Meagan Drillinger
Meagan Drillinger

With the start of a travel year comes the promise of destinations that are edging their way into spotlight -- or, at the very least, are at stage right waiting for the curtain call.

A slew of openings, expansions and infrastructure developments around the country are going to open up new destinations in 2019 and beyond. Here are just a few of the spots on the horizon worth keeping an eye out for.

Costa Careyes

Today an exclusive getaway for the adventurous, well-heeled set, Costa Careyes is one of the best-kept, luxurious secrets along the coast of Jalisco. Roughly two hours south of Puerto Vallarta sits an enclave of luxury villas and small resorts that cater to a jet-set elite willing to travel a bit out of the way for privacy and deluxe amenities. But all of that will change with the opening of the new airport in this part of the state.

Officials "are deciding if the airport will be managed by government or personal business," said Aristoteles Sandoval, the governor of Jalisco. "We need an airport that can handle large aircrafts, because of the kind of tourism that is going to go there."

The governor confirmed that Versace will be opening one of the most luxurious resorts in all of Mexico in Costa Careyes, as well as a Four Seasons, all of which are expected to open this year.

Los Cabos

Several initiatives will put this well-known destination, and the surrounding area, on the radar from a new angle.

The much-anticipated Nobu Hotel Los Cabos, a hotel project between actor Robert De Niro and chef Nobu Matsuhisa, is set to open this year and is taking reservations for April 1 and onward. The 200-room property will have 103 suites and 97 standard rooms, as well as a Japanese-fusion restaurant, and a farm-to-table concept, known as Malibu Farm helmed by Swedish chef Helen Henderson. Four pools and a 13,691-square-foot spa with nine treatment rooms will also be part of the project.

Ritz-Carlton will be opening its fourth Reserve this year, as well. Zadun, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve will have 115 luxury suites and villas, three golf courses and a spa.

Hard Rock Hotels' fans can start booking their travel to Los Cabos' newest iteration of the brand, which is accepting reservations as of May. The 639-room hotel will have a Rock Spa, Body Rock fitness center, five swim-up bars, six pools, water slides, a slew of restaurants and lounges and the fan-favorite memorabilia.

Los Cabos is also looking to promote and package 10 experiences that are off the traditional tourist trail. Experiences include tours of Todos Santos, sculpture tours in San Jose del Cabo, farm-to-table experiences and more.

Valladolid

One of Yucatan's Pueblos Magicos, Valladolid, is one of the most charming and aesthetically pleasing colonial towns in the entire country. Halfway between now-explosive Merida and tourism mainstay Cancun, Valladolid is a burst of color, history and customs. As Merida continues to grow in popularity, travelers are trickling to the colonial Valladolid for a taste of tradition.

The city was built on the Mayan ceremonial center of Zaci, and is one of the oldest cities in the Yucatan. Discover its Francisco Canton Rosado Central Park, with gorgeous churches that were constructed from the stones of the former Mayan city. The narrow streets are lined with handcraft stores, cozy restaurants serving Mayan dishes and artisan shops. Nearby are cenotes, as well, for adventurous travelers, most notably the Zaci, Dzitnup and Samula cenotes.

San Luis Potosi

One of the most thriving cities in Mexico for industry, San Luis Potosi is a booming business destination. But with the call of business comes ample opportunity for leisure travel, and San Luis Potosi is primed and ready.

In October, American Airlines announced it would increase service between Dallas/Fort Worth and San Luis Potosi. Officials are actually working to add a terminal at this airport to be able to accommodate more than double the current number of arrivals, up to 1.2 million from 500,000 per year. One of the most recent hotel openings was the Conrad San Luis Potosi, and the local government has been improving the highways in response to the investment from the industrial boom.

Located in the Huasteca region, San Luis Potosi is a crossroads of culture and adventure. One of the biggest draws to the region are its spectacular waterfalls. The capital of the state, washed in pink quarry stone, was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 2010, as well. The surrounding highlands are some of the best places to trace Mexico's thriving mining history.

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