Mexican beach Baja
Mexican beach Baja Peninsula is comprised of two States: Baja California (beginning just south of San Diego, CA) and also Baja California Sur. They are commanding the central and southern mass of this 1,000-km long finger of sand, mountains, oasis, and two seas.
The northern third of the Peninsula (Baja California State) is a familiar choice for Americans who routinely jump across the border to cities like Tijuana and often venture further south to the State’s emerging wine region (Valle de Guadalupe) or Mexican beach towns like Rosarito, Ensenada (both on the Pacific) or San Felipe.
Until the early 1970s, the secrets of Baja California Sur were known to only the heartiest of travelers. Surface transportation was primitive and tourist facilities no more than a scattered handful of fishing lodges and budget motels. All this changed in 1973 with the opening of a trans-peninsular highway, and the southern peninsula’s establishment as Mexico’s newest state in 1974.
Visitors to this region experience a special closeness to the great outdoors. The state couples two of North America’s most unique and ecologically endowed regions. There is a rich Sea of Cortés and the rugged, pristine Baja Peninsula. There are three UNESCO World Heritage sites in Baja Sur.
The Sea of Cortés is one of the world’s most unique and biologically rich ocean environments, supporting more than 800 marine vertebrate species. In the north, there’s San Felipe, a three-hour drive from San Diego, a popular snowbird nesting site. Further south is Loreto and La Paz filling a niche for visitors seeking both natural beauty, outstanding sport fishing, and peaceful, unspoiled surroundings. Both cities host diverse ex-pat communities, though many flee summer temperatures.
The Pacific Ocean coastline of the Baja is equally rich in marine life. Migratory whales of Baja are a unique attraction of Mexican beach. Because of the unique way it was formed, the area has ecological features, not unlike the Galapagos Islands. Numerous marine and island reserves strive to protect and interpret Baja’s rich ecology.
Of course, the state’s more well-known tourist destination is booming Los Cabos. This is one of Mexico’s most popular destinations with over 21,000 sleeping rooms, strong international air service, and loads of shopping, dining, soft adventure, and world-class golf and fishing. The entire coastal loop around the Peninsula’s southern tip is drawing attention from ex-pats, developers, and resort/retirement brands. Places like Todos Santos (Pacific) and the East Cape (Sea of Cortes) are booming regions that are expanding southern Mexican beach Baja’s living opportunities.
Since the 1950’s this sunny stretch of sandy beaches, palm-strewn headlands, Pacific-blue bays, and coastal lagoons has been a tourism destination of choice for both Mexican and North American travelers.
Sometimes labeled as the “Mexican Riviera” this collection of sunny playgrounds has seen its tourism infrastructure expand and diversify. Today these cities compete with one another for international visitors, yet remain united by similar amenities, jungle-mountain scenery, a coastal highway, and (in some cases) shared airports.
The beaches of Mexico’s Central Pacific Coast are among the area’s main attractions. With mostly golden sand and deep-blue calm waters, they lend themselves well to all flavors of outdoor living: golf, water sports, cycling, hiking, off-road adventure, and more. The Mexican Pacific seashore is a land of perpetual summer. Winter days are typically warm and rainless. Summer temperatures are warmer and humid.
The landscape around these beaches varies, from gentle dunes to rocky coves and jungle-clad hillsides. Much of the coastline is dotted with deserted islands, emerald lagoons, and tropical estuaries. Exploring the great outdoors is popular in the Riviera’s natural preserves, and eco-tours are increasingly popular. The more adventurous can now also experience zip-line canopy tours, rock climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, and more.
Mexico Coast history
The Pacific Coast of Mexico has a rich history, lending cultural interest to its port cities of Mazatlán, Puerto Vallarta, and Manzanillo. Puerto Vallarta was founded as a silver mining port. Beautiful churches, monuments, and civic buildings are today’s reminders of the area’s colonial past. A day trip away from these coastal resorts is historic colonial cities and charming villages.
Within the cities of Mazatlán, Puerto Vallarta, and Manzanillo are interesting cultural sights and the latest in leisure diversion – hip restaurants and bars, chic spas, and shopping for every taste and budget. Visitors can find any level of accommodations in each of Mexico’s central Pacific resorts. From international chains to luxury AAA Five Diamond boutique accommodations and rustic beach bungalows, there is something for everyone.
Mexico’s southern Pacific coast resorts are in the states of Guerrero (Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo and Acapulco) and Oaxaca (Puerto Escondido and Huatulco). While each of these resorts has Mexico’s signature sparkling beaches and hospitable atmosphere, the differences offer vacationers exceptional variety. From the glitz and urban clamor of Acapulco to the sanguine fishing pueblos of Puerto Escondido and Zihuatanejo to the upscale hotel zones of Ixtapa and Huatulco, Mexico’s southern coast has something for every visitor. And the region’s nearby inland attractions are exceptional.
For thousands of years, Amerindians have inhabited this southern region. Pre-Hispanic artifacts are displayed in museums while interesting side trips showcase Mexico’s indigenous roots. Descendants of these ancient peoples also continue to offer glimpses of their ancient culture in their foods, languages, customs, festivals, and craft traditions.
Acapulco continued to define the region’s tourism product well into the 1980s when newly developed areas began to attract attention. It’s still Mexico’s number one destination for Mexican tourists.
Mexican Caribbean Overview
The Mexican Caribbean destinations of Cancún, Cozumel, Riviera Maya, and Costa Maya are located in the Yucatan peninsula region in the state of Quintana Roo. This youngest state in Mexico came to the attention of international travelers in the 1970s when the Mexican government decided to develop the area’s tourism potential.
Let’s take a moment to review the four resort areas of Quintana Roo State:
Therefore, From north to south these areas are:
- Cancun: with nearby Isla Mujeres and the town of Puerto Morelos; defines the “Caribe Mexicano” experience, and stays relevant and popular year after year;
- The Riviera Maya: stretching along 100 km of spectacular shore and an abundance of inland attractions;
- Isla Cozumel: a cruise ship port, scuba diving Mecca, with iconic languid Caribbean/Mayan ambiance;
- Grand Costa Maya: frontier region bordering with Belize and hope to major cruise port (Mahahual), Mayan ruins, and room to roam away from the crowds.
- Cancún was built from the ground up, soon becoming the launchpad for exploration up and down the coastline. Led by European (mostly Spaniard) hotel developers, the once-rustic Riviera Maya has grown to over 50,000 hotel units in the past 15 years.
The island of Cozumel’s evolution into one of the world’s most visited cruise ports solidified the area’s status as a major tourism destination. And further south, the remote Grand Costa Maya is opening access to Mexico’s scenic border region with Belize.
The popularity of Cancún, Cozumel, and the Riviera Maya has not waned. Today the region generates over 45% of Mexico’s entire tourism income and hosts over 10 million annual visitors. As lesser-known areas along the Quintana Roo coastline attract more developers, Cancún’s growing air service provides even better access. In fact, the Cancún airport routinely handles over 600 daily flight operations, rivaling Mexico City.
Visitors don’t take long to figure out why the area is so popular. After a short flight (thanks to proximity to major US air hubs), guests are basking in turquoise-blue water, surrounded by luxurious comforts as they prepare to explore the area’s signature Mayan wonders.