In summer 2014 Thomson Airways will become the first UK airline to fly direct to Mexico’s Pacific Coast. We explain what you can expect if you become one of the first Brits to fly there…
Mexico’s Pacific Coast is a land of one-offs. And it’s all thanks to 2 destinations. Puerto Vallarta, which hugs the world’s second-largest bay, the Bay of Banderas, and Riviera Nayarit spreads out north from here.
In Riviera Nayarit you can expect the unexpected. There are golfing greens in the middle of the sea, and there’s a secret beach, hidden inside the shell of an island, which can only be accessed by swimming.
This state is also the home of Huichol art. Huichol handicrafts have been made in Riviera Nayarit since before records began. Craftspeople create Skittle-coloured beads from clay or seeds and turn them into jewellery or use them to decorate bowls, masks and sculptures. This art form has more hidden meaning than the Da Vinci Code. Colour combinations and shapes signify everything from protection to enlightenment.
Nuevo Vallarta gets the most footfall in Riviera Nayarit. Life in this holiday resort revolves around the harbour, which has an audience of boutique gift shops and interior stores. From here, speedboats and catamarans depart for out-of-the-way beaches and fishing villages.
There are two sides to Jalisco’s story. On the one hand, this is a state of artisans. In the Sierra Madre Mountains, you’ll find cottage industries like La Quinta Coffee Company, which is run by 5 generations of the same family. The mountains here are also speckled with tequilerias, like Hacienda Don Lalin. Tequila is the Champagne of Mexico. The spirit can only be called tequila if it’s produced in the state of Jalisco.
On the other hand, you’ve got the city of Puerto Vallarta. This place has more pep than anywhere else on the Pacific Coast. A kilometre-long promenade is the focal point of the city. Street food sellers trundle carts of spicy corn and prawn skewers along this boardwalk, and lively cocktail bars overlook the walkway. Hotels here are ultra-modern, with bergamot-scented spas and the kind of rooms that beg for do-not-disturb-signs to be hung on the door. Puerto Vallarta has the highest shop-quotient of all the places on the Pacific Coast, too. There’s an indoor market on Calle Augustin Rodriguez where you can fritter away a pocket full of pesos or two.
To find out more about Mexico’s Pacific Coast and the excursions on offer, visit thomson.co.uk