Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post
With Mexican Independence Day around the corner, why not consider some wonderful Mexico inspired crafts or a vacation? When most people think about a Mexican vacation, thoughts usually turn to Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum in the Riviera Maya. Some more adventurous folk might consider branching out to spend some time in the vibrant capital, Mexico City, but in general it is the pull of the turquoise waters and golden sand of the Caribbean coast that attracts the most tourists.
However, a laser-focus on Mexico’s east coast means missing out on some of the most beautiful, most interesting, and most exciting destinations that the country has to offer. On the other side of Mexico, the Pacific coast is bursting with life, beauty, and culture, and a vacation to the Mexican Riviera is something that every traveler should consider.
From glorious beaches and lush jungles to vibrant cities and surfing hotspots, Mexico’s Pacific coast is a special spot. Stretching from Ensenada in Baja California to the Bahías de Huatulco in Oaxaca, the Mexican Riviera offers an astounding variety of destinations, experiences and sights.
So if you are planning to visit the Mexican Riviera on a cruise, or just want to throw a few things in a suitcase and discover a different side of Mexico, here are some of the best places to visit on the west coast.
A trip to Puerto Vallarta can be anything you want it to be. Simultaneously a luxury resort destination, LGBTQ hotspot, and family-friendly vacation haven, the city offers great dining, lively bars, and gorgeous beaches. You can also explore the Nayarit Riviera a little further, taking in the chic hotels of Punta Mita, the hippy surfer vibes of Sayulita, and the laid-back jungle charm of San Pancho.
A little off the beaten track, Mazatlan is well worth a look, offering some of the best beaches in Mexico with almost none of the crowds! The 13 mile-long malecon is a sight to behold, one of the best oceanfront walks in the world, and fringed by stunning beach after stunning beach. Best of all, Mazatlan offers a wonderful opportunity to hop into a small boat and explore the tiny, beautiful islands that lie just off the coast, perfect for a way to get away from it all!
The Oaxaca coast is a dream destination for surfers, with some of the best waves and breaks in the world. The delightful town of Puerto Escondido is the surfing hub of the whole area, with beaches like Zicatela and La Punta drawing aficionados from around the world. For non-surfers the area is perfect too – Puerto Escondido itself is a buzzing place with great bars and restaurants, and a wonderfully chilled atmosphere. The surrounding coastline offers incredible wildlife-spotting opportunities, with crocs, whales, dolphins, and a whole host of birds to see, as well as the surreal and otherworldly phenomenon of bioluminescence on show in the lagoons that border the ocean!
Many visitors to Baja California stick to Ensenada or Los Cabos, but Todos Santos is quickly becoming the destination du jour for discerning travelers. About halfway up the coast of Baja California Sur, it is a bohemian spot full of great restaurants, gorgeous boutique hotels, and beautiful beaches backed by mountainous deserts. Its proximity to the wine region of Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico’s answer to Napa and Sonoma, only adds to the appeal of Todos Santos!
Another spot that is slightly off the radar, Zihuatanejo remains a hidden gem in the state of Guerrero, and is perfect for anyone who wants a slower pace of life, and to explore traditional Mexican culture in a little more depth. As is the case with the entire Mexican Riviera, the beaches are exceptional, and snorkeling here is particularly good!