Editor’s Note: This post is in collaboration with Thomson.

Mexico is a vast country, with over 750 thousand square miles to it, it straddles the Americas and two oceans. Sparkling beach, dusting plain, dewy rainforests and mountain ranges come together to shape its awe-inspiring landscape. Ancient Mayan ruins crumble along the coastline, urban areas sizzle with life. Tourism is popular, ubiquitous, and varied, meaning flights to Mexico can be found at a snip. But planning a visit takes careful consideration, and it’s important to weigh up what you need from your holiday before you go. Read on for a few hints.

For romantic runaways

Cancun, perched at the northernmost tip of the Yucatan peninsula, brings both the delights of the Mexican Caribbean, and the adventure of the surrounding rainforest. Head to the National Reef Park of Puerto Morelos, the second largest coral reef in the world. Take a deep breath, hold onto your snorkel and plunge right in to a dreamy world of pure, warm water, colourful corals and neon fish. Then, collapse into a hammock with a cocktail and let the Caribbean breeze dry your skin. There are cenotes to cool off in and Mayan ruins to explore, as well as hiking, mountain biking and watersports. However much you want your adrenaline to peak, rest assured, the general vibe is always one of blissed-out relaxation.

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For cultural coyotes

Venture southward to Oaxaca, Mexico’s cultural oasis secreted amid a clustering of rugged mountain chains. Trip the light immortal on Day of the Dead at the beginning of November, when the city folks remember their dearly departed in a stained-paper extravaganza of candlelight and bright skeleton masks. Hop, skip and pray between the city’s Cathedral, Basilica and churches, and be sure to drizzle every mealtime with the lip-smacking mole sauce so typical of this region. Take the time to learn about the stratified history behind the culture at the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca, which is housed in a beautiful monastery in the heart of town.

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For history hounds

Mexico’s ancient temples and the mysterious Mayan culture that permeates them are endlessly fascinating. Whether you seek out the colossal Pyramid of the Magician in Uxmal, the shore-side ruin at Tulum or the enigmatic Chichen Itza, there’s so much to discover beyond these ancient stone facades. Learn about the pioneers of astronomy, mathematics and calendars, and take home an unique insight into the past that will outlast any souvenir.

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Images by Rodrigo AccurcioMaloMalverde and Grand Velas Riviera Maya used under the Creative Commons license.

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