f you’ve ever heard a mariachi band perform, that gives you an idea how upbeat Mexicans can be. At important gatherings, particularly when leaders want to rally the people towards a cause, they shout ‘Viva Mexico!' (‘Long Live Mexico'). And you will have no doubt it will. A trip to Mexico will show you how its people have such an infectious joy for life. You will find yourself transformed by this country that honours its rich past, while being comfortable in its very modern present. Mexico’s abundance of natural riches - from its coral reefs to sprawling beaches, panoramic deserts to massive mountains, sparkling waters to lush forests – is yet another reason why its people just have so much to smile about.
You’ll never forget your first sight of Acapulco Bay, ringed with soft white-sand beaches and whitewashed villas. Relax at one of the open-air cafés in the Zocalo, the heart of the town, where locals gather to gossip and enjoy the bandstand music. You can’t visit Acapulco without a stop to see the famous daredevil cliff fivers of La Quebrada.
From the people to the bay, sensual Acapulco is known for its beauty. Its world-famous beaches offer up the sun and surf for different agendas, whether you're in the mood for exhilaration of serenity.
- The Shotover jet boat, for a thrilling 30-minute, high-speed ride along the Papagayo River.
- The fearless La Quebrada cliff divers, who routinely risk their lives by leaping from the 130-foot-high rock formations into the surf below. You can see them up close or from above, at the Plaza Las Glorias Hotel Restaurant and Bar. La Quebrada’s legendary nightlife also makes it a required port of call for the complete Mexican cruise adventure.
- Las Brisas, an area famous for exclusive and luxurious homes, where you can also learn about Acapulco’s movie star history.
- The famous Hotel Flamingo, where many movie stars of the '50s found refuge from the fast-paced life of Hollywood.
- Golf at the Mayan Palace Golf Course, surrounded by tropical plants and numerous hills and lakes.
Cabo San Lucas
Once referred to as the ‘millionaire’s sandpit,’ Cabo San Lucas is Mexico’s jewel resort at the very tip of Baja Peninsula. Its remote location and unspoiled beauty makes this a seaside paradise.
- Gaze from atop the cliff at the very far end of the bay at the unforgettable view of Land’s End’s craggy rock arches and dramatic seascape.
- Cabo San Lucas’ beautiful beaches for an amazing choice of activities, from snorkeling and scuba diving to surfing and kayaking. There's something for everyone, even those who just want to lie in the sun and relax.
- Chileno Bay, one of the best beaches in the area, accessible by boat. There you'll enjoy snorkeling in the clear, turquoise waters filled with manta rays, turtles, and hundreds of tropical fish.
- Cruise the waters of Los Cabos to search for humpback and gray whales.
- Race towards Regatta victory on a romantic and thrilling New Zealand Team racing yacht.
Once a trading post for the Mayan Empire, Costa Maya is located in the Mexican Caribbean and is best known for its jungles, beaches, lagoons and Mayan ruins. Recent development and modern port facilities are making Costa Maya the perfect port of call. With so many activities, it will be hard to decide what to do first. Explore fabulous ancient ruins or go shopping for local handicrafts, then snorkel off the coast of Mexico and see parrot, butterfly and angelfish, and even an occasional glimpse of an eagle ray.
- A exciting ‘Unimong’ excursion right through the heart of the jungle
- The ancient Mayan City of Chacchoben. Largely unexplored until 1999, this Mayan site dates back to 360 A.D. when it played an important role in the distribution of such precious items as wood, jade and exotic birds.
- The Mayan Pavilion Park, which has everything: Mayan handicraft centers, swim-up bars, great traditional restaurants, saltwater pools, a 650-seat amphitheater, Mayan art and architecture, amazing water sports and great shopping. For more adventures, explore the many surrounding Mayan cities like Chinchorro, Chacchoben, Bacalar, Chetumal and more.
- Uvero Beach, complete with beach chairs, bar, restaurant, paddle boats, snorkeling and so much more.
