Best Beaches: Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
Why go: This popular resort town along the Pacific coast one-ups the typical beach spot with authentic Mexican flavor and an eco touch, including amazing wildlife viewing (whale-watching is a biggie).
Where to stay: If you think the mini massage and cool towel at check-in are special, you’ll be floored by the immense two-level Ambassador Penthouse Suite (with ocean-view terrace) at the all-inclusive Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit (Ambassador suites from $390 per person per night, Vallarta.GrandVelas.com).
What to do: Check out the Mayan ruins of Tulum. Back at the hotel, play dirty at the Kinan Spa's healing mud bar. For nightlife, check out Cancun's beachside bars and clubs.
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