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Cruise Diva Goes Ashore on the
Mexican Riviera
Sights to see & things to do

Mexican Riviera
Ports of Call:

Acapulco

Cabo San Lucas

Ensenada

Manzanillo

Mazatlan

Puerto Vallarta

Zihuatanejo
& Ixtapa

 

Long the treasured playground of Hollywood movie stars and jet-setting celebrities, the west coast of Mexico was a well-kept secret until television’s “Love Boat” began its weekly journeys through the waters of the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles to Acapulco.

Some of the world’s most advanced civilizations thrived in Mexico before the arrival of the Spaniard Cortés and his countrymen in the 16th century. Beyond the tourist resorts and shops, remnants of the magnificent cities they created stand in mute testimony to their greatness. One of the mysteries of the ages is why they were abandoned to the encroaching jungle and weather. Some explanations include warring tribal feuds and the introduction of incurable diseases following the arrival of the Spanish.

From the desert region of the Baja to the glittering sands of Acapulco, the area is rich in splendid scenery as well as ancient culture and tradition. Side trips to colonial-era mining towns and archaeological sites offer a peek into pre-Colombian Indian life and the era of Spanish rule. 

For sun and fun, the Pacific beaches of Mexico are delightful. What could be more relaxing than sipping a refreshing margarita to the strains of a mariachi beat? Perhaps exploring charming fishing villages, colorful marketplaces, and the haunts of the Rich and Famous. Some of the most exotic birding excursions and finest sport fishing in the world can be found along Mexico’s west coast.

For a taste of cruising, three and four-day cruises depart the Port of Los Angeles for Ensenada, Catalina Island, or San Diego (okay, those last two are still California). Seven-day cruises usually call on a combination of three ports, including Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán, Manzanillo, Puerto Valletta, Zihuatanejo, or Acapulco.  Longer cruises of ten and eleven-days may include them all.

Some customs hold true throughout the region. Bargaining for goods is a way of life in many instances. However, in larger stores, if items have printed price tags attached, you can’t bargain for them. Hand printed tags bearing prices in small shops tend to be negotiable; you can always ask for the “lowest” price. If there is no price tag, begin to bargain. If the vendor states a price, counter with one about 75% lower and inch upward in increments of 5 or 10%. You should end up paying about half the original asking price. Even if you love the item, don’t act terribly interested in it and walk away if you don’t get the price you want. Chances are the merchant will relent and call you back.

Beach vendors will pester you to death if you show the slightest interest in their wares. Ignore them and they will leave you alone.

Tourists, and particularly children, often don’t consider a trip to Mexico complete unless they have their picture taken with a “pet” iguana. For a dollar or two, many locals will offer theirs for a photo opportunity. Unfortunately, if you pay, you’ll be contributing to animal cruelty. Iguanas are not docile creatures and the only way they can be handled is by drugging them.


Back to Ports of Call

Mexico Vacation Travel -- Offer helpful information about different places of interest in just about all of the BEST sites throughout all of Mexico.


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