5 Mexico Vacation Ideas To Warm You Up and Chill You Out

Mexico is a world apart but just a short flight away.

Relaxing resorts along a diverse coastline of white beaches and azure seas. Fly-fishing, kayaking and diving amidst jaw-dropping natural beauty. Visiting ancient cliffside ruins one day and shopping in upscale clothing boutiques the next. Mexico is where lasting impressions are made.

But where to begin when planning the perfect Mexico vacation? AAA and partner Travel Impressions offer great values at top resorts and hotels across the country. You can even fly nonstop to Mexico with Travel Impressions’ Exclusive Nonstop Vacation Flights, which will have you on the beach by lunch.

Here are five vacation destinations in Mexico, each eager to impress visitors (and each with AAA Member benefits when you book through AAA).


Imagine a beach destination built entirely with vacationers in mind. The stunning Cancun resort area is set on 14 miles of bright white, crushed-coral beaches. It’s a place to swim, shop, eat and have fun, with a lively hotel area, an indulgent downtown, and so many ways to enjoy the sun and water.

Must-do excursions: The beach, of course, can’t be missed on this Mexico vacation. One of the best is Playa Norte (North Beach), where the waters are shallow, and the sunset views are stunning. For something more exhilarating, strap on a water-propelled jetpack and zoom over the ocean like a secret agent. Or splash your way through flooded caverns with amphibious off-roading. When culture calls, take a day trip to the majestic ancient city of Chichen Itza and learn about the Mayans’ knowledge of mathematics, astronomy and architecture.

Favorite stay: The AAA Four Diamond Azul Beach Resort Riviera Cancun offers serenity one minute and sizzle the next. Located on the tranquil Caribbean coast and not too far from downtown Cancun, it offers adults-only and family sections. Upgrade to a premium swim-up room with butler service for the most luxurious experience.


Riviera Maya

To discover the secrets of the Mexican jungle, head south of Cancun to Riviera Maya. Known for its postcard-perfect waterfront, Riviera Maya is also the site of the ruins of Tulum and its eponymous beach. But there’s much more, including the colorful villages of Playacar and lively Playa del Carmen, where the nightlife keeps visitors on their feet.

Must-do excursions: Nature-lovers will find what they seek in Xcaret, an eco-archeological theme park. Swim in underground rivers, visit the butterfly garden and aviary, explore Mayan ruins, and eat delicious Mexican and international dishes. Nearby Puerto Aventuras Marina is popular with fishermen and yachters alike. Farther south is the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, home to thousands of species of flora and fauna.

Favorite stay: The AAA Four Diamond Generations Riviera Maya by Karisma is the quintessential family resort. As if having a breathtaking white-sand beachfront weren’t enough, the hotel offers 10 swimming pools, including one just for kids ages 4 to 12. For adults, there’s a spa with beachfront massages and other delights.


Cozumel is Cancun’s easygoing counterpart and Mexico’s largest Caribbean island—it has long been a favorite stop for ships and sailors. Today, it’s a treasury of marine life, with cenote diving sites created by underground rivers; Cozumel Reefs National Marine Park and its amazing underwater visibility; the Chankanaab Lagoon, an inland coral reef; and the Punta Sur Eco Beach Park.

Must-do excursions: Nature surely takes the spotlight on this Mexico vacation. While many visitors take the opportunity to dive underwater, bird watchers head to Cozumel to catch sight of local beauties such as the blue-gray gnatcatcher and the Cozumel emerald hummingbird. Several Mayan sites offer access to ancient culture, while the town of San Miguel de Cozumel provides a taste of today’s culture, with shopping, restaurants and an active nightlife.

Favorite stay: The AAA Four Diamond Presidente InterContinental Cozumel Resort and Spa is surrounded by turquoise seas and a half mile of private sandy beach. Snorkel in colorful reefs just steps away or swim in a beachside infinity pool.

Los Cabos

El Arco, where the sapphire Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific, is arguably the most photographed landmark of Baja California Sur. The mountainous desert peninsula enjoys long days of warmth.

Must-do excursions: Cabo San Lucas features trendy restaurants and bars, a marina, and the Luxury Avenue Boutique Mall. The 20-mile Tourist Corridor includes stunning Medano Beach, plus upscale resorts, impressive spas and championship golf courses. Then there’s the sleepier San Jose del Cabo, with its the cobblestone alleys, colonial architecture, small art galleries and boutiques.

Favorite stay: The AAA Four Diamond Breathless Cabo San Lucas Resort and Spa is an adults-only resort featuring exhilarating entertainment, trendsetting restaurants and a vibrant social life. Go beyond traditional inclusions on your Mexico vacation with Unlimited-Luxury®, which includes room service, premium brand spirits and much more.

Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta, on Mexico’s Pacific coast, pretty much has it all: tropical beauty, luxury resorts on golden-sand beaches, charming cobbled streets and a lively nightlife. Starting from the Romantic Zone (aka Old Town), follow the seaside promenade as the coastline leads toward trendy Riviera Nayarit. Along the way, the Hotel Zone and marina provide stunning accommodations and gourmet dining.

Must-do excursions: Take in the dramatic coastal scenery by boat as you cruise to Las Caletas, accessible only by sea. There are snorkeling and kayaking excursions, nature walks, cooking lessons—even parrot encounters. Go diving in the Marietas Islands, a protected wildlife sanctuary amid volcanic formations. Looking for a bit of history? Head toward Old Town, where the colonial era still rises before your eyes.

Favorite stay: The AAA Four Diamond and all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta features incredible views of Banderas Bay and is about 20 minutes from Puerto Vallarta. Music permeates your stay here, with live shows, nightly entertainment and a curated playlist that will help you remember your trip. Families can kick back on the gorgeous beach, play a game of volleyball or go boogie boarding in the clear waters of Banderas Bay.

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