Puerto Vallarta | Cabo San Lucas | Mazatlan
Here’s our list of Top Mexican Riviera Excursions
If you’re thinking about taking a Mexican Riviera cruise and exploring this fun-filled destination, you’ll want to read our list of top Mexican Riviera Excursions. This article focuses on Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, and Mazatlan- the ports on the Pacific Ocean side of Mexico, rather than the Caribbean ports. You can use the quick menu about to jump to in article link about Mexican Riviera Excursions in specific areas. The first stop on our Mexican Riviera Excursions list Puerto Vallarta.
Los Veranos Canopy Tour (Zip lining).
This excursion blew us away! Walk to the pick up point from the cruise ship pier, and head to the lush jungle for a thrilling adventure, followed by complimentary tequila tasting and an optional swim in the river.
Notes: Guides are bilingual in English and Spanish. Children 5 and up ok. Ride along guests welcome. Watch for the time difference from ship to shore! Max weight 285 lbs. Includes tequila tasting and transportation there. Excellent restaurant onsite, as well as waterslides and a fun swimming area (in a river).
Watch our high flying adventure, and crazy Puerto Vallarta “near miss” in this fun-filled vlog.
Las Caletas Puerto Vallarta: Everyone raves about Las Caletas- including us! We had SO MUCH FUN on our visit there. This oasis is worth the splurge and has something for all ages- relaxing hammocks, massages, kids activities and a wonderful meal at a private beach on Banderas Bay.
(You must book this through the ship unless you’re visiting on a land vacation!). Rates at the time of this publication were approximately $135.00 per person, less for children. Something for all ages- relaxing hammocks, massages, kids activities and a wonderful meal at a private beach on Banderas Bay. Tip: Pace yourself! There is SO much to do at Las Caletas. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Pick 1 or 2 things, then just let the rest happen. You may get to experience a wildlife encounter, swim with sea lions, and zip line into the ocean. Or, get a relaxing massage, rest on the beach, and swim in the sea.
Our Las Caletas Vlog– filmed November 2019 (Thanksgiving week).
To Research, visit https://www.vallarta-adventures.com/en/tour/caletas-beach-hideaway, but remember you must book this through your ship.
Outdoor Zip Line adventure: Not for the faint of heart, this adrenaline lovers DREAM will remind you you’re ALIVE!
Speedboat, 4X4, zip lining, rappel down a waterfall. (You must book this through the ship unless you’re visiting on a land vacation!) From $119 per person, less for kids. Min age: 8 years.
Their website description pretty much sums it up:
“Let the thrills begin as you fly across the bay on a speed boat and then hop into the heart of the Sierra Madre in one of our iconic yellow Unimog trucks! Mount a mule for a steady trek and into the sub-tropical forest under the canopy.
Rappel down a waterfall, hike through the jungle, ride exhilarating zip lines, and experience our NEW Roller Coaster Zipline, all the speed of a zipline with the unique sensation of a roller coaster suspended by cables from the trees. It is truly an adventure of a lifetime!
To close on a high note and refresh your emotions, rush with the highest water slide drop-in Mexico! Don’t miss the One and Only Outdoor Adventure.”
Sea Safari & Horseback: Another high adventure option for your day in Puerto Vallarta. This includes a speedboat ride, horseback riding, snorkeling, kayaking, lunch: (You must book this through the ship unless you’re visiting on a land vacation!) From $119 per person. Min age: 10 years.
Here’s what to expect: “Looking for exciting outdoor activities in Puerto Vallarta? Our Sea Safari & Horseback Riding Tour for ages 10 and up is all about diving deep into everything Mexico has to offer—on one of our speedboats, in a tiny fishing village, under the waves, over winding trails on horseback, and into a waterfall! Your day includes a mix of outdoor adventure and authentic Mexican culture plus the best snorkeling around.”
Day Pass at Puerto Vallarta Marriott:
Experienced cruisers RAVE about this low cost option. Simply Take a cab for about $10 to the Marriott and visit the front desk to purchase a day pass. Hang out in the pool, purchase cocktails, or stroll the grounds. We suggest reaching out to the resort in advance to confirm availability and pricing. The price you pay for your day pass can be applied toward food and drink.
Day Pass at Now Amber:
The photo above is what you see when you walk in and register at the Now Amber. We sort of stumbled upon this resort but accident, and to date, Now Amber is one of our favorite day pass options. What makes this resort special is two fold- food and drinks are excellent, and it’s wonderful for families (note Junior having the time of his life on the waterslide in the pool). You’ll pay more than you will at the Marriott, but the experience is pretty much all inclusive, and the sit down service at the restaurants is lovely. We show you exactly what it’s like in this fun vlog.
Email the concierge at the resort to confirm pricing and availability.
Day pass at Hyatt Ziva:
The Hyatt Ziva in Puerto Vallarta is located on a lovely beach, south of town. It’s a bit further from the cruise port than Now Amber, but you’ll feel very safe getting back to your ship in time. We visited this resort independently while on a cruise, but quickly found that the cruise line had a shore excursion group here. As a result, the pools were extremely crowded at first (sadly, the pools at this property are much smaller than other Hyatt Ziva properties), but we had an incredible day. Check out our experience in this vlog, followed by an amazing Carnival Cruise 80’s Deck Party.
By mid-afternoon, the pool was empty (as you can see in the photo above. Drinks and food are all inclusive. Email the concierge at the resort to confirm pricing and availability.
