Top ways to explore Pacific Mexico this winter
With its dramatic landscapes, sparkling waters and rich history, the charm of Mexico’s west coast is truly undeniable. From the rocky arches of Los Cabos to the sparkling bays of Huatulco and the luxury resorts of Puerto Vallarta-Riviera Nayarit, there are plenty of adventures to be had in Pacific Mexico. Get started on planning your next west coast Mexico getaway with our list of five of the best ways to explore Pacific Mexico this winter.
Tucked away in Marieta Islands National Park is the hidden beach of Playa del Amor, a must-see for anyone visiting Riviera Nayarit. The beach features pristine sands and calm waters and is only accessible by kayaking or swimming through a small cavern. To preserve the natural beauty of the site, only a limited number of people can visit each day – and the Island Discovery tour is one of the few excursions that will take you there.
Where to stay: After visiting Playa del Amor, cool off with your favourite cocktail at Riu Vallarta’s new oceanview swim-up bar before heading down to the golden-sand shores of Playa de Flamingos. Then, try out resort-offered windsurfing and body boarding or just kick back on a beachside lounger with your book in hand.
Whether you’re an active traveller, a nature lover or simply in search of the perfect Instagrammable vacation shots, you’ll appreciate a visit to Emerald Falls in Huatulco. Work up a sweat as you hike through the lush landscapes of the Sierra Madre Mountains (keep an eye out for local wildlife along the way!) before reaching the breathtaking falls. Cool off underneath the rushing cascades and take a refreshing dip in one of the numerous pools – the perfect photo-op.
Where to stay: There’s no shortage of activities to try at Barcelo Huatulco in Tangolunda Bay. When you’re not chasing waterfalls, you can start your morning with a stroll along the beach, boogie board in the waves, challenge your fellow guests to a round of mini-golf or head out on the resort-offered bikes.
Spend an evening watching the professional cliff divers of La Quebrada in Acapulco. The La Quebrada Cliff Divers are legendary in Pacific Mexico and were even featured in Elvis Presley’s famous film Fun in Acapulco (1963). Watch these professional daredevils leap off the towering cliffs into the Pacific Ocean below while you enjoy a delicious dinner of authentic Mexican cuisine at a cliffside restaurant that provides incredible views of the show!
Where to stay: When you’re not watching the cliff divers, spend your day at Palacio Mundo Imperial’s Scala Ocean Club. The luxurious beach club is just a short shuttle ride away where you can listen to live DJ sets, lounge on a lavish Bali bed and sip on artfully-prepared cocktails. Want to stick to the pool? Grown ups can lounge by the adults only pool while kids have a blast at the wave pool.
No landmark is more synonymous with Pacific Mexico than El Arco in Los Cabos, the area’s distinct rocky archway. Take a glass-bottom boat cruise to the archway, spotting exotic marine life along the way (including a sea lion colony!) or set sail at sunset to soak in magnificent views while sipping on salty margaritas from the open bar.
Where to stay: You don’t have to go far to spot El Arco at Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas – the famous landmark is visible from around most of the resort! Soak in views of the arch and Cabo’s picturesque rocky landscapes as you float in the infinity pool or enjoy morning coffee on your balcony. Looking for a little more action? Head next door to Riu Santa Fe to test out the water slides at the on-site water park.
Channel your inner Indiana Jones with a tour of the ancient ruins of Xihuacan, just 30 minutes outside of Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo. History buffs will love exploring this recently-discovered archaeological site that dates back over 3,000 years to pre-Columbian times. Learn all about Mexico’s fascinating ancient civilizations as you tour the site’s mystical Aztec pyramid, ball game court and other excavation areas.
Where to stay: Back in modern-day civilization, soak up the sun as you gaze out onto the Pacific Coast from the infinity pool at Azul Ixtapa Grand Resort. This top-rated luxury resort is home to a sprawling spa with a range of relaxing treatments and all-suite accommodations with scenic terraces where you can watch the sunset.