World ? Caribbean & Central America ? Mexico

Mexico: The Best Places to Get Away from It All

  • Costa Alegre: Between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo, a number of superexclusive hotels cater to those with both time and money. These resorts -- Hotelito Desconocido, Las Alamandas, Hotel Careyes, and El Tamarindo -- are miles from civilization on private beaches.

  • San Sebastiȥn: A 15-minute flight from Puerto Vallarta takes you a century back in time. The colonial mountain town of San Sebastiȥn used to be the center of Mexico's mining operations; today, it's simply a place of delicious seclusion in a magical mountain setting.

  • Punta Mita: Its ancient inhabitants considered the northern tip of the Bay of Banderas sacred ground. Today, the point where the Sea of Cortez, the Pacific Ocean, and Banderas Bay meet has evolved into Mexico's most exclusive residential resort development. The beaches are white and the waters crystalline.

  • Riviera Maya & Punta Allen Peninsula: Away from the popular resort of Cancɐn, the Riviera Maya's heavenly quiet getaways offer tranquillity at low prices on beautiful palm-lined beaches. South of the Tulum ruins, Punta Allen's beachside budget inns offer some of the most peaceful getaways in the country.

  • Lago Bacalar: The spring-fed waters of Lake Bacalar make an ideal place to unwind. South of Cancɐn, near Chetumal, there's nothing around for miles. If you want adventure, you can paddle a kayak on the lake, follow a birding trail, or venture to Belize or nearby Maya ruins.

  • Cerocahui: Up in the high Sierra Tarahumara, far from where the large tours stop, you'll find a peaceful little town surrounding a former mission. Nearby are two small hotels that are even more peaceful -- no phones, no crowds, no traffic, just beautiful mountains and canyons clothed in pine forest.

  • Cabo Pulmo: It's only a 60-mile drive from the Los Cabos airport to Cabo Pulmo, yet if the mounded Sierra de La Laguna peaks weren't a dead giveaway for Baja, you could be in the South Pacific. Swaying in the shade of a palapa-roofed bungalow at Cabo Pulmo Beach Resort, you won't care where you are -- you just won't want to leave. The Sea of Cortez breaks on a coral reef, allowing only the finest bits of sand and smooth pebbles to pad the coast. The coral itself is a sight to behold, but the real attraction is the sea life in this protected marine park. Extensive hiking/mountain biking trails loop through the mountains for those who prefer the peace of the desert.

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