With its scenic coastline extending around the Baja Peninsula, western Mexico consists of three states and a petite grouping of islands. An experience on Mexico's Gold Coast may include lounging on the beach, kayaking a sandbar, exploring Mayan ruins or dancing in trendy nightclubs. Mazatlan offers a more traditional cultural experience, while Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas are especially accommodating to cruisers looking to shop or head to local restaurant and bars.
You can get a workout on pretty much any cruise, but to maximize your adrenaline-pumping options, it's best to find the right combination of cruise ship and destination. Active cruise travelers will usually turn up at least a handful of shore experiences to whet their appetites for adventure, but if you're cruising with a sedentary lot, that city bike tour or rainforest hike might get canceled due to lack of interest. Likewise, certain ports simply don't lend themselves to athletic adventures, while others have so many active choices, it's hard to make up your mind. Below, we have listed our picks for the 11 best adventure cruise destinations for those who are active travelers, as well as our suggestions for the cruise lines that make the best matches. Just don't forget to pack your running shoes and snorkel gear.