When is the Greatest Time to Cruise the Mexican Riviera?

One of many prime questions for planning your subsequent cruise to the Mexican Riviera is: When ought to I’m going? A fast on-line search will present that “throughout dry season from November to June” is the proper reply. BUT, is that the proper reply for you? Let’s discover out!

The Mexican Riviera, or the Pacific Ocean aspect of the nation, is lots of of miles lengthy. Additionally, there are some 20 coastal cities positioned right here – 10 of that are well-liked ports of name for cruise holidays.

These embody (north to south): Ensenada, Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán, San Blas, Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Ixtapa, Acapulco, Puerto Escondido, Huatulco and Salina Cruz.

All of those areas, together with the bigger questions of climate, tradition, nature adventures and meals, will decide the very best time of 12 months to take this cruise. To be able to determine which of those ports and their accompanying attributes must be a part of your itinerary, there are a number of elements to contemplate. Let’s discover!

Mexican Riviera Climate

The panorama of the Mexican Riviera varies broadly from mountains, valleys and deserts to tropical ecosystems. This has an affect on the climate and will affect your resolution based mostly on what you wish to expertise whereas in port – notably for shore excursions and actions.

Beginning within the northern half, Baja California, our first cease at Ensenada can have a median temperature of 70° throughout their driest months of June to September. In addition they have delicate winters. Throughout the peninsula, you’ll be able to even discover mountains and valleys with snow and intensely arid desert areas.

Cruise Ship and Rainbow in Puerto Vallarta (Photograph Credit score: Alexey Stiop / Shutterstock)

Additional down the Baja in Cabo San Lucas, you will see a tropical desert local weather. Winds can cool the summer season warmth and due to its location, little or no rain falls all year long.

As soon as your journey additional south to the mainland, there can be a noticeable distinction in climate – sizzling temps in summer season and delicate winters each have excessive humidity. Nonetheless, there are measurable variations within the imply each day hours of sunshine relying on the port. Additionally, the tropical savanna climates discovered on this area are characterised by grasslands dotted with bushes quite than lush jungles.

Relying on which fundamental season you choose to your travels – summer season or winter, wet or dry – be sure you pack accordingly. All of your regular cruise apparel can be good throughout summer season and dry seasons.

Nonetheless, you’ll want to have a light-weight jacket and perhaps an extended sleeve shirt with some pants for the cool winter evenings. And, within the wet season, you’ll be glad to have a rain jacket and/or small umbrella alongside for the journey.

Cruise Ship in Ensenada
Cruise Ship in Ensenada (Photograph Credit score: Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock)

As with the planning of any cruise, the “monster” climate consideration is hurricane season – or the annual tropical cyclone season of the Pacific Ocean. Whereas the potential for harmful storms exists all alongside the Mexican Riviera, the propensity of hurricane origins has largely occurred solely from Puerto Vallarta to the south prior to now.

Staying updated on climate forecasts (and taking some extra hurricane and journey insurance coverage protection insurance policies) will assist with planning and peace of thoughts.

Festivals and Native Tradition

One more reason to decide on a selected time to cruise the Mexican Riviera is the tradition. The port cities and the encompassing countrysides are wealthy with alternatives to discover what makes this space particular – the folks and their celebrations.

If you need to be within the midst of the third largest extravaganza on the planet, for instance, plan to attend Carnival de Mazatlán throughout the six days previous to the non secular day of Lent (March-April relying on the 12 months).

Day and night time the cities are stuffed with the sounds of brass bands and Tambora. Big colourful figures lead the parade on the Malecón (waterfront esplanade); households collect to socialize within the streets; awards are given for artwork and literature; and, royalty is topped.

Mexico Independence
Mexico Independence (Photograph Credit score: Roberto Galan / Shutterstock)

To observe the Day of the Useless festivals, you’ll want to schedule a port of name on the finish of October by means of the primary couple of days in November. These elaborate occasions date again to among the nation’s earliest civilizations. Households plan for months to honor those that have gone earlier than and have a good time the continuity of all lives.

Cinco de Mayo can also be an vital vacation stuffed with costumes, music, dancing, fireworks, parades and humanities and crafts distributors on the streets. Could 5th of every 12 months is the date. One other day of celebration is Día De La Independencia. It occurs yearly on September 16th and commemorates the nation’s independence from Spain. Take pleasure in conventional meals, watch fireworks and parades and marvel in any respect the inexperienced, white and pink decorations.

For a extra religious expertise plan your cruise between March and April for Semana Santa – or Holy Week. Floats and reenactments together with flowers and palm crosses are in all places throughout this celebration.

If Puerto Vallarta is among the ports you wish to go to, take into account the week earlier than and main as much as December 12th for an additional non secular celebration. The pilgrimage to the Church of Our Woman of Guadalupe has deep significance and a 400-year historical past.

When planning your cruise dates, understand that all of those festivals and celebrations are extremely well-liked. They’ve vital and even sacred which means for locals whereas drawing massive crowds of holiday makers on the identical time. Due to this fact, reserving early for a cruise throughout these instances is advisable.

Time it for Wildlife

One distinctive alternative that you’ve with a cruise trip (quite than merely flying someplace) is the prospect to see all method of animal species. The Mexican Riviera has a tremendous array and variety of choices for wildlife watching. However, as a way to have a terrific nature expertise, it’s best to coordinate the timing of your cruise.

For instance, this space welcomes the grey whale again from its migration hundreds of miles to the Arctic. To see these superb animals, you’ll have to e book a licensed tour throughout the peak months of January to March. There are additionally humpback whales and three species of dolphin on this space of the ocean. Should you’d prefer to see (or swim with) the peaceable whale sharks, come between November and April for the biggest concentrations.

