• Cancún is a well-liked Mexican metropolis recognized for its all-inclusive resorts, stunning seashores, and proximity to Mayan ruins.
  • Vacationers searching for a much less crowded different to Cancún can take into account locations like Yelapa, Sisal, and Lo De Marcos.
  • These lesser-known cities and cities supply related choices and facilities as Cancún however with a extra laid-back vibe.

Positioned on the northeastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, the town of Cancún is a Caribbean escape with relaxing and luxurious all-inclusive resorts like Excellence Playa Mujeres and Turquoise at Hyatt Ziva, gorgeous fine-sand seashores, world-famous tamales and seafood, and handy proximity to Mayan ruins. It’s a tranquil, fun-in-the-sun vacation spot with historic and cultural significance, thought-about the most popular Mexican city to visit in 2024, per the Ministry of Tourism.

Since its warmest and busiest season is from December to April, making it a really perfect winter and spring-break hotspot, vacationers may wish to give less-crowded alternate options a attempt when touring to Mexico, ideally with the identical choices and vibe.

Listed here are 10 lesser-known however equally scenic and fascinating cities and cities with choices and facilities similar to Cancún however with a extra laidback vibe.


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Yelapa In Cabo Corrientes, Jalisco

A hidden gem with light emerald waves, spectacular waterfalls, and contemporary seafood

Panorama of the tropical coastal town of Yelapa near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
zstock, Shutterstock 

Panorama of the tropical coastal city of Yelapa close to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Though a small fishing village accessible solely by way of water taxi from the bustling Puerto Vallarta, Yelapa is a welcoming and tranquil spot to absorb the solar, with snorkeling, horseback driving, paragliding, parasailing, spa, and yoga alternatives, scenic jungle landscapes, and scrumptious, freshly caught seafood. It additionally boasts a 150-foot waterfall and lodging catering to all budgets. One among its important eating spots, Café Mimi, is thought for arranging day journeys to the Marietas Islands, a shocking sanctuary for seabirds, turtles, dolphins, and tropical fish.

Sisal, Hunucmá Municipality, Yucatán

Pristine sandy seashore, mangroves, and flamingo sightings

Sisal's Fisherman's Wharf, Mexico
Aberu.Go, Shutterstock 

Sisal’s Fisherman’s Wharf, Mexico

The small city of Sisal may be a favorite beach destination for the town of Merida, however it’s nonetheless comparatively unknown to vacationers regardless of offering a extra inexpensive different to Cancún with its emerald waters, lush mangroves, colourful coral reefs, scenic lagoons, wealthy birdlife, historic points of interest, and breathtaking sunsets. Moreover, the colonial metropolis of Merida is lower than an hour away and affords free music and cultural performances alongside its important plaza.

Flamingos might be noticed between November and April.

Lo De Marcos In Bahía de Banderas, Nayarit

An enthralling seashore city for households and retirees constructed round a wetland

Lo de Marcos, Nayarit, Mexico
xhico, Shutterstock 

Lo de Marcos, Nayarit, Mexico

Positioned on the Pacific coast of Mexico, Lo De Marcos typically flies underneath the radar, and but it is a perfect vacation spot for fishing, mountain climbing, windsurfing, {golfing}, kayaking, and horseback driving, with high quality, golden-sand seashores, spectacular sunsets, and a bustling plaza. Lodging ranges from RV parks and bungalows to luxurious villas and motels, thus accommodating all tastes and budgets.

Sayulita, Nayarit

Attractive sandy and rocky seashores and energetic seashore events

An aerial view of Sayulita's main beach, Mexico

An aerial view of Sayulita’s important seashore, Mexico

Positioned on the south finish of the state of Nayarit, Sayulita could also be off the overwhelmed path, but it surely boasts gorgeous rock and sandy seashores, nice resorts, and scrumptious eating alternatives. As for these searching for an much more thrilling nightlife, Puerto Vallarta, a dreamy but more popular beach town, is just a 30-minute drive away. All of those parts make Sayulita a tranquil however equally entertaining different to pricey vacationer hotspots like Cancún.

  • Inhabitants: 2,262
  • Scenic Seashores: Playa Los Muertos, Playa Las Cuevas
  • Native Specialties: Hibiscus tacos, shrimp tacos, wachos (waffle fries with carnitas and scallions)
  • Lodging: El Pueblito (from $104); Amor Boutique Hotel (from $101)


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Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo State, Yucatán

A car-free and unpaved island with all-inclusive resorts and palapa bungalows

Holbox Island From Above, Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico

Holbox Island From Above, Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico

Holbox Island could have been based by pirates, however at present, it’s a little piece of heaven with sandy streets, pristine seashores, absolutely useful resorts, and charming bungalows. Its shallow waters and mushy and huge sandy seashores are each kiteboarder’s paradise, and it makes a unique and romantic beach destination to pop the question.

