A winter escape to Mexico
is an ideal vacation. Many snowbirds flee the cold, wind, rain or snow for the brighter skies of Mexico every Christmas vacation. However, it is also the time when children are off from school, making it a tourist high season in many areas. With some careful advance planning, you can enjoy a Christmas vacation in Mexico.
Without question, the most popular Christmas vacations in Mexico are at the beaches. Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Ixtapa, Huatulco and Cancun are the most popular destinations. Be sure to book and confirm hotels far in advance. For deeper savings, book a package trip that includes airfare, lodgings, airport transfers and, sometimes, meals.
Cities such as Guadalajara, Merida, Mexico City, Morelia and San Miguel de Allende are also enjoyable to visit during Christmas vacations. These destinations typically do not offer packages as do beach destinations. But it is easy to book hotels online or through a travel agent. Christmas holidays in Mexico bring several traditions to the cities, none more popular that posadas. These neighborhood processionals, featuring food and drink, are intended to reenact the journey made by Joseph and Mary as they sought a safe place to spend the night.
Off the Beaten Path
For less crowded conditions and gorgeous beach climate, try the "fishing village, gone upscale" spot Zihuatanejo, which adjoins the more touristy resort areas of Ixtapa. Other less-visited beach areas include Puerto Escondido, Puerto Angel and Bahias de Huatulco in the state of Oaxaca, and Playa del Carmen and Isla de Mujeres near Cancun. The city of Oaxaca is another alternative, offering its annual Night of the Radishes celebration on Christmas Eve.
Mexico's culturally rich, historic colonial towns are wonderful to visit for a Christmas vacation. They offer live entertainment, cafe culture, shopping for artisan goods and a relaxing ambiance. Be forewarned, though, that these towns are located at altitude, resulting in crispier December temperatures than those on the Mexican coast. Among the colonial treasures are San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas, Queretaro, Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende.
Nina Makofsky has been a professional writer for more than 20 years. She specializes in art, pop culture, education, travel and theater. She currently serves as a Mexican correspondent for "Aishti Magazine," covering everything from folk art to urban trends. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mills College.