Culturally rich Mexico offers you a variety of exhilarating experiences in three cruising regions: the Mayan Riviera, Mexican (Pacific) Riviera and Sea of Cortez. Whether your vacation is for fiesta, siesta, adventure or exploration, you’ll find what you’re looking for on a cruise to this charming country.
Here is a summary of Mexico’s touring regions…
The Mexican Riviera
The Pacific coast of Mexico, known as the Mexican Riviera, stretches from the port of Ensenada near the California border to Huatulco, south of Acapulco. This was the destination of the popular television series “The Love Boat” which introduced millions to cruising in the 1970′s.
These are some of the most popular ports of call in on the Mexican Riviera:
Cabo San Lucas – at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, this once sleepy fishing village has developed into a leading resort, complete with super yachts and homes of the rich and famous. Los Arcos is a unique rock formation where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez. Golf with sea views and participate in water sports and deep sea fishing and horseback riding.
Puerto Vallarta – the popular resort spot originally made famous in the 1960′s when Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton purchased a home there while filming “Night of the Iguana”. Leading spot for deep sea fishing, water sports and whale watching.
Mazatlan – sail into this important port city past Creston’s peak, with the world’s second tallest light house (only the Rock of Gibraltar is taller). Be sure to visit the historic old town.
Ixtapa/ Zihuatanejo – Ixtapa is just 5 minutes drive from the fishing village of Zihuatanejo. The beaches of Troncones and wildlife preserve at Barra de Potosi are highlights.
Manzanillo – the setting for the movie “10” with Bo Derek, it is the gateway for the tiered pyramids of La Campana, dating from the first century.
Acapulco – the original Mexican resort city, Acapulco has a beautiful, semi-circular harbour. See the cliff divers perform at La Quebrada, the top attraction.
Huatulco – recently developed specifically as a tourist resort, this scenic town is a port of call on some Panama Canal itineraries.
The Sea of Cortez
Situated between Baja and mainland Mexico, the tranquil Sea of Cortez has long been a favourite of small ship eco-adventure cruising. Now some of the big ships call in the area, notably Holland America Line on 10-day sailings from San Diego that combine the Mexican Riviera and Sea of Cortez. Highlights are the wealth of sea lions, dolphins, whales and birds, scenic cruising of the Sierra de la Giganta and the Copper Canyon.
Here are some popular ports along the Sea of Cortez…
Loreto – Home to The Mission Nuestro Senora de Loreto Concha, the first Spanish mission in the Californias (1697). Coming ashore at the peaceful marina the setting is reminiscent of Cabo San Lucas 20 years ago. Enjoy exploring this quiet and fascinating town.
Topolobampo – beautiful seaport, gateway to the Copper Canyon, four times larger than the Grand Canyon and almost 300 feet deeper.
La Paz ( port of Pichilinque ) – Capital of the Baja California Sur, this city has an impressive waterfront walkway, protected beaches, an historic mission (1720) and an excellent museum.
The Yucatan Peninsula & Mayan Riviera
Bordered by both the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, the southern coast is known as the Mayan Riviera. Cruise ports serve as spring boards for exploring the ancient Mayan ruins and experiencing the many eco and water sport opportunities.
When travelling the Yucatan Peninsula and Mayan Riviera, you may visit these popular ports…
Cozumel – Mexico’s busiest cruise port is famous as a diving and snorkelling island, thanks to its remarkable coral reefs – the Great Mayan Reef is the largest coral reef in the Western Hemisphere. The town of San Miguel has grown as a shopping centre for cruise passengers while the island’s centre is mostly natural, home to the Chankanaab National Park and the Punta Sur Ecological Reserve. There are lots of good spots to swim, horseback ride or relax with a drink by the sea on the circle island drive.
Calica – this is not a destination in itself but a drop off point for those wanting to explore the region.
Progreso – on the peninsula’s northwest coast, close to the city of Merida and the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, Uxmal, X’cambo and Dzibilchltun.
Mexico is a year-round destination but you’ll have the best selection of ships and itineraries between October and May. Interested in a Mexico cruise? Meet our Cruise Specialist Deborah.