With its scenic coastline extending around the Baja Peninsula, western Mexico consists of three states and a petite grouping of islands. An experience on Mexico's Gold Coast may include lounging on the beach, kayaking a sandbar, exploring Mayan ruins or dancing in trendy nightclubs. Mazatlan offers a more traditional cultural experience, while Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas are especially accommodating to cruisers looking to shop or head to local restaurant and bars.
Shore excursions in the Mexican Riviera and Baja Mexico are likely to surprise you with their variety. Apart from world-famous aquatic pursuits, like snorkeling, diving and fishing, this stretch of Mexican shoreline offers natural wonders, indigenous ruins, exquisite food and wine, and activities for all ages. Short two- to four-day Mexico cruises from Los Angeles or San Diego typically visit California's Catalina Island and Ensenada, a port on the northern part of Baja California. The seven-day itineraries hit destinations that make up what's called the Mexican Riviera: Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. A few of the lines' longer itineraries travel deep into the Sea of Cortez for excursions to Loreto and La Paz or farther south to Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo and Acapulco. Here are some of our favorite excursions offered in the ports you find on a Mexican Riviera cruise.