Sunday, February 26, 2017

Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

 

As part of our recent cruise on the Ruby Princess ship to the Mexican Riviera, we visited three western areas in Mexico--Puerto Vallarta--click here to see that blog post--and Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Puerto Vallarta, but I believe each subsequent area we visited won our heart over even more.

Mazatlan has the nickname "Pearl of the Pacific" for good reason. It is a shoreline town lined by a seaside promenade, miles of beaches and picturesque islands and blue lagoons. Old Mazatlan, called the Centro Historico (Historic Center), is full of beautiful turn of the century buildings, cafes, markets, churches and shady plazas.

(All photos and photo collages in this post will enlarge if clicked on)


The Ruby Princess Cruise Ship was able to enter the port and allow for a quick and easy disembarkation close to a market area where we were able to join our optional bus tour excursion group that we had prearranged. Our tour guide was very personable and spoke English perfectly.


Our tour guide was very proud to show us one of the major resources of the Mazatlan, the Shrimp Market area. The local Shrimp Fleet is the largest in Mexico, as well as the commercial fishing fleet.  The Pacific shrimp that are harvested are known for their jumbo size and delicious, sweet taste.  


We were next able to get off the bus and visit the giant indoor Central Market, called the Mercado Pino Suarez. What an amazing place! There are aisles filled with fresh seafood, chickens, beef, pork, fresh fruit and vegetables, spices, cheeses, and other food staples. There are also numerous stalls that sell tourist items such as hats, t-shirts and souvenirs. Stairs lead to a balcony where small restaurants can be found that serve local cuisine.


Near the market is the beautiful Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

We went inside to see the beautiful interior. Our guide told us two interesting facts about the basilica. The very large chandelier that hangs from the ceiling above the altar is filled with thousands of lights and is only lit during very special occasions due to the expense of the electricity needed to light it. It can also be lit if a church member pays to have lighted for a wedding, etc. Our guide told us he paid to have it lit to celebrate a special anniversary mass said for his parents.  He also told us to notice the Jewish Star of David that is part of the stained glass windows.  His explanation was that at some point in time the basilica needed money for construction, and a Jewish donor gave a large donation. The windows contain the Star of David symbol as gratitude for the gift.


The Malecon (boardwalk) of Mazatlan is one of the longest in the world, at 13 miles (21 KM) long. 


Along the shoreline one can see picturesque cliffs, beaches, monuments, gazebos, buildings and hotels.

(Click on photo collage to enlarge)

Our tour also included a stop to watch a brave young cliff diver. Holding our breath we watched him climb a tower, pose and then dive off into the rocky water below. It was a relief to see him surface and swim to shore.  He works for tips, and a collection was taken up from the watching tourists. What a way to make a living!


My favorite part of Mazatlan was the historic Old Mazatlan--the Centro Historico. Here many old buildings have been restored, or are in the process of being restored into stores, restaurants, cafes, and residences.


The beautiful tropical weather allowed for a relaxing outdoor stroll of the area to enjoy the music and street performers and beautiful gardens that were filled with flowers.


Our tour bus drove by the highest natural lighthouse in the Americas--the El Faro Lighthouse. It is located at the peak of Cerro del Creston, at the southern end of the peninsular city of Mazatlan, Mexico.  It is also one of the highest operating lighthouses in the world.


 We stopped at a silver shop where we were given the opportunity to shop and then at the end of the tour we were returned to the market outside the port. The shops were open and the plaza was filled again with music and dancing. As we sailed away on the Ruby Princess from Mazatlan we enjoyed our final view of this pretty seaside city.


The last stop in Mexico on our cruise was Cabo San Lucas (Cape Saint Luke). It is a city located at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur.  


Here, the harbor was too narrow for our cruise ship to enter, so we had to tender ashore on smaller ships.  Our visit to Cabo San Lucas was the shortest on the cruise, as it was to last until sail away at 4:00 PM that day.  We left the ship early to join an excursion we had pre-planned to cruise the shoreline.


Cabo San Lucas has been rated as one of Mexico's top five tourist destinations. It is known for its beaches, stunningly beautiful shoreline, resort hotels and timeshares along the coast between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, scuba diving locations and marine life.


We boarded our excursion ship and sailed along the Baja coastline, admiring the sapphire waters of the Sea of Cortez and the large weathered cliffs.


We passed the Playa Del Amor (Lover's Beach). Here you can see the Pacific Ocean on the other side of the Baja. Swimming on the Pacific side can be very rough due to the tides, so most tourists will swim on the Bahia de Cabo San Lucas side.


El Archo--the Arch of Cabo San Lucas, is at land's end and is a famous symbol of the area.


Here, the Pacific Ocean meets the Gulf of California--the Sea of Cortez.


I was thrilled to see and photograph it!


I also found the mountainous cliffs fascinating to see.  I imagined all the storms this area has seen over the millennia that have worn them down to jagged peaks.....


