Cabo, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta – Oh My!
So you want to go somewhere warm – somewhere you can dip your toes in the cool blue ocean, bask in the warmth of the sun’s rays as they hit the sand, and truly relax and let your cares slip away – and you’ve decided Mexico is just the place, but you’re not sure which city is right for you. Each of Mexico’s three most popular destinations, Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, and Puerto Vallarta, offer something unique and magical for every traveler. Here is a quick guide to help you pick which one will be perfect for you and your family.
Cabo San Lucas
Located on the tip of the 800-mile long Baja California Peninsula, Cabo has everything you need for a relaxing or active vacation. It is surrounded by extraordinary natural beauty and top-notch attractions and activities such as sport fishing, golf, shopping, watersports, gourmet dining, skydiving, and a visit to its famous stone arch, El Arco. Twenty miles northeast is San Jose del Cabo, a charming and romantic colonial town with the flavor and colors of Old Mexico.
Days in Cabo are usually hot, sunny, and with low humidity. The coldest months are December and January, averaging highs of 80 degrees Fahrenheit and lows of 65 on average, and the stormy season is July to October. Because of its location, there are microclimates on either side of the peninsula that vary during each season. Temperatures on the Sea of Cortez side and Pacific Ocean side can vary as much as 15 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is worth checking the location of your hotel/resort and time of year to make sure you have the best chance of getting the weather you’re looking for.
Cancun is located in Quintana Roo, where “Mayan culture shines on every corner.” It is surrounded by the beautiful Caribbean Sea, soft coral sands, and crystal-clear waters. In addition to all the regular beach, shopping, and nightlife activities that are available, it is also located near many Mayan ruins including El Rey, El Templo del Alacrán, Xibalbá, Talum, and Chichen Itza. It is also located near Xcaret – the most important eco-archaeological park in the country. The splendor of Xcaret is why Cancun was named the second most attractive destination for summer vacations in 2016 by Trip Advisor.
The climate year-round is generally sunny and balmy, but humidity can increase in the summer months. Occasionally, tropical storms bring extended rainfall or worse. The least expensive time to visit is from May to November, with shoulder season falling in December and April. Steer clear from mid-February to April, as that is usually when thousands of college students descend to celebrate spring break.
Puerto Vallarta amazes and inspires people every day with its beautiful blue skies, pleasant waters, and breathtaking sunsets. The city is located at the foot of the Sierras Cuale and San Sebastián parts of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range, and three rivers flow from the mountains through the area. Once named La ciudad más amigable del mundo (The Friendliest City in the World), you won’t find the hospitality here lacking. The downtown area offers sculptures, art, the worldwide famous Arcos, the Malecon boardwalk, and plenty of options for shopping, dining, and nightlife. And the popular Rhythms of the Night dinner and show shouldn’t be missed! Whether you want to sip daiquiris on the beach, kayak along the coast, or get a burst of adrenaline zip-lining through the forest, Puerto Vallarta has it all.
The climate is typically wet and dry, averaging 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, and the rainy season extends from mid-June to mid-October. August is the wettest month, but rainfall tends to be concentrated in large rainstorms. These can be quite spectacular for those of you who love thunder and lightning! The mountains help reduce extreme weather variations, keeping the city much milder than other areas along the Mexican Pacific coast, and hurricanes seldom strike Puerto Vallarta.
Each destination offers the possibility of staying at an all-inclusive resort. You can read more about these resorts and why they’re such great deals by clicking the links below:
Photos are taken in person or provided by the supplier except where credited.