Mexico can definitely be done on the cheap. There are destinations from coast to coast for a Mexican vacation that can fit your travel budget! Here’s a look at just some of the best places to vacation in Mexico for any type of traveller.
Wondering where to go to in Mexico on a budget? We’ve got some amazing places in Mexico to consider that are just a quick direct flight away from cities across Canada. With Mexico City being the #1 best value destination for summer, there’s no better time to visit Mexico. Whether you’re looking for somewhere that has all-inclusive Mexico resorts or prefer something a little more low-key, here are some of the best places to vacation in Mexico this year!
Travel disclaimer: There have been recent warnings to avoid some states in the north of Mexico. All of the destinations listed below are not on the warning list, and Mexico continues to welcome influxes of tourists every day.
Fun and Budget-Friendly Places to Vacation in Mexico
From budget-travel backpackers to couples longing for a romantic long weekend getaway, to families with kids who are in the mood for a relaxing resort destination in Mexico that offers plenty of adventure and outdoor excursions, this is a list of 8 of the best places to vacation in Mexico on any budget.
1. Loreto, Mexican Baja
Best for: Budget travellers looking for something under the radar on the Baja Peninsula
Loreto is on Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. It’s a quiet, historic town that boasts culture, history, and food. Loreto is the perfect Mexico travel destination if you want an off-the-beaten-path place, as the area doesn’t offer the typical massive resorts or all-inclusive Mexico vacation packages. This low-key town is a great place for couples or somewhere to take the whole family for a relaxing vacation. Stay at the Hotel Tripui or the Hotel Oasis, where you can find deals for less than $75/night.
There’s plenty to do during the day in Loreto when it comes to outdoor fun. Plan on some paddle boarding, whale-watching, kayaking, or take a boat to nearby Isla Coronado and you’ll be in a secluded paradise. Wondering if it’s easy to get to Loreto? There are direct flights to this Mexican paradise with WestJet from Calgary.
2. Mazatlán, Pacific Coast
Best for: Travellers looking for all-inclusive options on the low-key
Looking for all-inclusive Mexico instead? How about the “Pearl of the Pacific”, Mazatlán? If you’re looking for history, look no further than Old Mazatlán. And if you want beaches to visit, Playa Olas Altas for 12 miles of warm sandy beach. Mazatlán is also home to the highest lighthouse in the world! With more flight deals popping up for this destination, there’s no better time to explore this more under the radar place to vacation in Mexico.
Mazatlán is home to an array of all-inclusive big box resorts, like the Hotel Playa Mazatlan, El Cid El Moro Beach Hotel and Pueblo Bonito Emerald Luxury Villas & Spa. There are a few hostels in town (less than $20/night). Rent a villa, condo and there are plenty of hotels for less than $100 a night.
3. Guanajuato, Central Mexico
Best for: Travellers looking for food, culture, and old towns
Guanajuato is the gateway to central Mexico. It’s home to rich Mexican culture for you to explore, so if you fancy yourself an immersive tourist this might be your perfect getaway. Here you can find plenty of budget-friendly lodging with an array of hostels to choose from (or you can spring for something higher priced in the $50 to $60 range if you’re looking to treat yourself).
Guanajuato hosts the most famous art festival in Mexico, El Cervantino, which you can hit in October. You can visit its historic district and the surrounding mines, explore the performing arts theatre Teatro Juárez built in the 19th Century or even venture to Calle Subterránea Miguel Hidalgo. If you’re looking for an interesting place to explore you can visit the Mummy Museum of Guanajuato, said to be popular with history buffs.
4. Mexico City
Best for: Art, history, and culture buffs
Mexico City is a definite must-see for any art, history and culture buffs out there. If you fly into Mexico City and plan to head directly to the beaches on the coast, consider spending a few days in Mexico’s capital. This city might surprise you: home to trendy neighbourhoods like La Condesa, La Roma, and Polanco, you can easily fill your days here in stylish cafés and exploring the many museums, parks, and mercados.
