Mexico – Riviera

We visited several Pacific Coast ports of call on our second trip to Mexico to include Puerto Chiapas, Huatulco, and the “Mexican Riviera” ports of Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo San Lucas. We were cruising with the Norwegian Pearl through the Panama Canal, and were quite happy to experience this part of the world. Our research into Puerto Chiapas yielded very little information as it is a newly built port with absolutely nothing to do in the immediate area, but a 25 minute bus ride away is the city of Tapachula, which is where we decided to spend our day. In Huatulco, everyone recommended the 7 bay cruise and snorkeling at La Entrega, a “natural aquarium”. In retrospect, we would have given the 7 bay cruise a miss as we could see the exact same sights from the bow of the Norwegian. However, the snorkeling in Huatulco was fairly decent, and the $10 massive margaritas are a definite must-do! In Puerto Vallarta, we hopped on a bus to the malecon, and strolled around Zona Romantica on our own…highly recommended! Puerto Vallarta is a pedestrian friendly city and we really enjoyed this port of call. Last but not least, Cabo San Lucas was a great final destination on our 2 week cruise. We had to catch a tender to shore, and immediately sought out the water taxis for a spin around the Arch (Cabo’s iconic symbol), Lovers and Divorce Beaches, as well as the smelly sea lion colony. Our water taxi kindly deposited us off at Medano Beach, where we had an enjoyable stroll into town past the marina and touristy sights which eventually led us back to the tender pier. We can easily see why this part of Mexico is so popular as we definitely enjoyed the ports of call. ¡Viva México!

View of sleepy Puerto Chiapas, located on the Pacific Coast of southwest Mexico Dancers greet us upon arrival at Puerto Chiapas Souvenir store inside the cruise terminal palapa; Puerto Chiapas A mosque inspired church; outskirts of Tapachula Statue of Miguel Hidalgo, a Mexican priest and leader in the Mexican War of Independence. His plaque reads "Father of the Country"; Tapachula View of Saint Augustine Church; Tapachula Corner view of Casa de Cultura (House of Culture), which is perhaps the best example of art deco architecture in Tapachula Robby strikes a pose next to dolls representing Tapachula and neighboring towns; Casa de Cultura Musicians set up their instruments outside of Tapachula's Cultural Center A shoe polisher conducts brisk business in Tapachula Bar stools set out for patrons; Tapachula food court Chickens on display; Tapachula meat market The meat section of the Tapachula Market Fresh seafood for sale; Tapachula market Leather sandals for sale; Tapachula Market Fancy a cowboy hat? There is a massive selection for sale at the Tapachula Market Traditionally dressed dolls; Tapachula Market Food court section of Tapachula Market Meat section of Tapachula Market A shopper drapes garlic around his neck once his hands get full; Tapachula Market The open air fish section of Tapachula Market Dried chilies, peppers and pasta; Tapachula market A tricycle cart is a popular mode of transportation to carry goods home from the market; Tapachula Colorful mosquito nets; Tapachula Street food stands; Tapachula Open market area of Tapachula Mural inside City Hall; Tapachula City Hall's stained glass window; Tapachula A toy train ride at Tapachula's Miguel Hidalgo Park Senior citizens performing in the annual Festival of International Dance; Tapachula's Miguel Hidalgo Park We were surprised to see dozens of teenagers performing at the Dance Festival; Tapachula Girls in colorful skirts performing a traditional dance; Tapachula Dance Festival Souvenir stand selling Chiapas trinkets; Tapachula Becky next to two beautiful greeters; Puerto Chiapas View of the cruise terminal palapa at Puerto Chiapas License plate of the Mexican state of Chiapas, adjacent to Guatemala Becky strikes a pose next to the "Welcome to Huatulco" signpost at the cruise ship terminal in Santa Cruz Beach side restaurants compete for your business; Santa Cruz Bay in Huatulco Fish eye view of Santa Cruz's beach; Huatulco Santa Cruz's little church by the beach; Huatulco Robby next to Santa Cruz Harbor Lighthouse and blowhole at Huatulco View on our 5 bay cruise; Huatulco Robby causes a feeding frenzy with bread crumbs; La Entrega A guineafowl puffer (characterized by its black skin covered in white polka dots) is partially inflated but manages to zoom away; La Entrega Most of the coral is dead but there are some colorful fish to be seen while snorkeling at over hyped La Entrega; Huatulco We followed these fish swimming in formation until they got a bit too jittery; La Entrega Longnose puffer; La Entrega snorkel site A porcupinefish tries to hide; La Entrega An underwater aquarium while snorkeling at La Entrega Becky finds a starfish while snorkeling La Entrega View looking back towards La Entrega Beach; Huatulco The little park in touristy Santa Cruz; Huatulco Wooden sailboat for sale; Santa Cruz There are dozens of similar stores in Santa Cruz selling tacky souvenirs but nothing is bargain priced; Huatulco Colorful handbags for sale; Santa Cruz Fancy a colorful jaguar head? Big selection here... Souvenir market in Santa Cruz An Oaxaca license plate The restaurants in Santa Cruz set up inviting displays to lure customers in Becky sipping on a giant margarita; Santa Cruz Robby found a $1 bunny buck which he later discovered is legal tender Entrance to Santa Cruz maritime terminal A fisherman shows of his morning catch while chatting on his cell phone; Santa Cruz Map of Huatulco National Park (the different bays are clearly labeled) Robby shares a read with a giraffe This ATM sign made us laugh...the logo should read "say goodbye to your money" Robby checks out a modified motorcycle - Volkswagon Bug Final view of the pretty little beach at Santa Cruz Bay Becky strikes a pose with two friendly members of the Mexican coast guard Ice sculptures at the bar for the white hot party Dressed in white to dance the night away White hot party open air dance floor Tourist police get an early start before a horde of visitors start pouring into Puerto Vallarta This interesting sculpture marks the beginning of the malecon in Puerto Vallarta Becky poses on an intersting chair statue; Puerto Vallarta malecon The sand sculptures of Puerto Vallarta are extremely detailed Becky and a funky horse; Puerto Vallarta Robby becomes one with the sculpture; Puerto Vallarta malecon Robby needs the other half of this boat to row anywhere! The pedestrian walkway by Puerto Vallarta's malecon Senor Frog sneaks a peek at a traffic roundabout; Puerto Vallarta The empty beach of Puerto Vallarta This traditional mode of transport (horse & cart) is an unfamiliar sight in modern Puerto Vallarta An ornate wooden door leads to a leather shop; Puerto Vallarta Sand sculptures are big business in Puerto Vallarta A sea horse sculpture on the malecon in Puerto Vallarta Flying cow at a hip bar on Puerto Vallarta's malecon Robby strikes a funny pose between two massive ears; Puerto Vallarta malecon View of Los Arcos, the site of Puerto Vallarta's public amphitheater A statue of Spanish dancers located on Puerto Vallarta's malecon Robby "guzzles" tequila at a souvenir store in Puerto Vallarta A young boy hugs his dog outside a store that does not permit pets inside; Puerto Vallarta Colorful wall decor; Puerto Vallarta A simple lifeguard shack; Puerto Vallarta Rainbow umbrella shades in gay friendly Puerto Vallarta An inviting stretch of beach in picturesque Puerto Vallarta Curvy bridge leading to the malecon; Puerto Vallarta Corn ornaments at a beachside restaurant shack in Puerto Vallarta Colorful buildings in sunny Puerto Vallarta Handicrafts for sale at the crafts market on Cuale River Island; Puerto Vallarta Vibrant fish decorations for sale at Puerto Vallarta's flea market License plate souvenirs; Puerto Vallarta flea market Mexican wrestling masks for sale Lots of masks for sale at the Cuale River Island craft market There are dozens of shopping stalls selling all sorts of souvenirs and handicrafts; Cuale River Island in Puerto Vallarta Small courtyard on Cuale River Island, Puerto Vallarta Day of the dead display at a small park on Cuale River Island; Puerto Vallarta Interesting art work; Cuale River Island Robby and a massive iguana; outside Puerto Vallarta's municipal market (flea market) Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe; Puerto Vallarta Bell tower of Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe A Puerto Vallarta icon, the tower and dome of Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe Interior view of Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe Robby at Senor Frogs Bottoms Up! Senor Frogs ceiling decor in Puerto Vallarta Cheeky Monkey! Our Lady of Refuge church is adjacent to Miguel Hidalgo Park in Puerto Vallarta Robby and the stilt walker; Puerto Vallarta cruise port The Norwegian Pearl's chefs greet returning guests with an impromptu port side party; Puerto Vallarta The Norwegian Sun anchored in Puerto Vallarta View of Puerto Vallarta as seen from the deck of our cruise ship Early morning view of Cabo San Lucas (where we had to catch a tender into town) Boats at dock in front of the Marina arts and craft market; Cabo San Lucas A pretty ceramic washbasin; Cabo San Lucas' arts & crafts market A pelican scopes out fishing boats in search of a quick and easy meal; Cabo San Lucas A pelican harasses a fishing boat for free handouts Pelican rock; Cabo San Lucas Magnificent views on the water taxi ride at Cabo San Lucas Glass bottom boat tours are popular when visiting Cabo San Lucas as the fish are plentiful A tunnel linking the Pacific to the Sea of Cortez; Cabo San Lucas El Arco de Cabo San Lucas is the extreme southern tip of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula This poor sea lion has a piece of fishing twine wrapped tightly around its was horrible to see Robby and the arch; Cabo San Lucas Locals refer to this rock as the "Michael Jackson face"; Cabo San Lucas

