As COVID testing rules loosen, travelers can easily re-enter the U.S., which means it’s time to book that trip to Mexico you’ve been dreaming about.

COVID Testing Rules Are Loosening. Ready to Book Your Trip to Mexico?
Victor Elias Photography
Conrad Punta de Mita. Litibu, Nayarit. Mexico. Photo by: Victor Elias Photography.

Just in time for summer travel plans, the United States is waiving a COVID-19 testing restriction for domestic travelers re-entering the country.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that it is lifting its negative testing requirement—a restriction in place since last January.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has now shifted to a new phase,” a CDC spokesperson said in a statement, “due to the widespread uptake of highly effective COVID-19 vaccines, the availability of effective therapeutics, and the accrual of high rates of vaccine- and infection-induced immunity at the population level in the United States. Each of these measures has contributed to lower risk of severe disease and death across the United States.”

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The change went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday.

The CDC will continue to monitor the situation, according to officials, and could reinstate the testing requirement if cases rise or new variants spread.

So for many U.S. travelers, that pause travel planning can finally restart in earnest. If you’ve put all travel on pause this year and you’re looking for a nearby international getaway, Mexico could be the ultimate trip.

So, are you ready to book that trip to Mexico? Here are some destinations that are prime for discovery (or re-discovery).

Puerto Vallarta

Verana
Verana

Courtesy of Visit Puerto Vallarta

Bohemian luxury abounds at eco-lodge Verana, a boutique hotel nestled into the cliffs of Yelapa with stunning ocean views. Separate suites and colorful casitas each have their own character and furnishings, as distinctly open-air accommodations are punctuated by clear pools and outdoor showers. Mules will carry your luggage up the hill.

Xinalani Retreat
Xinalani Retreat

Courtesy of Visit Puerto Vallarta

Nestled amid lush jungle, the 33-room Xinalani Retreat features six yoga studios, meditation classes, and hot vapor baths. You can also attend onsite yoga retreats spanning stand-up paddleboarding to bikram. The property is only accessible by boat, but if you book a stay, the resort team will arrange your transportation. 

Riviera Maya

Poolside at Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya

Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya

Exquisite design meets five onsite restaurants with sweeping views of Riviera Maya canals at Andaz Mayakoba Resort. In addition, a new “Tequila University,” where you can learn about the spirit, sets this Mexico hotel apart.

Cabo San Lucas

Courtesy of Paradero Todos Santos

Only an hour away from Los Cabos, Paradero Todos Santos offers great surfing and other outdoor pursuits for bohemian adventurers in a dramatic setting that leans into the outdoor part of the indoor-outdoor equation. Explore the grounds and you’ll find a thriving botanical garden, suspended nets that offer you panoramic views, and an underground spa influenced by a secret watering hole in Todos Santos.

Riviera Nayarit

Courtesy of One & Only Mandarina

Solace and solitude await at the One & Only Mandarina which sits where the Pacific coastline cliffs meet a luscious jungle on the underdeveloped coastline of the Riveria Nayarit. The resort pays tribute to the Cora and Huichol cultures whose land it lies on by employing resource-efficient architecture and sustainable practices and consulting botany experts during its development to ensure the land and ecological wildlife were preserved. Most notable of these is a 235-year-old Higuera Blanca tree, otherwise known as The Grandmother Tree. 

Greater Big Bend International Dark Sky Reserve

The Greater Big Bend International Dark Sky Reserve was recently granted the designation by the International Dark Sky Association, and with an area comprising 9 million acres from Fort Davis, Texas, to the Rio Grande River and into the Sierra del Carmen mountains of Coahuila, Mexico, it not only became the largest protected Dark Sky place in the world, but it also marks the first bi-national Reserve ever established.

Across the border, the Greater Big Bend Reserve includes Maderas del Carmen, Ocampo, and Cañón de Santa Elena, all protected areas, along with areas of the Chihuahuan Desert known for its plant and wildlife diversity, otherworldly geological features, and cultural imprint that traces its human history back thousands of years. The region makes for superb stargazing.

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