Why Mexico’s west coast is back on the map for UK tourists

When British tourists travel to Mexico, you can bet your bottom dollar they will more than likely visit the Cancún or Riviera Maya regions in the eastern Yucatán Peninsula. Some may venture as far as Mexico City but gone seem to be the days where they will go ‘loco in Acapulco’ or other destinations on the western coast of the country.

UK package deals fly into Cancún and tourists enjoy the variety of delights on offer there but many forget that there’s another coast to explore on the Pacific side of the country. But from Friday next week, the TUI group are flying into Puerto Vallarta; giving UK travellers a gateway to the much less commercialised and underrated west coast of Mexico. It is hoped that the new flight to the west coast will open up new opportunities to UK travellers where they can discover a more sedate side of Mexico than the often lively options to the beach resorts on the east.

Los Mertos Beach near Puerto Vallarta - image courtesy of visitmexico.com

Los Mertos Beach near Puerto Vallarta – image courtesy of visitmexico.com

Lupita Ayala, Deputy Director of Visit Mexico, the Mexican Tourism Board in the UK, says: “The flight will start on April 4 and will fly into Puerto Vallarta, a destination which is very appealing to the UK consumer but there’s a lack of knowledge about the destination. We are doing a strong campaign with TUI and Thomson to make people more aware of what is on offer there.

“More and more are getting interested in the east coast and it is starting to diversify as well. We have found out from various travel fairs that people are looking for culture and they are more aware that Mexico can offer this. I think in the last five or ten years, the consumer is more aware that there is much more to the country than just the Caribbean side.”

To the north of Puerto Vallarta is the luxury destination of Cabo San Lucas on the Baja California Sur peninsular, while to the south, there’s a key number of resorts which have familiar names – all are accessible via Mexico City via Aero México. Connections from the bustling capital are regular and often inexpensive.

Zihuatanejo is an area familiar with fans of the Shawshank Redemption - image courtesy of visitmexico.com.

Zihuatanejo is an area familiar to fans of The Shawshank Redemption – image courtesy of visitmexico.com.

Fans of the hit 1994 film, The Shawshank Redemption, will fondly remember the closing scene when Morgan Freeman’s character, Red, reunites with his prison friend, Andy Dufresne (played by Tim Robbins) on an idyllic paradise beach. This is Zihuatanejo, close to Ixtapa and one of the main highlights on the west coast of Mexico.
“Ixtapa and the village of Zihuatanejo are beautiful,” adds Lupita. “Our Pacific coast is rich, it’s nice and the beaches are outstanding. You will find local people who will give tourists a really warm welcome.

“These areas are not as commercialised as Cancún for example. Puerto Vallarta has a wonderful Mexican flavour; it is a very picturesque spot and well remembered by the British because Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton had a home there. The west coast has something appealing and has something for everyone.”

See more on Mexico’s Pacific coast and from Lupita on the video below:

For more details on Mexico and it’s many attractions, click here for the Visit Mexico website.

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