A few totally unique tours in Puerto Vallarta, recommended by our community:
City & Taco Tour in VW Beetle Convertible: Avoid the tourist traps and head into the heart of Puerto Vallarta on this unique street food tour through some of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods. Taste the flavors of Puerto Vallarta, meet the locals, and see a different side to the city.
Bites & Bikes Tour: Cycle and eat your way through Puerto Vallarta on an immersive culinary tour by bike. Taste a variety of dishes influenced by Aztec, Mayan, Toltec, Spanish, and French cuisine. Explore the city with a local guide and discover local culinary gems.
Tequila & Coffee Factory Tour: Explore the town with a walk through Malecon. Enjoy a tequila tasting at a distillery. Visit a coffee factory and try some local organic coffee.
Cabo San Lucas
This gentle camel and outback adventure in Cabo San Lucas is GREAT for most ages and ability levels. There is SO much to this wonderful excursion. A gentle nature hike, an incredibly delicious Mexican lunch (BEST mole I’ve ever had), and you guessed it, included tequila tasting! Yumbo! Minimum age: 5 years. Max Weight: 265 lbs.
“Set out on a voyage of unique proportions as you journey through the Baja desert atop a friendly camel. Discover the natural wonders and rich Baja Californian culture of the region from our expert guides at our new ranch, “Tierra Sagrada.”
Get introduced to your camel by name before hopping on the hump and setting off to explore! A 20-minute camel-riding desert safari in Cabo is a truly unique way to take in the picturesque scenery of Baja California Sur. Add to that a guided nature walk, unlimited Mexican buffet and Tequila tasting in Cabo San Lucas, and you’ve got a tour to remember.”
Book the camel adventure with your cruise line, or with GetYourGuide.
Check out our Camel and Outback Adventure– yep, there IS tequila!
Sailing adventures: Wow! This day exceeded our expectations in EVERY way. The sailboats at Cabo Sailing are NOT packed with too many people, the drinks are strong and free flowing, and the delicious, yet basic lunch will hit the spot. Visit the arches, feel the wind in the sailes (they really let ‘er rip!), and dive into the ocean for a cool dip if you’re up for it.
Click “cruise ship guests” section on their website for more info.
Medano Beach: Not interested in booking an organized excursion in Cabo? You don’t have to! You can do it yourself on a budget- here’s our video guide to visiting Medano Beach on your own. Our favorite restaurant on the beach is Billygan’s. Just ask a local or your water taxi driver, and they will point you there. Don’t miss the coconut fish, and bucket of beers.
Here are a few more excursions we haven’t personally tried, but that our community RAVES about!
Taco Tour and Tasting through Downtown: Discover the vibrant flavors of Cabo San Lucas and taste delicious tacos on this walking tour through the downtown area of the city. Immerse yourself in the culture of Mexican cuisine, and eat like a local and taquerias, street vendors, and restaurants.
Kayak and Snorkel in Two Bays: Kayak along the pristine coast of the Sea of Cortez, and enjoy breaks for snorkeling in two of the most magnificent bays in Los Cabos, Santa Maria and Chileno. Explore the underwater world beneath you, and see colorful, exotic sea life.
Dolphin Swim with Cabo Adventures:
Zip Line with Cabo Adventures: starts at $129 Minimum Age: 8 years
Visit the Turtle Sanctuary at Estrella Del Mar: We booked this excursion through our cruise line, and had a wonderful day but you can book direct through a third party like GetYourGuide. Our son LOVED interacting with the baby turtles, and the mock release was so cool! The buffet lunch did not disappoint, and while drinks cost extra, the margaritas were inexpensive and delicious!
As part of this tour, you get access to the resort pool and hot tub for a few hours. But the beach steals the show! You’ll feel like you have this WHOLE stretch of coast to yourself. Book this tour through your cruise ship excursions website.
“Established in 1998, the Estrella del Mar Turtle Sanctuary’s top goal is to protect and conserve the sea turtle within its natural environment. Take a free tour of our on-site sanctuary to learn about our efforts for ensuring the preservation of these beautiful and peaceful creatures. You can even become part of our conservation team for a day!”
Here are several Mazatlan excursions we haven’t yet tried, but our community recommends highly in Mazatlan:
Zipline Adventure, Sightseeing & Tequila Tasting: Experience a fun and exhilarating ziplining ride on 12 tracks at different heights and lengths. Take in the scenic views from up high before enjoying a regional lunch. Finish with a visit to Mazatlán’s museum, cathedral, hot springs, and tequila factory.
Guided City Bike Tour: Join a scenic bike ride by the ocean and through the alleys of Mazatlan’s historic district. You will explore and discover the hidden gems only locals can show you, as well as the most emblematic landmarks.
Ten Islands Boating Expedition: Onboard a high-speed, semi-rigid boat, you will cross the bay while discovering different islands and beaches. You will have many opportunities to take amazing photographs, while your expert guides share the history, geology, and sea life of Mazatlan.
Johan and Sandra get rave reviews for taking good care of cruise passengers in Mazatlan. click on “cruise corner” (they show their price vs ship price) and there are tons of options from a wild dolphin adventure to Stone Island, horseback rides, and even private catamaran tours.
Looking for more? Check out these related posts
10 Tips for Cruising the Mexican Riviera
Outfit of the Day – Mexican Riviera
Pack With Me For A Mexican Riviera Cruise