Mexico has something for every kind of spring break traveler: sunny beaches, adventure in tropical rainforests, culture in buzzing cities or calm in charming villages. But no region offers great airfare deals from all over the U.S. quite like Cancún.
But don’t fly in and stay put, and definitely avoid ultra-busy Playa del Carmen. Use Cancún as a jumping off point to rent a car and explore less-touristy parts of the Yucatán Peninsula such as Mérida, the capital of Yucatán state and the place to be for admiring architecture and learning about Mayan history, or Puerto Morelos, a tiny beach town with amazing seafood.
Natalia de la Rosa Hilario, a food writer and operations leader for the Mexico food-tour company Club Tengo Hambre, recommends heading to the “super cool” fishing village of Celestún, famous for its flamingo-filled nature reserve. En route to Celestún, de la Rosa Hilario recommends pulling over to dip in the area’s famous cenotes, or sinkhole freshwater pools. They’ll have facilities for you to change, swim and get back on the road refreshed.