Easy to Get to Vacation Spots in Mexico

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

Cancun Beach, Mexico

Lounges and thatched sun shelters await beachgoers in Cancun. This once- remote spit of land became a major resort area based on the magnificent quality of its beaches. Photo: George Peters/iStock

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

Cozumel East Coast, vacation spots in Mexico

While Cozumel’s western shores are home to a number of resorts and beach clubs, the eastern coastline remains wild and windswept, with few beaches suitable for swimming. Photo: Debbie Snow

 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

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Stretching north from Cabo San Lucas along the shores of the Sea of Cortez are isolated seaside resorts with water views and beaches hidden between sheltering headlands. Photo: Jerry Moorman/iStock

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

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

To the south of Puerto Vallarta, where mountains come right to the shores of Banderas Bay, one can still find pristine coastlines such as this one at Majahuitas Beach. Photo: iStock

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 HotelBOOK NOW

Mazatlan Coast, Mexico

Mazatlan’s Zona Dorada—golden zone—is located several miles north of the city center. The area offers more than 70 beachfront resorts in price ranges from budget to luxury. Photo: Jerry Moorman/iStock





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