Mexico Pacific Coast holidays are textbook tropical with a twist. Cue popcorn-white beaches, jungle adventures and super surf.

Pacific Coast

This is the lesser-known of Mexico’s two coasts. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less shiny. Instead of Mayan ruins, you’ve got Puerto Vallarta’s quirky old town. Party-like-an-animal nightclubs are replaced by wild humpback whales. And idyllic isles are swapped for the Sierra Madre Mountains.

Hollywood playground

Puerto Vallarta is the closest thing to Cancun in this neck of the woods. But it pitches to a posh crowd. It’s got the shopping centres and nightclubs, on top of a cobbled old town – dubbed Zona Romantica – with top-notch taco stands, art galleries and chichi boutiques. It doesn’t do beaches by halves, either. It’s no wonder lovebirds Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were such fans.

21st-century town

Joined at the hip to Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta is the smaller, trendier sibling. It lines up the waterparks, golf courses and a smart marina with loads of places to eat – not to mention a long, white-sand beach. Plus, it’s still in Banderas Bay, so the whale-watching’s on another level, too. Come in winter, and you don’t even need to leave the shore to see playful pods of dolphins and humpbacks.

Into the wild

Even further north, you’ll hit Punta de Mita. A former beachfront fishing village turned la-di-da zone full of luxury hotels and golf courses. It’s washed on three sides by the Pacific Ocean, which means great surf and the beaches, coves and bays to boot. If you do want to leave your cosy bubble, there are mountain trails, waterfalls and jungles to scout out, too.

At a Glance

  • Watch the sunset from Los Muertos pier in Puerto Vallarta
  • Go zip-lining and off-roading in the jungle
  • Tee off on a pro-worthy golf course in Punta de Mita

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