Busking mariachi bands. Jungle-clad ruins. Chilli-fuelled enchiladas. Mexico’s Caribbean Coast serves up a concentrated hit of the lot, with a side-order of white-sand beaches. The big name here is Cancun, where the nightlife is legendary.
Things are a bit calmer further down the coast on the hip beaches of Playa del Carmen, and in the exclusive beach resort of Playacar. Running from Playacar down to laid-back town of Tulum is the Riviera Maya – home to the must-see Mayan ruins.
The pick of the beaches on Mexico’s Pacific Coast are backed by green mountains and curved around Banderas Bay – a giant pool of blue-tinted water with Puerto Vallarta city at its heart. The city has one of the country’s best restaurant scenes, plus chic boutiques and a promenade made for strolling.
North of Puerto Vallarta city is Nuevo Vallarta, where a cluster of plush beachside hotels serve up solitude and snorkelling. Trace the bay’s coastline further and you’ll find the pretty and peaceful beachfront village, Punta de Mita.
Last but not least, there’s the Riviera Maya, which runs from Playacar down to laid-back town of Tulum. This part of the coast lures holidaymakers with its luxe hotels, silky sands and must-see Mayan ruins.