Mexico destination for holiday

Times remain tough for Mexico, but the truth is that there’s never been a better period to visit Latin America’s most diverse nation – most of the country remains safe for visitors (despite the headlines), the peso is at historic lows and Mexicans are the some of the friendliest people in the region.

Away from the major sights in Mexico City and the resorts of Cabo, Puerto Vallerta and Cancun lies a land crammed with tantalizing but lesser-visited destinations.

 

1. Bahía Concepción, Baja California Sur

Mexico is blessed with an abundance of gorgeous beaches but there’s something special about the otherworldly scenery of Bahía Concepción. A pristine bay off the Sea of Cortez, halfway down the Baja California peninsular, spell-binding white-sand beaches line its shores for almost 80km (50 miles), hemmed in by forests of cacti and desert-fringed mountains. As far as kayaking goes, few places in the world can match it.

 

2. Real de Catorce, San Luis Potosí

Mexico’s most extraordinary “ghost town”, Real de Catorce is tucked away in a remote corner of the Bajío, a region once littered with booming silver mines. Since the mid-1990s, an influx of artists, artesanía vendors, wealthy Mexicans and a few foreigners have re-built the virtually abandoned colonial centre, with its narrow cobbled streets and elegantly faded mansions. Huichol pilgrims visit to harvest fresh peyote in the nearby desert.

3. Lago de Pátzcuaro, Michoacán

Most famous for its Day of the Dead celebrations (Nov 1–2), this enchanting lake is a worthy destination year round. There’s the gorgeous waterside town of Pátzcuaro itself, plus the tranquil island of Janitzio and its indigenous fishermen, throwing their traditional butterfly nets from tiny dug-out canoes. Each of the small villages that surround the lake specializes in different arts and crafts.

 

4. The Copper Canyon, Chihuahua

Known for its phenomenal railway, the isolated, beautiful region dubbed the Copper Canyon is best experienced on foot. The village of Creel high in the Sierra Tarahumara acts as a base for expeditions to remote valleys, waterfalls and Rarámuri villages, while the four-hour drive from Cerocahui to the bottom of the Barranca de Urique is mesmerizing. Here the town of Urique marks the start (or end) of the popular two-night, three-day trek to Batopilas, a sleepy village home to a ruined Jesuit mission.

 

5. Las Pozas de Edward James (Xilitla), San Luis Potosí

Having lived in the picturesque small town of Xilitla since 1947, English eccentric Edward James spent the 1960s and 1970s creating the jungle fantasy garden of Las Pozas, full of outlandish concrete statues and structures. James was a patron of the Surrealist movement (he was pals with Dalí and Magritte), and its influence is obvious here, with spiral staircases that curl up into the air, giant stone hands, a mosaic snake and “The House Destined To Be a Cinema”.