...and deep caves.



We sailed around to the opposite Pacific side of El Archo....


...and where we saw resort hotels on the Pacific side of the Baja Peninsula.


An amusing sight we saw on our way back to the harbor was a fishing boat that had a seal hitchhiking a ride on its back.






The seal was obviously hoping someone on board would toss him a fish from the day's catch!


We really enjoyed our visit to Cabo San Lucas and all its surrounding beauty! We were fortunate that our room's balcony on the Ruby Princess faced the shoreline as we sailed away, so that we could relax on our lounge chairs and admire all we saw pass by.  Two days at sea and we were back in Los Angeles.


One of the fun activities we participated in on the sail back to Los Angeles was a cooking presentation by the executive chef of the Ruby Princess and the head Maitre D.'  It was followed by a walking tour of the ship's kitchens where we learned how food is prepared for the thousands of passengers and crew.


Back to port where disembarkation was smoothly and expeditiously handled. We arranged for an excursion bus to bring us to the airport and by the evening we were back in Denver. All in all it was a wonderful cruise! We enjoyed our first visit to Mexico and our first sail on a Princess ship and we look forward to our next cruise some time in the future.  It definitely was fun way to travel and sight-see.


To see more of this series check out these posts:

The Ruby Princess Cruise Ship

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico



I'm linking this post to the following blog events:

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54 comments:

The Gathering Place said...

More fun pictures of your trip....I guess I should start planning a cruise for myself. Do you have a favorite place that you recommend? They all look fun and different.

Michelle said...

In all of our travels, cruising is one thing we keep talking about, but have never done. This is a great post and very motivating for me!

Ruth Hiebert said...

I have always said that I really wouldn't care to visit these resort places, as all I've ever seen was beach shots.Since I am not a beach person, it didn't look interesting, but you have made me think about these places differently.You show so much beauty that I would enjoy seeing.Thanks for the virtual tour.

Linda W. said...

You saw a lot of great places! Love the rugged coastline.

Linda said...

What a wonderful trip! I loved every photo and was an extremely happy armchair traveler along for the cruise and sightseeing!
A cruise is on my bucket list! I've never been on one! I love that you shared yours!

eileeninmd said...

Hello, Pat! These are awesome photos from your cruise and Mexico. The Cabo coastline is gorgeous, I like the arch. I love the market and the church. The seal photo is cute. Great post, thanks for sharing your trip! Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

Tamar SB said...

How amazing! Thanks for linking up!

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

The photos are wonderful both on the cruise and in Mexico. Fun and colorful!

Maggie said...

A trip of a lifetime, you saw some amazing places and enjoyed some great experiences. Thank you for taking the arm chair travellers amongst us along with you on your cruise.
Happy Mosaic Monday.

Jackie Mc Guinness said...

Made me smile as I sit here in Mazatlan, our home this winter for 7 weeks.

Rajesh said...

Wonderful tour of the city. The place is scenic and architecture is amazing.

Rambling Woods said...

Thank you for taking me along on your trip...I have been to Cozumel and it was great...Michelle

happywonderer.com said...

Beautiful photos of your stops along the cruise. Love the colorful streets. It seems like a good way to visit part of Mexico.

Vee said...

Beautiful destination in either direction...the ship itself is a destination...looks wonderful. I am always intrigued by those people who are spending their retirements taking one cruise after the next. They say it is cheaper than purchasing a retirement home in Florida.

Lorrie said...

It sounds like you thoroughly enjoyed your cruise. We flew to Cabo San Lucas two Januarys ago for a short vacation. The highlight was a whale watching cruise in a small inflatable boat - the whales were amazing! I recognize the arch and the rock formations - they are so rough and jagged, which speaks of the wild wind and storms there. Wonderful photos, Pat, full of colour and warmth which we are craving just now.

Gillena Cox said...

Awesome blue shots

Happy Blue Monday

much love...

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Beautiful photos Pat. I love those arched rocks jutting out into the sea. You have me wanted to fly out to Cabo and Mazatlan right away!

LV said...

Thank you for letting me enjoy one more great vacation. Also, happy when you drop by my place.

Lady Fi said...

What lovely shots. I enjoyed the Basilica and the old part of town best.

Jim said...

Good blues.

Christie Hawkes said...

Beautiful photos! It looks like you had a lovely trip. My husband and I have fallen in love with Mazatlan. We go there every spring. We stay at a wonderful Bed & Breakfast in Nuevo Mazatlan (El Sol La Vida) right on the beach.

Wandering Wren said...

We haven't been on a cruise ship in 20 years, but I'm feeling the time is almost right to find our sea legs again!! Love that seal but as we are still recovering from my son's perforated ear drum from jumping off a smaller cliff, I was like No! Don't jump!!!
Have a lovely week Pat
Wren x

Photo Cache said...

I took the same cruise a few years ago, although by a different cruise line. Wonderful photos.

