Know where to go when you hit Mexico’s popular Western Shores
The Mexican Riviera is a diverse destination, with many popular tourist locations peppered across the map. In short, the term Mexican Riviera refers to a collection of cities and other hot spots located up and down the Western coast of Mexico. This area is not to be confused with the Yucatan Peninsula, which is located on the Eastern side in the Gulf of Mexico. Both places include wonderful cities, great resorts, and lots of fun activities for people of all ages to enjoy.
Acapulco has been a popular place ever since the Colonial Period of Mexico’s history. It’s location on the Pacific Ocean, and large bay made it a popular shipping port many hundreds of years ago. Today most of those ships have been replaced by major cruise vessels, which makes this one of the most popular pitstops for cruise lines up and down the coast.
Acapulco started off Mexico’s booming Resort industry more than 60 years ago when it opened one of the first major resorts in the country. Back then it served as a must do travel for Hollywood’s top performers and California’s many millionaires. It has grown in size and popularity, and become even more accessible to the masses over the years. Towering hotels and resorts line the beachfront, which provide a perfect launching point for your adventures. Be sure to visit the famous La Quebrada Cliff Divers while out and about on your adventures.
Ensenada, Baja California
Chances are that if you have ever been to the Mexican Riviera that you have made at least one quick stop in Ensenada. That is not to say that this place is popular because of the attractions that it offers, but more so because of the number of cruise ships that stop here on a daily basis. Ensenada is one of the most frequently visited places for Cruise ships on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. It’s location just South of the US/Mexico border makes it a convenient stop for even the shortest of cruise itineraries.
Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur
Cabo San Lucas (or Cabo, if you will) is located at the Southern tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. This city is world-renown for its snorkeling and scuba diving, as well as its large fishing industry. Cabo is one of those places that you are bound to visit on some of the longer cruise itineraries down the Mexican Riviera, but it is also a very popular place to fly into. The Los Cabos International Airport provides a gateway to the many hotels and resorts that dominate the city’s landscape.
Perhaps the most iconic landmark in all of Cabo San Lucas is the El Arco de Cabo San Lucas, which has adorned many travel commercial and brochures for decades. This natural rock formation is often recognized as something distinctly Cabo, and unforgettable for those that have seen it in person. Images of riding horseback near the arch at low tide may come to mind for some people.
Ixtapa is probably the smallest location that you will see on this list. Originally a master-planned resort city that was conceived by the Mexican government, but has since become home to many private properties in and around the Hotel Zone. The native population of Ixtapa is only in the few thousand, which means that the locals can often be outnumbered by the throngs of tourists that arrive here each week.
Mazatlan is situated almost directly East of Cabo San Lucas, but is located on the mainland of Mexico. Unlike the many other locations you will see around Mexico, Mazatlan is heavily influenced by its colonial German roots. Where most other cities throughout Mexico are distinctly Spanish in their culture, Mazatlan still retains some of its Germanic influences in its food and music even to this day.
A trip to Mazatlan would not be complete without at least one day spent on The Malecon, a boardwalk stretching roughly 13 miles along the shore. This is a great place to stroll and grab some food and drinks, as well as people watch.