The famous and picturesque Yucatán Peninsula stretches into the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea whilst being occupied by the three Mexican states of Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo. This area of Mexico has some of the best history, culture and scenery across the entire country, however most travelers only visit the “tourist hotspots”. Cancun, Tulum and Playa del Carmen are not just three of the most visited places in Mexico, but the world. Yes, these resort towns are appealing and have some of the most gorgeous beaches around, but are they the best places to visit? If you’re searching for authentic Mexico, the simple answer is no. The best way to enjoy this stunning peninsula and be immersed in Mexico’s rich culture is by taking the road less traveled to these six destinations.
“Sunrise. The best time of day. Beautiful natural light peeking over the ocean’s unobstructed horizon, at first casting silhouettes of everything in its path before revealing the true beauty of the landscape we venture to. This time it’s a cultural gold mine: St. Croix, an island ripe with culture and ready for exploration.”
If you’re looking for outstanding snorkeling and affordable travel rates, a Belize snorkeling trip should be next on your list of vacations. Just off the coast of the country is the Belize Barrier Reef. The reef is the second largest in the world and is well-known for the Great Blue Hole, which is a giant marine sinkhole. The lively marine life, warm temperatures, and light blue color of the water makes for incredible snorkeling.
My shins are literally sweating.” I was earning my stripes on this inaugural bikepacking trip in Costa Rica. Literally, sweat was drawing lines through the dirt caked on my legs. It had already been a long, exhausting day of riding, and we were only halfway to our destination. Riding through the touristed town near Playa Flamingo, we popped out on the beach. The air wreaked of suntan lotion as we strode past the crowds on the hard-packed sand. That mile of beach riding was exhilarating! Finding our own nook on the beach, we stripped off our sweat-soaked clothes. I removed my shoes and laughed at my ghostly-white feet, contrasting against the morning’s accumulation of grime. Aaron and I ran toward the clear, turquoise water and tripped into a refreshing haze of bliss.
While Mexico is considered the go to place for warm, beach vacations, many of these alluring spots are heavily populated by tourists. People just like you, looking for the exact same experience in the exact same place. Just like that, those once pristine beaches are over-populated and lacking the relaxing getaway you were daydreaming about.