Mexico

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Mexico

In spite of, or perhaps because of its proximity to North America, Mexico remains resolutely Latin American. The country has a unique Latin culture that has been influenced by a thrilling patchwork of ancient Mesoamerican civilisations, Colonial invasions and a rich land of geological wonders.

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The fertile soil gave Mexico an agricultural head start and recipes handed down through generations have burst onto a fresh and exciting culinary scene. Creative arts in Mexico play a big part in today’s culture and the country has produced some of the world’s most talented artists and writers; Frida Kahlo, Alfonso Cuarón and Carols Fuentes, to name a few.

Not far from the border with the US, the rugged state of Chihuahua is home to the Copper Canyon. This is a wild and beautiful land of deep mountain gorges and ancient Raramuri Indian settlements. A stunning train ride on the ‘Chepe train’, which was once used to transport minerals from Chihuahua to the Pacific coast, carves its way along cliff edges, over remote indigo lakes and past forgotten towns.

The Central Highlands that surround Mexico City contain stunning examples of Spanish Colonial cities. It is said that the first seeds of the Mexican Revolution were sown in the cobbled streets of these towns. Many have been protected by UNESCO and they are easily reached by road from Mexico City. To the north, Queretaro, Patzcuaro, Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende come with their own unique architecture from Barroque cathedrals to colourful houses. Further south Puebla and Oaxaca are on many a historian’s list or travel east to the pretty town of Morelia between December and March and you should encounter the great migration of over a billion monarch butterflies taking a pit stop in the nearby Michoacan forests.

Those looking to spend time on the coast can choose calm, Caribbean water in the Yucatan Pensinsula or the huge breakers that roll in from the Pacific, which is also a well-loved spot for excellent whale watching.

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Quick Facts

Capital
Mexico City

Population
116 million

Area
1.96 million sq km (758,449 sq miles)

Major Languages
Spanish

Major religion
Christianity

Monetary Unit
peso

When to go
The Caribbean coast is at its best between December and early May. In July the rains start to arrive and travel to this region is best avoided in the hurricane season between August and early November.

The best whale sightings on the Pacific are between January and March.

The centre of Mexico sees less rainfall in general although it can be wet across the country in September and October.

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Highlights

The Yucatan

With Cancun acting as a magnet for large crowds of sun-seekers and spring-break revellers, the rest of this beautiful region remains relatively untouched. The Yucatan boasts miles of Caribbean coastline where turquoise ocean laps onto soft, white sand. Exceptional Travel has handpicked a few stunning hotels and private houses that offer exclusive locations away from the crowds with picture-perfect Caribbean views.

Inland, the Yucatan is a treasure trove of ancient Mayan ruins, underground river systems and an impressive diversity of birdlife. While many of the Mayan sites such as Chichen Itza and Uxmal draw hundreds of visitors a day, they are magnificent and, with special permission and the help of local, private guides, they can be accessed early in the morning before official opening times.

There are some charming luxury haciendas from which to explore the area returning each day to stylish, traditional surroundings and delicious food prepared by local chefs. The roads are good and easy to navigate for those who prefer to explore independently.

San Miguel de Allende

The Central Highlands are home to beautiful Colonial towns that have been perfectly preserved through time. Pretty cobbled streets lead to leafy plazas and vast, impressive cathedrals that tell so much about the country’s Spanish heritage. Each city is unique and it is worth including two or three in your travels but San Miguel de Allende does stand out.

The town was UNESCO protected in 2008 ensuring that its colourful architecture and beautiful cathedral are preserved. While the town has a fascinating Colonial history, San Miguel is also a thriving and cosmopolitan hub for artists and authors. World-class writers speak at events scheduled throughout the year and there are excellent independent galleries where up-and-coming artists display an eclectic mix of work.

The city is also known for its fantastic cuisine and there are a few excellent cooking schools that can open their doors to one-off lessons with renowned chefs.

The Pacific Coast

Mexico’s pacific coast is known for its wild and rugged coastline where enormous rollers rise out of the ocean and crash onto golden beaches. Exceptional Travel work with some of the most exclusive private houses and boutique properties along this coastline, some of which can only be accessed by private charter planes. Once there, guests can truly relax surrounded by lush gardens and miles of hidden beaches.

