Even if it doesn't come with an extra day off, Cinco de Mayo is the perfect Mayday to signal thrill n'frill filled three-day weekends to come. This May 5th we're challenging you to declare itinerary independence from typical tourist traps and TripAdvisor reviews and travel to the country that welcomes backpackers, beach bums, island-hoppers, hikers, and urbanites alike – Mexico. We've teamed up with Travelocity to clue you in on the 5 cities you must see this Cinco de Mayo for an authentic Mexican vacation so pack your bags and prepare for sun drenched, salt & lime laced days ahead.
Despite its reputation as a refuge for spring breakers, Cancun offers plenty of gorgeous, fraternity-free resorts that cater to those who want to experience the more tranquil side of the tropical Yucatan climate. Travelocity Vacation Packages lets you book flights plus five stars like The Beloved Hotel, Le Blanc Spa Resort, and Live Aqua together for combined savings of up to 40%. Beach lovers and bacchanalians alike will find action – sightseeing the ancient Mayan ruins during sunshine hours and soaking up a nightlife scene that rivals Ibiza and Las Vegas.
4. Santa Fe
Known as the Camelot of the Southwest, Santa Fe is the cultural epicenter of the desert states. Native American, early Spanish, and Northern Mexican Sonoran influence all blend together here to create unique New Mexican style art, architecture, and cooking – making the many museums, galleries, boutiques, restaurants, live performances, and people watching in the Plaza prime for lovers of calm climate, cuisine, and culture alike. With writers and artists from around the globe calling these panoramic pueblos home – one stay in Santa Fe will make you feel like you've earned a passport stamp (or two).
3. Puerto Vallarta
Sought out by fast movers, free spirits, and first class fliers alike – Puerto Vallarta's combination of cobblestone streets, cosmopolitan shops, stunning sandy beaches, stylish eateries, and endless supply of sea-centric sports (yoga, surfing, sailing, and swimming with dolphins – just to name a few) make for a model Mexican destination. If you bore of the sparkling blue Bay of Banderas, there's still plenty shopping, strolling, and sipping tequila to be done along the Malecon boardwalk. Travelocity Cruises boasts a Mexican Riviera Cruise special that stops in the very lively Vallarta along with beach laded Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlan – the part traditional, part expat settled "Pearl of the Pacific."
In Oaxaca everyday life is laced with fiestas, celebration, and southern Mexican charm. The two-part Guelaguetza event that features diverse folk fashion and dance from 16 different ethnic & religious groups every July and the quirky Night of the Radishes Christmastime carved vegetable festival are not to be missed. Home to some of the country's finest archaeology (Monte Alban, arguably one of the most important ruins of the early Americas) and fine arts ('barro negro' or black clay pottery and alebrijes wooden animals) along with an impressive recipe repertoire that includes the famed mole – this town expertly melds its rich Zapotec heritage with three centuries of colonial society.
1. Mexico City
Your tour of Mexico is not complete without stopping in the nation's captivating capital. Sometimes given a bad rap for pollution, overpopulation, and crime – Mexico City offers a complex view of the past colliding into the present and future – with ancient Aztec history still visible alongside world class contemporary cafes, canals, design, dining, nightlife, parks, and well over 100+ museums – second only to Paris. If you think going south of the border is outside your credit card comfort zone – try out our discounts or sign up for Travelocity's free FareWatcher Plus to track fares and receive alerts on price changes, special offers, and more on flights to our top picks plus 5 other destinations on your wanderlust wish list.