Fly for the Border: Five Mexican escapes that are just hours away from home
If visions of sand, surf and maybe a margarita or two are distracting you from the morning staff meeting, it’s time to do something, and we don’t mean pay attention. In less time than it takes accounting to plow through another set of financials, you could book your weekend getaway south of the border. Nonstop flights from a number of U.S. cities can have you leaving home tomorrow morning and parked on a beach chair in Mexico before happy hour. To inspire your escape, we’ve created some sample arrivals, based on currently available nonstop flights and average transit times from arrival gateway to resort.
Dallas to Cancun (DFW-CUN)
Depart at 8:45 a.m. / 2 hr. 25 min. flight time / 12 min. taxi ride to NIZUC Resort & Spa / Check in at 12:45 p.m.
Travel Notes: Cancun has been a favorite getaway from the Lone Star State since the first beachfront hotels went up in the 1970s. With a number of direct, inexpensive flights and nearly 200 hotels to choose from, there’s something for most any budget and taste. If your preferences run towards pampering and solitude, you can avoid the congestion of the central resort zone by choosing the NIZUC Resort & Spa. It’s located on the southwest end of Boulevard Kukulkan, closest of any beachfront resort to the airport. BOOK NOW
Denver to Cozumel (DEN-CZM)
Depart at 9:40 a.m. / 3 hr. 45 min. flight time / 10 min. taxi to Cozumel Palace Resort / Check in at 3 p.m.
Travel Notes: Cozumel’s hotel zone continues to expand from San Miguel southward to include a number of premier properties that take advantage of natural beaches. That said, the centrally located Cozumel Palace is still one of the best places to stay on the island. Guests find they lack for nothing at this oceanfront resort—save for that natural swath of sand. Most feel this omission is offset by the expansive pool deck, exemplary service and the resort’s easy proximity to downtown and the airport. BOOK NOW
Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas (LAX-SJD)
Depart at 10 a.m. / 2 hr. 25 min. flight time / 20 min. ride to Cabo Azul Resort / Check in at 2:15 p.m.
Travel Notes: Once you emerge from the San Jose del Cabo airport, you are looking at a 45-minute ride into Cabo San Lucas—or a bit longer if you take one of the cost-effective shared shuttle vans. You can cut the road time in half by booking into a hotel closer to San Jose del Cabo. One of the standout properties along this stretch of coast is the Cabo Azul Resort, which is ideal for those looking to put a bit of distance between themselves and the central resort districts. BOOK NOW
Minneapolis to Puerto Vallarta (MSP-PVR)
Depart at 7:30 a.m. / 4 hr. 15 min. flight time / 20 min. taxi to Casa Magna Marriott / Check in at 12:30 p.m.
Travel Notes: From the Midwest, it often makes sense to work westward toward the Pacific rather than backtrack against time zones to the Caribbean. Using this strategy, you can be clearing customs in Puerto Vallarta by noon, and parked in a beach chair at the Casa Magna Marriott, overlooking Banderas Bay by a bit after one. Make that two o’clock if you opt for one of the more northerly properties of Nuevo Vallarta, which tend to be newer and a bit more posh, but carry a correspondingly higher room rate. BOOK NOW
Phoenix to Mazatlan (PHX-MZT)
Depart at 10 a.m. / 2 hr. 8 min. flight time / 30 min. taxi to Playa Mazatlan Beach Hotel / Check in at 1:15 p.m.
Travel Notes: When Phoenix residents want to beat the heat and cool their heels in the Pacific, they often look to Mazatlan for a combination of clean water, great beaches and reasonably priced accommodations. There are a number of hotels on or near the beaches of the Golden Zone that provide three-star accommodations for under $100, but for a few dollars more, you can enjoy an ocean view that looks out to Deer Island at the Playa Mazatlan Beach Hotel. BOOK NOW