Mexico Cabo San Lucas Jewel of the Seas Sailing
Mexico Cabo San Lucas Jewel of the Seas Sailing


Looking for the ultimate vacation from the West Coast? Plan a Mexican Riviera cruise from sunny LA.

Published on August 31, 2021

Picture this: golden, sunbaked beaches and sparkling Pacific waters. Lively seaside towns with yacht-studded harbors and glamorous resorts, and laid-back fishing villages where the savory scents of fresh-made tamales and smoky, spiced barbacoa hang in the air. Tranquil lagoons and majestic waterfalls hidden deep within lush, green jungles. And bold, flavorful dishes that are as varied as the kinds of tequila and mezcal you’ll taste as you make your way along the Baja California peninsula. Welcome to the western Mexican Riviera. It’s been one of the most famous vacation destinations among jet-setting celebrities and globetrotting adventure-chasers for decades — and it certainly still lives up to all the hype.

If you’ve been dreaming about visiting (or revisiting) this beloved region of the world, now’s your chance to do it big. We have made it easier than ever before to visit the best spots along this famous coastline that stretches from Ensenada in Baja California all the way to Salina Cruz in Oaxaca. All you have to do is set sail on a Baja cruise or Mexican Riviera cruise from Los Angeles onboard the Amplified Navigator of the Seas®, a fan-favorite ship that’s loaded with all kinds of thrills to keep you busy in between stops.
No matter how many vacation days you have to spare, you’ll find plenty of itineraries to suit any schedule — from 3- and 4-night Baja cruises with stops at Catalina Island and Ensenada, to 5- and 7-night escapes with stops in Cabo, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlán. Ready to start planning the perfect West Coast adventure? Here are some of the incredible destinations you can sail to on a Mexican Riviera cruise from the City of Angels.


A hallmark stop on most 3- and 4-night Baja cruises from Los Angeles is Catalina Island. One of the Channel Islands of California, this idyllic escape is a favorite getaway spot for Angelinos looking to unwind away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. With its romantic Mediterranean charm, scenic hiking trails, beautiful sailboat-studded bays and pretty golden beaches, Catalina Island is the perfect spot to slip into a vacation state of mind.

Visit the lovely Wrigley Memorial and Botanic Gardens, which encompass nearly 38 acres of indigenous Cali plants including Catalina cherry, agave, aloe, cedar, island scrub oak and yucca. Or fill an afternoon with glamor at the Art Deco-era Catalina Casino in Avalon, built in 1929 to host big bands and Hollywood’s biggest stars and buzziest socialites. Or find your center during a paddle boarding session along the deep blue waters of Descanso Beach, located just past the casino.


Ensenada is another favorite destination on 3- and 4-night Baja cruises from Los Angeles, though you can also sail there on 5-night Mexican Riviera cruises that include a stop in Ensenada, Mexico. Located less than 70 miles south of the border, Ensenada beckons with world-class dining, whale-watching, harborside shopping and beautiful beaches.

If you love wine, head to one of the city’s bodegas for a guided Mexican wine tasting. While grapes aren’t native to Mexico, wine — and pretty good wine, at that — has been produced here since the 17th century. If you prefer something a little stronger, add a tequila or mezcal tasting session to your itinerary. Food is one of Ensenada’s main selling points, so make sure you come with an appetite. Savor fresh-caught seafood at a local spot near the harbor — fish tacos are among the most popular dishes in Ensenada, but the city also serves up great ceviche tostadas.


With its fine white-sand beaches, impressive limestone arches, windswept cliffs and lively seaside villages, Cabo is a West Coast chart-topper — and it’s a regular stop on 5-night Mexican Riviera cruises. There’s plenty to see and do in the resort towns along the beach, but to truly get to know this famous vacation spot, spend your time exploring its natural beauty.

