Must-see attractions in Central Pacific Coast

  • Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden.

    Jardín Botánico de Vallarta

    Puerto Vallarta

    For a change of scenery from the beach, head for the tropical highlands of the Sierra Madre mountains and wander the well-curated Jardín Botánico de…

  • Beach in Yelapa, Mexico.


    Puerto Vallarta

    Home to a small fishing community, the picturesque beach of Yelapa hugs an emerald coastline backed by jungle-shrouded mountains. The remote coastal…

  • Mexico: Acapulco: A La Quebrada cliff diver leaps into the Pacific Ocean, along the Mexican Riviera

    Clavadistas de la Quebrada


    Acapulco’s most famous tourist attraction, the cliff divers of La Quebrada have been dazzling audiences since 1934. Every night, a team of seven lithe…

  • Playa Palmares

    Puerto Vallarta

    Graced with golden sands and serene aqua-green shallows, Playa Palmares is one sweet strip of coastline. Hugging an undeveloped shore about 6km (4 miles)…

  • The Finger of God at Maruata Beach in Michoacán.

    Playa Maruata

    Central Pacific Coast

    With clear turquoise waters and golden sandy beaches, Playa Maruata is arguably the most beautiful beach in Michoacán. The Nahua fishing village has a bit…

  • Museo Histórico de Acapulco at Fort San Diego.

    Museo Histórico de Acapulco


    The Fuerte de San Diego is home to this excellent 15-room museum, an enjoyable romp through history of the region, from its settlement by various pre…

  • Rows of shoe shine booths at the Plaza Republica square outside the Church of Immaculate Conception in the historic old town of Mazatlan, Mexico.

    Old Mazatlán


    Mazatlán's restored old town is a picturesque compendium of noble 19th-century buildings and pretty plazas. It's set back from Playa Olas Altas, a small…

  • Boquita beach in Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico.

    Playa La Boquita


    Playa La Boquita is a beach with calm waters at the mouth of a lagoon where fishermen lay out their nets to dry by day, and shove off by night. The beach…

  • Zona Arqueológica de Palma Sola


    One of Acapulco's best attractions is the least well-known and also the least expected. High above the city, on the La Cuesta hill, it's a ceremonial and…

  • Playa Las Islitas

    Central Pacific Coast

    The best beaches are southeast of town around Bahía de Matanchén, starting with Playa Las Islitas, 7km from San Blas. To get here, take the main road…

  • Museo Regional de Nayarit

    Central Pacific Coast

    Inside an impressive magenta palacio (palace), the regional museum features Huichol and other pre-Hispanic ceramics mostly sourced from burials from…

  • Plaza Machado


    Surrounded by splendid 19th-century buildings, this gorgeous tree-lined plaza comes alive in the evening, when market stalls pop up, couples stroll hand…

  • Laguna Santa Maria del Oro.

    Laguna Santa María del Oro

    Central Pacific Coast

    Surrounded by forested mountains, this idyllic lake fills a volcanic crater that's over 100m deep and 2km in diameter. You can walk around the lake and in…

  • Playa Las Gatas in Zihuatanejo, Mexico.

    Playa Las Gatas


    Isolated 'Cat Beach' is named – depending on whose story you believe – either after the whiskered nurse sharks that once inhabited its waters, or for the…

  • Playa la Ropa, Zihuatanejo, Mexico.

    Playa La Ropa


    The gorgeous white-sand expanse of Playa La Ropa (Clothes Beach) was named after a Spanish galleon that was wrecked and had its cargo of silks washed…

  • Las Labradas


    More than 600 petroglyphs, some believed to be more than 5000 years old, are depicted on volcanic rocks along a sublime stretch of coast, some 60km north…

  • Playa Colola

    Central Pacific Coast

    An estimated 70 per cent of the world’s population of green sea turtles, along with olive ridley and leatherback turtles, lay their eggs on the long flat…

  • El Tortugario

    Central Pacific Coast

    This turtle sanctuary, located 4km east of Cuyutlán, has released more than two million green, black and leatherback turtle hatchlings into the wild here…

  • Playa Pérula

    Central Pacific Coast

    Playa Pérula, a sheltered beach at the northern end of the tranquil 11km-long Bahía de Chamela, is great for swimming and extended walks. There are cheap…

  • Playa Bruja


    North of the Zona Dorada and marinas, 'Witch Beach' was once serene but has seen a flood of high-rise development in recent years. Still, it's one of…

  • Playa Manzanillo


    This secluded white-sand beach near Playa Larga offers the best snorkeling in the area. It's reachable by boat from Zihuatanejo.

