puertaWith shores on two oceans, Mexico is a beach lover’s paradise. Here’s a primer on three of the beach areas, Puerto Vallarta and Ensenada

Puerto Vallarta

Considered a poor man’s Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta lies in the middle of the Bahia de Banderas, a huge bay. The beach is long and nice while the two lies at the foot of the Sierra Madre Mountains. The last ten years have seen a lot of development with condos, hotels and tourist support areas going up like mad. This isn’t particularly surprising since tourism seems to be the hub of the entire economy in Puerto Vallarta.

For beaches, you really can’t go wrong in Puerto Vallarta. The northern beaches tend to be the most popular, which also means more people. Personally, I’ve headed to the south to find a little more breathing room. For gay travelers, Puerto Vallarta is considered the most accommodating beach location in an otherwise conservative Mexico.

Ensenada

Located a few hours south of the border with San Diego, Ensenada is a popular weekend trip. Sitting on the bay of Todos Santos, Ensenada is famous for a vibrant nightlife, nice beaches and being the location where much of the movie “Titanic” was shot.

Historically, Ensenada used to be a secret location known to San Diegans. Then the Mexican government built a smooth highway from Tijuana through Ensenada. So much for the secret!

Today, Ensenada is a good place to go if you want to experience Mexico, but want to avoid the packed, edgy Tijuana scene. In Ensenada, you can ride horses on the beach, do some surfing and visit world famous bars. The most famous, of course, is Hussongs. Hussongs is the place where you can “sample” tequila and sing with Mariachi bands. The two have nothing to do with each other. Honest.

Everyone has a favorite beach spot in Mexico. Ensenada and Puerto Vallarta aren’t bad places to sample.