Whale sharks might be seen between Might and mid-September.

Costa Careyes In Costalegre, Jalisco

An expensive piece of beachfront and wellness heaven

A couple of three-hour drive from Puerto Vallarta Worldwide Airport lies Costa Careyes, a high-end, picturesque, stress-free, and extra unique different to Cancún. It was based in 1968 by an Italian banker named Gian Franco Brignone, who was flying over Jalisco and was so shocked by a shocking beachfront plot that he bought 20,000 acres on the spot earlier than even touchdown. Over time, Careyes flourished with lush castles, home-rental villas sculpted into cliffs, thatched-roofed bungalows, infinity swimming pools, mezcal, inventive, and musical occasions and festivals, hidden coves, polo alternatives, designer and indigenous outlets, and fine-dining venues.

There are not any taxis or ride-share apps within the space.

Loreto, Baja California Sur

Clear waters, gorgeous rock formations, historic buildings, and chocolate clams

Brown Pelican sitting on a rock in Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Grey82, Shutterstock 

Brown Pelican sitting on a rock in Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Nonetheless comparatively new on the worldwide tourism scale, Loreto has plenty to offer as one other scenic, rejuvenating, and leisure different to Cancún (or not less than till round 11 pm). Guests may discover its islets and spot dolphins, pelicans, and sea lions on their method, to not point out humpbacks and blue whales, from January till March. As the primary Spanish colonial metropolis on the Baja Peninsula (here is everything to know before visiting Baja California), Loreto’s aesthetic is a mixture of colonial, with cobblestone streets and Jesuit and Franciscan missions with fully-equipped and pleasant resorts.

Chocolate Clams are a local native dish that may solely be present in Loreto.


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Ixtapa, Guerrero

A resort metropolis with energetic bars and seashore equestrian alternatives

The Curved El Palmar Beach, Ixtapa, Mexico
stacyarturogi, Shutterstock 

The Curved El Palmar Seashore, Ixtapa, Mexico 

Positioned 3 miles northwest of the municipal seat, Zihuatanejo, Ixtapa expanded from a coconut and mango plantation to a government-planned resort group that’s booming however remains to be much less in style than Cancún. It affords high quality oceanfront high-rise motels, {golfing}, parasailing, scuba-diving, and equestrian alternatives, and all-inclusive resorts which might be each household’s dream.

Inhabitants: 28,490

Scenic Seashores: El Palmar, Playa Linda

Nice Resorts: Cala de Mar Resort & Spa (from $444); Holiday Inn Resort Ixtapa All-Inclusive (from $180)

Nice Eating places: The General’s Sports Bar ($3-$39); Bistro Soleiado ($4-$21)

Puerto Progreso, Yucatán

Watersports heaven and a promenade lined with thatch-roofed eating places

Shutterstock: Kamira

Puerto Progreso, Mexico

Positioned on the Gulf of Mexico, Progreso is the port of entry to the Yucatán Peninsula and affords many surfboarding, windsurfing, and mangrove kayaking alternatives. It’s also recognized for its promenade, the Malecón, with its gorgeous ocean views and varied eating alternatives, in addition to its proximity to a number of Mayan websites, from Dzibilchaltún to Xcambó and its wide-winged flamingos.

Rosarito, Playas de Rosarito, Baja California

Recognized for its sandy coast, events, and succulent fried lobster

Rosarito resort city, Baja California, Mexico
Priscilia Salinas, Shutterstock 

Rosarito resort metropolis, Baja California, Mexico

Rosarito is a resort city positioned 20 miles south of San Diego (and its surprising number of free attractions) that largely caters to surfers, scuba divers, bar hoppers, equestrians, and lovers of lobster dishes, selfmade tacos, and craft beer. Because it’s close to the USA border, it makes for a really perfect weekend getaway and a more in-depth different to Cancún, to not point out that its vary of RV parks and resorts can accommodate any finances. As for purchasing, Juarez Boulevard affords a big selection of jewellery, ceramics, and leather-based items.

Quite a few films and TV reveals, like Titanic, Planet of the Apes, Worry of the Strolling Useless, and Pearl Harbor, had been filmed in Rosarito.

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