A growing trend among travelers revolves around packing multiple destinations and experiences into one vacation by choosing locations teaming with diverse, nearby options. Rivera Nayarit, located less than an hour from Puerto Vallarta, offers this experience with a number of beach towns, islands and exclusive resorts strung along the Pacific Coast of Mexico.
From towns like Sayulita, on the southern coast with a boho-chic surfer town atmosphere, to Punta de Mita, a golfer’s destination surrounded by green hills and six miles of beaches, to family friendly Nuevo Vallarta and Flamingos, vacationers can sample a variety of close options. A schedule of year-round festivals ensures additional ways to enjoy the destination in any season.
Accessible from the Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport, the beach towns along the coast offer something for vacationers of all types. Here's what you should know:
The Bahia de Banderas Nayarit beach towns are set along 62 miles of coastline in an area famed as the largest bay in Mexico. Here, vacationers can sample family-friendly Nuevo Vallarta and Flamingos, with its beaches, hotels and golf courses. Nearby is Punta de Mita, set along a peninsula and known for its exclusive hotels and resorts, including top luxury brands. It’s also dotted with world-class golf courses overlooking six miles of beaches and green hills.
The Southern Nayarit beach towns offer a sense of remoteness. Here, vacationers can choose to stay a few days in Sayulita, with its surfer town atmosphere and cobblestone streets, reminiscent of California’s Manhattan Beach. For a strong contrast, spend a few days in Lo de Marcos, where vacationers can paddle board to find Los Venados beach. This beach is known for its natural wonders, from birdwatching to its independent turtle sanctuary.
Just 40 miles north of the airport, in the Jaltemba Bay Nayarit beach towns, three pueblos provide an authentic Mexican vacation experience. The town of Los Ayala offers snorkeling adventures and is ideal for day-trippers as it’s a short boat ride away for romantic getaways to Coral Island and Cangrejo Island. Nearby is Rincon de Guayabitos, long a secret getaway for local Mexican families, offering assorted culinary experiences, souvenirs, and locals waiting to welcome visitors. Just as charming is La Peñita, which still retains its fishing village roots and natural beauty.
Head along the Pacific Coastline to the Central Riviera Nayarit beach towns, with their virgin beaches on the Bahia de Matachen near Tepic, Nayarit’s capital. Here, a few towns to highlight are Punta el Custodio, with eco lodges and a turtle sanctuary. A short ride away is Boca de Chila, known for sunsets over its five miles of white sand beaches. All roads lead to Las Veras, a hacienda town dating from only 1935, built at the meeting point of several important passageways in the region, making it easy to stay here and sample other vacation spots too, including El Capomo.
The Northern Riviera Nayarit beach towns immerse visitors in history, spanning from ancient Mexico through to the Spanish Colonial Period. Start a vacation where legend says Mexico’s native civilization began, on Isla Mexcaltitan, a short boat ride away from the coast and nicknamed the “Mexican Venice."
In this region, travelers will also find Playa Novillero, Mexico’s longest and widest beach, stretching for 56 miles and more than a third of a mile wide. The Spanish left their mark early on in the region, with San Blas, a five-century step back in time, noted for four miles of beaches and the Las Islitas cliff formations. More colonial history can be found in nearby Costa Santiago, and its several well-known beaches Los Corchos, Sesteo and Boca de Camichín strung along the surrounding coastline.
For more information, visit www.rivieranayarit.com.