds. The city got its start as a silver mining hotspot – and some of the old mines have become museums today. There’s also a nearby hill, the Cerro de la Bufa, where you can ride a cable car to the top and be rewarded with sweeping vistas of the city below.
Mérida: The capital of the Yucatán is sadly overlooked as a tourist destination, with everyone flocking to Cancún and missing out on the wonderful history here. But everything you can do from Cancún – Mayan ruins or pristine beaches – you can do from Mérida. And then some! Wander the Paseo de Montejo, lined with stone mansions, and get a sense of the colonial times at the Sunday Market. Then wrap up the day in one of a dozen quaint boutique hotels.