For an action packed last minute break head to memorable Mexico
Flights from the UK take in the region of 10 hours direct to Cancun and 11 hours to Puerto Vallarta, giving you just enough time to catch up on a few movies and switch into holiday mode.
Aside from the 24 kilometres of pristine, white sand beaches Cancun is ideally located to explore the surrounding countryside. Wander around the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Chichen Itza and the archaeological site of Tulum, hike through the rainforest or take advantage of the vibrant nightlife in the resort centre.
With its luxurious reputation, Riviera Maya is made up of lavish resorts and home to one of the world’s largest barrier reefs, making it a popular location for scuba diving and snorkelling. Just a 15-minute drive up the coast, Playacar is another exclusive resort offering gourmet dining and easy access to the 5th Avenue shopping district.
For a Mexican break with a more city feel, take a look at Puerto Vallarta on the west coast. Alongside the hub of art galleries, museums, restaurants and bars, the bustling city boasts two stretches of golden sand and is flanked by The Sierra Madre mountain range, prime for day trips.
The best time of year to book your last minute holiday to Mexico
Anything booked up to eight weeks in advance of departure would be a last minute deal to Mexico and is the ideal period to start looking for a great deal. High season begins as early as mid November in Mexico, peaking over New Year and continuing through to Easter. A popular destination during the American Spring Break, Cancun and the Riviera Maya are particularly busy between March and April. And, as with most destinations, the British summer holidays, in late July and August, sees a rise in prices.
The low season, from late August to November, is decidedly cooler at 28°C with less crowds along the beaches but visitors can expect brief yet heavy rain showers during their visit.
Other last minute holiday destinations
If you’re in search of sun filled days and white sand beaches, take a look at the Caribbean, which boasts warm temperatures year-round. From the larger islands such as Cuba to the platinum coastlines of Barbados there are plenty of last minute deals to this idyllic region of the world. A little closer to home, the islands dotted around the coast of Greece offer a mixture of secluded retreats and bustling seaside towns.
If your heart’s set on a last minute trip to Mexico, check out our comprehensive travel guide before exploring some of our favourite hotels in the region below.
A five-minute drive from the lively centre of Cancun, this modern beachfront hotel is a last minute dream. When you're not sunning yourself by one of the three swimming pools or lounging in a hammock with your favourite book, hop down to the white sand where you'll find snorkelling, kayaking, catamaran tours, body boarding and beach volleyball on offer. Featuring two a la carte restaurants and a poolside steakhouse there are also a couple of bars providing live music in the evenings.
Unwind on a canopied daybed along the ribbon of white sand in front of this peaceful, adults-only 5* retreat nestled on the Riviera Maya. Featuring five swimming pools surrounded by king size sunloungers and three swim-up bars, sip cocktails in the leafy gardens or take part in one of the many activities on offer from yoga and salsa classes and introductory scuba diving lessons. Junior suites with whirlpools come as standard at this luxurious resort, and guests have free reign of the eight gourmet restaurants and bars, which feature regular live music and fire shows.
A line of swaying palm trees is all that separates the three serene swimming pools from the gorgeous white sand beach at the 4* Riu Yucatan. Just five minutes drive from Playa del Carmen, where you'll find plenty of bars and restaurants, this contemporary hotel offers regular nightly entertainment including Mexican dancing, shows, live music and a disco. Throughout the day guests are invited to take part in beach and pool games and organised activities from windsurfing through to catamaran tours along the beautiful coastline.
The lively atmosphere at this beachside hotel is reflected in the brightly coloured walls of the hotel and the five outdoor pools. From weekly beach Olympics to a vibrant nightclub, you'll find around the clock action. There's plenty of opportunity for relaxing too with massages offered in cabanas on the sand and a tranquil spa in the picturesque gardens. From traditional Mexican cuisine to international buffets, guests have eight restaurants to choose from before enjoying one of the nightly shows in the theatre, drenched in Mexican flavour.