Eat your heart out at Mercado Roma, a gourmet food hall where you can sample delectable paletas, tapas, churros and beyond. Not to be missed is the Palacio Bellas Artes, an art museum and concert hall that houses world-class art by Mexican and international artists. And let’s not forget about the Frida Kahlo Museum, also known as the Blue House, located just a quick taxi ride south of the city centre in the neighbourhood of Coyoacan. You can find guesthouses and hostel in Mexico City for less than $20/night, or splurge on a boutique hotel in the neighbourhood of La Condesa for approximately $50/night.
5. Cozumel, Quintana Roo
Best for: Underwater excursions like scuba diving and snorkelling
Cozumel is another great place to vacation in Mexico that you can visit either all-inclusive or à la carte. This island just off the Yucatan Peninsula is an excellent choice if you’re up for underwater adventures: the snorkelling and scuba diving in Cozumel is amazing! Besides underwater adventures, there’s a ton you can do from grabbing some delectable grub, picking up beautifully handcrafted souvenirs or relax on the beach. Some great places to check out include Chichen-Itza (for history), Paradise Beach (for fun in the sun) and the Cozumel Turtles (for wildlife).
You can find some exceptionally well-priced all-inclusive vacation packages to Cozumel (think under $900 per person) or you can keep your options open and book into a hostel (there’s one that’s only $11 per night) or you can even reserve yourself a private villa (for under $100).
6. Sayulita, Pacific Coast
Best for: Chill vibes just outside of popular Puerto Vallarta
Sayulita is great for any type of traveller: it’s safe, affordable and a good choice for families (or solo if you’d prefer). It’s located on Mexico’s Pacific coast about 50 kilometres from Puerto Vallarta, a popular all-inclusive Mexico hot spot. With plenty of flight deals to Puerto Vallarta from many cities in Canada, now is a great time to explore the outskirts of Puerto Vallarta and head to Sayulita. There are buses that run daily from Puerto Vallarta city to Sayulita, or you can rent a car and drive.
Sayulita has great opportunities if you want to learn how to surf, go on a hike, and just enjoy the vibes of a laid-back beach town. If you’re up for a relaxing day on the beach you can head to Campamento Tortuguero Sayulita, if you’re up to catch a wave you can visit Patricia’s Surf Lessons and if you’re hoping to go out on the town try Don Pato. You can find double accommodation here for less than $100/night and there are plenty of options around $50. There are a few hostels in town where you can find a comfortable bed with breakfast for $10/night.
7. Oaxaca City, Central Mexico
Best for: Foodies and travellers interested in indigenous culture
Oaxaca (pronounced “wa-ha-ka”) is a major city in Central Mexico, that’s quickly getting on the travellers’ radar. Oaxaca City itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Zocalo (city centre) is a good place to start if you want to immerse yourself in Oaxaca’s unmatched arts, crafts, and food scene. And if you go for anything in Oaxaca, go for the food. Even hundreds of kilometres away in Mexico City, travellers find themselves hearing about the wonders of Oaxaca and its fab foodie culture. Top spots to try some of Oaxaca’s best food is the Casa Oaxaca el Restaurante, or sample some street food eats at the Mercado 20 de Noviembre.
Oaxaca is a popular place to vacation in Mexico with backpackers, so there are plenty of hostels here that are comfortable, affordable, and stylish. You can also find doubles here in a small hotel for less than $30/night. Try the Hostel Central Oaxaca or the Parador San Agustin, which is a recommended spot for couples.
8. Tulum, Yucatan
Best for: Adventure tourists, history buffs and beach bums
Close to Cancun, you’ll find Tulum, Mexico. A popular and beautiful beach town in the Yucatan Peninsula, Tulum is a paradise destination with pristine beaches, an amazing nightlife, wildlife, food and history. If you’re looking to visit historic ruins you can visit Tulum Ruins, if you’re up for an adventure try OceanProKite Kiteboarding Tulum Center or go on an underwater excursion with Koox Diving.
In Tulum, you aren’t going to find yourself an all-inclusive Mexico vacation but you can find plenty of budget-friendly hostels, some affordable bungalows, and Bed & Breakfasts for under $100/night. And you can spice up your hostel room with some local keepsakes that you can get at some of the unique shops around town.
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