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The recent drop in temperatures — even in typically warm places like California and Texas — has most of us daydreaming about jetting off to warm locale, where ice is only to keep beverages cold. Fortunately, you can make your (or someone's else's) dream a reality with a getaway to Mexico in the new year.
Before you can lay down your beach towel and nap, you must cross the border. Check out these United Airlines roundtrip fares to Mexico (from $256.12, a low by $109; expires December 20) for the cheapest flights around! Routes include Los Angeles to San Jose del Cabo, Denver to Puerto Vallarta, and Washington D.C. to Cancun.
Admire the view of the Pacific from the infinity pool on the rooftop of the Rosarito Beach Hotel when you book a 2-night stay in a studio suite (from $249, a low by at least $119; expires December 27). You'll also enjoy ocean views from your suite, which is outfitted with a kitchenette and located in the hotel's recently renovated Pacifico Tower. There you'll find a game room, private parking garage, and clubhouse with a bar. Your stay also includes a daily mimosa breakfast for two, as well as six margaritas, a bottle of wine, and two 60-minute Swedish or deep-tissue massages. For the active vacationer, this West Coast beach town is a great place for surfing lessons. Wine-lovers, too will love Baja and should be sure to check out tastings in Guadalupe Valley; art lovers can gallery hop at Baja's Gold Coast.
Plan a hassle-free getaway to Los Cabos with a 4-night vacation package for two at the all-inclusive Riu Santa Fe (from $1,365.32, a low by $21; expires December 17) with airfare included. This package also includes a $35 spa credit, which means you can leave your wallet tucked away your entire stay. Other on-site amenities include a plethora of swimming pools and tennis courts, plus scuba lessons and children's activities (including a pool and playground). There are also five restaurants, seven bars, and a nightclub within the resort, but you're also just three miles away from downtown Cabo San Lucas. This resort city at the tip of the Baja California Peninsula boasts 360 days of sunshine per year, so the odds are good you'll have perfect weather for your jet-skiing, hiking, biking, golfing, and windsurfing.
It's hard to believe that before the first hotels in the early 1970s, Cancun was a small fishing village on the Yucatan Peninsula with only a few residents! If you can pull yourself away from these luxurious resorts, then you'll find out why Cancun is one of Mexico's top tourist destinations: from its abundant nightlife and shopping to tours of nearby Mayan ruins, Cancun is a town full of vibrant culture.
Take in Mexico's southeast coast with a 4-night vacation package for two at the all-inclusive Grand Oasis Viva (from $1,133.14, a low by $269; expires December 20). This deal includes airfare, and the 21+ resort itself offers plenty of complimentary perks — from food and drinks to beach hammocks and umbrellas. Take advantage of the child-free beachfront pool swim-up bar and the resort's catamarans and fitness facilities at your leisure.
If you're looking for family-friendly accommodations or a slightly longer stay, opt for a 5-night vacation package for two at the all-inclusive Barcelo Tucancun Beach (from $1,295.16, a low by $487; expires December 20). While the stay includes meals, snacks, and beverages — as well as nightly live entertainment — this packages also includes airfare and a whopping $550 resort credit that can be used for extras such as horseback riding, spa and babysitting services and jet- and water skiing!
Slightly further south on the peninsula you'll find the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, where you can book a an all-inclusive 3-night vacation package for two (from $1,970, a low by $502; expires December 31), with roundtrip airfare from Miami. This weekend jaunt also incldues and another big $500 resort credit that can be used toward golf, the spa, sightseeing, and more. And like its neighbors, this all-inclusive resort offers a little something for everyone, from pools and private beaches to the Little Big Club for kids to the adults-only Heaven section of nightlife, restaurants, and guest rooms.
Nearby Cozumel is located off the Yucatan Peninsula and offers a slightly more laid-back vibe than Cancun, though the tourist destination's main city of San Miguel is always hoppin'. It offers a healthy dose of great restaurants, bars, and shopping opportunities, from high end to quality handmade local goods, such as jewelry and leatherwork. The area is a top destination for scuba diving, too, but you can also stay closer to the water's surface, thanks to snorkeling and glass-bottom boat tours.
If diving is your thing, then opt for 3- to 5-night stay for two with a superior jungle-view room at the Coral Princess Hotel & Resort (from $275, a low by $37; expires December 27), outfitted with an onsite dive shop where you can sign up for dazzling snorkeling and scuba tours. On land you should spend time at the resort's Caribbean beach, swim-up bar, and Buenaventura Terrasse restaurant which serves traditional and modern Mexican fare. As the name implies, the rooms of this gorgeous hotel have balconies overlooking the surrounding jungle.
If you're a true sea lover, you can sail to Cozumel aboard the recenly renovated Celebrity Constellation on a 5-night Celebrity Cruise Caribbean cruise for two (from $858, a low by $25; expires December 20) with a $25 onboard credit. Enjoy the clean cuisine of Blu resturant, craft beers and cocktails in Michael's Club, and Xbox consoles for kids.
Can't wait to visit somewhere warm? Then go ahead and use your MasterCard to book a stay at the Westin Beach Resort in Puerto Vallarta (from $79, a low by $16; expires December 15) in the next few days. Not only does the resort have its own private beach, but you can also take a dip in one of the pools — one of which has a swim-up bar, where adults can partake of their two complimentary daily cocktails. And, when you're not enjoying the resort's amenities, like a spa and on-site restaurants, you can experience the sights of this Mexican resort city nestled on the Pacific coast. Take in the art galleries of Old Town, the nightlife of the Malecón, or a round of golf in one of the four courses near the resort.
We hope we've inspired you to surprise someone with a getaway to Mexico this holiday season — or to send this link as a not-so-subtle gift hint! But if you have another destination in mind, be sure to have a look at our weekly roundup of the best travel deals for additional discounted flights, hotels, and vacation packages.
At the time of publication, these travel deals offered the lowest prices we could find. Deals may include blackout dates, additional taxes, and fees. Some of our prices may be based on mandatory double occupancy.