Mexico is a great place to visit in the winter, as the lower latitudes mean warmer weather year round. However, this is not exactly a secret, and some of the most popular vacation destinations can get swamped during what seems like it should be the off-season. Avoid the crowds by visiting these five off-the-beaten-path vacation spots in Mexico.


Isolated cenote and greenery near Caribbean Ocean in Cozumel, Mexico
Credit: Rubi Rodriguez Martinez/ Shutterstock

This divers’ paradise in the Caribbean is a largely undeveloped island that has yet to catch the attention of many vacationers. Beautiful blue oceans collide with pristine beaches that see far less traffic than other places in Mexico.

There are also a wide variety of activities that will keep you busy on Cozumel. You can explore the Mayan ruins, take a glass-bottomed boat tour, or just relax on beautiful Palancar Beach.

Valle del Guadelupe

Path in vineyard with mountain range in the background
Credit: Priscilia Salinas/ Shutterstock

You don’t need a beach to have a great time in Mexico. Check out Mexico’s most well-known wine region to experience the country in a whole new way. Just a couple of hours south of the U.S. border, in Baja California, you will find this hidden gem.

The Valle del Guadelupe is a fertile and vibrant environment, brimming with beautiful fauna and wonderful views. And, of course, the wine tasting is out of this world. The region is more focused on small-batch winemaking than more commercially focused ones in America such as Napa Valley. Keep an eye open for Malbecs and Petite Sirahs that are unlike anything you would find to the north.

Guanajuato City

Beautiful streets and colorful facades of San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato
Credit: Rubi Rodriguez Martinez/ Shutterstock 

A lot of attention gets paid to San Miguel de Allende, considered by many to be Mexico’s premier surviving colonial city. However, this can mean the crowds can be suffocating, especially in the winter when people are looking for an urban area to explore instead of a beach to lounge on.

Escape those crowds by visiting Guanajuato City instead. This UNESCO heritage site has all of the colonial buildings, old churches, and pastel-painted buildings lining cobblestone streets that you could ask for. In addition, it sits in one of the Mexican states that is legally certified to produce tequila, so you can try some of the world’s best spirits while you are there.

Isla Holbox

Holbox tropical Island in Quintana Roo of Mexico
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Get away from the Cancun crowds by heading a couple hours out of town and hopping on the ferry to Isla Holbox. Explore the town to see colorful murals or head to unspoiled, unoccupied beaches to relax in solitude.

Isla Holbox is located within the boundaries of Mexico’s largest nature preserve, the Yum Balam Nature Reserve. Mexico’s first protected ecological area was established in 1994 at the request of local citizens, and as such, it’s one of the best places to explore the local fauna and see vibrant coral reefs up close.

Rincón de Guayabitos

Aerial View of Nayarit Beach Rincon de Guayabitos, Mexico
Credit: ferrantraite/ iStock 

This beautiful fishing village is only 40 minutes away from Puerto Vallarta, but that’s enough to make it feel like an entirely different experience. The village sits in between the Bay of Jeltemba and the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range, which means there are a wide variety of beautiful natural environments to explore.

Head to the Playa Rincón de Guayabitos to check out the warm water and many beach vendors selling food and trinkets from fanciful, colored carts. You can also rent a kayak or take a ride on a water taxi to reach the nearby Isla Cangrejo and Isla Coral. These islands are undeveloped and lack running water or electricity, making them the perfect place to unplug for an afternoon and take in the beautiful environment.