Unique Day Trips from The Villa Group Resort Destinations

While on vacation, it can be tempting just to stay at the resort lounging by the pool with a cocktail in hand and indulging in all-you-can-eat gourmet cuisine, and that is fair enough! But if you have an adventurous spirit and want to venture out beyond the city limits and explore hidden gems and unique towns, there are many worthwhile day trips that will make your vacation even more memorable. Read on to discover our top picks for the most unique day trips in each of our resort destinations: Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit, Los Cabos, Cancun, and Loreto.

Puerto Vallarta

This astonishingly beautiful coastal city is bursting with exciting things to do from snorkeling at Marietas Islands to zip lining over the treetops and hiking through the jungle, but there is way more than meets the eye. The area surrounding Puerto Vallarta is worth exploring and there are many magic towns such as San Sebastián del Oeste, Talpa de Allende, and Mascota that you will want to add to your must-visit list.

San Sebastian del Oeste

San Sebastian del Oeste is a beautiful colonial town with cobblestone streets and amazing architecture that was once a mining town and it dates back to 1605. Since it is at a higher altitude up in the Sierra Madre mountain range, the temperature is much cooler than in Puerto Vallarta. We recommend that you bring a light sweater. You can rent a car and visit the town on your own or take a guided tour. Ask your concierge about the best tour option for you. It takes approximately an hour and 45-minutes (44 miles) to drive to San Sebastian del Oeste from Villa del Palmar Flamingos.

There are several things to do in the town including: stop at an organic coffee farm where you can learn about how coffee is made and sample fresh coffee; visit a tequila distillery for a tasting and to learn about different types of tequila; walk through an 18th-century church; and try traditional Mexican food.

Visit Talpa de Allende and Mascota

For guests wishing to explore the unique charm of Mexico’s ‘pueblos mágicos’ or magic towns, Talpa de Allende and Mascota are must-visits. Mascota is approximately a two hour drive from Villa del Palmar Puerto Vallarta (60 miles). While it can be difficult to get there on your own (the roads can be tricky to navigate), several tour companies offer day trips there. Most tours last around 10 hours and include resort pick-up and drop-off, transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle, and breakfast and lunch. Ask your Member Services agent or concierge upon arrival about the best tour options.

Planning a day trip to these quaint towns will enrich your vacation experience and you can enjoy the picturesque scenery along the way. The first stop is Mascota where you can walk around the town and visit the Unfinished Temple de la Preciosa Sangre, an incredible place with a lot of history and a great photo opportunity. Mascota is higher up in the mountains than Puerto Vallarta and the weather is much cooler there, so we recommend that you bring a light sweater.

From there, you will go to Talpa de Allende where you can explore the town. Every year, 3 million pilgrims make their way to Our Lady of Talpa Church, which is worth a visit. On the way back to Puerto Vallarta, you can stop at a Hacienda for an authentic and delicious Mexican lunch.

This is a great tour for those wishing to see real Mexico away from the tourist areas. Ask your Member Services agent or concierge for more information.

Riviera Nayarit 

Riviera Nayarit is brimming with must-see sights. There are several towns and small communities worth exploring in the state of Nayarit. Bucerias and Sayulita are very popular places to visit, but if you are looking for a totally unique and rejuvenating day trip, we recommend a visit to the hot springs.

Visit the Hot Springs 

For a change of scenery and a day of healing and relaxation visit Nuevo Ixtlan Aguas Termales. These natural hot springs are off the radar of most tourists, which makes them an extra special place to explore. The hot springs are approximately an hour’s drive (30 miles) from Villa del Palmar Flamingos. You could rent a car and drive there, but the roads are pretty difficult to navigate and the location is hard to find if you haven’t been there before. We recommend booking a tour that includes transportation and lunch. Ask your Member Services agent or concierge about available tour options.

Once you arrive at Nuevo Ixtlan, you and your group will be assigned a pool by the staff and they will help you select the temperature that is right for you. The temperature when you get in the pool will be around 98°F. You can make the pool hotter by letting out colder water and there are taps in each pool that you can turn on to add more hot water. The water comes from a volcano in Tepic. The limit in each pool is 2 to 4 people. If you have a bigger group, you can request adjacent pools.

During your spa day in these healing geothermal waters, you will feel fresh and rejuvenated by the mineral-rich waters. Many locals visit these medicinal waters for help with aches and pains including arthritis.

