Work Hard, Play Hard: Bleisure Adventures on Mexico's Coasts

May 20, 2019

From tropical jungles and world-class cultural destinations to luxurious resorts and massive event spaces, Mexico's coastal cities are packed with things to do for business travelers and vacationers alike. And with bleisure culture becoming increasingly common among millennials (and hip baby boomers) who are eager to make the most of their work trips, these tropical destinations are going above and beyond to bring business and pleasure together for groups and industry professionals the world over.

Whether you're looking for team-building activities to schedule between events or want to spend some quality time with the family and friends before or after the week's meetings wind down, Mexican coastal cities truly have something for everyone.

Baja California Dreamin'

One of the first names that comes to mind when people think of Mexican resort destinations is Cabo San Lucas. And for good reason – this stunning paradise is just a 2-and-a-half hour flight from Los Angeles, which makes it a prime location for corporate events for organizations on the West Coast.

Not only will attendees appreciate the convenience of the location, but they'll also fall in love with the luxurious resorts -- which there are no shortage of. A twenty mile stretch of Pacific coastline between Los Cabos and San Jose del Cabo, known locally as the "tourist corridor," features dozens of hotels, all-inclusive resorts and activities.

cabo san lucas los arcos mexico

The Grand Velas resort in Los Cabos has made a name for itself catering to groups on and off the clock. If sipping a cocktail beside the ocean at your next event sounds enticing, the Grand Velas features the largest outdoor oceanfront terrace in the area, the Terraza del Mar. It can host up to 600 people and provides front-row seats to the Pacific.

For even bigger groups, the indoor convention center at Grand Velas can accommodate anywhere from 1,000 to over 1,500 guests. The 2 ballrooms in the convention center can be divided into smaller breakout rooms and meeting spaces and feature floor-to-ceiling windows offering breathtaking views.

After work, wine aficionados will be in paradise as the resort boasts the largest selection of wine in all of Mexico. Extend your trip even further with the lavish Over-the-Top Wine Getaway that flies guests on a private jet to the heart of Ensenada, Mexico's wine country, for food, drinks and even spa treatments.

Of course, if wine isn't your thing, there is a plethora of other activities in the area. Homebodies might prefer to unwind after a long day with a blue agave candle massage or a 7-step water treatment, while more adventurous types may want to pick up a new hobby, like skyboarding, off-road ATVing or whale watching (December through May).

Historical Venues and Leisurely Strolls in Puerto Vallarta

Along the Pacific coast of mainland Mexico, you'll find another destination gem that prides itself on its rich cultural history and stunning views of the Bahia de Flags, or Bay of Flags. Colloquially known as "the friendliest city in the world," Puerto Vallarta is home to a number of group-friendly resorts, while the city itself is packed with quaint cafes, restaurants and bars for hosting informal meetings or catching up with friends after the day is done.

Like Cabo, Puerto Vallarta is a favorite event and vacation locale for its proximity to and ease of access from major west coast cities like LA, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. But it's also home to stunning resorts like the Marriott Puerto Vallarta, which features event space for groups as small as 20 all the way up to 1,200 between 15 event rooms, 12 breakout rooms and 8,880 square feet of event space.

There's no shortage of group tours in the city and surrounding areas, which are great for team-building exercises between events or just enjoying your time in paradise after the work week is over. Sign up for a swim with the dolphins, zip line excursion or luxury sailing cruise with Vallarta Adventures or tag along with a local guide to explore the city's architecture, public art, cuisine and regional tequila.

Of course, no trip to Puerto Vallarta is complete without a walk along the Malecon Boardwalk. The mile-long esplanade features street food, musicians, shopping, an outdoor amphitheater and plenty of bars and restaurants for when you're ready for a break from the heat (or the office).

The Yucatan Peninsula

Of all the group destinations in Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula holds a singular place. Not only does it feature some of the most luxurious resorts, hotels and attractions in the nation, but it's also home to many of Mexico's richest cultural highlights. No matter your industry or occasion, coastal Yucatan is a premiere location for bleisure travelers the world over and there are a couple destinations we recommend checking out.

El Castillo at Chichen Itza

From Spring Break to Spring Product Launches, Cancun Has Something for Everyone

Groups large and small will definitely want to check out the extraordinary Moon Palace by Palace Resorts in Cancun. This epically-named resort is one of the largest in the world and boasts amenities that few other accommodations can compete with. Professional event planners can help you put together an unforgettable experience, whether you're interested in oceanside views of the Caribbean or want something more discreet within the resort's remarkable indoor event space.

Of course, when the week's work activities are over is when Cancun really starts to shine. From ancient Mayan archaeological sites and underwater scuba diving excursions to hip night clubs and music venues, Cancun caters to every taste with its abundance of entertainment options.

Adventurous bleisure travelers will want to check out one-of-a-kind marvels like the MUSA, an underwater art museum. By scuba, snorkel or glass-bottom boat, this attraction is unlike any other. It features 500 sculptures between three different galleries.

For those who prefer their downtime activities to be a bit drier, the Moon Palace resort features an array of onsite entertainment options including a golf course, video game arcade, spa as well as multiple restaurants and bars. Of course, if you brought the kids along on your bleisure trip, you may find yourself at the water park whether you like it or not.

Xcaret Blends Natural Wonders with Modern Event Spaces

If sun, sand and surf amidst stunning natural wonders in a remote location is more your speed than the glitz, glamour and tourist traps of bustling Cancun, consider exploring a little further south on the Yucatan Peninsula. Hotel Xcaret Mexico boasts a more "authentic" experience that incorporates natural elements like caves and waterways into the design of the compound.

Hotel Xcaret features multiple indoor and outdoor venues for hosting events large and small, but the real draw for bleisure groups is the easy access to multiple outdoor eco-parks and amusement parks nearby. These parks are packed with opportunities for team building exercises or ways to extend your business trip into a full-fledged vacation.

No matter what brings you to Hotel Xcaret, the All-Fun Inclusive pass is a great incentive for guests or a nice reward for yourself after a successful event launch or presentation. The pass includes access to all the parks, multiple historical sites, cave spas, food, drinks, transportation and more. The service is tied to a handy-dandy wristband that is even used as the key to your suite.

The Most from Coast to Coast

Mexico is known for its natural beauty, so it makes perfect sense that the bleisure industry is really taking off everywhere from the Baja California Peninsula to the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Groups, work teams and in-the-know bleisurers will absolutely love the variety, opportunity and fun of Mexico's greatest cities and resorts.

More You'll Love from Mexico: Going upscale is a breeze in Coastal Mexico

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Dan Oberbruner | Digital Content Specialist

Dan Oberbruner was a former staff writer and digital content specialist with Meetings Today's corporate parent organization Stamats.