Worth a Thousand Words

Jeanna said...

I love the look and feel of the streets and shops, I don't think I'd want to get back on the ship.

jeannettestgermain said...

After the market, you were probably hungry to eat (shrimp?) Was surprised that that the Jewish people gave a gift for a Catholic church:, but I know they are very generous people!The coast is so beautiful!
So, after all the things you saw, what is your opinion: do you like Mazatlan or Cabo Can Lucas more? Many thanks for sharing all these beautiful features of your cruise with ALL SEASONS! Have a great week, Pat

Tom said...

...looks like you enjoyed an exciting, colorful and sunny vacation! Thanks for stopping by.

Barb said...

I'm enjoying your Mexican cruise photos as it's snowing and blowing in Breckenridge. I visited Mazatlan about 15 years ago with girlfriends (we flew). I see from your photos that it's much changed. I don't remember that there even was a boardwalk. We stayed near the old town and walked everywhere. Love the water shots!

Al said...

What beautiful places. I would love to take a couple of weeks off for a cruise like that!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

This all sounds so wonderful Pat. We have never been to these two ports ; I would love to visit them. Especially Loved the colorful market areas and your rocky cliff photos. I hope our cruise offers a tour of the kitchens, that sounds so interesting.

Ruth Rieckehoff said...

I love, love your photos and tour of these two cities. You got me since the start with the photos of the market in Mazatlan. I really want to visit these places (anywhere in Mexico is fine with me). I think I will start by Mazatlan. #WordlessWednesday

bettyl-NZ said...

It looks like you thoroughly enjoyed that trip. The ocean scenery looks a bit like mine here in New Zealand but has its own wonderful charm. Everything looks sooo good!

handmade by amalia said...

Gorgeous photos! What a smashing place to visit. Looks like a classic episode of The Love Boat :-)
Amalia
xo

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Great blues! Thank you for linking to Blue Monday! I can't imagine a 13-mile Malecon!

Cheryl @ TFD said...

I really enjoyed this, Pat! I've never been on a cruise and this looks like so much fun and to see such wonderful sights! Thanks for sharing your fabulous photos with us. xx Cheryl

carol l mckenna said...

What an adventure ~ such beauty in all your photos ~ love the one with the seal on the back of the boat ~ thanks,

Wishing you a Happy Week ~ ^_^

Lori Frey said...

Would love to explore Baja California! I've never been but it certainly looks beautiful! #WanderfulWednesday
(www.caliglobetrotter.wordpress.com)

podso said...

I enjoyed touring your cruise stops. What a beautiful and colorful country. It sounds like you had a wonderful trip. And if you want to take another cruise, it means you really liked it!

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Those cliffs and caves of Cabo are so beautiful. What a great trip!!

Klara S said...

All of the pictures are great, but I like market ones the most. And also big WOW for the diver! Have a lovely weekend.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Such good photos…I've not been to the west coast of Mexico, so I thoroughly enjoyed them. I caught up on your entire cruise, the ship looks beautiful. I'm glad you had a wonderful cruise.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

My goodness I would love to visit and explore there someday :)

Cathy Keller said...

Wonderful photos! It looks so wonderful there as it is cold again here!! You have some beautiful photos! Thank you! Cathy

Mother of 3 said...

How fun! Your photos are beautiful. It looks like an amazing trip.

eileeninmd said...

Helo Pat, these are awesome photos of your Mexico cruise. Now you have me wanting to visit Cabo. I love the cute seal. Great critter.
Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Enjoy your day and the weekend!

Lowcarb team member said...

Oh WOW Pat ... fabulous photo's and I just love your mosaics too.
What a simply wonderful trip, thank you so much for sharing it with your blogging friends.

Happy Weekend Wishes

All the best Jan

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

It looks like a fun time. Cabo is on our bucket list.

Jan Robinson said...

You had meet at giant sized, sweet tasty shrimp!

Jim Vail said...

Both destinations certainly are beautiful. Very inspiring! Thanks for linking up! #wkendtravelinspiration

Photo(Geo)grapher said...

What beautiful shots. Very pretty area.

Jann Olson said...

This takes me back to when we went to both places. Love the photos! We snorkeled in Cabo and it was so fun!! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
hugs,
Jann

Lauren on Location said...

These look like two very interesting spots for cruise stops! I would have loved to watch the cliff diver in Mazatlan, although it definitely would have scared the crap out of me!

Mary K.- The Boondocks Blog said...

Pat what a fun and colorful place. You obviously had a wonderful time from all the pictures. Those jagged edges are so beautiful and the beach along with the ocean on the other side take your breath away. The seal was also a fun companion.

HWIT BLOGG said...

Some lovely pictures and a great post! You have a beautiful and interesting blog...love it!
Have a happy weekend, take care.
Titti

indah nuria Savitri said...

Such a fabulous trip! I haven't really got a chance to join a cruise. Love all your photos..