- Snorkeling off the coast of Mexico to see parrot, butterfly and angelfish, and even an occasional glimpse of an eagle ray.
The Conquistadors first saw Mexico from the shores of Cozumel while searching for gold. Today, visitors to the island continue to seek out gold and silver jewelry in the shops of San Miguel while having a great time in its many local bars and restaurants. Plus, the waters around Cozumel's sheltered coral reefs make this one of the best snorkeling areas in the world.
- The ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Tulúm, majestically perched above the turquoise Caribbean, occupied as far back as 600 A.D. but most densely populated around 1200 A.D. Be struck by the pyramid-shaped El Castillo, which dominates the city from atop a forty-foot cliff. The nearby Temple of the Descending God provides equally excellent insight into the architecture of the Mayan people, who gained considerable achievements in the arts and sciences, only to decline and vanish for no apparent reason.
- The underwater world of Chankanaab via a deep-sea adventure aboard the Atlantis Submarine.
- Chankanaab National Marine Park, where you can play and interact with dolphins and discover what makes them so magical, so amazing.
- The white sands of Playa Mia Beach, which offers all the food, drinks and activities you can imagine, including relaxing massages on the beach.
- Cozumel Country Club, the championship course with snow-white bunkers and breathtaking views, where you can play a memorable round of golf.
- The clear sapphire-coloured water around Cozumel's coral reefs, a snorkeler's dream, and one of the world's premier snorkeling destinations.
South of the border, alongside mountains, desert and sea, Ensenada offers a warm and wonderful introduction to Mexico. The oldest community on the Baja Peninsula, Ensenada was first visited by Spanish missionaries in the 17th century. Today, it’s a thriving seaport. Ensenada’s breezy climate invites exploration, shopping for colourful handicrafts, dinning on delectable seafood, viewing the wonderful Gold Coast and sipping cervezas in lively cantinas.
- La Bufadora, or blowhole, in the outskirts of Ensenada. This fascinating natural phenomenon shoots water through crevices formed in the rock face of the cliff.
- An informative tour of Mexico's finest wineries to experience the unique art of wine making and sample some of the local favourites.
Once a haven for pirates and weary sailors traveling from the Far East, today Huatulco (pronounced wah-tool-co) is a relatively undiscovered port of call. Located on the Pacific Coast in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, it's one of the first destinations in the western hemisphere to focus on eco-tourism and the protection of natural resources. With 22 miles of jagged coastline, pristine beaches and spectacular crystal-clear waters – it's easy to see why.
- The Bays of Huatulco, a series of nine individual bays along the coast, some of which are accessible only by boat. The turquoise waters are home to an abundance of sea life and provide a delightful aquatic playground for visitors. A local guide can show you the best spots for snorkeling and fishing, or if you'd like to see more than one bay, take a guided tour by motorized catamaran.
- Bird-Watching Eco Tour along the Copalita River to see an incredible array of wildlife including iguanas and deer, spectacular flora and fauna, and even precious mahogany trees.
- Underwater adventures everywhere, because Huatulco has 30 beaches! For some of the area's best snorkeling, head to either La Entrega Beach or Calcuta Bay, which earned the nickname Kings Beach, because it was a favorite of King Juan Carlos I of Spain.
No other landscape can be much more enticing than Manzanillo’s: tall palm trees, mango trees, superb sandy beaches, sprawling jungles and mountains covered with palms. The town is named after the bountiful groves of manzanillo trees that were used extensively in the early days of shipbuilding. North of the port is the Santiago Peninsula luxury resort zone. The peninsula separates the town's two golden sand bays. Today, Manzanillo is Mexico's busiest commercial seaport, a tropical tourist paradise as well as the "fishing capital of the world.”
- The Museum of Archaeology and History, for contemporary Mexican art and glimpses of the region's past. On Friday evenings, the museum hosts free cultural events that are definitely worth attending.
