A two-week itinerary through magical Mexico

With fiery cuisine and flamboyant festivals, fresh-faced beach retreats and ancient ruins, Mexico is many things to many people – and never dull. Plunge into the cosmopolitan culture of Mexico City, before diving into the sapphire waters of Playa del Carmen and Tulum on this ten-day trip. To help you map out your own one-of-a-kind itinerary, our Travel Advisors are on hand to suggest the best hotels in Mexico. 

AT A GLANCE

• A two-week independent itinerary from the metropolitan magnet that’s Mexico City to the coastal allure of Playa del Carmen and Tulum

• After dipping into the buzzing barrios of Mexico City, or swimming secret cenotes, sipping cervezas at your SLH boutique hotel is one of life’s simple pleasures

• Follow the brushstrokes of Frida Kahlo in Mexico City, see turtles hatching on Playa del Carmen’s picture-perfect beaches and climb Mayan ruins in Tulum

COMING IN TO LAND: MEXICO CITY

You’ll get an early glimpse of Mexico City’s mix of the contemporary and colonial by taking a taxi from the airport to your luxury hotel. Look for the signs that say ‘Taxi Autorizado’ to buy a ticket for the capital’s official cabs, making your post-plane journey as hassle-free as possible. Or, if you choose to stay at Downtown, take advantage of this historical hotel’s complimentary shuttle service. Guests at Stara Hamburgo and Stara San Angel Inn can get their bearings over dinner, as both these modernist hotels feature rooftop restaurants with cityscape views.

Top tip: If you’d rather dip into the city centre from a quieter neighbourhood, make for Puertas del Bosque, a 19th century hacienda among the peaceful plazas and leafy parks of Tlalpan.

GO BARRIO HOPPING

Whether you’re picturing stop-and-stare architecture, authentic street food or bars that still serve mezcal at dawn, barrio-hopping is the best way to see the many faces of Mexico City. With just a few days to spare, narrow things down by exploring the barrios magicos – magical neighbourhoods. San Angel is where you’ll find Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo – which tends to be pleasantly quieter than famous Casa Azul.

You could spend weeks just visiting museums and mega-monuments in the ‘City of Palaces’. Set out on foot from Downtown hotel and you’ll easily tick off Palacio Nacional and the Aztec ruins at Templo Mayor. Strike further into Cenro Historico to see the murals inside Palacio de Bellas Artes. Then, if you’re in the mood for shopping, make time for Calle de Donceles. This bookshop-stuffed street is bliss for bibliophiles and ideal for picking up holiday reading for the next leg of your trip.

Suggested stay, four nights.

THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES: PLAYA DEL CARMEN

Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique, Mexico

If Cancún is the life and soul of the party, Playa del Carmen is its laid-back neighbour. Made for those who like their beaches with bronze sands and plenty of energy, it’s ideally placed on the road to Tulum.

A stay at Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique puts the azure ocean before you and the Mexican rainforest at your back. Delve into the jungle at Punta Venado Caribbean Eco-Park to kayak, horse-ride or snorkel your way through virtually untouched terrain. Or look for tranquil beaches, such as Playa Akumal. You may spot newly-hatched turtles if you’re here in July or August.

As the sun sets, it’s difficult to leave the outlook – and cocktail menu – at Blue Diamond. But if you find yourself in town, look beyond mezcal and tequila to the thriving craft beer scene – best sampled at Club de Cerveza.

Suggested stay, four nights.

WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE: TULUM

Once a bohemian favourite, the spirit of barefoot luxury still shines in Tulum. But nowadays you might find yourself sipping cocktails or practising yoga next to a celebrity. Base yourself at a beachside boutique hotel such as El Pez, La Zebra, Mezzanine or Mi Amor and explore the jungle-clad coastline on two wheels, by renting a bicycle. 

El Pez, Mexico

Once you’ve settled in, devote a day to the Mayan ruins that rise out of the forest along this ancient stretch. Tulum is home to one of the most impressive of these, on cliffs above azure seas. Further afield, the ruins of Cobá are worth a trip. And if you’re happy to forego one more full day on a sun lounger, UNESCO-listed Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve showcases Mexican wildlife in all its glory.

Suggested stay, five nights.

TRAVEL TIPS

This itinerary covers vast distances so, for maximum downtime, it’s best to travel by air. Mexico has over fifty airports and internal flights run regularly. You can also ask our Voice Reservation Team for details about transfers or transport provided by individual hotels. 

BOOK YOUR BOUTIQUE HOTELS

To book the hotels on this independent itinerary, get in touch with our Voice Reservation Team on 0800 0482 314 (UK) & 1-877-234-7033 (US). You can find a full list of our dedicated toll-free numbers here. We’re ready and waiting to plan luxury adventures 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So whenever inspiration strikes, just get in touch.