Situated along Mexico’s Pacific coast, the Mexican Riviera is an extensive group of sunny oceanfront resort towns and popular beach destinations. Norwegian Mexican Riviera cruises give travelers opportunities to easily visit three or four ports of call—from Ensenada and Puerto Vallarta to Mazatlán and Cabo San Lucas—in a single vacation.
Located 70 miles south of the U.S. border in the Mexican state of Baja California, Ensenada is sometimes referred to as la Cenicienta del Pacífico—the Cinderella of the Pacific. Backed by small mountain ranges and situated on the coast of Bahía de Todos Santos—a Pacific Ocean inlet on the peninsula’s Gold Coast—this port city is popular for fishing and surfing. Proximity to the Pacific and a warm Mediterranean latitude create mild year-round weather.
Downtown Ensenada features the Plaza Civica and many restaurants, bars and shops where local vendors sell handmade leather jackets, turquoise jewelry, onyx chess sets and more. Visitors can also tour Bodegas de Santo Tomás, a winery founded by Dominican monks in 1888.
No trip to Ensenada is complete without a drive south to La Bufadora, a natural sea geyser that is one of the town’s top tourist draws. Between December and March, and again in April and May, visitors can watch gray whales migrate to and from Alaska to the lagoons of Baja California Sur.
A tropical port on the Bay of Banderas, Puerto Vallarta is nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountains. Once named la Ciudad Más Amigable del Mundo—the Friendliest City in the World—this seaside town gained prominence as a tourist destination in the 1960s, when it became popular among Hollywood stars.
Today, Puerto Vallarta has plenty to offer, including chic art galleries, wonderful cuisine and Viejo Vallarta, the city’s quaint old town with red-tiled buildings, cobblestone streets and bustling open-air markets. Visitors can also enjoy the classic cathedral, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the famous sea wall adorned with bronze sculptures. Just outside of town, a tropical rain forest offers canopy tours through the lush vegetation.
Located some 270 miles north of Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán is home to golden beaches, a vibrant nightlife and a host of water sports and wildlife-watching activities. Founded in 1531 by Spaniards and indigenous settlers, the name of the city comes from a Nahuatl word that means “the place of deer.”
One of this coastal city’s top attractions is the historic Old Mazatlán district, where many of the buildings date back to the 1800s, including the imposing Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepcion. Other popular attractions include the El Faro lighthouse on Creston’s Peak—one of the highest lighthouses in the world—and the famous inner harbor and shrimp fleet.
Mazatlán’s Malecón is among the world’s longest boardwalks, running more than five miles along the coast, where the Gulf of California opens to the Pacific Ocean. From the boardwalk, visitors can see high cliffs, monuments, gazebos, old buildings and much more.
CABO SAN LUCAS
Cabo San Lucas is a resort city located on the tip of the Baja California peninsula, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez. Known for its glistening white sand beaches, emerald water and snorkeling spots, Cabo is a great destination for enjoying watersports and whale watching. One of the town’s signature attractions is Land’s End, a famous rock formation just off the coast.
At various times throughout the year, visitors can see rays, sharks, birds and fish, including mahi-mahi (dorado) and striped marlin. In the winter, tourists flock to Cabo to observe pods of whales. After completing a 6,000-mile migration from Alaska and Siberia, the whales bear their calves in the warm waters of the Gulf of California.
Cabo San Lucas’ nearby sister city—San José del Cabo—features an art district with a variety of arts and crafts made by local artisans.
Voted best onboard entertainment, best specialty restaurants and best casinos, Norwegian offers more dining choices than any other cruise line, up to 22 bars and lounges on each ship and a wide range of exciting activities. Knowledgeable onboard consultants handle all of the details while guests sit back and relax.
Four different award-winning Norwegian ships cruise the Mexican Riviera:
Our newest and most incredible ship, Norwegian Bliss, features a revolutionary Observation Lounge, where guests can soak in every stunning moment. Custom-built for the spectacular, Norwegian Bliss offers the best dining, entertainment and amenities at sea against a backdrop of unrivaled natural beauty.
Joining her sister ship, Norwegian Bliss, starting in the fall of 2019, Norwegian Joy (pictured) offers vacation experiences that delight the senses and calm the soul. Onboard, guests can relax in the Observation Lounge, race in the middle of the ocean on a thrilling two-level race track or immerse themselves in the wondrous virtual world of the Galaxy Pavilion. The ship also offers new, spacious, beautifully appointed Concierge accommodations.
