Luxury Vacation Guide 2012: Mexico

US tourists have largely avoided Mexico in recent years due to increasing violence, but those looking for a deeply discounted luxury getaway can turn to areas like Riviera Maya and Los Cabos for safe yet affordable havens.

Want to visit? 2012 might be your year. With the economy still teetering on the brink and more tourists turning away from the country due to reports of violence, those visiting the safer states and areas will find value-added deals like free nights and resort credits, plus safety-inspiring extras like private car transfers and around-town transport. SF Gate reported in 2011 on the five safest states to visit (and they’re still largely true – the last State Department update was April 2011). Our top picks for luxury visits? The always popular Baja California Sur, including Todos Santos and Los Cabos, or the scenic Riviera Maya. Take advantage of plentiful and direct flights and five-star resorts by big brand names and boutique properties alike.

[flickr image via Grand Velas Resorts]