- La Mantarraya Golf Course, one of Mexico's top ten courses, where you can play a round of golf amid banana trees, coconut palms and bougainvillea.
- World-class fishing, for which Manzanillo is renowned. Expect to catch wahoo, sailfish, swordfish, giant tuna, marlin, and mahimahi.
- Traditional tianguis, the outdoor market, in front of the entrance to Club Maeva, with souvenir items from around Mexico. At the tianguis, you can bargain for better prices.
An exciting mixture of old and new Mexico, Mazatlán has been blessed with a harbour of natural beauty. The neighboring mountain range rises as a majestic backdrop for this scenic city. As Mexico's first major resort community, Mazatlán owes its continued popularity to vast unspoiled beaches, first-class resorts and friendly people.
Originally founded in 1531, Mazatlan is a city with more than one side. Shaped by the locals as well as German immigrants of the 1800's, this port town reflects its cultural diversity through its music and cuisine. And with dramatic attractions such as the El Faro Lighthouse to visit, it's no wonder that Mazatlan continues to thrive after nearly five hundred years.
- The Sierra Madre mountain range. Visit its once-thriving colonial towns, which hosted missionaries and gold prospectors alike.
- Mazatlán's long white-sand beaches, lined with open-air bistros and fun-loving bars.
- The Estrella del Mar Golf Club, designed by world-renowned Robert Trent Jones, Jr. and considered one of Mexico's premier golf courses for its superior beauty and playability.
- The Mexican Riviera, the ideal place to shop for jewellery, including the rare Mexican fire opal and Mexico's renowned sterling silver.
- Mazatlán's Golden Zone, home to Mexican and Indian handicrafts. It's a great way to celebrate the colours, songs and dances of ancient and colonial Mexico.
Nestled on the 28-mile curve of Banderas Bay, Puerto Vallarta has steadfastly held on to its character. Red tile roofs and rows of balconies, spilling over with colorful bougainvillea, still line its cobblestone streets. A pleasure for both the eye and the camera.
This once-sleepy fishing village became a popular resort after the movie, The Night of the Iguana, was filmed here in 1964.
- Dolphin Adventure Center, for a rare chance to swim with our intelligent finned friends, a truly unforgettable experience.
- The Mexican countryside, with its tropical vegetation, farmland, mangos, bananas and other tropical fruits.
- Puerto Vallarta's beautiful beach resorts, where you can soak up the sun.
- The Outdoor Adventure Experience, for the thrill of rappelling through waterfalls into natural river pools and soaring 200 ft above the ground.
Explore the modern paradise of Ixtapa or the rustic haven of Zihuatanejo. In Ixtapa, enjoy luxury hotels, gourmet restaurants, shopping galore, world-class golf courses, and much more. Zihuatanejo is four miles southeast down the coast from Ixtapa. There, you'll find magnificent beaches untouched by the fast-paced modern world of gigantic resorts and commercialism. Visit the restaurants, shops, and markets to take in the local culture.
- The spectacular beaches in Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo. In Ixtapa, the main beach is Playa Palmar. This beautiful white sand beach features water -sports facilities for adventurous travelers looking to get their blood pumping. In Zihuatanejo, Playa Municipal is a terrific beach to watch the local fisherman, merchants and people. Plus, there are plenty of restaurants and small shops to explore. Or catch a panga from Zihuatanejo's town pier over to Playa Las Gatas, a fantastic clear-water swimming and snorkeling beach lined with open-air seafood restaurants.
- Museo de Arqueología de la Costa Grande, to immerse yourself in the history and culture of the region.
- Horsebackriding at the Rancho Playa Linda to explore the coastline
- The Mercado de Artesanias, a craft market with fine goods from all over Mexico. Look for locally crafted Guerrero masks, colourful wooden masks depicting demons, devils, and animals, which were traditionally used in ceremonies and dances. Also keep your eye out for fine Taxco silver.