Tulum's Temple of the God of Wind overlooks the sea below
The gem of Mexico is a 75-mile stretch of Caribbean paradise running from Cancun south to the Mayan ruins of Tulum. Here are the white-sand beaches of many a daydream flanked by ancient stone pyramids of lost civilizations, verdant jungle landscapes teeming with wildlife, and mystical underground cenotes of otherworldly blue.
The desert meets the sea on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. The climate is nearly perfect, with 360 days of sunshine a year. Cape cities of Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo are known for wide, picturesque beaches and gradient aquamarine coastlines framed in majestic rocky outcroppings.
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Along Mexico’s Pacific coast is the Costa Grande, 200 miles of agricultural lands and mostly undeveloped beaches offset by the tourist destinations of Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo. Unlike its modern, resort-brimming neighbor, “Zihua” has managed to retain its small-town charm even as tourism increases, and its well-protected bay offers a picturesque base from which to explore the area.
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About an hour northwest of Puerto Vallarta sits the comparatively undeveloped town of Punta Mita, part of the 192-mile Riviera Nayarit coastline famed for its temperate, tropical climate and spectacular beaches perfect for snorkeling, paddle-boarding and surfing along the sandy coast.
Between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo lies the 180-mile stretch of shoreline known as Costalegre, the Coast of Joy. The area is known for its abundance of pristine white sand and for the lack of tourists, making it an ideal choice for travelers seeking tranquility and privacy.