Mexico's long Pacific coastline, dubbed the Mexican Riviera, is full of beach resorts. Many resorts cater towards package holidays, while others target a more upmarket luxury client. Much of the coastline is excellent for surfing, and there are ample opportunities for whale watching and deep sea fishing in addition. Most of these resorts are large, and many a little overdeveloped - those seeking seclusion will find more suitable resorts on Mexico's Caribbean coast - the Maya Riviera.
We'll mention the major travel destinations heading South from Baja California, with a few luxury hotel suggestions where appropriate.
Loreto is the most historical place to stay in Baja California - the old town has some lovely colonial buildings and interesting museums, and the coast nearby is one of Mexico's best fishing spots. Consider Diamond Eden as a luxury all inclusive resort in Loreto. La Paz is equally popular, and there's some of Baja California's loveliest beaches nearby, plus ample opportunities for whale watching. However, San Jose del Cabo takes the crown as being Baja's top destination for those seeking beautiful beaches and luxury resorts. Stay at the One and Only Palmilla resort if you want to mix with Hollywood celebrities, or Stouffer Presidente Los Cabos is an alternative luxury hotel option. Nearby Cabo San Lucas is similar in style, and extremely popular with American retired folk, deep sea fishermen and cruise ships - there's an assortment of luxury resorts to match.
More info on Baja California & Los Cabos
Full of condominium developments, Puerto Vallarta is one of Mexico's most highly commercialised holiday resorts. Having said this, the cobbled streets of the old town are charming when it is not the peak tourism season, plus there's great hiking in the nearby hills, and opportunities for whale watching (in season - humpback whales from December to April) and scuba diving. The international airport has flights to numerous other destinations in Mexico, in addition to charter flights to USA and Europe. Luxury hotels are aplenty - many are all inclusives. Travel on the road to the north of Puerto Vallarta to some lovely smaller beach resorts, such as Bucerias, Los Veneros, San Franscisco and Rincon de Guayabitos,
More travel advice about Puerto Vallarta.
Zihuatanejo is a beautiful, smallish but expensive beach resort 240 km Nortwest of Acapulco. The town still maintains a real Mexican village feel to it, unlike many of the other resorts on Mexico's Pacific Coast. The beaches in Zihuatanejo are good, but the best ones found a little out of town. Ixtapa is another nearby resort.
Just outside of Zihuatanejo is the larger resort of Ixtapa, which is characterised by dozens of 5 star luxury hotels, shopping complexes, golf courses and marinas. It's not all about the beaches though - there's turtles and crocodiles that can be seen nearby. Ixtapa is not particularly suitable for a family vacation in Mexico, as the sea can have strong undertows - children should take care. However, the resort remains popular with families.
More info about Zihuatanejo & Ixtapa.
Puerto Escondido is on Oaxaca's coastline. From the colonial town of Oaxaca there are flights, or it's about 10 hours travel overland. The resort used to be small in size, but development has been rapid and hap-hazard over the last 15 years. Puerto Escondido is one of Mexico's best surfing resorts, and many competitions are held here. There numerous beautiful beaches on the Pacific coastline North and South of Puerto Escondido, in addition to wildlife tours in the nearby mangrove swamps, and archeaological sites such as those at Santos Reyes Nopala. Puerto Escondido is not one of Mexico's safest beach resorts - care should be taken at night. There are very few luxury hotels in Puerto Escondido - most are budget hotels. There are more laid back alternative beach resorts on the coast to the South, such as Zipolite, which has a stunning setting but a dangerous and rough sea, San Agustinillo, Puerto Angel and Mazunte.
Travel further South along Mexico's Pacific Coast to the resort town of Huatulco. It's an upmarket engineered resort, and there are charter flights from USA and Canada, making this a popular package holiday destination. Hatulco is safe, clean and meticulously planned, there's numerous watersports available, in additional to international cuisine and buzzing nightlife. There's 9 bays in total, each backed by beautiful forests, and many luxury all inclusive hotels in the area. If you're seeking a genuine resort in Mexico, this is a better option than either Acapulco or Cancun, with whom comparisons can be drawn. Needless to say, it won't suit everyone's idea of an ideal vacation to Mexico. Luxury hotels in Huatulco include the Crown Pacific, Camino Real, Gala Royal Maeva and the Quinta Real, in addition to many other chain hotels.
More Huatulco vacation advice.