Some of us just love the beach. The sand and waves tug on our heart strings until we answer with an umbrella, blanket and basket of food. For travelers who want nothing more than a place to bury their toes in the sand, the pacific coast of Mexico is a long coast of little paradises.
If you care to peel yourself off your beach towel, the pacific coast has several sights to enjoy. While exploring this region you'll want to stop in Acapulco. It's a beautiful city and is, arguably, the most famous on Mexico's pacific coast.
For a heart-racing show, go witness the cliff divers of La Quebrada. These daredevils leap from impressive heights to a shallow stream of water below. It's a tradition that has lived on since 1934.
For a taste of the local culture, stop at Acapulco's town square, Zocalo. Home to fountains and multi-trunked trees, there are plenty of restaurants and even a cathedral to tour. Stick around after sunset and you'll see the clowns come out to entertain the crowds.
For a really awe-inspiring sight, though, head to Guadalajara and see the twin-towered cathedral. Go at just the right time of day to see the light dance on the stained glass windows and create the most magnificent colors.
If the great outdoors is more awe-inspiring for you, then head to Puerto Vallarta to brave the jungles of the Sierra Madre Mountains. Rising 8,000 feet in the air and surrounding the city, these jungles are full of sights to explore and wander.
For the chance to meet some friendly marine animals, head to the Bay of Banderas. Humpback whales use this spot for a mating ground every year, and sea turtles nest on the beaches. You're also likely to encounter dolphins and giant manta rays in this region. Dive deep to see a rainbow of fish swimming in the waters below.
Lounging on the beach is all the activity some travelers need. If you need a little more on your to-do list this vacation, there is plenty to do on Mexico's pacific coast.
If you stay in Acapulco, the CICI water park is right next to the main beach. This park is complete with pools, slides, a dolphinarium and even a Skycoaster. Enjoy a swim with the dolphins or watch them in a show. This place is ideal for families traveling together.
We all know Mexicans love soccer, but why not try to catch a very different game on your vacation? In Guadalajara's Plaza de Toros you can see a real bullfight. This unique opportunity is available every Sunday at 4:30 pm.
Of course, the traditional vacation adventures are available all over the pacific coast, but many of them can be found in Puerto Vallarta. A simple trek out to Banderas Bay will bring you to some amazing surf spots, Los Arcos features fantastic snorkeling opportunities, and this city is one of Mexico's top scuba diving destinations. There's also zip-lining, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, jet skiing, kitesurfing, parasailing and any other adrenaline rushing adventure you can think of.
Food and Dining
The pacific coast of Mexico sees so many tourists from so many cultures every year, the cuisine has adapted to those influences. From taco stands to tropical resort dishes there is a meal for every traveler on every budget. Be cautious when choosing a restaurant in Mexico, however. Bottled beers are a better bet than the tropical drinks, and be sure to check the reputation of the restaurant before visiting.
Dishes not to be missed are traditional Mexican breakfast foods like chilaquiles (fried tortilla pieces with scrambled eggs, cheese, chicken and salsa) or chicharones (pork rinds). Also, try the local catch of the day so long as the restaurant is reputable.
If you're staying within one city, taxis are a good bet. Be prepared for drivers to drive a bit recklessly. They zoom through the streets at speeds you may be not used to. Be sure to negotiate a price before you get in the car. Drivers are typically friendly, but they're number one goal is to make money.
Buses are a cheaper option for traveling within cities, but if you're going to wander up and down the coast, renting a car is a great idea. The rates tend to be reasonable especially if you can rent a car with manual transmission. As always, be cautious when driving in a foreign country.
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