The Mexican Riviera
Go from the opera house to the lighthouse with cruises to Mazatlán, Mexico. This city’s 17-mile-long beach has rolling swells for surfers and calm waters for swimmers. Thatch-roofed shacks serve the freshest seafood and beach bars pour crisp cervezas with lime. On cruises to Mazatlán, don't forget to head out beyond the bustling beach scene to experience the charming colonial core of Viejo Mazatlán, complete with ornate churches and photogenic Spanish mansions.
Thanks to 20km of sandy beaches, Mazatlán became one of Mexico’s most alluring and inviting beach destinations in the mid-20th century, before it lurched past its prime into a midmarket, package-tourist category. Recently, however, Mazatlán's historic core – referred to as 'tropical neoclassical' – has been restored by peopled from the creative class. The result is a coastal city with plenty of allure. A boldly engineered new highway from the interior means the beaches are now more accessible to Mexicans too, and the good-time vibes have returned.
The Island also served as a location for many of the movies filmed in the early days of Hollywood. In fact, one of the movies filmed in the 1920’s brought 14 buffalo to the Island and left them on the Island. Now a herd of about 150 buffalo roam the island’s interior. In the 1970’s Wrigley deeded 88% of the Island to the Catalina Island Conservancy so it remains undeveloped and wild very much like Hollywood’s “back lot” in early filming days. Catalina Island’s rich history can be seen in many of the buildings and historic landmarks that dot the City's landscape.
Referred to simply as ‘Vallarta’ by its many aficionados, is one of Mexico’s liveliest and most sophisticated resort destinations. Stretching around the sparkling blue Bahía de Banderas (Bay of Flags) and backed by lush palm-covered mountains, one couldn’t ask for a better place to while away a cosmopolitan vacation.
Each year millions come to laze on the dazzling sandy beaches, browse in the quirky shops, nosh in the stylish restaurants and wander through the picturesque cobbled streets or along its enticingmalecón. If the pretty town beaches aren’t enough, you can venture out on sunset cruises, horseback rides, diving trips and day tours – and be back in time for a late dinner and night on the town in one of the many sizzling bars or clubs.
Come to Cabo expecting to toss your inhibitions to the wind – everyone else does. Where else do clubs round-up conga lines so waiters can pour tequila down dancers’ throats? Those moments of absurdity and abandon notwithstanding, Cabo San Lucas has a curious charm.
The beaches are protected by beautiful Land’s End, and the activities are endless: Jet-Skiing, banana boating, parasailing, snorkeling, kitesurfing, diving and horseback riding opportunities can all be done just by walking down to the beach. If you rent a car and get outside the city limits, you’ll be surrounded by majestic cardón cacti, caracara birds and mystical arroyos that will impress you just as much as that crazy club you partied at the night before.