Every cruise region offers a wide array of shore excursions that best show off the destination. They come in all shapes and sizes, with something for every age and level of activity.
There are tours that focus on the history of a city, eco-tours that explore the flora and fauna of a region, tours that are water-focused with snorkeling and diving, cultural tours that might include a local performance, foodie tours that highlight local delicacies, and family friendly tours that offer fun for everyone. And of course, there are adventure tours. From ziplining and kayaking to hiking and biking, these tours are high in adrenaline and excitement.
In Mexico, the adventure tours include taking a 4×4, which is a great way see the country. The vehicles are able to venture off-road to unpaved areas and destinations not often visited on typical cruise tours.
The eco-safari tour at Puerto Vallarta.
At Puerto Vallarta, the Eco-Safari Off-Road Adventure tour is ideal for those who want to go off the beaten track for a little adventure in Vallarta’s outback — from rugged mountains and remote villages to the beach and eclectic surfer/artist community of Sayulita. This exciting Sierra Madre 4×4 expedition was specifically designed to give visitors the opportunity to discover unique, traditional Mexican villages, as well as an introduction to the ecology and wildlife found in the mountains and jungles of the regions.
Venturing away from the suburbs of Vallarta in a specially designed Mercedes Benz all-terrain vehicle, the tour stops at a traditional Mexican pueblo where you can explore the plaza while learning about the rich culture and history of Mexico and the local area. Then your off-road voyage of discovery begins as you head into the mountains, through streams, past forgotten villages, and over bumpy terrain on a mission to reach the heart of the Sierra Madre. It is here, in the depths of the forest that knowledgeable, ecologically trained guides will take you on an amazing and educational 45-minute nature walk, exposing and introducing you to the extraordinary flora and fauna hidden away under the canopy of the jungle. Continue to the beach town of Sayulita for a delicious lunch and refreshing drinks. Sit on the beach and watch the surfers or explore the streets of this famous artisan community.
This was a fun, educational and memorable adventure … We had a fun ride in an open vehicle through Puerto Vallarta and stopped at several interesting locations; a cemetary, a private tropical forest, a lady’s home who prepared excellent tortillas and salsas for us to sample, an artist community and a beach. None of the places were “touristy” and I felt like we got to see the real Mexico. — Guest MikenDeb
Puerto Vallarta’s Jeep Safari and Beach Adventure tour.
Puerto Vallarta also features the Jeep Safari & Beach Adventure, combining fun and sun! Let the good times roll as you board your four-person, open-air, manual transmission (stick-shift) Jeep. You will depart caravan-style to explore the scenic countryside of Puerto Vallarta. Your experienced guide will lead you up into the Sierra Madre Mountains, passing through typical Mexican villages along the way. A short stop at Hacienda Doña Engracia, the only tequila factory in the area, allows time for a short briefing on the process of making tequila. Continue your adventure, passing fruit and tobacco plantations, and relish the spectacular natural beauty of the area. After your adventurous ride, you will have time to swim, bask in the sun, play volleyball, or simply relax.
Absolutely the best way to see all parts of PV. Not just the tourist areas. Caravan style, we never once felt lost or at risk as we drove through the real communities of the area before pulling over and donning bandanas for the dirt roads we were about to embark on. Through the countryside and into small communities, we saw just how the people of this land live. The children running out and waving touched me. Our guides were extremely fun and knowledgeable … THIS was a wonderful way to spend the day and the 4 of us that went all recommend it. The jeeps were in very good shape and we had no concerns. — Guest Trueman619m
During the Baja Jeep Safari excursion at Cabo San Lucas, the destination is La Candelaria — a small oasis village in the middle of the desert. After being assigned to a 4×4 Jeep, you will set out across the desert caravan-style, following your local guide. Along the drive you will be shown some of the local flora and fauna that is found all over Baja. Driving will be shared among the four guests in the Jeep. At La Candelaria, you will be served a delicious snack and a drink at the local boarding school, which is home to approximately 75 students during the school week. A portion of the tour cost will be used to purchase supplies and materials for the school. It’s not all rugged adventure on this tour. It visits a local artisan specializing in ceramic pots and watercolor paintings that are in such high demand, there are not always samples available for viewing. Back in the convoy, you will continue your exploration down one of Baja’s largest river washes until it reaches the Pacific Ocean.
Had a great time: most driving was either on back roads or off-road, which made for a great way to see the Baja. Stop at ocean was spectacular, with almost no one else to be seen. Get out of Cabo and see the peninsula — not to be missed. Great for all ages/capabilities. Good value. — Guest Fiddler
Not all 4×4 adventures are meant to go off-road! At Mazatlan, the Historic Mazatlan by Rhino tour shows a side of the city many visitors don’t get to see. The mini-4×4 Rhino is the perfect vehicle to drive through the narrow streets of the Historic District. You will drive to Lookout Hill to admire the port’s coastline and bay. Visit the Angela Peralta Theater as well as the old cathedral before heading north along the oceanfront boulevard. The Golden Zone offers the spectacular scenery of Mazatlán’s beaches and islands. There’s even time to shop for the perfect souvenir in the Golden Zone.
We had a blast on this excursion!! There were about 5 other couples, and each couple got it’s own vehicle to drive around. There were also two tour guide vehicles, and the one in the rear would race to the front to block traffic when we came to a busy intersection. Both tour guides were VERY knowledgeable, spoke great English, and were very helpful and accommodating.
Driving the little 4×4’s added a bit of exhilaration to the excursion that we wouldn’t have gotten on a bus tour, but there were all ages of guests on the tour, from young to old. Plus, at only 4-1/2 hours, we had plenty of time to shop and relax when we were done with the excursion. Great time, wish each port had this excursion, as it’s a great way to see the city!! — Guest Honeymooner
Many of the 4×4 tours go where there are no roads.
Would a 4×4 tour be your idea of fun? Let us know below!