Mexico vacation rentals – a destination guide

Whether you come to ride the frothing surf breaks on the reefs of the Pacific Ocean, taste spicy tacos while watching the sunset over the agave plantations, or snorkel through coral gardens in Cozumel, there's sure to be a Mexico vacation rental out there. It's all a matter of whittling down the list of amazing places that await in this cacti-sprouting, tequila-sloshing country.

Puerto Penasco rentals – Rocky Point beckons

There's one main reason why Puerto Penasco vacation rentals remain so sought-after for US travelers. They sit in a town that's a mere one hour away from the Arizona border, giving Phoenix's city slickers a place to go to cool off in the Sea of Cortez when the mercury gets high – and it gets really high in the Sonoran Desert. The town has a charming fishing quarter, and two separate beaches all fringed with condos and hotel resorts.

Puerto Vallarta rentals are a ticket to the Pacific

Hugging a big bay on the Pacific Ocean – frequented by whales and dolphins in the winter months – the city of Puerto Vallarta is a doozy of a destination. It's been drawing spring breakers with its tequila-slamming Malecon for decades. But there's more to it that just party nights and party days. You can hit Playa de los Muertos for quesadillas and crushed-ice margaritas over romantic sunsets. You can go for LGBTQ bars in the Romantic Zone. You can hike the Sierra Madre for hazy jungle vistas and wildlife spotting.

Cancun vacation rentals – where the good vibes flow

Cancun has become such a mecca for sun-seeking travelers out of the US that it's even got a whole district dedicated to vacation rentals. That's called the Hotel Zone, and it stretches along a gleaming run of white sand right by the Caribbean Sea, eventually merging with the Riviera Maya to the south. During spring break things get off the hook here, with mad parties in Señor Frog's and daytime cocktail sipping in the swimming pools. A touch to the north, Isla Mujeres vacation rentals are better for those who want to unwind, snorkel, and sunbathe.

There are endless Riviera Maya vacation rentals

The long coastal length at the base of the Yucatan Peninsula has become famed as one of the most beautiful in all of Mexico. It's now hailed as the Riviera Maya, and boy does it live up to its reputation for azure water and caster-sugar sands. Playa del Carmen vacation rentals are among the most popular, waiting in a town fringed by coconut palms and beaches. Tulum vacation rentals can take you to coves where mystical Mayan temples stand by the ocean. And then there are the Cozumel rentals, offering a laid-back island vibe out between the Caribbean Sea's coral gardens.

Lake Chapala rentals are an inland getaway

Tucked into the green mountains south of Guadalajara, Lake Chapala is the largest freshwater body in the country. It's stalked by great egrets and peppered with small islets, and has a soothing highland climate. Ajijic rentals are among the most coveted in the area. You'll find them in the form of pint-sized casitas and cute cottages, wedged between plazas and saloons in a center that's shadowed by volcanic peaks and their clouds.

San Miguel de Allende rentals – characterful Mexico

Vacation rentals in San Miguel de Allende have been a chart-topping choice ever since artists and expats started flowing into the handsome colonial city in the 1930s. These days, the cobbled lanes, the pastel-painted cantinas, the ice-cream vendors, and elaborate Spanish churches remain, only they are bolstered by a buzzy bar scene, vegan taco joints, and plenty of deluxe haciendas on the hills to the east of the town.

Surf, sand, and local vibes on the Riviera Nayarit

Extending northwards from Puerto Vallarta, across the Jalisco state line, is the now-legendary Riviera Nayarit. Things start with the chic condos of Punta Mita vacation rentals, which often come with infinity pools gazing across the Bahía de Banderas. Next up is surf-mad Sayulita, with Sayulita rentals that are huddled along a beachfront with pools, or peppering high jungle ridges by the Pacific. Keep going and the atmosphere gets progressively local. Folk who book San Pancho rentals will see that, with small flats fringing a main street laden with burrito stands and surf shops.