Luxury Experiential Travel in Mexico
Mexico is a vast and vibrant playground for travellers that appreciate life’s experiential luxuries. While adventures and cultural experiences abound, Mexico is awash with gastronomic delights, indulgent hotels, powdery white sand beaches and some of the most turquoise waters.
Across the country, from Baja California’s deserts to the wild metropolis of Mexico City and the tropical jungles of the Yucatan, there are luxury experiences at every turn. Take to the skies and hot-air balloon over Mesoamerican pyramids, visit museums after-hours, dine in highly-acclaimed restaurants, enjoy exclusive access to archaeological sites that are still under excavation and sip on handmade tequilas in exclusive speakeasies.
And then there are the spas, beach clubs, and boutique vineyards, all crying out to be discovered. Add to that its people and you’ll find yourself charmed.
Luxury sabbatical travel in Mexico
Mexico is huge and it’s impossible to see everything in one trip. It’s a dream destination for a sabbatical for its sheer variety of activities, towns, foods, and experiences – and it can be done in serious style. All across the country, you’ll find luxurious places to stay, from exclusive under-the-radar hotels, to private beachfront villas, to arty boutique hotels.
Whether you’re here to unwind, get your adrenaline pumping, or fully immerse yourself in Mexican culture, you’ll find activities to fit the bill. Look for whales in the Sea of Cortez or snorkel with sea lions. Hike around volcanoes or sample Mayan hot chocolate in colourful colonial towns. Explore art galleries and palaces in cosmopolitan Mexico City – and unwind on the beaches, retreating to your private plunge pool, tucked away on the Riviera Maya.
Travelling around is easy enough – main roads are well-maintained if you want to drive or travel overland. Flights are a little more complicated as most go via Mexico City – you’ll want to plan your time carefully to minimise time in the airport hub.
Planning a sabbatical trip to Mexico is best with a helping hand, as logistics can get complicated. We’d always start by figuring out your priorities before piecing an itinerary together. As most domestic flights stop in Mexico City, you can easily find yourself pin balling around – we like to make your trip more relaxing than that.
Mexico’s states each have their own character, gastronomy, and ecosystems. In one trip, you can be travelling through the desert one day, on idyllic palm-fringed islands the next, and immersed in tropical jungle the next. We’d recommend talking through the areas that excite you most, so we can understand where to begin. If learning about Mayan or Aztec history is your priority, we can focus on that, and the same goes for prioritising wildlife encounters, relaxation or luxury. Want to see as much of the country as possible, with as few people as possible? We know just the guides and the VIP ropes to pull.
Luxury hotels in Mexico
Mexico knows how to do luxury in style, whatever your taste. For barefoot luxury, look no further than Casa Sandra on Isla Holbox – white sand, rustic beachfront bars and the best sunsets on Mexico’s Caribbean coast await. This is laidback luxe at its finest. But if a solid roof isn’t a necessary luxury, we also love Camp Cecil de la Isla, a barefoot glamping site tucked away in a secret bay on the Sea of Cortez, which is often referred to as a mini Galapagos. Get front row seats to the pristine waters and wake to the sound of waves lapping at the shore.
Other waterfront favourites include the thatched A-Frame bungalows at Habitas on Bacalar lagoon, and La Casa Que Canta on the outskirts of Zihuatanejo.
In Mexico’s towns and cities, you’ll find a mix of charming boutique options, like Las Alcobas in Mexico City and Rosas y Xocolate in Merida. We also love the indulgent Banyan Tree Puebla with its beautiful artwork, rooftop pool and local tiling.
Whichever part of the country you’re travelling to, whether it’s Cabo, Cancun, or somewhere in between, there’s something that’s made for you.
Luxury experiences in Mexico
When it comes to luxury experiences in Mexico, you’ll be spoiled for choice. For the most exclusive of experiences, visit Mexico City’s Museum of Anthropology out-of-hours and get a private glimpse of the iconic Aztec calendar, or hot-air balloon over the pyramids of Teotihuacan and explore areas of the site still being excavated.
In Oaxaca, dine at revered restaurant Casa Oaxaca and observe as waiters make salsa at your table, exactly as you like it. In San Miguel de Allende, sip tequilas in the exclusive Casa Dragones tasting room. And in Mexico City, dine at some of the world’s top restaurants, like Pujol and Quintonil.
For unforgettable adventures, swim alongside whale-sharks in the Sea of Cortez and pitch up at an exclusive island glamping site by kayak. Explore Palenque ruins deep in the jungle with private guides and enjoy the sunset, long after the site is closed.
When is the best time to travel to Mexico?
Mexico’s climate varies from region to region. Cancun and the Riviera Maya have a tropical climate, with sunny but humid days (it’s particularly humid in July and August). Evenings on the coast can be cool with the breeze from the ocean, but inland towns like Merida can remain stiflingly hot.
This region sometimes sees high winds and heavy showers from May to October – but it’s often only for short bursts in the afternoon. Peak season is from December to April when you’ll encounter the sunniest days.
Meanwhile on the Baja California peninsula, you’ll be greeted by dry, desert heat for most of the year. It only rains here for a handful of days – the rest of the time, you’ll find blue skies and pleasant temperatures. If you’re coming for the whale season, travel from December to March. Mountainous areas like Oaxaca tend to be cooler but still see bright sunny days.
What’s the best way to travel around Mexico?
Mexico is huge, so for longer distances, we recommend flying. For shorter journeys, most of our guests get around with a private car and driver. Hiring a car or taking a long-distance bus is also an option. The main roads between cities are relatively well-maintained, but traffic can get a little hectic – particularly in large cities like Mexico City, Cancun, Merida and Puebla.
Some of Mexico’s coastal destinations may involve a short ferry or boat trip.
Responsible luxury travel in Mexico
While Mexico has proudly embraced ecotourism, lots of places brand themselves as eco without the credentials to back it up. It pays to do some research first! Responsible travel in Mexico is starting to gain traction again but hasn’t fully taken off.
The best ways to do your part and travel responsibly are to shop in smaller, local shops, visit local markets, and dine in local restaurants. Many luxury hotels are now eliminating single-use plastics. But there’s still a long way to go to reduce waste and protect the environment.
Mexico travel tips
If you’re travelling around Mexico, be prepared to engage in lots of conversations with the locals – you’ll be welcomed openly and will find a lot of people who have a genuine curiosity to know about you and what you think of Mexico. There’s no hiding here but if you’re not feeling chatty, it’s OK to politely decline a conversation.
When it comes to packing, we recommend bringing a refillable water bottle. You can’t drink tap water in Mexico so it saves on plastic waste. Many hotels are catching on to the idea of refilling water, rather than providing disposable plastics. Remember to pack suncream (eco-friendly if possible) and natural insect repellent.