A Set-Jetter's Guide to Mexico's Most Unexpected Escapes

This guide reveals Mexico's hidden gems: eco-friendly Mayan villages, surfer havens with artsy vibes, a lagoon shimmering with colors, and even nature's own surreal masterpiece. Ditch the ordinary, set-jetters — Mexico's unexpected side awaits!

A Set-Jetter's Guide to Mexico's Most Unexpected Escapes
Lose yourself in the dazzling colors of Mexico's “Lake of Seven Colors” — Bacalar Lagoon.

Mexico. Land of Frida Kahlo's piercing gaze, mariachi serenades, and beaches bleached by a relentless sun. But for the seasoned set-jetter, the usual suspects hold little allure. They crave the closely guarded secrets, the destinations that exist on the cusp of emerging cool and timeless intrigue. So, let go of the tequila slammers in Cancun and the tourist throngs of Tulum. Here's your passport to the under-the-radar corners of Mexico where exclusivity meets eccentricity.

Huatulco: Where Luxury Meets Lush Jungles

Imagine this: a string of pristine coves carved from emerald cliffs, each one cradling a boutique hotel where infinity pools seem to merge with the endless Pacific. Welcome to Huatulco, Oaxaca's crown jewel, a place where five bays – each with its own distinct personality – offer a playground for the discerning traveler. Tangolunda Bay boasts swanky resorts catering to those who equate a perfect vacation with a Michelin-starred ceviche and 1,000-thread-count sheets. Venture further, and you'll find secluded havens like Chahué Bay, where thatched-roof bungalows disappear into the jungle canopy and the only sound is the rhythmic sigh of the ocean. Here, luxury comes cloaked in serenity, a chance to commune with nature's untamed beauty while indulging in creature comforts.

Don't Miss: Take a boat tour through the bioluminescent waters of Chacahua Bay at night. The water transforms into a starry spectacle, a million tiny plankton illuminating your wake.

Visit the La Crucecita market, a riot of color and sound where you can snag hand-embroidered huipils (traditional blouses) and sample chapulines (grasshoppers, a local delicacy – for the adventurous!).

Bacalar: A Lagoon Paradise Beckons

The Yucatan Peninsula is no stranger to tourist hordes, but Bacalar, a laid-back town tucked around a mystical lagoon, offers a serene escape. Picture this: a seven-color lagoon, a kaleidoscope of turquoise, jade, and sapphire, fringed by dense mangroves. This haven is a paradise for kayakers and paddleboarders, a place to lose yourself in the symphony of nature. Here, luxury takes the form of charming boutique hotels lining the lagoon's edge, each boasting private docks and a distinct personality. Spend your days exploring hidden cenotes (natural sinkholes), spotting exotic birds in the jungle, or simply floating in the lagoon's warm embrace.

Don't Miss: Hire a local guide for a nighttime boat tour. As you glide across the still water, the Milky Way explodes above, a celestial ballet mirrored in the lagoon's depths.

Visit the Fuerte de San Felipe, a 17th-century fort that now houses a museum chronicling the region's fascinating history. Don't miss the chance to climb the ramparts for breathtaking lagoon views.

Surfing, Shamans, and Secret Beaches of Puerto Escondido

Puerto Escondido isn't on the map for the faint of heart. This bohemian haven on Oaxaca's coast caters to surfers seeking legendary breaks and those with a taste for the unconventional. Here, days are spent battling the waves (or attempting to gracefully wipe out) and nights are fueled by live music in candlelit beach bars. But scratch beneath the surface, and you'll find a hidden world waiting to be explored. Seek out a local shaman for a temazcal (a traditional sweat lodge) ceremony, a deeply spiritual experience that promises to cleanse both body and soul. Or, embark on a guided tour to discover hidden coves accessible only by foot, where pristine beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters await.

Don't Miss: Take a surfing lesson. Even if you don't catch a wave, the experience of battling the Pacific is unforgettable.

Head to the Mercado Benito Juárez, a sensory overload of local crafts, fresh produce, and an undeniable local charm. Don't forget to try a tlayuda (a giant, crispy tortilla piled high with various toppings) – a true Oaxacan street food experience.

Mexico's hidden gems beckon. So, pack your most stylish kaftan and your thirst for adventure. It's time to trade the tourist trail for a set-jetter's sojourn into the soul of a truly remarkable country. Just remember, in these secluded escapes, exclusivity comes with a side of peculiarity. Go with it – it's all part of the charm.