Join a boat tour and watch for dolphins beneath the crystal-clear waves, or snorkel below El Arco, a jagged rock formation that’s made Cabo’s Land’s End beach famous. You can also feed your craving for adrenaline on a lightning-fast banana-boat ride, a jet ski session or parasailing adventure that yields wow-worthy views of the sea and land. While you’re having fun out on the water, keep an eye out for sea lions, seals and whales. If you prefer adventures on land, try teeing off at of Cabo’s famous golf courses or pick up some speed on an off-road adventure in Wild Canyon.


There are so many reasons why Puerto Vallarta is considered one of the best-loved vacation spots on a Mexican Riviera cruise. Curled around the jewel-bright waters of the beautiful Bahía de Banderas, it’s the perfect place to soak up the sunshine and recharge on a golden stretch of beach, savor authentic Mexican cuisine paired with flavorful local tequila, or stretch your legs on an invigorating hike through the region’s lush jungles, which are teeming with silvery waterfalls and calm, crystal-clear lagoons. One of the most romantic ways to spend a day in Puerto Vallarta is on a horseback ride along the beach or through the jungle, but you’ll also find plenty to do in the bustling city center. In fact, you could fill an entire day with discoveries and never even set foot outside the city limits.

If you choose to spend your time closer to port, make sure you pencil in a visit to Puerto Vallarta’s famous botanical gardens — a 63-acre oasis where you can observe stunning blooms and colorful birds. Afterward, go for an afternoon stroll along the iconic Malecon. For a glimpse at Puerto Vallarta’s past, explore the pretty cobblestone streets of its historic Old Town. And make sure you save room for a delicious meal at one of the city’s many trendy cafes and restaurants.


Finally, there’s delightful Mazatlán — another destination you’ll love visiting during your Mexican Riviera cruise. Only 7-night Mexican Riviera cruises stop here, and they’re well worth setting aside the extra time off. A beach resort at its core, Mazatlán caters to all kids of travelers — couples, bachelor and bachelorette parties, families, and more.

The warm hospitality, crave-worthy cuisine, incredible beaches and perpetual sunshine here have captivated many visitors, and you’re going to find yourself planning a return trip before the day’s even over. Wander the historic, cobblestone streets of Old Mazatlán, sip Pacifico beers beneath the shade at one of the city’s many shoreside bars, and unwind on Playa Sabalo, one of the area’s best beaches for relaxing. For an extra dose of local culture, head to one of the “Pueblos Magicos,” or “Magic Towns,” that surround Mazatlán. These little villages offer plenty of rustic charm by way of colorful old buildings, quaint churches, and tasty treats made fresh daily by locals.


While the destinations you’ll visit on every Mexican Riviera cruise offer plenty of unique and diverse adventures onshore, keep in mind that the fun doesn’t end when it’s time to head back to the ship. After all, you’ll be sailing onboard one of the best-loved cruise ships in the fleet. Amplified with thrilling attractions designed to wow any adrenaline-seeker — like The Perfect Storm℠ waterslide duo, The Blaster® aqua coaster and the Riptide℠ mat racer — Navigator of the Seas® keeps the thrills going strong all day. And when the sun sets, you can sip expertly crafted cocktails at The Lime and Coconut® or Bamboo Room, savor palate-pleasing flavors from around the world, and settle in for dazzling ice skating shows and Broadway-style musicals. If you just want to kick back and keep working on your tan lines, an expanded pool deck offers plenty of room to lounge around and soak up the sunshine.

Know Before You Go
If you’re already feeling the wanderlust, remember that it’s never too early to start planning your dream cruise to Baja California and the western Mexican Riviera. Make sure you check the our website frequently for cruise deals and special offers like instant savings, onboard credit and more. And if you’re not from LA, try to factor in a few days to experience this buzzing, vibrant West Coast capital. Full of history, star-studded sights, and a rich melting pot of cultures, Los Angeles is a must-visit destination in and of itself, and it’s worth it to spend some time getting to know the city’s many wonders.


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