For those seeking more life and action, the Pacific is also famed for its golf courses and fashionable towns such as Puerto Vallarta. The Baja peninsula is a whale-watching hot spot (from February to April) with a greater variety of whales and dolphins than almost anywhere else on the planet.

The Yucatan

With Cancun acting as a magnet for large crowds of sun-seekers and spring-break revellers, the rest of this beautiful region remains relatively untouched. The Yucatan boasts miles of Caribbean coastline where turquoise ocean laps onto soft, white sand. Exceptional Travel has handpicked a few stunning hotels and private houses that offer exclusive locations away from the crowds with picture-perfect Caribbean views.

Inland, the Yucatan is a treasure trove of ancient Mayan ruins, underground river systems and an impressive diversity of birdlife. While many of the Mayan sites such as Chichen Itza and Uxmal draw hundreds of visitors a day, they are magnificent and, with special permission and the help of local, private guides, they can be accessed early in the morning before official opening times.

There are some charming luxury haciendas from which to explore the area returning each day to stylish, traditional surroundings and delicious food prepared by local chefs. The roads are good and easy to navigate for those who prefer to explore independently.

San Miguel de Allende

The Central Highlands are home to beautiful Colonial towns that have been perfectly preserved through time. Pretty cobbled streets lead to leafy plazas and vast, impressive cathedrals that tell so much about the country’s Spanish heritage. Each city is unique and it is worth including two or three in your travels but San Miguel de Allende does stand out.

The town was UNESCO protected in 2008 ensuring that its colourful architecture and beautiful cathedral are preserved. While the town has a fascinating Colonial history, San Miguel is also a thriving and cosmopolitan hub for artists and authors. World-class writers speak at events scheduled throughout the year and there are excellent independent galleries where up-and-coming artists display an eclectic mix of work.

The city is also known for its fantastic cuisine and there are a few excellent cooking schools that can open their doors to one-off lessons with renowned chefs.

The Pacific Coast

Mexico’s pacific coast is known for its wild and rugged coastline where enormous rollers rise out of the ocean and crash onto golden beaches. Exceptional Travel work with some of the most exclusive private houses and boutique properties along this coastline, some of which can only be accessed by private charter planes. Once there, guests can truly relax surrounded by lush gardens and miles of hidden beaches.

For those seeking more life and action, the Pacific is also famed for its golf courses and fashionable towns such as Puerto Vallarta. The Baja peninsula is a whale-watching hot spot (from February to April) with a greater variety of whales and dolphins than almost anywhere else on the planet.

Where to stay

These are just a selection of the properties we can personally recommend. Please get in touch to hear more about our full portfolio.

Villa Alma Rosa

Designed for a French artist and her family, Villa Alma Rosa is one of the best value villa rentals on along Mexico’s Riviera Maya coast. This beautiful home is located on Jade Beach in Akumal with powdery white sand and the turquoise Caribbean Sea steps from your door.

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Chable Maroma

Flanked by tropical jungle and a spectacular coastline of white, Caribbean beach, Chable Maroma is a truly special Mexican retreat with unbroken views of the turquoise ocean ahead. The scenic setting provides a decadent immersion in beachside tranquillity far from the madding crowd.

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Chable Yucatan

Chable is one of the Yucatan’s most stylish retreats that offers a world-class wellness programme amid a spectacular and private jungle setting. Hidden amid Mayan forest and 750 acres of private land, this unique retreat is only 25 minutes from Merida but feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of a busy town.

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Hacienda de San Antonio

Hacienda de San Antonio is part of the Goldsmith family’s portfolio of luxury private retreats in Mexico. Everything about Hacienda de San Antonio feels decadent and ‘other worldly’. You half expect Gatsby himself to appear at the rooftop bar and order a gin cocktail.

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Hotel Esencia

Esencia is a luxury retreat on the shores of the Caribbean Sea. The property can claim one of the best beach fronts in the region and, for many years, it has remained one of our favourite beach hideaways in the Yucatan.

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Las Alamandas

Las Alamandas is hidden amid 1,200 acres of a pristine nature reserve on the Costalegre coastline between Merida and Puerto Vallarta. Las Alamandas is breathtakingly romantic with plenty of nooks and crannies to rest and relax in the privacy of lush gardens that fringe the miles of beach ahead.

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Get in touch with us now to start planning your journey

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