Central + South America Mexico Mayan Ruins, Aztec Sites, Beautiful Beaches, Colonial Towns, Colourful Markets. Huge and varied, with great swathes of wild and untamed land, a country of great drama and spectacular landscapes, Mexico is so very much more than the strips of Caribbean and Pacific coast that most visitors limit themselves to. Rich and fascinating culture, stunning colonial towns, stylish hacienda hotels, Mayan temples, Aztec pyramids and colourful markets all form a rich tapestry. Our own travels and numerous contacts in the country have uncovered small, privately owned properties and excellent private guides in Mexico’s most unique and least visited areas. We work with some world-class beach properties and private houses – and these are in very specifically chosen locations, away from mass tourism. We also know that travelling successfully within Mexico needs expert knowledge to plan an itinerary that successfully navigates its complex transport systems. Stories Places to Stay Highlights Location Stories As every one of the holidays we create is truly tailor-made, all of our clients come back with different and interesting stories. We love to hear from our clients on their return to find out about their most memorable moments. Our Destination Experts are also always travelling to our extraordinary destinations and every trip allows us to refine and add value to our clients' future experiences. First time on a Surfboard Zachary ventured to the town of Sayulita in Mexico to explore the beach with his son. Whilst there he took his 5 year old son surfing for the very first time, who loved it and took to it straight away. Find out more THE VIBRANCE AND COLOUR OF MEXICO Chase Buckner travelled to Mexico from the US. He was blown away by the vivid colours that awash the city, from the buildings in Puebla to the markets in Oaxaca. It filled him with warmth and happiness and put a smile on his face every day. Find out more EXPLORING THE COPPER CANYON Jenny Wilkinson ventured deep into Mexico's stunning Copper Canyon to explore its vast open scenery and jagged rock faces. With a private guide she trekked to the famous 'Piedra Bolada', but did she overcome her fears and conquer the 'Rocking Stone'? Find out more Places to Stay At cazenove+loyd, we have no vested interest in the hotels, lodges, boats, trains and tented camps which we select. We only choose what is right for a particular client. We visit each destination in our three regions on a regular basis and have detailed conversations with our clients on their return so our choices are continually refined. Here are just four c+l reviews. This is by no means a prescriptive list, but hints at what we look for and value in places to stay. HOTEL BO, SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS When you are driving through the winding cobbled streets of San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas, you would never believe that behind one of the wooden doors, with a fairly beaten up façade would be this stylish sleek hotel with a sense of calm and tranquillity. As you enter the hotel you are welcomed by a blend of cool authentic and modern architecture, with a minimalist feel yet full of colour. The hotel has themed itself around the four elements of water, fire, earth and air. Find out more ESENCIA, RIVIERA MAYA Hidden from view along the glorious stretches of sandy beach on Mexico's Riviera Maya is Esencia. Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula has many hidden gems and this may be the best kept secret of them all. It is small and intimate exuding tranquility and calm. Originally the Duchess of Ferrari's private holiday retreat, it still has that wonderful private feel to it and is a sensory delight. From the initial check-in in a small thatched hut to a stroll through the lush tropical 50 acre gardens there is always something to see, smell or touch. Find out more CASA OAXACA, OAXACA Casa Oaxaca is located in the heart of this sprawling town and offers the authenticity of living in a genuine 18th century colonial house. It is small and intimate, exuding tranquillity; a place of calm amongst the hustle and bustle of Oaxaca. It feels wonderfully private and tucked away, yet you are only steps away from the town’s centre. Casa Oaxaca has an inviting swimming pool and garden, which is the perfect place to relax after a day exploring the markets, ornate colonial churches or the archaeological ruins of Monte Alban. Find out more Las Alcobas This exciting modern boutique hotel is located in the trendy district of Polanco along Presidente Masaryk Avenue which is Mexico’s version of the Champs-Elysees and is home to the city's best shops and restaurants. The hotel itself has 35 rooms all with a 24 hour butler service, but our favourite by far are the penthouse suites, which have extensive private balconies for a city hotel, and views of the picturesque Parque America. The two restaurants here have some of the most exciting and interesting menus we have tasted in Mexico. Find out more Highlights For over 20 years we have been creating the best luxury tailor-made holidays, we know our countries inside and out and really know how to get under the skin of each one and the best way to experience them. Exploring The Yucatan The Yucatan in Mexico has unspoilt and charming Caribbean beaches along with little-visited Mayan sites waiting to be explored. Sleepy, colonial towns are a real surprise full of colourful local markets. Find out more The Copper Canyon The Copper Canyon is extensive and impressive. This beautiful area is relatively unknown, meaning a journey into the base of the canyon allows you to have whole towns to yourself to discover. Find out more Colonial cities North of Mexico Travel further North, where tourists are scarce, with an exceptional guide who will take you to visit some of Mexico's finest 17th and 18th Century colonial architecture in local mineral rich towns and cities. Find out more Lesser known Mayan sites Dotted throughout the Yucatan and Chiapas in South-East Mexico, there are smaller and lesser known Mayan sites, some still partially covered in jungle and often unknown to guide books. Experience the genuine feeling of discovery. Find out more River drifting and diving in the cenotes The Yucatan is home to miles of fresh water underground river systems, which can be partially navigated in small boats. Diving here in the crystal clear waters and exploring ancient caves makes for an exclusive and real adventure. Find out more Private gardens of Mexico City Only a short distance from the heart of Mexico City, cazenove+loyd have access to the very best private gardens in the city. This is a very special way to see the diversity of indigenous flora in the company of the gardens' owners. Find out more Show All Location We know Mexico better than most. The possibilities are endless and ever-changing. On the map below, we have plotted some of our current favourite places to stay, some c+l highlights and a few pertinent client stories. And you can see if there is a team member travelling in that particular country and link through to them and what they are up to, so you can get them to call you on their return. Best time to visit Mexico Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Best time to go Best visited from November to May as this is the dry period for most of the country, which also means you avoid the extreme, humid temperatures from July to September. Mexico combines well with Cuba as they have the same season and there are direct flights from Mexico City and Cancun to Havana, meaning you can get great beach and fantastic culture in one trip. Otherwise it works well with neighbours Guatemala and Belize or Costa Rica. Meet the Team Central + South America Johnny Milly Chris Sarah We'd love to hear from you Our well travelled Destination Experts have extensive first hand knowledge of their destinations and can open doors that others simply can’t.