Cruise itineraries that skim the Pacific coast of Mexico feature opportunities to explore gorgeous beaches and try water sports like parasailing, kayaking, surfing and sportfishing. Guests also can go scuba diving or snorkeling in the sparkling waters to see colorful fish and coral reefs. Swim with dolphins at a wildlife park, or take to the seas in search of gray whales (prime whale-watching season is December through March).
Inland, visitors can explore back roads, jungles and waterfalls in an all-terrain vehicle or Jeep; rappel through the treetops on a zipline; or visit a ranch for a day of horseback riding. Or, immerse yourself in the easygoing rhythms of the Mexican Riviera: Sample simply prepared but delicious seafood at a casual beachfront restaurant, stroll cobbled streets past colonial architecture, or visit the shops of artisans. Ceramics, textiles, hand-woven hammocks and silver are among popular souvenirs in Mexico (a true sterling silver item should have “.925” stamped on its back or bottom).
Watch the daredevil divers of Acapulco take their heart-stopping plunges from the 130-foot-high La Quebrada cliffs. In Zihuatanejo, stroll amid the stalls of the Mercado de Artesanias crafts market, and during a stop in Puerto Vallarta, walk through the picturesque Old Town.