Why go: Don’t let the fleshpots of Cancun put you off: a few ; kilometres along the Yucatan coast from Mexico’s big, brash party capital, you’ll find quiet, icing-sugar sands backed by hip beach hotels. Nip across to the island of Cozumel for sensational snorkelling and diving. Indiana Jones types will find Mayan ruins  ‘ aplenty to explore, from Chichen Itza’s pyramids to the rambling beachside remains at Tulum.
Get me there: Abercrombie & Kent (0845 618 2200, www. abercrombiekent.co.uk) has seven nights’ B&B at the elegant Esencia, from £2,075pp, including flights from Heathrow.
Or try: Belize, especially if you like diving. It has some of the world’s finest coral reefs and dramatic blue holes, as well as lots of beautiful beaches and Mayan ruins.
A long flight and a two-hour transfer, but Yucatan has dreamy sands and hip hotels.

Flying time from UK: 11 hours
Typical air fare: Around £500
Temperature: 28°C
Hours of sunshine per day: 6
Chance of rain: 19 per cent