Mexico has a stellar reputation for their town-like resorts that have everything from A to Z on site. It’s the towns surrounding the resorts that offer us incredible color and the pure culture of Mexico. Mexico is ranked seventh in the world for UNESCO World Heritage Sites, of which there are only 34 in total. So maybe getting off the beaten path isn’t such a bad idea, there is a little something for everyone. If you lean towards the aesthete, oenophile (wine tasting), gourmand, beach bum or history buff, we have a suggested site for each of you, and some of you may enjoy all five. Ready, set, go!
5. Aesthete, Guadalajara
Historic architecture meets the arts and modern design in this colorful city. In the Lafayette district, we suggest staying at either Hotel Demetria or Casa Fayette, because they are both within minutes of galleries, bars, eateries and design shops.
• The Travesi Cuatro, established in 2003, displays a compilation of both Latin American and European works of art. Owners Silvia Ortiz and Ines Lopez-Quesada opened a new location at Casa Franco. It’s in a 1929 building designed by architect, Luis Barragan
• Paramo Galeria exhibits the works of new artists
• Curro y Poncho offers great architecture and diverse art and is home to studios for Gonzalo Lebrija, Joe Davila, and Eduardo Sarabia
• The Instituto Cultural Cabanas displays the work of Eduardo Sarabia and murals by Jose Clemente Orozco
• Ceramica Suro is owned and curated by Jose Nor Suro, and he works to create limited-edition ceramics with artists
4. Oenophile, San Miguel de Allende
Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada or Rosewood San Miguel de Allende are two excellent hotels to establish a home base for your daily mini trips to restaurants, markets, and charming boutiques.
• The winery tour kicks off at Cuna de Tierra where you’ll ride on a wagon to view the vineyards, followed by a trip to the barrel room to learn how this wine differs from all others worldwide. The Dolores Hidalgo region is home to Mexico’s best Nebbiolo, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.
• Bodega Dos Buhos
• Binicola Toyan
• A horseback ride through 450-year-old chapels, hacienda ruins, villages and awesome views of both the Golden Corridor of San Miguel De Allende and the Guanajuato Sierra
3. Gourmand, Mexico City
Here we go, foodies! This capital city offers everything from taco stands to luxury dining.
• At the Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City, you’ll be steeped in luxury,
• At Condesa DF find contemporary, trendy design
• At Downtown Mexico, treat yourself to a friendly rooftop bar.
• To start eating, head off and call on the street vendors and be sure to try the elotes, corn on the cob, drenched in Mexican crema, spices and cotija cheese.
• Visit the home of Chefs Jorge and Beto and learn some new recipes for tamales and chalupas, but save room for
• Dessert at Temporal. Chef Diego Perez Turner custom makes chocolate and mezcal, the marriage of two Mexican classics
2. Beach Bum, Isla Holbox
Neighbor to Cancun, but a lot tamer, the entire island is only 26 miles long and under two miles wide. Expect to find lots of hammocks and relaxation here and leave the tourists in Cancun.
• If you prefer something a bit rowdier, then Cancun is your answer. Since the roads and sidewalks are made of sand, you can forget about your shoes and enjoy the feel of sand ‘tween your toes.
• The Yum Balam, an ecological reserve is home to flamingos and pelicans and since the waters here are protected, the largest fish in the world, a whale shark might sail by.
• And you can snorkel with all the fish.
• Check into either Las Nubes or Casa Sandra Boutique Hotel for your rest.
• Casa Sandra offers a breakfast of fresh fruit, hibiscus-lemon tea, and banana bread. Grab some ceviche for lunch at Las Panchas and show up at Lobster Pizza for dinner.
1. Historian, Merida
A great place for the history buff, this is a colonial city, on top of the older Mayan city of Tho and the area is filled with rich hacienda owner homes from the past. Both cars and horses will work on these narrow cobblestone streets.
• The Museo Regional Antropologia inside Palacio Canton is the best place to learn all about Merida history and Mayan culture
• Museo de la Cancion Yucateca will be filled with the history of music
• El Gran Museo del Mundo Maya houses relics that date back to Mexico’s beginning
• Palacio de Gobierno displays beautiful murals of the Spanish takeover of the Mayans
• Barrio de Santiago is the location of a 17th-century church, Iglesia de Santiago Apostol
• For a stroll known as the Champs-Elysees of Merida, you can see historical colonial mansions on Paseo de Montejo
• Casa Lecanda is a charming seven-room boutique hotel with gorgeous Spanish tiles and European architecture if you’re looking for a place to stay
• Casa Azul is another option that is nearby Paseo de Montejo