Happy Cinco de Mayo! Today, we’re thinking of Mexico and its rich history. Much more than just margarita pitchers at your favorite restaurant, this day honors the defeat of Napoleon III and his French Army—France’s second attempt at invading the country—in 1862, later becoming a day for Mexican-Americans to celebrate their heritage. In honor of Cinco de Mayo, here are five of our favorite destinations within this vast and colorful country, from the hustle and bustle of Mexico City to the serene shores of Punta de Mita.
San Miguel de Allende
This 500-year-old city, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, feels like a step back in time. Superbly preserved Spanish colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, colorful stucco structures, and alleys filled with authentic Mexican wares are just a few of San Miguel de Allende’s charming appeals. The small city has that intoxicating mix of small-town living and cosmopolitan attractions like cafés, jazz clubs, and galleries. Don’t miss this cultural gem—stay at the luxe Rosewood in the heart of the city, perfect for easy exploring.
The capital of the Yucatan state has a rich Mayan and colonial history and has long been a popular travel destination among Europeans. Mérida offers stunning architecture, colonial history, museums, excellent cuisine, and energetic markets offering the best of the region’s specialties for purchase, such as hand-woven hammocks and Panama hats. This modern yet historic city is also a great jumping-off point to visiting nearby ancient ruins and sandy Gulf of Mexico beaches. Stay at the luxe and off-the-beaten-path Chablé Yucatan to see the beauty of the peninsula’s countryside.
Punta de Mita
This seaside enclave on the shores of the Pacific is a secluded slice of paradise, far from the overly crowded beaches of more popular tourist destinations. A private peninsula surrounded on three sides by crystal-clear water, Punta de Mita is a hot spot for luxury accommodations—Inspirato’s six residences, nestled within the Los Veneros resort community, all offer private pools and breakfast prepared in home daily. Try your hand at the area’s world-class, deep-sea fishing, or catch the sea turtle hatch from July to December.
Culture cravers will thrive in this urban metropolis, the most populous city in North America at almost 9 million residents. Explore the country’s storied history among Mexico City‘s high rises with a visit to the Museo Nacional de Antropología, featuring a rich collection of Mayan artifacts (it’s impossible to see the entire museum in one day). Stay in the heart of it all at Las Alcobas, a luxury hotel tucked into the vibrant Polanco neighborhood.
Mexico’s fabled Riviera Maya region, nestled along the Caribbean coast from Cancun to Tulum, offers both a rich history and relaxing respite. Inspirato’s hotel partners, from NIZUC, just outside Cancun, to Banyan Tree Mayakoba, further secluded in the jungle. Take a dip in the region’s cenotes, deep underwater caves held sacred to the Mayans, or explore the ruins of the ancient civilization’s vast city with a visit to Chichen Itza in Yucatán.