Mexico, known for its sun-kissed beaches, rich history, and flavorful cuisine, has been attracting travelers for decades.
Canadians love Mexico. We love the food, the drink, the sun, the sea, the weather (in winter) the culture and the people. We also love the value we generally receive in Mexico compared to some other destinations.
Recently, a new demographic has been flocking to Mexico – pickleball enthusiasts!
As you well know, this sport, has seen a meteoric rise in popularity in Canada, US, and around the world.
Mexico, quite astutely, has embraced this trend, becoming a hotbed for pickleball travel destinations.
Let’s explore some of the top spots for pickleball aficionados seeking a blend of sport and leisure, sun and sea.
Pickleball Travel Destinations in Mexico
1. Baja California Sur: Deserted Beaches and Desert Pickleball
The Baja Peninsula is a world of contrasts, with its desert landscapes, rugged coastlines, and pristine beaches.
Places like Los Cabos are now welcoming pickleball enthusiasts. Club Campestre San José and East Cape RV Resort have dedicated courts.
After a game, take a boat trip to see the iconic El Arco or maybe even a whale watching tour, depending on the season.
A particularly notable resort in the South Baja area is Tres Palapas Baja Pickleball Resort in Los Barilles, Mexico (pictured above).
This Canadian owned resort is all about pickleball, and has become a hub for pickleball in the area.
8 courts are available for open play each day. 1 of the courts is a Championship Court with spectator seating for 500.
As such,, Tres Palapas is considered the #1 Pickleball Destination in Mexico, and has hosted many tournaments
Tres Palapas is an easy 55-minute drive north of Los Cabos International Airport.
2. Puerto Vallarta: Play by the Pacific
Puerto Vallarta, with its cobblestone streets, vibrant art scene, and the sparkling Pacific backdrop, offers more than just traditional tourism. Many resorts and clubs in the area have added pickleball courts, realizing the growing demand. Club Playa de Oro and the Marriott Puerto Vallarta are just two examples where you can enjoy a game with ocean views. Once done, head to the famed Malecón for a sunset stroll and some seafood.
3. Cancún: Pickleball and Palms
Cancún, primarily recognized for its spring break fame, has expanded its repertoire. Resorts like Moon Palace now offer pickleball courts for their guests. And after an energetic match, you can explore the Mayan ruins of Tulum or Coba, or just relax on the powdery white beaches with a refreshing margarita in hand.
4. Playa Del Carmen: Where Culture Meets Court
This coastal town, located just south of Cancún, presents a quieter alternative but with no shortage of pickleball action. Grand Coral Riviera Maya boasts top-class facilities, including several pickleball courts. After your match, explore the famous Quinta Avenida, with its bustling markets, restaurants, and shops.
5. Guadalajara: Urban Pickleball Escape
The birthplace of mariachi and tequila, Guadalajara is a city steeped in tradition. Yet, it's also embracing modern pastimes, including pickleball. The city's temperate climate makes it ideal for outdoor play year-round. Local clubs, such as Club Atlas Chapalita, offer excellent facilities. When you're not playing, immerse yourself in the city's rich culture, from its colonial architecture to its vibrant markets.
6. Sayulita: Bohemian Beaches and Backhand Shots
A laid-back surfer's paradise, Sayulita is not just about riding waves anymore. The Sayulita Pickleball Club offers a chance for both beginners and pros to enjoy the game. With its Bohemian vibe, colorful streets, and eclectic eateries, Sayulita offers an experience unlike any other.
Tips for Your Pickleball Adventure in Mexico:
- Research in Advance: While many locations now have courts, it's always best to check in advance if your chosen destination has the facilities you desire.
- Join a Group: There are numerous pickleball groups and retreats organized specifically for travel in Mexico. Joining these can be a great way to meet fellow enthusiasts.
- Respect Local Etiquette: While pickleball rules remain consistent, each location might have its own etiquette or norms. Be observant and respectful.
- Combine Leisure and Play: The beauty of these destinations is the mix of sport and relaxation. Make time for both in your itinerary.
In conclusion, Mexico offers a unique combination of world-class pickleball facilities and unforgettable travel experiences. Whether you’re looking for urban courts or beachside play, Mexico’s diverse landscapes and vibrant culture ensure a travel experience that's as exhilarating off the court as on it. So pack your paddle and let the games begin in this paradise to the south!