The Mexican Riviera, unlike the Riviera Maya, comprises three very different beach destinations.
Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta are located in the Mexican Pacific, each with its unique personality.
But all three are incredible to discover and have particular attractions.
It doesn’t matter if it’s the first time you visit Mexico or any of these destinations, whether by cruise or other means.
The Mexican Riviera is an excellent option for enjoying an extended vacation.
What cities make up the Mexican Riviera?
Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta make up this popular Riviera, a destination for cruise ships from Los Angeles or San Francisco. Let’s start with Cabo:
Cabo San Lucas
Cabo San Lucas is a trendy beach destination for tourists from the United States.
These high-quality services make the restaurants and hotels a little more expensive than the other destinations that make up this Mexican Riviera.
Its most important attraction is the Arch at Baja California Sur’s tip.
This is where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez, located in the Gulf of California.
The Sea of Cortez is also known as the “Aquarium of the World,” thanks to its diverse marine species that choose these waters to reproduce.
Read more about Los Cabos
As you approach Cabo San Lucas by cruise ship or plane, you may see Humpback whales or dolphins swimming in large groups.
The beaches of Cabo San Lucas are white, and the waters are crystal clear.
Glass-bottom boat trips are offered to see the diversity found near its shores, and you can take advantage of the opportunity to see the famous Cabo Arch.
Puerto Vallarta lies between the mountains and the sea. Located on the coast of Jalisco, it is characterized by its beautiful beaches and picturesque neighborhoods.
You can’t miss the arches on the boardwalk, the handicrafts market, the incredible pier of the dead that goes 100 meters into the sea, and the church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, one of the iconic places here.
In Puerto Vallarta, you can feel the tradition in its historical center with its red-tiled roof houses.
You will feel like you’re visiting a town trapped in the past.
Learn more about Puerto Vallarta
In contrast, you will appreciate the modernity of its marina with one of the most luxurious and glamorous areas of this destination.
If you have more time and want to explore the mountainside, I recommend visiting the Magical town of San Sebastian del Oeste, about 15 minutes from Puerto Vallarta.
It is one of the most beautiful Magical towns in Mexico.
You can also visit beautiful beaches like Yelapa or Quimixto, with small restaurants served by the locals, a true experience.
Mazatlan, the heart of the Mexican Riviera
Mazatlan has many attractions, and some of them even break records.
Such as the longest boardwalk in the world at 21 km and the highest natural lighthouse in Mexico at 157 meters high with its newly installed glass-bottom viewpoint.
Mazatlecan gastronomy has many dishes you should try, but among the ones that stand out is the Aguachile, made with shrimp, onion, and cucumber bathed with a delicious chiltepin pepper sauce with lemon.
The Asado Mazatleco is a Mexican snack of fried meat and diced potatoes, covered with vegetables and bathed with cream, cheese, and tomato sauce.
Learn more about Mazatlan
Visit Mazatlan with its miles of beach, friendly locals, and historic romantic center that seems frozen in another era, surrounded by restaurants, bars, and a bohemian atmosphere.
Which cruise lines visit the Mexican Riviera?
- Royal Caribbean
- Norwegian Cruise Lines
- Ponant Cruises
- Princess Cruises