At one time, the “Gold Coast” of Mexico was nothing more than a sleepy fishing village, but due to the active promotion of tourism by the Mexican government over the years, the Mexican Riviera today is dotted with dozens of resort properties and a strong tourism infrastructure has been put firmly in place.
Today, Baja and the Mexican Riviera have become a prime destination for cruise ships plying the Pacific Coast of the United States and it is considered to be the fourth most popular destination among passengers. In fact, the entire region has become a favourite alternative to the Caribbean.
Why visit Mexican Riviera & Baja Mexico?
There is truly something for everybody in Mexico
As for the best time to visit the region, September through May seems the popular time, but in actuality it is truly a year-round destination with its almost perfect weather most of the year, including temperatures ranging in the 70’s and 80’s. The temperatures peak in August and September and can go well up into the 90’s with high humidity.
If you’re planning a cruise to the Mexican Riviera, you’ll need to decide on an itinerary and length. Most cruises to this region leave from the west coast of the United States, and for a full seven-day itinerary, will stop at Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas during a typical Mexican Riviera itinerary.
Though the seven day cruises are the most popular, there are certainly other options, such as eight, ten and even 14 – day cruises. These will add additional ports, such as Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo, as well as Acapulco, among others.
For a shorter alternative, some cruise lines offer very popular three-night cruises which right from the west coast of the United States, usually either the port of San Diego or Los Angeles, with one stop in Ensenada. A four-night option includes a stop on Catalina Island as well.
As for what to do when you get there, there are virtually unlimited choices. Visit a beach resort and indulge in some water sports. Take a glass bottom boat ride or a day sail. Shop in some of the trendy stores for some real bargains, especially on European designer clothing and other luxury items such as perfumes.
If you visit Acapulco a visit to see the cliff divers is an absolute must. These young men perform throughout the day and into the early evening and their breathtaking dives off of these steep cliffs provide excitement for all.
Cabo San Lucas is the party town. Located on the southernmost tip of Baja, California, this town offers a unique combination of sea, desert and mountains, which means there is plenty to do there, especially for the outdoors person. Hiking, nature walks and water/beach activities are just a few of the options. Fishing for marlin is also a popular activity here, as is scuba diving and snorkelling, as well as para-sailing. Also don’t forget to visit El Arco, also known as “The Arch.” This is a neat rock formation located at the point where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez. Take a boat trip out to the Arch and meet up with the hundreds of sea lions who live there.
The options for things to do on the Mexican Riviera, and in Baja are as varied as the many beaches to be found there, and when the sun goes down after a hearty day of playing on the beach, the nightlife is varied and interesting as well with lots of restaurants and quaint cafes and bars to keep you engaged until the wee hours of the morning. The region is full of contrasts, from high-rise resorts to quaint cobblestone streets lined with outdoor cafes and small bed and breakfast type establishments offering lodging to the many tourists who visit the area.
The entire region of the Mexican Riviera is very accessible by air or by sea. Several airports serve the area, and cruise ship terminals along the Pacific Coast of the United States, such as those in Long Beach, San Pedro and San Diego, California have ships leaving for the region several times a week. A flight from the U.K. is easily arranged through a host of airlines.
There is truly something for everybody in Mexico, and it’s certainly worth a visit on a cruise.
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