Top 5 places to spend Christmas in Mexico

Christmas doesn’t need to be all twinkling fairy lights and mugs of mulled wine. If you want to spend the December holidays basking in sunshine, then Mexico is hard to beat. Here are our recommendations of where to head for to enjoy some wonderful winter sun.
Mayan ruins in Palenque. Photo: Shutterstock
Mayan ruins in Palenque. Photo: Shutterstock

Thinking of taking a trip to Mexico this Christmas? Whether you want an alternative way to celebrate or you’re looking to escape the festivities completely, Mexico makes for a thrilling destination in December. Here is our guide to the top spots where you can bask in winter sun in Mexico.

1. La Paz, Baja California

December marks the perfect time of year to watch grey whales off the coast of Baja California. Having travelled more than 9,500km from Alaska’s cool seas, the whales mate and spawn in the warm, shallow waters here. Sightings can be had from the shore (although, luck has a part to play here) or you can join a chartered boat for a day trip. Head out to sea and you might spot finbacks and blue whales too.

Christmas time on Plaza de la Constitucion, Mexico City.Christmas time on Plaza de la Constitucion, Mexico City. Photo: Shutterstock

2. Mexico City

No visit to Mexico would be complete without a visit to the country's vibrant capital city. From delicious food to collections of world-class art, it’s safe to say Mexico City is an underrated destination. Make Zocalo Square your base, touring colonial architecture, the city’s National Palace, verdant parks, lively neighbourhoods and more from here. Visit in December and you’ll see the square lit up with thousands of glittering Christmas decorations too. Combine your holiday with winter sun on Insight Guides’ Mexico City to the Yucatán trip, with three nights spent in the capital and another four on the world-famous peninsula. 

3. Playa del Carmen

One of Mexico’s prime coastal spots, Playa del Carmen is home to palm-fringed, white-sand beaches – an idyllic place to relax and recharge over the Christmas break. Simply sit back and unwind on the Riviera's world-class beaches, take to the waters for impressive diving or snorkelling, or head inland to explore haciendas and Mayan ruins.

Playa del Carmen on January.Playa del Carmen's beaches are beautiful in December and January. Photo: Shutterstock


4. Chiapas Highlands

Winter sun doesn't have to mean lazing by the sea, as you will discover if you visit the highlands of Chiapas, to the southwest of the Yucatán peninsula. Grand rivers, roaring waterfalls and cool pools make for alternative ways to cool off in Mexico's southern Chiapas state. The mountainous highlands are dotted with colonial towns and Mayan ruins, as well as many of the country's indigenous tribal communities. 

5. Mayan ruins

Tulum, Uxmal and Chichén Itzá are three unmissable stops on the Mayan trail, which sprawls across Campeche, Quintana Roo and the Yucatán. Each site offers travellers something a little different. Tulum, nestled among craggy rocks and overlooking the clear Caribbean Sea, is a beach-lover’s paradise, while Uxmal is hidden among dense, lush jungle. Chichén Itzá, possibly Mexico’s most famous Mayan ruin, represents what this ancient civilisation achieved when it was at its peak.

Ready to take a trip to Mexico?

Our local experts can plan incredible trips to Mexico for you. To get started, simply get in touch letting us know when you'd like to travel and your ideas for the trip. We will then create a tailor-made itinerary especially for you, which you can amend until you are completely happy with every detail before you book. You can browse our existing itineraries for inspiration. And keep in mind that all of our pre-planned itineraries can be fully personalised to suit your needs.

Updated 16 November, 2018