The Mexican Riviera is a mountainous coastal region with sandy Pacific coast beaches and quaint towns inland. Colorful and classic, a luxury Mexico vacation to this area is overflowing with history, tequila, and vibrant bougainvillea.

One of the most prominent coastal destinations is Puerto Vallarta, a resort town with a historical core. Laze around on the warm shore or horseback ride through the waves of Bandaras Bay, and in town see the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe lifting up to the blue skies.

Punta Mita, a fishing village just north of Puerto Vallarta, offers a slower, quieter pace amid upscale homes and golf courses. A short boat trip from Punta Mita, find the Islas Marietas which famed underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau pushed to protect. The volcanic, uninhabited islands were named a national park in 2005 and are a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve because of the plethora of plants and wildlife that live along its rocky shores. These islands of paradise are home to dolphins, migrating humpback whales, manta rays, tropical fish, and sea turtles that swim through its reefs and caves. Snorkel or scuba dive through an underwater tunnel to emerge on the inside of Hidden Beach, a crater with clear waters only accessible when the tide is right.

Travel inland to the town of Tequila which lies at the foot of a volcano. Learn how to become a tequilero by combining different flavors and scents, and enjoy a private tour and tasting at an agave field to see how tequila is made. A walk through Tequila’s historic center takes travelers through cobblestone streets and plazas to the oldest bar in town, Cantina La Capilla. This local fixture has been winning awards for its tequila cocktails since the 1950s. The stone-clad Church of Santiago Apostol was built in the 17th century and houses a sculpture of St. Michael the Archangel and beautiful stained glass windows. An early morning sunrise hot air balloon ride gives you a bird’s eye view of the pretty town and its stunning agave landscape below. Travel to the Mexican Riviera today with Ker & Downey.