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Cabo San Lucas - Mazatlan - Puerto Vallarta - Acapulco

Listed under Cruising in Mazatlán, Mexico.

  • Photo of Cabo San Lucas - Mazatlan - Puerto Vallarta - Acapulco
  • Photo of Cabo San Lucas - Mazatlan - Puerto Vallarta - Acapulco
  • Photo of Cabo San Lucas - Mazatlan - Puerto Vallarta - Acapulco
  • Photo of Cabo San Lucas - Mazatlan - Puerto Vallarta - Acapulco
  • Photo of Cabo San Lucas - Mazatlan - Puerto Vallarta - Acapulco
  • Photo of Cabo San Lucas - Mazatlan - Puerto Vallarta - Acapulco
  • Photo of Cabo San Lucas - Mazatlan - Puerto Vallarta - Acapulco
  • Photo of Cabo San Lucas - Mazatlan - Puerto Vallarta - Acapulco
Photo of Cabo San Lucas - Mazatlan - Puerto Vallarta - Acapulco
Photo by flickr user Lisa Andres
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Before I ever contemplated embarking on a cruise I watched the Love Boat, and this is where the Love Boat took its lucky victims of cupid. The Riviera runs from California to Guatemala along the Pacific Coast, an area of lovely beaches, between cliffs of boulders, the jungle hiding its Mayan treasures on one side and reefs on the other.

For American cruisers the Mexican Riviera is a good alternative to the Caribbean, as far as being local, and though maybe not as tropical its beaches certainly have their own charms and plenty of sun, and most importantly the impressive, jungle covered you get some of the cultural elements of a trip though Europe.

Cabo San Lucas is one of the most beautiful spots along the coast as far as natural beauty is concerned, in the water as well as out of it. The highlight is The Arch, a natural rock arch under which sea lions play. Lover’s Beach is one of my favourites. Try parasailing or go golfing, there is a lot to do in this growing resort town. Best place to go out is the Cabo Wabo Cantina.

The largest port on Mexico’s coast is Mazatlan so most of the cruise lines stop there. Local highlights include the Plaza Republica which is the town’s old central square. There are some high end shops and restaurants here if that’s to your taste and you can potentially buy a private beach for the day if your wallet runs to that kind of extravagance. It’s very much a resort and the emphasis is on watersports and eating and drinking well, people come here to play and get some sun.

Puerto Vallarta has more charm than the other major ports, it’s quieter and the jungle seems to crowd the beach more closely, making it feel more private. Of the major resorts this is the one most recently a fishing village, so maybe it is at the most charming point in its development.

Manzanillo is a busy port more with commercial shipping than cruise lines, but its set between the lovely bays of Bahias de Santiago and Manzanillo, and the backdrop is beautiful thick jungle.

Acapulco is in lots of songs, surely a good sign, and has been a tourist destinations since the 20’s, and has the range of hotels and restaurants to prove it. Perfect, as you would expect, for watersports, the best beaches are Los Hornos, Caleta and Condesa, but the thing to see, if not do, is the cliff diving at La Quebrada.

As an after thought Progresso isn’t really a name in lights destination yet, but it’s got a good atmosphere and is fairly new so the big cruise lines haven’t trampled all over it quite yet. As well as the beaches and watersport facilities you expect from this stretch of coastline it is also close enough to Chichen Itza and Uxmal for excusions.

Written by  Simone Granger.

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