Top 10 Amazing Mexico

Chris’ personal picks from places in the world that he has visited.

Huatulco:  Green Mexico: the area is a national wildlife preserve and many of the nine bays and thirty six golden beaches remain undeveloped and accessible only by boat. It has a rich colonial history and provides an authentic Mexican experience - plus gourmet dining and three hundred and thirty days of sunshine a year.

Riviera Maya: The alter ego to brash Cancun, the beaches of this popular coastal strip stretch south from Cancun most of the way toward the border with Belize and are fringed by a prolific coral reef. A wide range of all inclusive resorts line the Riviera and it is backed by low jungle, limestone caves and mysterious Mayan ruins.

Riviera Nayarit:  Riviera Nayarit, the new name for an ancient land that stretches for 300 kms along the central Pacific coast of Mexico. Starting just 10 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta International Airport – it’s where the mountains of the Sierra Madre meet the Pacific Ocean, vacation glitz meets authentic charm, old meets new…..

Oaxaca:  Spanish Colonial meets Ancient Civilization: this UNESCO World Heritage city is a real treasure. It lies 5,000 feet up in the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountains and is graced by many impressive colonial buildings, parks and markets, but the piéce de résistance is Monte Alban, the inspiring Zapotec capital dating from 500BC to 800 AD.

Tampico: On the ‘other coast’ of Mexico, on the Gulf Coast, Tampico is a ‘real’ Mexican city. It is the country’s biggest port and so has a bustling, authentic feel. Yet it is also a leisure destination: the Miramar Beach is 30 minutes from historic Downtown Tampico and the Panuco River is a haven for birdwatchers and fishermen.

Mazatlan:  An eclectic mix of a city, full of 19th Century grandiose architecture, but also parks, markets, restaurants and beaches. Known as the ‘Pearl of the Pacific’, Mazatlan’s attractions are best viewed from El Faro, a lighthouse built atop an imposing headland overlooking the harbor – well worth the strenuous hike.

Los Cabos:  Baja California’s last spectacular stutter into the Pacific is marked by two towns: Cabo San Lucas' raucous party atmosphere and San Jose’s laid-back colonial style are linked by resorts and golf courses along 35km of pristine white sand beaches and craggy coves including Land’s End, the iconic sea arch at the very tip of Baja.

Puerto Vallarta: This venerable resort city is now the new gastronomic wonder of Mexico with an International Gourmet Festival in November and restaurants that are truly world-class. My favourite experience: the simple pleasure of strolling the seafront Malecon at dusk to enjoy the traditional ‘paseo’ with the locals.

Cancun:  Cue bright lights…and action! Cancun has something for everyone –student trips, family vacations, couples’ escapes or singles’ adventures. Just relax - or enjoy the spas, golf, nightlife and extensive water sports. Cancun has some of the best fishing, snorkeling, and scuba diving in the world. You can even snorkel with whale sharks.

Manzanillo:  A sleepy Pacific backwater with a huge backdrop: set on the Gold Coast amidst papaya, banana and coconut plantations, the beaches are within easy reach of traditional villages and the colonial wonders of Colima, a city overlooked by two magnificent, classic volcanoes: Nevado de Colima and Volcán de Colima.