The picturesque Puerto Vallarta has a beautiful colonial city center and a fabulous location on the Bahia de Banderas (flag bay). The Plaza Principal forms the heart of the city and is the most important meeting point. Above it, on a hill, is the Templo de Guadalupe church, an important symbol of the city. In this natural stone church, the film stars Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton said the word “yes”. The city is also known for Los Arcos, huge rock arches. The beautiful Malecón waterfront has numerous bars, restaurants and cafes and is very popular. It also serves as an exhibition area for sculptures from various artists. The highlight of the city are certainly the numerous beautiful sandy beaches. There are a wide range of activities to in the area such as snorkelling, diving, swimming with dolphins, water skiing, sailing and windsurfing. Humpback whales are in the bay for mating and brereding between November and March and whale watching tours are possible. The mountain landscape that surrounds the city is also ideal for long exploring. The city has golf courses and real adrenaline junkies get their money’s worth with bungee jumping.
Puerto Vallarta is a great place to shop for souvenirs. There are many handcrafted products made of silver, clay and wood as well as artistically embroidered traditional clothing. The artifacts made by the Huichol are typical of the area. These include figures and murals of various sizes which are artistically decorated with colourful pearls or yarn and depict spiritual symbols.
Acapulco – the city of the famous cliff divers, also a holiday paradise with golden sandy beaches and exciting nightlife. Explore the city and stop in the shady Zócalo, the main square of the city. To the east is the 17th century Fuerte San Diego fortress which protected the Spanish trade route from pirates. The fort is on a hill, with a beautiful view of the bay and the city. The building also has an interesting museum about the history of the city. The Museo de la Máscara exhibits an impressive collection of masks from all over Mexico and even Africa and Cuba. The absolute highlight and the most famous attraction is the breathtaking show of the Clavadistas. The cliff divers plunge down into the ocean while narrowly avoiding the rocks every day in a demmostration of courage and bravery. The dive needs to be coordinated perfectly with the approaching waves, otherwise the water depth would not be sufficient to survive a jump from such a height. Absolutely spectacular! In the evening, fiery elements are built into the show, which creates a unique atmosphere. Otherwise, of course, the beaches are Acapulco’s most popular attraction and there are numerous water activities on offer. Spectacular sunsets can be seen on Playa La Angosta beach or from Plazoleta la Quebrada near the cliff diver. After sunset is when Acapulco´s exciting nightlife wakes up and you can dance the night away at one of the popular clubs.
The port of Manzanillo has grown into the largest in the country in recent years, overtaking Veracruz in 2004. A long promenade runs along the coast, inviting you to stroll and linger to the sounds of the waves. From here you can also enjoy the beautiful sunset. A few kilometers from the center are beautiful, deserted beaches and there are a few idyllic lagoons that are home to many different bird species. Popular activities here include surfing, bodyboarding, sailing, water skiing, diving and deep sea fishing. Manzanillo is also famous for the largest international sailing tournament which takes place every November. There is also a lot going on here during the Fiestas de Mayo in May in honor of the city’s foundation.
The local university of the city has an archaeological museum called Museo Universitario de Arqueologíca which exhibits pre-Hispanic objects from the region. The rotating exhibitions of contemporary Mexican art are particularly beautiful to admire. Sports enthusiasts should definitely visit the beaches of Olas Altas and Miramar! These are perfect for relaxing and enjoying the sun, but also for watching the numerous surfers dancing on the waves. The best waves break here and these beaches are a hotspot for surfers from all over the world. There are surfboards available to rent, if you want a rush of adrenaline. The best way to end the evening is in the Zócalo. Especially on Sunday evenings, young and old meet here and enjoy traditional music with an ice cream.
The two beach towns of Ixtapa and the quieter neighbouring Zihuatanejo are separated from each other by a small ridge. There is a wonderful (bike) route between Zihuatanejo and Playa Linda. Zihuatanejo is located at the northern end of a palm-fringed bay. There are beautiful white sandy beaches that are ideal for swimming thanks to the calm surf. In the beautiful cobblestone center of town there are many shops, cozy pubs and cafés as well as good restaurants. In addition to tourism, the main source of income for locals here is still fishing which is why very tasty fish and other seafood is served here. From the pier in the center you can visit the Playa Las Gratas by boat and can snorkel on the coral just off the island. From here you can also get to Isla Ixtapa by boat. The most beautiful hotels are located on the pristine beaches of Playa la Madera and Playa la Ropa.
Ixtapa has trendy restaurants and hotels as well as a golf course and a large marina. There are also numerous shops and a lively nightlife. The highlight are the miles of sandy beaches and the Isla Ixtapa Nature Park which is located on an island off the coast. A visit to the Magic World water park, offers a refreshing change.