What better way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than with an ice-cold margarita in one hand and delicious food in the other while listening to rhythmic music that makes you subconsciously tap your foot? Doing all this in Mexico. This year, mix up your Cinco de Mayo plans by chartering a private jet south of the border for an epic cultural experience and the best guacamole on the planet.
What Happened on May 5, 1862?
After a well-trained, well–armed French fleet stormed Veracruz, Mexico, to reach Mexico City, they did not expect to encounter heavy resistance near Pueblo. France’s Charles de Lorencez miscalculated the Mexicans’ unwillingness to comply with his demands after a show of force. On May 5, 1862, General Ignacio Zaragoza’s small army seemed to be no match against France’s thousands of soldiers. After the French artillery exhausted their ammunition supply early during the Battle of Puebla, Mexican forces put up a stout defense. The strategic mistakes cost the lives of 462 French soldiers. Only 83 Mexican soldiers died while fighting. Those in the U.S. refer to the occasion as Cinco de Mayo. Mexican residents celebrate it as El Día de la Batalla de Puebla (The Day of the Battle of Puebla).
Since the battle, no other European military force has invaded a country in the Americas.
Mexican Destinations to Fly to for Cinco de Mayo
Go to where it all began. In Puebla, Cinco de Mayo is a month-long celebration that combines food, music, carnivals, fairs, living history lessons and Mexico’s cultural heritage. On May 5, residents reenact the Battle of Puebla on the site where the historic event took place. Parades file through the streets and participants dress up in colorful traditional costumes. Puebla offers an authentic Cinco de Mayo experience and is one of the few cities in Mexico to go all out for the occasion.
Stay at La Purificadora, an upscale hotel in a former 19th-century water purification plant.
If you are an archaeology or history buff, Tulum offers a thrilling escape. The city on the Yucatán Peninsula blends ancient Mayan architecture with a Caribbean Sea breeze. The town’s jumble of food stalls, gift shops, and irresistible Riviera Maya beach offer an authentic taste of Mexico.
Rent a beachfront home or a luxury cabana from El Pez, a boutique hotel that offers quaint amenities that will make you feel welcome.
An atypical hub for Cinco de Mayo, Puerto Vallarta is quiet in early May, making it perfect for a relaxing getaway. As a premier resort destination, the friendly beach town is one of the most diverse and apt to be filled with plenty of your favorite Cinco de Mayo activities. Follow the winding cobblestone streets to find quirky boutiques, lively nightclubs, and miles of sandy beaches.
The all-inclusive, eco-friendly Garza Blanca Preserve Resort and Spa offers an elegantly sophisticated getaway between the hills and waters of Bahia de Banderas.
A fishing village in the Sea of Cortez, Puerto Peñasco, or Rocky Point, is a hotspot for those looking for adventure. Located just south of Arizona, the desert oasis features large sand and ash dunes with amazing displays of color. The area is also home to the protected Gila monster, one of the few poisonous lizards in the world. After exploring the countless volcanic craters and tide pools, treat yourself to mouth-watering fish tacos.
While the area is rich with natural wonders, it does not have the same selection of luxury accommodations as other beach towns in Mexico. The massive Sonoran Spa Resort offers a traditional resort experience and a beach that’s rarely crowded. Dozens of luxury rentals are also available in the area.