Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta / iStock.com / axl5188
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Carnitas tacos
Carnitas tacos / iStock.com / rez-art
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Lover's Beach, Cabo San Lucas
Lover's Beach, Cabo San Lucas / iStock.com / Alysta
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Sombrero / iStock.com / falonkoontz
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A Cooling Margarita
A Cooling Margarita / iStock.com / EuropeanProjectStudios
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Mexican Riviera

Our Review
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

For West Coasters looking for sun and surf, this itinerary a great option. Ships cruise south round trip from Los Angeles for weeklong getaways, or one way on longer sailings between LA and points farther down the coast, such as Acapulco or Costa Rica. In addition to beaches, you'll find impressive shopping, seasonal whale watching, and snorkeling in the Pacific.

What We Love

Mexican Food: From fresh guacamole and fish tacos to delicious salsa and chips, it's worth the time to research the best local eateries before you leave home.

Silver Jewelry: Mexico is the world’s largest silver producer, so this is the place to browse for beautiful handcrafted necklaces, rings, earrings, and bracelets. How do you know you're getting quality? Look for the "925" stamp, which means it’s 92.5 percent pure silver.

Best Known For

Beaches: From Cabo’s Lovers Beach, a white-sand cove framed by dramatic rocks, to Mismaloya Beach in Puerto Vallarta, where Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor once frolicked, Mexico's Pacific strands are unforgettable.

Crafts: Mexican crafts range widely from colorful wooden carvings to black pottery shaped into candle holders, hand-dyed wool rugs, and hand-knit tablecloths. Ask the shopkeepers about the craftsman and the town a piece hails from to learn more about the work. 

Best Ports

Cabo San Lucas: Cabo’s jagged rock formations have lured tourists to the tip of the Baja peninsula for ages. Sign up for an excursion or hire a local water taxi to zip around the choppy surf to the the natural stone arch called El Arco, or Land’s End.

Mazatlán: Stroll around the treelined Plaza Machado, the heart of the city’s cobblestone old town. Here, 19th-century gems include the Teatro Peralta and rows of neoclassical buildings, many filled with art galleries and cafes.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

You'll Find Commercialism: In some ports, you’ll have to make an effort to look beyond the strip malls, chain restaurants, and tacky tchotchke shops.