With tons of dining choices and Freestyle Cruising, Norwegian Gem has it all. Guests can chill out by the pool, get lucky in the casino, unwind at the spa, entertain the kids with Wii™ games and lots more. Accommodations range from luxurious multi-room suites to romantic hideaways and affordable staterooms.
Recently refurbished as part of The Norwegian Edge program, Norwegian Star (pictured) offers 14 dining options, 12 bars and lounges, a sprawling spa, an always-exciting casino with a VIP area and lots of fun for kids of every age. For some “me” time, guests can refresh and recharge in the world-class Mandara Spa®, which offers facials, massages, acupuncture and more.
We have several options to show you but this is not all! Reach out to us to help you plan.” button_text=”Contact us today!” button_link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fthewdwguru.com%2Frequest-a-quote%2F|||”]
THE BEST OF MAZATLAN
The tour begins with a scenic ride along Mazatlán’s oceanfront, with impressive views of the famous lighthouse and offshore islands. In the heart of the old downtown, guests have a chance to visit the imposing Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepcion (pictured), built in the 19th century, before continuing on to a waterfront rocky promontory that’s popular with brave cliff divers. There will be plenty of time to browse and shop in the Golden Zone before heading to a resort for an afternoon of swimming, sunning and relaxing, capped off by a delightful lunch. The tour escort will provide towels and a place to change.
LA BUFADORA ADVENTURE & CITY HIGHLIGHTS
This tour is ideal for travelers who want to learn about the history of Ensenada and experience some of the city’s highlights. A stop at the Plaza Civica offers a chance to see sculptures of Mexico’s greatest heroes and the elegant Riviera del Pacífico, a once-dazzling beach resort and casino. The highlight of the tour is a 25-mile drive south, along the Baja California countryside, to scenic Punta Banda. This area is known for La Bufadora, a natural sea spout that shoots water from 60 to 100 feet into the air, depending on the tide. From there, the tour continues to an open-air market and ends with a visit to Ensenada’s main shopping district, which offers everything from Mexican handicrafts to imported items.
CHILENO BAY SNORKEL
This Cabo boating adventure gives guests a chance to see the famed Playa del Amor (Lovers’ Beach), sea lion colony and towering rock formations of Land’s End. From there, the boat sets sail for Chileno Bay, following a course along the Gold Coast. Most will never forget the experience of snorkeling among the tropical fish in the blue waters of the Sea of Cortez. The adventurous can swim to the beach in search of treasures buried in the sand. On the return voyage, the crew serves an assortment of appetizers and drinks as guests relax and enjoy the beauty of Los Cabos.
Located just northeast of Ensenada, Calafia Valley is home to the Casa Dona Lupe and L.A. Cetto wineries. This remote region of Baja is perfect for growing high-quality grapes. Known for sherry and brandy, the highly respected wineries have been around for centuries and pioneered the development of wine in Mexico, using old-world methods. Guests will enjoy the scenic drive to the valley, while listening to the tour guide’s narrative about the history of Ensenada and the Baja area, the local customs and traditions. At each winery, guides provide a 20-minute overview of the production process, including the pressing, aging and bottling. After that comes the fun part: a chance to taste selected wines, served with assorted cheese and biscuits.
SALSA & SALSA
This tour is for anyone who wants to learn how to mix the perfect margarita, make authentic Mexican salsa and dance the salsa. It all takes place at a Mazatlán beachfront resort, where instructors demonstrate the art of making Mazaritas—Mazatlán margaritas—and lead a hands-on cooking class. Students learn about spices as they make a variety of sassy salsas, while snacking on fresh cheese quesadillas and chicken taquitos. After the cooking lesson, the real fun begins as a salsa instructor demonstrates step-by-step the moves and swings of the salsa. After class, guests can either relax on the beach, enjoy the hotel’s pools or shop in the nearby Golden Zone.
TOWN, COUNTRY & TEQUILA
This Puerto Vallarta excursion begins with a drive through the Marina Vallarta area and a stop at the small village’s local church. The highlight of the tour is a visit to Hacienda Dona Engracia, one of the finest tequila factories in the area, for a first-hand look at the tequila manufacturing process. There will be plenty of time to explore the grounds of this working hacienda. Later, guests can walk along the popular Malecón and visit the Cathedral of our Lady of Guadalupe (pictured) and Old Town City Hall, while taking in fantastic views of the waterfront and the charming cobblestone streets.