The Mexican Riviera - A Luxury Destination by Justine Richards
voteFor the eco-tourist seeking both nature and luxury, the Mexican Riviera on the Pacific coast of Mexico and the Sea of Cortez provides unique and spectacular opportunities for an unforgettable vacation adventure. Experience this part of the world by sea on a luxury cruise from California or get up close and personal to this fantastic landscape at a luxury resort.
Do you long for all the pleasures of an exotic South Seas vacation at a luxury resort but don't have the time or energy for hours of flying time to the remote areas of the Pacific? Look no further than the unspoiled waters and coastline of western Mexico known as the Mexican Riviera. The Mexican Riviera is already a popular destination for cruise ships belonging to many of the cruise lines known for luxury travel. These luxury three to seven day cruises set out year round from the west coast of the U.S. and visit Cabo San Lucas at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, plus the quaint ports of Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific coastline.
While cruises to the Pacific coast of Mexico are one way to explore this lovely part of the world and soak up Pacific ambiance, savvy travelers are aware that the Mexican Riviera is quickly becoming one of world's newest luxury travel destinations, as developers discover the scenic splendor of Mexico's sandy beaches and ideal climate. Five-star resorts provide all the amenities a seasoned traveler desires and visitors can select from a variety of accommodations, from private oceanside villas and condos to eco-friendly resorts, whose architecture blends seamlessly into the landscape, leaving only a small footprint.
Upscale resorts along the Mexican Riviera offer sporting opportunities like tennis and private 18-hole golf courses, water-centered activities like dolphin watching, surfing, parasailing, scuba diving and snorkeling in tropical waters. For landlubbers, exploring via ATV or participating in an eco-tour of the surrounding landscape may be available as well. Naturally, these upscale resorts offer gourmet dining and other excellent services from fully-trained staff.
But there's even more in the way of scenery and luxury available in the furthest regions of western Mexico. The Baja California peninsula (translated as Lower California) extends some 775 miles from the U.S. and Mexican border below California. The Pacific Ocean forms the west coast of the peninsula while the saltwater Sea of Cortez, alternately called the Gulf of California, separates the peninsula from mainland Mexico. The extensive shoreline of the Sea of Cortez is home to upscale resorts that offer tropical vacations with the possibility of one-of-a-kind nature experiences.
Endangered blue whales and gray whales winter in the pristine waters of the Sea of Cortez. Instead of whale-watching in the cold Atlantic waters off of New England or on an Alaskan cruise, visitors have the unique opportunity to view whales with volcanic mountains and desert scenery as a backdrop. This can be an ultimate thrill for any vacationing nature enthusiast!
Appealing to ardent conservationists, the Sea of Cortez is home to 800 marine species that are protected by the Bay of Loreto National Marine Park, 2,065 square kilometers in size. In 2005, this park was included in the list of protected World Heritage sites. Kayaking is one the best and most exciting ways to experience the wonders of this diverse marine environment and, of course, diving opportunities abound in the warm, clear waters of the Sea of Cortez.
Don't confuse the Mexican Riviera on the Pacific coast with the Mayan Riviera on the Atlantic coast, which also offers luxury vacation opportunities. There will be no confusion as to your desired Mexican Riviera destination if you confer with a travel consultant that specializes in luxury travel.
About the Author
Justine has been a journalist for 20 years and is a contributor to Just The Planet, the online luxury travel magazine for independent travellers.