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Robie555 04-14-2006 06:53 PM

Just a question to see which inexpensive shore excursions are worth while in the Mexican Riviera. Or if anyone has any great non-excursion ideas?

LisaP 04-15-2006 07:45 AM

We greatly enjoyed the Colonial Villages Tour in Mazatlan. Not only was it the best shore excursion we took on this itinerary, but I'd rate it among the best we ever experienced. While it was not inexpensive (I believe it was about $50), it was definitely $ well spent.

Here's an excerpt from my trip report, located at CruiseReviews.


Our Colonial Villages Tour in Mazatlan was a major highlight of the trip. This five-hour tour took us to several towns in the Sierra Madres, followed by a return to Mazatlan for a performance of the Papantla Flyers. Viewing life in the Sierra Madres was a fascinating experience. Our first stop was a brick-making yard at the foot of the mountains, where the bricks are manufactured by hand. From there, we made the long drive to the village of Malpica, where we saw artisans create floor tiles ($2 each -- we bought five) and where we stopped by a bakery for wonderful treats made in their brick ovens. Then, it was on to Concordia, where we saw cedar furniture being made in a large hut. Adjacent was an artisans' market, where we spent another $10 on carved wood figurines -- both were incredibly detailed. Further into Concordia, we stopped for a beverage at a restaurant (which had a nice courtyard and colorful interior) and walked about the town square. Then it was back on the bus for the scenic 50-minute drive back to Mazatlan. Once in Mazatlan, we were treated to a performance by the Papantla Flyers...Watching these men spiral downward from a 75-foot pole was breathtaking.
As for inexpensive "do not miss" excursions, I recommend a boat ride out to view Los Arcos in Cabo San Lucas. As wee did this through the ship, I can't comment on local operators. Have your camera handy for this one.

farmerjohn 04-15-2006 05:09 PM

We did the Sierra Madre tour in January when we stopped in Mazatlan. This was a very interesting tour and you get outside of the port stops and get a chance to see a different side of Mexico. Very enjoyable.

There are lots of activities available in Puerto Vallarta. If you just want to wander there are some beautiful cobble stone streets and older homes in the hill above down town. There is also a very nice walk-way along the ocean in the down town area.

For a real experience in Puerto Vallarta, exit the port and walk out to the main road. Catch the bus here to ride into town. The buses are essentially old school buses. The cost is about 50 cents. The bus will drop you off in down town. If you want to go further south, there is another bus that will take you south to Mismaloya beach. Between these two bus rides, you will get a good over-view of the area.

An excellant company for tours in Puerto Vallarta is Vallarta Adventures. They have an english language web site. We have done both the mountain biking and also the canopy tour and enjoyed them both very much.

Enjoy your cruise.

allpak1 04-18-2006 02:19 PM

Three years ago we enjoyed Randi's Happy Horses, horseback ride thru the mango groves in Mazatlan. Lunch afterward was fantastic at a palapa on the beach. I'd recommend it to anyone. Google search to see if she's still offering tours.

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