I recently joined Carnival Cruise Line for a week sailing to Mexico departing from Long Beach, California. Our two ports of call were Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta. As a photographer who focuses primarily on landscapes, these destinations created a lot of opportunity for content. Here are my top 5 photography locations from my cruise from California to Mexico.
1. Pacific Coast Highway
Our cruise departed late afternoon from Long Beach so as I was already in the Los Angeles area, I took advantage of the opportunity and drove along the Pacific Coast Highway. This world-renowned stretch of highway takes you past some of the most gorgeous beaches in Southern California. If you are an early riser, sunrise will provide the best conditions for photography with the colorful clouds, peaceful oceans and golden lighting. The day of our sailing, we were treated to nice waves which meant a lot of surfers.
2. Arch of Cabo
This beautiful stretch of rock can’t be missed when you arrive in Cabo. Our ship was tethered in the middle of the Cabo harbor area where we had panoramic views of both The Arch of Cabo and the city of Cabo. If you prefer to stay onboard you could still get great views of Cabo from the different decks of the cruise ship. I chose to explore these incredible rocks by water taxi. For just a small fee, the water taxi will take you around this stretch of famous rock where you will make several different stops for photographs and snorkeling. The clear waters and marine life make it a perfect place to do underwater photography if you have the equipment.
3. The Marina of Cabo
After a short scenic boat ride from our tethered cruise ship, we arrived in a little marina in Cabo. This area is photogenic from the mega yachts to the small fishing boats. There are also plenty of seals and pelicans. The marina is lined with authentic shops that make a great backdrop for the photos.
4. Aboard The Cruise Ship
A great part about a cruise is you are constantly moving and the landscapes are always changing. This provides massive photographic opportunities as there is always something new to shoot whether it be a beautiful sunrise or sunset from the deck or a passing by destination. Our ship, Carnival Miracle, had several great vantage points such as a viewing deck on top of the bridge which allowed you to get a great view of the whole ship and the surrounding landscape.
5. Los Arcos Marine Park
Puerto Vallarta provides endless options in terms of photography. With dramatic mountainous coastline and clear blue waters, you can find photo compositions almost anywhere you look. One spot that really captivated me was Los Arcos Marine Park. It is a series of tiny islands with features such as arches, caves and reefs. This area offers some of the best snorkeling in the region. There is also an abundance of birds at Los Arcos Marine Park.