Highly famed for their excessive beauty, the cities and lagoons that line the Mexican Riviera have cemented themselves among the top destinations around the world. Offering both the opportunity to seek out white sandy beaches and culinary delights to rival that of a foodies dream, there is no wonder millions of travellers take a much need trip to the western coast of Mexico. Plus, there is no shortage of sailings here either. As temperatures range from a glorious 30°C in the summer to a wonderful 23°C during the winter, you can expect great weather all year round.
Just 70 miles south of the United States border sits Ensenada, a popular fishing, surfing and cultural centre. Recently, this city has started to boast more of its rich heritage in the form of local wineries and museums that are perfect for history buffs looking to discover more about the region. Head into the city centre and you are likely to be met by cheering locals and street performers, whilst staying near the coast can bring ample options to taste authentic street food or try your hand at riding the waves.
Beloved for its azure waters and romantically named private beaches, Cabo San Lucas is a resort city located on the southern tip of Baja California. The main attractions for many tourists are the numerous outdoor restaurants and bars that are dotted along the beach walkways, positioned perfectly towards beautiful rock formations, making nights along Cabo San Lucas extraordinary as you can gaze out at that romantic sunset view.
We don’t recommend swimming in the tempting seaside as the area is notorious for fierce waves and undertow. Instead, head to a protected area where the currents will be more suitable.
As Mazatlán was founded in the early 16th century, the city now holds much of the rich history that can be found on the Riviera today, including the stunning performance hall Teatro Ángela Peralta and the towering Mazatlán Cathedral.
If you would like to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, Isla de la Piedra waits with open arms, inviting tourists to see charming restaurants. Being just a short journey by either boat or hired water taxi, it can be the ideal getaway. Other highlights include El Faro de Navegación Marítima, a tucked away on a hilltop lighthouse that showcases scenic vistas of the city and Aquatic Park Mazagua, a large waterpark perfect for kids and adults alike.
When arriving at Puerto Vallarta, you will be quick to notice the iconic sculptures that light-up the seafront. Each holds its own tale and the locals will be on-hand to tell you their stories too. As the centre for all activities during the day and night, the 870 meter-long promenade El Malecon hosts many street performers and family-run restaurants in the local area. During the evenings, Los Muertos Pier is the place to be. Take a beautiful sunset walk as you listen to the calming ocean breeze.
Known as the sailfish capital of the world, Manzanillo has become one of the area’s top tourist destinations thanks to its opulent hotels and mouth-watering diners. For any avid snorkelers or scuba divers, there are numerous coral reefs, shipwrecks and other diving sites that are teeming with wildlife and are ready to be explored. If you prefer to stay near the surface, options for calm surf water sports, shopping and tasty tipples will be available along the long stretch of beaches.
Much like Manzanillo, Ixtapa features a number of high-end hotels, restaurants and even golf courses. Ixtapa displays a lot of what Mexico is all about – sitting back, relaxing and soaking up spectacular views in warm summer temperatures. One of the main attractions is the chance to swim with dolphins at Delfiniti of Mexico, along with other jaw-dropping shows and experiences. Otherwise, head out in search of your own private island or find your new favourite dish at one of the many eateries dotted around the city.
Acapulco has it all, whether you want to admire the legendary La Quebrada cliff divers as they take a 40m plummet to the ocean waves below or learn more about the Acapulco Historical Museum of Fort San Diego. As one of Mexico’s oldest beach resorts, there are plenty of options to shop, swim or simply take a siesta as you top up your tan.
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