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7 Extraordinary Cruise Ports in The Mexican Riviera

As a tourism destination, Mexico has much to offer. There are ancient Mexican ruins, stunning beaches, cosmopolitan cities, mariachis, and tortillas. There is something for everyone in this lively country with its familiar culture. Furthermore, visitors increased from 11.5% to 12.9% in September 2022.  


Mexico’s western coast is so well known for its beautiful beaches and stunning coastline that it is called the Mexican Riviera. Each year, millions of tourists visit the Pacific’s Mexican Riviera. But it would be best if you didn’t confuse it with the Mayan Riviera along the Yucatán Peninsula. 

Several hundred miles of Mexico’s western coast run between cities, and distances between them can be significant. There are 20 cities in the area, making it both geographically diverse and culturally abundant. Because of its vastness, most savvy travelers choose to tour the Mexican Riviera via cruise, as it’s the most convenient way to experience most of the fantastic scenery. Therefore, this post will provide you with seven extraordinary ports on the Mexican Riviera.  

1. Loreta 

Just north of La Paz, Loreta is one of the amazing sights on a Mexican Riviera cruise to observe giant blue whales. Many whale-watching tours are available outside of Blue Whale season, including sightings of humpback whales, orcas, and fin whales. Marine life abounds in the waters off Loreta. As a result, it is common to see sea lions and dolphins. Popular water sports include kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, and paddle boarding. 

Desert tours can provide land-based adventure. You’ll find yourself away from the ocean and on breathtaking trails during your ride. If you prefer to ride a horse instead, you can visit the Baja desert on horseback. This Spanish mission was the first built on the Baja Peninsula and is a must-visit. Beautiful religious paintings, a bell tower, and elaborate ornamentation exist in this still-active church. 

2. La Paz  

Something is charming and vibrant about Baja California Sur’s capital, La Paz. Cruises commonly take at least ten days to visit the Mexican Riviera. In addition to its Malecon, Puerto Vallarta has interesting art sculptures. You must call the Cathedral of Our Lady of La Paz a picturesque church.  

Ocean-based activities are among the best in La Paz. Swimming with whale sharks is one of the most popular bucket list excursions. Between December and April, whale sharks visit Baja California, causing the waters to be cold. It’s the perfect time to wear your wet suits. You might also see blue whales and sea lions on other tours. 

3. Catalina Island, California  

Located 26 miles off the Southern California coast, this island is a popular day trip and cruise destination. There are countless boutiques, shops, and restaurants in the main town of Avalon, just a few minutes from the Green Pleasure Pier, where cruise ships dock. You can rent a bike or go on a glass-bottom boat ride. 

Avalon Casino offers a glimpse into the era during World War II when the island was renowned for its big bands and diners. It would be best to take a guided tour to get a sense of the period. 

4. Ensenada 

Ensenada in Baja, California, will probably be one of your first stops when you arrive in Mexico. The Malecon, the boardwalk connecting the local fish market to the city park, is an excellent place to stroll. The local fishermen might bring in their catch of the day if you’re lucky or see some sea lions.  

Wine is a significant attraction in Ensenada. Mexico’s Napa Valley attracts wine enthusiasts from all over the world. The many wineries in the area are a must-see if you like wine. Pack a picnic and head out to the vines after visiting a local market or La Cava de Marcelo.  

5. Manzanillo 

Manzanillo, Mexico City’s busiest port, lies south of Puerto Vallarta. Besides fishing, visitors can also immerse themselves in Mexico’s history or take ocean tours. Comala and Colima are two of the highlights of the time. You can also include the Colima Cathedral and the ruins of the pyramids of La Campana. 

La Campana is the most significant archaeological site in Western Mexico, while people know Caribbean Mexico for its Mayan ruins. If you prefer, you can also visit El Tortugario to learn about endangered turtle species. Consequently, many turtle species are in decline, such as the leatherback turtle, the Olive Ridley turtle, and the Green’s Hawksbill turtle. Visits to the center contribute to turtle conservation. Guests can take an optional boat excursion to the Cuyutlan Lagoon to observe the fauna and flora of the wetlands.  

6. Cabo San Lucas 

Some cruise lines choose Cabo San Lucas as their first stop south of Ensenada. This city has beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife right at the peninsula’s tip — It is one of the town’s highlights. You can observe sea lions, colorful fish, and pelicans on the beach.  

Rock formations create rigid shapes and arches in the water. Along the peninsula’s edge, many people snorkel or dive. Ensure you are on the deck when approaching Cabo San Lucas. It is a picture-perfect scene you do not want to miss. 

7. Acapulco 

Most people considered Acapulco an incredible city at the time, visited by celebs like JFK, Garland, and Sinatra. Its popularity fell to towns in the Riviera Maya, but it is now steadily becoming a trendy destination. Cliff divers might be Acapulco’s most famous feature. They still amaze travelers today as they perform leaps of faith along the La Quebrada cliffs. The Fort of San Diego is easily accessible from the cruise port. Besides a museum and an unusual five-pointed star-shaped building, it charges a minimal entrance fee. 

The perfect beach day is at Playa Condesa, where water sports are readily available, or at Playa Icacos, next door. Using masks in ceremonies and festivals is an integral part of Mexican culture. At the Mask Museum, you can admire wooden, paper-mache, leather, wax, and metal masks made by hand.  


Mexican Riviera is the collective name for all small cities and islands on the Mexican coast created by the tourism industry to promote them. It is undoubtedly one of the top tourist destinations in the world, especially among Americans. But it’s becoming popular with tourists from other countries as well.  

There are no season restrictions on visiting this great cruise port on the Mexican Riviera. However, November to mid-April is the best time to visit. August and September are warmer months because of the rising temperatures. The Mexican Riviera promises a grand adventure for everyone.