As one of the most inexpensive and acclaimed cruises to travel on the western coast of Mexico, the Mexican Riviera is considered by many people to be one of the best ways to explore up to 20 Mexican cities and surrounding areas. So when is the best time to cruise Mexican Riviera?
The Mexican Riviera is an all-year cruise; however, the best time to cruise the Mexican Riviera is during Mexico’s dry season, between November and May. The reason is that this provides the best weather, but it also increases the chances of seeing wildlife among reduced crowds of people.
Keep reading for more information to help you decide the best time to cruise the Mexican Riviera for you and your family when planning your next cruise.
What Is The Mexican Riviera?
The Mexican Riviera is a tropical paradise that stretches along the western coast of Mexico. It features stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, lush vegetation, and various activities. Visitors can enjoy various activities such as swimming, sunbathing, fishing, snorkeling, and scuba diving in the Great Maya Reef. There are also many cultural attractions, such as ancient ruins and Spanish colonial architecture.
What Ports Are Included in a Mexican Riviera Cruise?
Different cruise lines will include different ports in their itineraries. However, some of the most popular ports in the Mexican Riviera that are often included in cruises are Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas. All three of these destinations offer beautiful beaches, unique culture, delicious food, and plenty of opportunities for adventure. Depending on the cruise line and itinerary, you may also visit Ensenada, as well as smaller ports.
Each of these ports offers a different array of activities and attractions, so it’s worth doing some research ahead of time to see which ones appeal to you most.
Puerto Vallarta is a charming resort town with a laid-back atmosphere. It’s known for its sandy beaches, clear waters perfect for swimming and snorkeling, and lush jungle surroundings. It also has sophisticated restaurants and galleries and exciting nightlife.
Mazatlan is a historic city with a rich culture dating back to the days of the Aztecs. Visitors can explore the ancient ruins, and visit museums and art galleries. Mazatlan also has a great culinary scene.
Cabo San Lucas, meanwhile, is famous for its dramatic landscape and lively nightlife.
Ensenada is known for its lively atmosphere and beautiful beaches. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and exploring the shops and restaurants lining the shore.
Mazatlan is a historic city with a growing reputation for its culinary scene.
No matter which ports you end up visiting, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience on your Mexican Riviera cruise.
What Ports Are Not Considered Part of The Mexican Riviera?
There are extremely popular cruise ports in Mexico that are not considered part of the Mexican Riviera. The two most well-known at this time are the Cozumel cruise port and the Costa Maya cruise port. You will find these ports on various Caribbean cruise itineraries.
Why Cruise The Mexican Riviera Between November And May?
There are three primary reasons you should plan your cruise down the Mexican Riviera between May and November, they are:
- The Mexican Riviera weather
- The wildlife off the west coast Of Mexico
- The crowds cruising the Mexican Riviera
Let’s explore these three reasons in greater detail below so that you can choose a date that suits your needs.
1. Best Time To Cruise Mexican Riviera: Weather
In terms of weather, most people believe the dry season between November and May is the best time to cruise the Mexican Riviera because you are less likely to encounter showers and rough seas.
Furthermore, because the dry season coincides with winter in Mexico between December and May, you are less likely to encounter summer crowds. Therefore you can enjoy the blue skies and clear weather in peace.
However, while the coast of Mexico during the dry season has mild, balmy, tropical weather, the first few days and the last few days of the cruise will be closer to California than Mexico. Therefore, you will likely experience a chill in the air during these days, as you will be in the midst of California’s winter months.
Consequently, while it may be tempting to fill your suitcase with nothing but swimming shorts and suntan lotion, a sweater, and a raincoat are essential items to pack for those colder, wetter days off the west coast of America.
Suppose you don’t want to brave the California winter and don’t mind the possibility of scattered thundershowers and extreme heat. In that case, the summer months between August and September are also fantastic months to enjoy a sunny cruise.
Take note that once you reach the Mexican coastline, the weather can be extremely hot and humid. So stay hydrated, avoid the midday sun, and wear plenty of sunscreen!
2. Best Time To Cruise Mexican Riviera: Wildlife
Although cruise ships off the Mexican coastline may conjure up images of ongoing fiestas, live entertainment, and beach parties, a cruise down the Mexican Riviera can be a relaxing trip and a unique way to experience nature and do some game viewing.
While there is ample bird and marine life to view all year round, the big attraction of going on the Mexican Riviera between November and May is that some of the best whale watching in the world occurs off the western coast of Mexico. The best period to catch whales falls between January and March (although months that fall just outside of this window are also very promising.)
If whale watching is a priority, take a guided whale watching tour once you dock at ports Cabo San Lucas or Puerto Vallarta. Local guides can show you whale-watching hotspots that you are unlikely to discover independently on a cruise ship.
Furthermore, your chances of seeing whales increase drastically, as you will be observing whales that are undisturbed in their natural habitat.
3. The Crowds Cruising The Mexican Riviera
Due to the popularity and affordability of cruising down the Mexican Riviera, you will seldom be able to have a trip void of numerous passengers. However, if you want to avoid particularly large crowds and increased prices, it is best to avoid this cruise during events like Spring Break, Christmas, and Thanksgiving.
However, crowds aren’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if you plan to cruise down the Mexican Riviera to make new friends or have people to party with both on and off the cruise ship!
How Long Are Mexican Riviera Cruises?
One of the great attractions to booking a Mexican Riviera cruise is finding a wide range of options, from short cruises of 3 or 4 days to cruises of 7 nights or more. So, for instance, on Royal Caribbean Mexican Riviera cruises, you can book a 3-night or 4-night, a 5-night cruise that stops at Cabo San Lucas, or a 7-night cruise that includes a stop at Mazatlan.
If you are looking for a longer itinerary, check out the Princess Mexican Riviera Cruises, which can be 10 or 12 days, and include an overnight stay in Cabo San Lucas and additional ports down the Sea of Cortez.
Although November to May is considered the best time to explore the Mexican Riviera, this all-year-round cruise is perfect for adventurous challenges looking for a multi-day excursion or a quick three-day trip along the west coast of Mexico!