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Mexico’s Hidden Gems: Best Resorts For a Budget-Friendly Vacation

Make this an unforgettable summer!

The Beachside in Mexico. Image Credit: SVongpra / Shutterstock

Planning your next trip with friends? Consider Mexico, a country that’ll satisfy both the history geeks and the party lovers. Want to do something off the beaten track? While Mexico City is the capital, there is much to be explored in cities like Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, and Puerto Vallarta. These cities may be known for their beaches and nightlife but they contain traces of the ancient Mayan and Aztec civilization while being shaped by its interesting modern history

Cancún

An aerial view of Cancún. Image Credit: Andrea De la Parra / Shutterstock

Cancún is located in southeast Mexico, bordering the Caribbean Sea. It is a popular tourist destination with many attracted by the pristine sands, turquoise waters, and vibrant nightlife. While staying here, you might want to think about which area to be based in during your stay.

The Hotel Zone contains a series of high-rise chains with proximity to the beach. This would enable you to easily access and participate in the nightlife there, a large reason why Cancún is a frequented Spring Break location. You will be at the heart of celebrations in the city and also perfectly placed to try out activities like snorkeling, diving, and swimming.

Downtown Cancún has character, even if it may be more laid back. The streets have diverse sights like traditional Mexican architecture, modern buildings, and bustling markets. If you’re keen on tacos, tamales, or chilaquiles, the lively restaurant scene won’t disappoint you. Moreover, it is home to the Mayan Museum of Cancún and the El Rey Archaeological Zone.

Depending on the area you’re interested in, here are some options:

Smart Cancun by Oasis

Boasting a private beach, multiple pools, and live music performances, this is a neatly decorated resort located in the hotel zone. Prices start at around $70 per night.

Hotel Xbalamque Resort & Spa

Designed in a Mayan style, the architecture immerses you in Mexican culture while offering modern facilities like a pool and spa. The hotel is minutes away from the Iglesia de Cristo Rey church and Pearl Beach with prices starting from around $50 a night.

Ibis Cancun Centro

A trusty name like Ibis is always reliable with budget-friendly prices starting at about $40 a night. It is well-connected to most major landmarks.

Cabo San Lucas

Downtown Cabo San Lucas. Image Credit: Matt Gush / Shutterstock

Moving on to Cabo San Lucas, while Cancún is frequented by students and known for its nightlife, Cabo San Lucas offers that and more. There is a holistic range of activities one can engage in. If you’re craving a slice of adventure, choose to go ATV riding, horseback riding, zip lining, or on a desert safari. If a staycation sounds more up your alley, relax in high-end hotels or go shopping. All of these combine to make it a great family destination. While some people perceive the city to have only luxury properties, one can experience it on a budget as well.

Both the Hotel Zone and the historic district offer affordable places along with their upper-end offerings, here are a few:

Hotel Santa Fe by Villa Group

This down-to-earth resort offers comfortable and well-furnished rooms starting at the reasonable price of $50 a night. Also, it is s 15 minute walk away from the Jesuit Missions of Loreto Museum and the Municipal Palace of Loreto.

Cabo Vista Hotel

Located in the Pedregal neighborhood, one has many things to do in the vicinity. In the hotel too there is plenty to keep busy, they offer a private pool and beautiful views of the bay area. Prices start at around $70 per night.

Riu Santa Fe

Riu Santa Fe is the slightly pricier of the bunch but it is the only one located on the beach and also offers a pool. One pays for its one-stop-shop nature with prices starting at about $100 per night.

Tulum

Mayan ruins on the beach. Image Credit: andrmoel / Shutterstock

Tulum is a beach town like the other two but it has carved out a unique identity for itself. The city attracts many bohemian and eco-conscious tourists who are keen to experience the beachside but in a more relaxed way. Many of the restaurants serve organic and locally sourced food and drinks. Apart from its wellness attractions, the city is famous for the Tulum Archaeological site containing Mayan ruins. It is famous for being the only Mayan site located on the beach of the Caribbean. This atmosphere has led to a wide range of locals, expats, and tourists settling in the city.

Accommodation in Tulum tends to be in the pricier range but bear in mind that this will be shared by friends who stay with you. This is because these resorts are designed with eco-tourism and sustainability in mind which can be pricy to maintain but ultimately benefit the environment around them.

Hostels

The emphasis on authenticity and slow living has led to the hostel culture being quite welcoming. One can find great, often aesthetically decorated stays at cheap prices. Some places to look out for are Oostel Smart Hostel Tulum Playa (which is right by the beach) and TuboTulum Hostel, both for around $20 a night per person.

Coco Tulum

Starting at about $100 a night, these are pricey but offer a lot of options. The site lets visitors choose between having an eventful or restful stay. The rooms are beautifully decorated in a minimal and rustic style.

Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City. Image Credit: Diego Grandi / Shutterstock

While there is a stereotype of students going to Mexico just for partying during Spring break, there is a plethora of activities one can do apart from that. This is a perfect opportunity to learn more about the rich historical background of the country. In 1810 Mexico declared its independence from Spain so many colonial-era buildings remain alongside the Mayan remains. The city has preserved its legacy from both ancient to modern times, something one should not miss amidst the glittery nightlife.

Written By

Hi! I'm a lover of stories, reveller in the night and you can usually find me dreaming about my film photos coming back from the lab. I'm exciting to write Lifestyle and Culture stories for Trill and hope you enjoy the content :)

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