|So many places, so little time! Not sure where to vacation this summer? Here are some ideas to get you thinking about your next trip.
Tropical Hot Spots
Tried and true, add these locations to your bucket list. There’s a wide range of resort sizes and styles to fit you perfectly. Nonstop flights from major US cities
Looking for something a little different? These destinations may require more travel time but the end result is worth it.
Looking for a long weekend getaway? Mexico City is a fun possibility. Popular “must see” attractions include the Frida Kahlo Museum, the great pyramid of Tenochtitlan (you can experience this by hot air balloon if you are daring), National Museum of Anthropology and the city historic center. Stay in a nice 5 star hotel, and enjoy the city’s fine dining options.
Research is rough!
I just returned from a visit to Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo on Mexico’s Pacific coast. This beautiful coastal area sits between Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco on two scenic bays, surrounded by lush green mountains and coconut plantations. This is a great destination for folks who have already done the “usual” Mexico destinations and are looking for something different. Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, two beachside towns on two adjacent bays are both charming, sleepy, and authentic feeling — especially when compared to Cancun & Playa del Carmen. Ixtapa has the larger hotels, while Zihuatanejo (still a tongue twister) has the best beach, Playa la Ropa.
Beautiful Playa la Ropa
My top picks for hotels in the area:
- Azul Ixtapa and Azul Ixtapa Grand – these sister properties (4 stars and 4 ½ stars, respectively) are great choices for families, groups, and adults. All-inclusive, multiple pools and restaurants, tennis courts, a convention center, and a view of Ixtapa Island just off the coast keeps you as busy as you want to be. Located on the “Hotel Strip” of Ixtapa and near Senor Frogs and shopping.
- Sunscape Dorado Pacifico – this 3 ½ to 4 star all-inclusive resort is great for families, friend groups, and simple destination weddings. While this hotel is “nothing fancy” the food is very good and the rooms are pleasant and comfortable.
- La Casa de Canta – switching gears, this is a breath-taking, small and intimate boutique hotel suited perfectly for a romantic getaway. Situated in Zihuatanejo and just above La Ropa Beach, you can enjoy views from your own private plunge pool. Gorgeous! Five star luxury. Meals not included.
- Viceroy Ixtapa Hotel – another 5 star gem. Located on the best beach (Playa la Ropa), this property is a bit larger than La Casa de Canta though equally as elegant. Perfect for couples and adult friends travelling together. Also an excellent choice for a destination wedding. Families are welcomed, though there’s not too much for kids to do here. Optional meal plans available.
Flights to Zihuatanejo require a connection from most major US cities. And, don’t forget passports are required. Weather is tropical year round, with high season occurring December through April.
Guanacaste on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast has been growing with 4 and 5 star resorts in the last few years, and flights have increased into the area’s airport (Liberia). The result is a nice selection of upscale and luxury beachfront resorts offering wonderful on-site amenities and activities combined with offsite excursions into Costa Rica’s rainforests, waterways, and volcanoes.
Resorts in the Guanacaste area:
- Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica (5 star luxury)
- Westin Resort & Spa Playa Conchal (5 star luxury)
- JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort (4 1/2 star upscale-luxury)
- Reserva Conchal (4 star upscale)
- Hilton Papagayo Resort & Spa (4 star upscale)
- Riu Guanacaste (4 star upscale)
- Punta Islita Hotel (4 star upscale)
- Occidental Grand Papagayo (3 star moderate)