To study and volunteer with sea turtle conservation efforts (and watch the lovable little hatchlings exit to sea), August to November is the time. Six of the seven species on the planet name this space dwelling. Close to Puerto Vallarta, witness over 300 species of birds, together with uncommon migrants within the spring and fall. You would possibly even see among the final Inexperienced Macaws on the planet. Particularly, a visit to the biggest wetland waterway within the nation, Teacapan Estuary awaits.

All of those experiences may be scheduled with native ecotour firms who supply genuine and environmentally accountable journeys into nature.


The nice information about making an attempt to determine when to go on a Mexican Riviera cruise is that any and all actions you take pleasure in in the summertime will nonetheless be accessible within the winter. The seashores are heat; the shops are open; the excursions are going; and, you’ll be able to even experience a camel on the seaside in Cabo!

The Season Impacts Native Meals

Eating places and meals in your cruise can be distinctive. There are sometimes a number of delicacies selections representing meals from world wide. Additionally, at this time’s cruise strains have chef-inspired in addition to chef-executed gourmand high quality creations on their vessels. For all my fellow foodies, nonetheless, consuming onshore is among the greatest perks of journey.

Timing is vital on this facet of planning the very best cruise trip. Why? As a result of arriving throughout sure seasons opens a complete world of culinary experiences!

Let’s start with the very best season to seek out the freshest farm-to-table dishes. This idea implies that domestically grown produce and livestock is introduced recent to the eating places, ready and delivered to your desk. The style and dietary worth of those meals effectively exceeds something that has been processed or frozen.

Cruise Ship in Ensenada, Mexico
Photograph Credit score: schlyx / Shutterstock

Let’s eat! Our first cease, “the Napa Valley of Mexico” – Ensenada. Whilst you can take excursions of this area year-round, plan a summer season cease right here to get up-close-and-personal with the vineyards. It’s a heady expertise to stroll amongst the vines, heavy with fruit. The area produces 90% of the nation’s wine, and vintner historical past dates again to the 16th Century.

Value Studying: Extremely-Rated Issues to Do in Mazatlan, Mexico

Through the summer season months, native fare can be created with the acquainted greens and fruits like corn, squash, potatoes, mango, papaya and, in fact, peppers. Whereas in a port of name, nonetheless, you would possibly simply discover some superb meals that embody recent nopal and prickly pear cacti, black sapote (candy and creamy just like pudding), jicama (apple-like, served with chili, salt, lime), pitaya (dragon fruit), tomatillo, passionfruit and extra.

Whereas in port, search for native distributors serving refreshing (and recent) fruit drinks. And, be looking out for a particular beverage known as Jamaica. That is created from boiling hibiscus flowers (whereas producing from spring to late fall, the blooms are short-lived).

And, whereas on the Mexican Riviera, you can even take pleasure in sea-to-table meals. Each one among your ports of name have fleets of fishing vessels (largely individually owned by of us whose households have harvested seafood from these waters for millennia). Watching them come and go, bringing their recent catches to market and to the native eating places, is fascinating.

Fishing boats in Mexico
Photograph Credit score: Loes Kieboom / Shutterstock

Simply as there are seasons to reap recent meals on the land, there are seasons for fishing the oceans. Some species may be caught year-round, and others can be found solely throughout a selected window of time. With that stated, the year-round species have seasons thought-about excessive or splendid for fishing. For seafood lovers, this might have an effect on menu selections and costs at eating places.

For instance, one of many dishes you will need to strive is marlin ahumado (smoked) tacos – notably in Cabo San Lucas. Could to October are the very best months for catching this fish.

A favourite shellfish are the almejas goodies (clams). They’re stated to be extra flavorful from September to April. And, when within the shrimp capital of Mazatlán, order aguachiles. They’re uncooked, marinated in inexperienced chiles and lime and served with cucumber and onions – all of the definitions of recent! The month of Could to the top of the 12 months is alleged to be the very best shrimping time.

In Porto Vallarta, discover a native eatery tossing coals and grilling huachinango zarandeado. That is pink snapper marinated in a paste of ginger, oregano, cumin and chiles. This specific fish species might have a regulated season of June to September.

Tortas Ahogadas
Tortas Ahogadas (Photograph Credit score: Marcos Castillo / Shutterstock)

Then, go seeking the native sandwich store for the tortas ahogadas – or drowned sandwiches. These may be made with any variety of elements. So, create your individual flavors and smother it in tomato and pepper sauce – however, be sure you verify the warmth index of these chiles!

Lastly, take this chance to see what an precise tamale, tostada, enchilada (and different dishes that include a well-known title) style like if you are within the Mexican Riviera.

The very best tip that each one foodies use to find precise delicacies at any location is to ask a neighborhood the place they prefer to eat. This won’t essentially be one among your tour guides or your ship’s personnel – though they could know wonderful eating places. The best particular person to ask would extra possible be a store proprietor, native information or the good particular person sitting close to you within the park.

Which Cruise Strains Sail the Mexican Riviera?

One closing be aware about the very best time to plan your cruise to the Mexican Riviera.

All the main cruise strains have both a number of ships and or itineraries to select from all year long. These embody Carnival Cruise Strains, Superstar Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Strains, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean.

Additionally Learn: All the pieces to Know About Cabo San Lucas Cruise Port

Nonetheless, different strains have both a restricted variety of ships or solely sail right here throughout particular instances of the 12 months. These embody Cunard, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, MSC Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Phoenix Reisen, Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn Cruise Line, Silversea and Viking Ocean.

When is the Best Time to Cruise the Mexican Riviera

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