  • Volcán Ceboruco

    Central Pacific Coast

    This active volcano consisting of two calderas and three cinder cones last erupted in 1870, so you’ll be safe walking the short trails at the top. The…

  • Ixtapa Island Fishing Boat

    Isla Ixtapa


    Ixtapa's finest attraction is a popular island. The turquoise waters are crystal-clear, calm (particularly on the main Playa Varadero) and good for…

  • Villa Mandarinas, Mismaloya, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico


    Puerto Vallarta

    Mismaloya, the location for the 1964 film The Night of the Iguana, is about 12km south of Puerto Vallarta: you can still see the dilapidated Iguana sign…

  • Zocalo Plaza in Old Town Acapulco.



    Every night Acapulco’s leafy old town zócalo comes alive with street performers, mariachis and sidewalk cafes; it also hosts occasional festivals. It’s…

  • La Contaduría

    Central Pacific Coast

    This hill is the site of San Blas' original colonial settlement. It's worth visiting for the wonderful views of the town from the top and to stroll around…

  • Playa Conchas Chinas

    Playa Conchas Chinas

    Puerto Vallarta

    Around 3km south of downtown is the beautiful condo enclave of Playa Conchas Chinas. It's a tiny cove favored by families for the shallow and sheltered…

  • Playa El Borrego

    Central Pacific Coast

    The beach closest to the town is Playa El Borrego, at the end of Azueta – look for the jet aircraft. It's a long sweep of gray sand with decent waves…

  • Mexico, Banderas Bay, Small Bay at Boca de Tomatlan

    Boca de Tomatlán

    Puerto Vallarta

    Boca de Tomatlán is a seaside village that’s less commercialized than Puerto Vallarta and a good place to munch ceviche tostadas on the beach. You can get…

  • Campamento Tortuguero Playa de Colola

    Central Pacific Coast

    Protecting one of the world's most important nesting grounds for the green turtle, this center looks after the eggs of three turtle species and releases…

  • Museo de las Culturas Afromestizas

    Central Pacific Coast

    The Museo de las Culturas Afromestizas is a tribute to the history of African slaves in Mexico and, specifically, to local Afromestizo culture. There are…

  • Pie de la Cuesta


    Just 12km from central Acapulco is Pie de la Cuesta, a rustic beach suburb built on a wide sand spit that acts as a dividing line between the sea and the…

  • Museo de la Máscara


    If you love masks but are unable to visit the epic museums in Zacatecas and San Miguel, swing by this new museum, where visages of devils, conquistadors,…

  • Isla de la Piedra


    A popular half-day escape from the city, this peninsula (not an actual island) is just southeast of Old Mazatlán and boasts a beautiful, long sandy beach…

  • Playa La Ticla

    Central Pacific Coast

    A renowned surfing destination, Playa La Ticla is about 2.5km off the main highway. It can feel like a dusty, down-at-heel town, but it's famous for its…

  • Teatro Ángela Peralta


    Named after a 19th-century soprano and constructed between 1869 and 1874, this 1366-seat theater just off Plaza Machado was a thriving center of local…

  • Altavista Petroglyphs

    Central Pacific Coast

    At this verdant site, reachable via a picturesque, jungly walk, there are numerous well-preserved petroglyphs, some geometrical, some depicting human…

  • Museo Arqueológico de Mazatlán


    This absorbing museum focuses on pre-Hispanic Sinaloan civilizations. Among obsidian tools and ceramics, standout exhibits include beautiful Aztatlán…

  • Museo del Cuale

    Puerto Vallarta

    On Isla Río Cuale, this museum has a small but very well-presented collection of pre-Hispanic ceramics by the Chupícuaro culture (400 BCE–200 CE), plus…

  • Campamento Majahuas

    Central Pacific Coast

    This community-run project just north of Punta Pérula lets you camp and watch (with local guides) the turtles nest. It's become a destination for…