Each pool has its own designated area with a picnic table and a grill. Select a tour that includes snacks and lunch so you can have your lunch prepared for you while you sit back and relax. You can also bring your own snacks and beverages to enjoy throughout the day.

There are on-site bathrooms, showers, and changing rooms. There is also a little hut with massage beds near the entrance where you can enjoy a wonderful massage to finish your day at the hot springs. This is the perfect way to enjoy a relaxing day and you will arrive back at the resort feeling brand new.


Cancun is a veritable mecca of hot spots and enthralling experiences. There is no end to the exciting things to do and places to explore. Popular places to visit include Chichén Itzá, Tulum, and Xcaret Park, but if you are looking for a truly unique day trip, Holbox Island is a place you must visit.

Holbox Island 

Holbox Island is two hours from Cancun and you must take a boat or ferry to get there. The easiest way to get there is by booking through a tour company and there are several tours to choose from that include roundtrip transportation and lunch. Ask your Member Services agent or concierge upon arrival about the best tour for you. Most tours include pick-up and drop-off at Villa del Palmar Cancun, transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle, and lunch.

If you take a tour, the vehicle will take you to the port of Chiquilá, where you will board a boat that will take you around the islands. An experienced bilingual guide will accompany you on the trip and explain the highlights and history of the region. The boat tour lasts approximately 3 hours.

Then your boat journey will continue to Passion Island, where you’ll have the opportunity to contemplate the infinite beauty and observe many varieties of tropical birds including elegant pink flamingos as well as climb to a stunning viewpoint for a photo op. From there, you will head to Holbox Island, an island of extreme beauty that measures 27 miles long and boasts clear jade-colored waters. Once on the island, you can enjoy lunch at a restaurant by the sea and then explore the island either by walking, riding a bicycle, or renting a golf cart. Then you can take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters or enjoy a siesta on the overwater hammocks. Visiting Holbox Island is the perfect day trip where you can enjoy a full day of being immersed in the natural beauty of remote islands, connect with nature, and have a delicious beachfront lunch.

Los Cabos 

Los Cabos is made up of Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo, and The Corridor. Beyond Los Cabos in the wider region of Baja California Sur, there are several quaint towns to visit that make for great day trips. Todos Santos and Miraflores are both popular towns to visit. If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path kind of day trip, we recommend a visit to the town of Santiago.


This quaint town was founded in 1723. The full name of the town is “Misión de Santiago el Apóstol” but it is more affectionately known as Santiago. The town is approximately an hour’s drive (56 miles) from Villa del Palmar Cabo and Villa La Estancia Cabo. Plan a visit and experience this beautiful and historic town.

Originally inhabited by a tribe called the Pericúes from Australia and Polynesia, who arrived in rafts, in 1734 Jesuit priests evangelized the region and persuaded the indigenous group staying in Santiago to go to the missions that they had established in Santiago, Todos Santos, and San Jose del Cabo. While at the missions, the Jesuits tried to impose their Christian faith on the Pericúes, who turned out to be a rather rebellious bunch. The Pericués revolted. It took three years for their revolt to end.

Today, the mission in Santiago is in the center of town and in close proximity to the town. Here you can explore hiking trails, natural hot springs, and botanical gardens.

It’s a quaint town with about a dozen (some crumbling) colonial buildings. You will feel like time has stopped here since the city vibe is such a slow pace.

About 13 miles to the south of Santiago are the hot springs, which are an enjoyed spot by many.


Loreto is a picturesque town which offers a historical atmosphere of preserved buildings, colonial churches, and a beautiful boardwalk ¨malecon”. However, the real attraction is its biodiverse ocean and collection of protected islands. For a truly spectacular day trip, go island hopping.

Island Hopping

You can’t go wrong taking an island boat tour and hopping around the five untouched islands off the coast of Loreto. Loreto National Marine Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site that is made up of Isla Carmen, Isla Danzante, Isla Montserrat, Isla Santa Catalina, and Isla Coronado. These protected islands offer the most incredible scenery both above and below the waters. You will have the chance to spot dolphins, sea lions, and whales (from December to April) as well as magnificent birds including blue-footed boobies, frigatebirds, and pelicans.

Wild Loreto offers an island hopping tour with a professional guide. Ask your Member Services agent or concierge upon arrival which island hopping tour they recommend and they can also book the tour for you.

There you have our list of unique day trips you can look forward to in each of our resort destinations in Mexico. As you can see, Mexico has quite a lot to offer and there are many places to explore beyond the city limits. You may even want to plan a longer vacation, so you can go on more day trips!

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