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Cruising the Mexican Riviera

The language of a Mexican Riviera cruise is simple to learn. As you awaken every day to another incredible, sun-drenched morning, you’ll say, “Qué día más Bueno!” – what a beautiful day! Whenever your friendly waiter or masseuse asks how you’re doing, you’ll sincerely respond, “Muy bien, gracias” — very well, thank you. And whenever an old Mexican woman—her dark skin lit up with bright turquoise jewelry—asks if you’re enjoying the cruise, you’ll exclaim, “Sí, sí, sí!”

You’ll carry these feelings throughout your trip and long afterward. For cruising the Mexican Riviera will make you rich with memories of cliff divers in Acapulco gracefully slicing through the air, of the powdery beaches of Puerto Vallarta that you’ll swear are the softest ever, of the marlin you hooked in the waters off Cabo San Lucas that was at least “this big” and then some, and of the endless maze of shops in Zihuatanejo and Mazatlan.

When planning a visit to the Mexican Riviera, astute travel agents like the lucky number seven — as in seven-day cruise itineraries. Seven days provides an ideal relaxing place to soak in the sights and the sun of the best five ports, the first of which, after a refreshing and rejuvenating sprint across the ocean waters, will be Cabo San Lucas.


Perched on the tip of the Baja Peninsula where the cool currents of the Pacific Ocean meet the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez, Cabo provides a stunning union of the sea, desert, and mountains, creating a picture-perfect resort paradise. Photo hounds will naturally flock to El Arco—The Arch—a rock formation guarded by two seas and 200 sea lions. Ask the sea lions to smile for the picture and they just might.


Your first stop on the Mexican mainland will be Mazatlan, a place where boredom is simply not an option. Excursions to surf, sail, and scuba dive should be taken, or you can stroll along the town’s 10-mile seaside promenade, dine on shrimp tacos and shop for Mexican and Indian handicrafts. Afterward, take one of the open-air taxis, called pulmonias, up the steep hillsides for a breathtaking view of Mazatlan’s bays and surrounding islands.


While PV’s prominence expanded relatively recently, the seaside port of Zihuatanejo was established centuries ago. Today this quaint fishing village has absorbed modernization without losing its rustic charm and easy-going ambiance. Alluring and unspoiled, Zihuatanejo’s golden beaches and sparkling waters remind travel agents of the beauty of Polynesia, yet the locals are delightfully Mexican to the bone.


Zihuatanejo is often referred to as the Acapulco of 50 years ago, although the Acapulco of now is still a vibrant scene. Spectacularly embraced by both mountains and sea, Acapulco is the gathering place for pleasure-seekers from around the world. Acapulco Bay, one of the most beautiful bays in the world, is the heart and soul of the city, shimmering with the reflection of mountains during the day and twinkling with the city’s lights at night. Watch as cliff divers leap from La Quebrada and into a small cove below. Thrilling is hardly the word.


One Spanish phrase you will not like to use is adiós — goodbye. It will be difficult for you to say goodbye to the beauty, the ease, and the warmth that envelopes the Mexican Riviera—and its visitors—radiantly. But it’s easier to say knowing that you can and should return to these beaches again, every time you can.


Say “Hola!” to paradise.


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