The Magic of Mexican Sunsets
I cross the border to Mexico  for many reasons. It is the romance, the mariachi music and the Mayan mysteries. It is the colorful culture and cuisine. I head to its beaches, its jungle, and its capital city. Mexico is a special place for me.
But no paradise is complete without spectacular sunsets. During my recent travels to the Pacific coast of Mexico, I visited Mazatlan, San Blas and Puerto Vallarta. I had the good fortune of watching numerous, unique, and splendid sunsets and finding a paradise.
The fiery fiesta in the Golden Zone of Mazatlan
Hollywood helped tourism begin here in the 1950s, and now, the Mazatlan's Golden Zone  (zona dorada) is packed with hotels and restaurants. Modern and luxurious properties can be found in newer developed regions of Mazatlan, yet an energy, an excitement exists on these soft sands of the golden zone. The beaches here don't just provide the view of the ocean and sunset; they are a gateway to the fiestas of Mazatlan.
As the sun approaches the horizon and the sky starts to turn brilliant colors, visitors walk from the beachside cafe, bars and hotels down to the ocean's edge. Many take a cocktail or cerveza to toast the sun, while others take a camera or smart phone to capture (and eventually share) the moment. Click. As the day ends, the night is just beginning.
Solitude in the Old Spanish Fort of San Blas
Further south from Mazatlan en route to Puerto Vallarta, visitors can discover the coastal town of San Blas in the state of Nayarit. An intriguing destination, San Blas has a rich history, provides river jungle tours, and is home for many seasonal ex-pats who come to surf and get off the grid.
On my travels to San Blas, I watched a sunset along its river and its surf beach. Yet, the special sunset was from atop a hill at the ruins of an Old Spanish Fort. The 10 pesos entrance provided full day access, and after my daytime tour I decided to return in the evening.
The cannons and old walls of the fort allow visitors to take a stroll back in time. I started to wonder about life in those days. Certainly much has changed through the years. Then with the place nearly all to myself, I looked out on the horizon. I watched the sun dip below the horizon and the sky illuminate with a brilliant orange glow. I paused. I wondered what those who watched this similar sunset hundreds of years earlier thought. I know our thoughts were different, but now we have a connection. We both shared the majesty of a sunset from San Blas.
Family and Friends on the Malecon in Puerto Vallarta.
This past year the seaside city of Puerto Vallarta  opened up a reconstructed malecon. The famous pedestrian friendly walkway received a facelift. Lined with art sculptures and palm trees the walkway always seems to have a crowd of people. Local residents stroll along the walkway as tourists enjoy time between tavernas and cervezas The crowds gather and socialize. It's a meeting place.
The malecon borders the sea, and as the day comes near to an end, the sun prepares to set out on the Bay of Banderas, and people come to watch the daily event. Some people gather along the wall, while others find benches near the many art sculptures. No one seems in a rush, and all eyes seem to face the sea. This is sunset time.
I attempted to find the perfect place to watch the sunset, and since Puerto Vallarta is also famous for its restaurant scene, I found the sculpture of the Patron Saint of Chefs. Surprisingly skinny, he stood tall as the sun descended, and the sky glowed in colorful tones of orange around him. Next stop was a delicious dinner.
On my trip, I enjoyed sunsets from other locations too. Each night, I found a different sunset, and each was as beautiful as the last. So you can definitely add the sunset to the many enticing reasons to go to Mexico.
Travel Tip: Most west coast beaches in Mexico provide a chance to enjoy a sunset. But sometimes in order to find the best locale, you need to ask. So ask the concierge, fellow travelers, the locals and any taxi driver for advice. The sunset is universal and appreciated by everyone. We all have our special sunset spots, and you’ll find many in Mexico.
Stay adventurous, Craig Zabransky