Tanning lounge chairs; Medano Beach at Cabo San Lucas Bar swings at Medano Beach; Cabo The lovely Medano Beach; Cabo San Lucas Norwegian Pearl just offshore at Cabo San Lucas Animal themed trash bins; Medano Beach Robby is dwarfed by a massive cactus; Cabo Robby next to a Mexican senorita; Cabo Becky's turn to strike a pose; Cabo marina Robby in front of Puerto Paraiso Mall; Cabo An alcohol motivated donkey; Cabo Eclectic statue by a Cabo marina restaurant Mariachi band; Cabo Just a tiny sip! Robby at the Hacienda Tequila; Cabo Mexican day of the dead souvenirs; Cabo Mañana tequila for sale at Hacienda Tequila in Cabo Interior view of Hacienda Tequila; Cabo Mexican sombreros for sale; Cabo Only in holsters for sale! A happy greeting at the Giggling Marlin; Cabo View of the legendary Cabo Wabo Cantina owned by Sammy Hagar (Van Halen) Becky next to a massive tequila bottle Cabo's selection of souvenirs A whale skeleton outside Cabo San Lucas museum Boutique hotel "Casa Bella" in tourist friendly Cabo Spanish missionaries built this circa 1730 Catholic church of San Lucas, just across the street from Plaza Amelia Wilkes Bell of San Lucas Church; Cabo San Lucas Sign at Cabo's marina Robby mimics a school stop sign Cabo lighthouse A massive swordfish statue in Cabo's marina A fisherman contemplates his daily haul; Cabo marina Becky in Mexico High tide view of Cabo's famous arch foto gallery lightboxby v6.1

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