Mexico is currently enjoying a stint as the popular kid in the world of travel. A short flight from most major U.S. cities and with eternally better weather, flying south of the border has never been so appealing.
But with Mexico’s popularity soaring, it can be hard to decide exactly where to go. Mexico is a big place after all, with almost 10,000 km of coastline. That’s a lot of beaches to choose from! While the Mexican Caribbean has a lot of appeal, it’s often a longer journey. Based on ease of access alone, many choose the Pacific coast for their getaways to the Land of Tequila and Tacos (that’s not an official title, but it should be). After all, less flight time equals more beach time!
So what does Mexico’s Pacific coast have to offer? Quite a lot, actually. Number’s 2 and 3 of Mexico’s top 10 travel destinations, to be exact: Los Cabos and Riviera Nayarit, respectively. Los Cabos is a firm favourite with travellers from the U.S’s west coast, however Riviera Nayarit is mainly known for the resort town of Puerto Vallarta. Though Puerto Vallarta is popular for good reason, Riviera Nayarit has so much more to offer. Namely, a little-known village turned resort that is a firm favourite with the rich and famous, Punta Mita.
Punta Mita and Los Cabos are both beautiful beach destinations that can offer an authentic Mexican experience. Yet, the personalities of these destinations couldn’t be more different. Los Cabos is a pair of un-identical twins that compliment each other while retaining distinct personalities- one being quiet and cultural, the other being a party animal. Punta Mita is a sophisticated, affluent, older friend that knows how to enjoy the high-life. So which one is going to be your new travel BFF?
Punta Mita, Riviera Nayarit
Punta Mita is located on a small peninsula at the northern tip of the Bahía de Banderas, less than 1 hour or 45km from Puerto Vallarta. The Punta Mita resort was developed by premium Mexican development company DINE and includes the finest villa rentals, the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, the St. Regis Resort Punta Mita and no less than 2 Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses. It’s no wonder that some of the world’s wealthiest people choose Punta Mita for their personal retreats.
When to Go
Punta Mita enjoys a temperate climate with cool breezes and sunny skies year-round with a lowest temperature of 64 and highest temperature of 91 degrees fahrenheit. Moreover, this exclusive, little-known resort town doesn’t attract crowds the same way that other popular Mexican destinations do. As a result, any time of year is the best time of year to go to Punta Mita!
Where to Stay
The Punta Mita resort has a selection of residential developments that offer the most luxurious of accommodations. While there are two prestigious hotels on the resort, villa rentals are a very popular choice due to the added privacy, beach-front locations and laid-back luxury. Kupuri is a new addition to the Punta Mita resort that offers unparallelled, premium accommodation overlooking Litibu Bay with amenities including a residents beach club and spa. Incredible villa options are also available in the surrounding area. Sayulita, for example, is a quintessential fishing village close to Punta Mita that is home to some breath-taking homes. Villas in Sayulita can be found perched on cliffs with panoramic views of the coast and private access to multiple beaches.
What to Know
It’s important to know that Punta Mita is an incredibly safe and exclusive travel destination. Guests go through multiple security checks before reaching their accommodation. Activities within the Punta Mita resort include golfing, surfing, whale watching, scuba diving, snorkeling and horseback riding. There is also a lot to explore outside of the resort including local villages such as Sayulita, Punta Mita village, San Pancho and much more.
The twin towns of Los Cabos are located at the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, making it a favourite with travellers from the west coast of the U.S. With a beautifully diverse terrain including mountain ranges, desert, the Pacific ocean and Sea of Cortez, Los Cabos is a place for adventure. The two towns of Los Cabos are San José del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. San José being a spot for culture vultures while San Lucas attracts the party animals.
When to Go
Due to it’s popularity, Los Cabos is liable to get crowded during the peak months. For a more relaxed experience without the hoards of tourists, visit from the end of April to June. The weather is still pleasantly hot without too much sticky summer heat.
Where to Stay
The three main areas of Los Cabos are the the two towns and the Los Cabos hotel corridor – a 20 mile stretch of resort hotels that join San José and San Lucas. Resort hotels are a fantastic option, but luxury rental villas are also popular here. Many can be found within the Los Cabos corridor for an optimal location between the two towns. If you’re looking for a tranquil travel experience, San José is home to the Puerto Los Cabos development which includes exclusive residential communities and rentals such as the Fundadores community. Cabo San Lucas also has many prestigious private communities that offer luxury villa rentals such as the Pedregal development.
What to Know
It’s important to know that while Los Cabos is a safe destination, not all beaches are safe for swimming. Be aware of warnings and stick to tourist beaches. For those that don’t want to lounge on a beach all day, Los Cabos has many adventure activities from dune buggy riding to deep sea fishing and everything in between. Tours are available for many of these activities and the best prices are often available once you arrive in Los Cabos. Cabo San Lucas is the main tourist centre and so expect many shops selling souvenirs and traditional Mexican wares. Haggling is accepted, so don’t be afraid to question the price!
Punta Mita and Los Cabos offer two very different experiences while still retaining Mexican charm. If you’re looking for a vacation destination that values privacy, enjoys the finer things in life and is there year-round, whenever you need it, then Punta Mita is your perfect match. If you’re looking for some action and adventure, with a healthy appetite for fantastic cuisine and curated culture then Los Cabos is the one for you.