Shore excursions offer an exciting way to experience each Mexico port on your itinerary. Here is an overview of the most popular excursions.
Note: Not all cruise lines offer all excursions listed.
Play With the Dolphins
A variety of spots in Mexico allow swimmers and non-swimmers of all ages to take part in a magical dolphin encounter. Learn more about these friendly creatures while getting a chance to pet one as it glides by, or dive right in and splash around with the dolphins in a supervised swim. Serious dolphin enthusiasts can even snag the job of dolphin trainer for a day -- this includes helping to prep food, learning about daily dolphin care and assisting a professional trainer with a dolphin swim program. Photo ops and videos are usually available so you can cherish your dolphin adventure long after you leave Mexico.
Scuba and Snorkel
Clear waters make Mexico a top spot for underwater discovery. Cruises that call at ports along the country's Caribbean coast give diving enthusiasts an opportunity to investigate the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the largest coral reef in the Western Hemisphere. Marine life here includes turtles, barracuda, nurse sharks, butterfly fish, parrot fish and blue tangs. Cozumel is another noteworthy spot, where the sheltered coral reefs help make the small island one of the world's best snorkeling destinations.
Shop for Bargains
From the goods in the shopping districts of Acapulco and Cancun to the crafts of local artisans, Mexico has a wide variety of treasures for browsers and buyers alike. You'll find upscale items as well as great bargains on jewelry, textiles, ceramics, art and other locally crafted souvenirs.
Sample the Tequila
See first-hand what goes into making Mexico's famous libation as you tour a tequila factory. Or, get acquainted with various Mexican tequilas as you take part in a tasting at a local restaurant and bar.
With an experienced crew at the helm, relax and enjoy the view as you sail through Mexico's warm waters, then drop anchor and take a refreshing dip. You can even have the opportunity to be part of a crew aboard an America's Cup yacht. Get answers to your sailing questions, learn the history of the regatta, hoist the sails and experience the thrill of gliding along the water in a state-of-the-art vessel.
Take a Cooking Class
Learn the secret ingredient to making tasty Mexican dishes. Take a lesson in cooking some of Mexican's delectable dishes -- spicy salsas, handmade corn tortillas, chilaquiles or pollo en mole could be on the menu -- and feast on your efforts at the end of class. Want to enjoy the food but need a vacation from cooking? Various excursions offer a sampling of local cuisine. Options include lunch at a local taco place or an extravagant dinner prepared by a renowned chef.
Visit the Mayan Ruins
Learn about the lives of the ancient Mayans at several archaeological sites on the Yucatan Peninsula. Near Mexico's border with Belize, lush jungle shrouds the 10-acre Chacchoben site, where you can explore temples, gardens and the main pyramid. At Kohunlich, you can see the remains of public gathering centers, ball courts and temples that bear sculpted images of the city's long-gone rulers. Tulum overlooks the sparkling blue Caribbean and is dominated by the El Castillo structure, perched on a 40-foot cliff.
Experience an Off-Road Adventure
Navigate trails through Mexico's rugged landscape in an all-terrain vehicle, or practice racing an off-road Baja buggy with the guidance of an experienced instructor. Tourists looking for a less hands-on way to experience the adventure can let someone else take the wheel on an open-air jeep tour.
Tour a Mexican Village
Mexico's rich and vibrant culture can be seen throughout its many historic towns and villages. Several walking tours are available; visitors might stop by La Campana pyramids on the way to the charming small town of Comala, meet members of the Mayo tribe in Tehuecos or visit a bakery with wood-fired ovens in Malpica.
Ride a Horse
Horseback riding through the countryside or along one of Mexico's beautiful beaches is a fun way to discover your surroundings. Delight in Mexico's flora and fauna on one of various possible riding trips -- past villages along the Mascota River, along one of Cabo's Pacific beaches, or through the Sierra Madre foothills. Horses are matched to each rider's ability and comfort level, so saddle up and enjoy the ride.
Party at a Fiesta
It wouldn't be a trip to Mexico without a joining in a fiesta. Celebrate Mexican-style with piñatas, serenading mariachis, colorful decorations, vibrant costumes, folkloric ballet, dancing horses, festive beverages and traditional fare.
Mexico is known worldwide for its sportsfishing venues -- Cabo San Lucas in particular is one of the most popular spots to cast a line. Aspiring or experienced anglers might catch a marlin or sailfish in some of the most abundant fishing grounds. Lunch and drinks on the fishing vessel are often included on these day trips.