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Happy Cinco de Mayo: Our 5 Favorite Cruise Destinations in Mexico

A lot of people celebrate Cinco de Mayo, but not everybody knows why. Did you know that it’s the commemoration of the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over the French forces at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862? Yep! A common misconception is that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico’s Independence Day, when in fact, that holiday falls on September 16th. This year we’re celebrating by sharing our five (¡cinco!) favorite cruise destinations in Mexico — where there’s always chances for fun variety and authentic experiences.


Cozumel is a unique combination of a Mexican destination and a Caribbean island. Surrounded by coral reefs and blessed with white sand beaches, Cozumel is a perfect place to relax, learn and enjoy.

Mayan culture is just a motor coach ride away when you explore the world-famous Chichen Itza ruins or visit the ancient city and temples of Tulum. There are also opportunities to immerse yourself in the Mexican culture by attending a Mexican fiesta and folkloric performance.

Cozumel is also a fantastic place to explore the local cenotes, which are natural pools formed when the underlying limestone caves in. Cenotes are wondrous pools of crystal clear waters in the middle of the jungle. There’s no better place to be if you want to get some extraordinary underwater photography, explore the Original Mayan Water Trail or hop in a canoe to see the exotic flora and fauna up close.

You can get up close and personal with some of the most colorful undersea inhabitants when you go snorkeling or helmet diving. And even your younger kids will be thrilled to see the ocean from the portholes of a real submarine.

Ruins along the city of tulum, mexico

Costa Maya

Costa Maya is south of Cancun on the beautiful Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. The turquoise waters, tranquil beaches, lush scenery and dynamic activities make Costa Maya a perfect place for your family to spend time on your vacation.

You can learn about Mayan history with a trip to the Chacchoben Mayan Ruins, which was built over 2,000 years ago. The surrounding jungle gives you views of lush greenery and exotic animals. If you want an educational experience where you can explore the customs and culture of the Mayans, there’s an excursion for that too. Get ready for pure fun when you take an ATV ride deep into the jungle or swim with the dolphins.

mayan ruins in costa maya

Puerto Vallarta

When you go ashore in Puerto Vallarta, you’ll understand the pride of the Mexican people. This city is a modern beach resort nestled between the inviting beaches of Banderas Bay and the lush jungle of the Sierra Madre mountains.

Explore the heart of Puerto Vallarta and attend a Mexican fiesta with authentic food, music and dancing. You can submerge yourself in the Mexican culture by experiencing Mariachi and Charro performances or spend a day touring the region south of Puerto Vallarta where you’ll see Mexican traditions come alive. In addition, your kids will love going for a sail on a real pirate ship!

If you’re looking for a challenging adventure, there’s nothing more thrilling than ziplining through the Sierra Madre. You’ll rappel through waterfalls, fly over the jungle and cool down on waterslides.

beach in puerto vallarta

Cabo San Lucas

Water lovers will be delighted to visit Cabo San Lucas, located at the southern end of the Baja Peninsula. The city spreads out between the calm waters of the Sea of Cortez on the east and the immense Pacific Ocean on the west.

Get to know more about the culture of the area when you tour its coastal highlights. The entire family can enjoy the wonders under the sea onboard an air conditioned 33-passenger semi-submersible, where guests can watch the fish below from 8 feet under water. For the more adventurous, try getting a bird’s eye view of the area as you experience parasailing or soar over canyons and abundant jungles on a zip line.

view of a beach in cabo san lucas, mexico


Ensenada is a postcard-perfect port of call on your cruise to Mexico. Located just a couple of hundred miles south of Los Angeles on the Baja Peninsula, Ensenada used to be the Hollywood stars’ secret hideaway. Wonderful beaches, lively festivities and outstanding cuisine make this destination a favorite for many.

You can learn to prepare authentic Mexican dishes or take a tour of the local wineries. Fishing enthusiasts will enjoy deep-sea fishing, while others may prefer learning to surf or paddle a kayak to view the largest natural blowhole in the world.

a lighthouse along the cliffs in ensenada mexico

Most cruises to Mexico depart from either Los Angeles or San Diego and take you to a world of proud and friendly people, amazing seas, colorful landscapes and centuries of history. You’ll find special cruising deals during Cinco de Mayo and all year long. Whether you’re planning a vacation with friends, a family trip or a couple’s retreat without the kids, cruising to Mexico is an enchanting way to travel.