Two of the quietest towns, with the most beautiful beaches of the Riviera Nayarit and perfect for finding yourself, are San Pancho and Lo de Marcos.
San Francisco, better known as San Pancho, is located 44.8 km north of Puerto Vallarta and 23 minutes from Sayulita on federal highway 200 on the Central Pacific coast.
San Pancho is characterized by its handicrafts, murals, and a perfect beach for sunbathing and surfing.
Upon reaching the plaza facing the sea, we can see craft markets with a beautiful display of Huichol art in bracelets, necklaces, and handbags, as well as various textiles and handicrafts that welcome one of the most relaxing tropical landscapes in Mexico.
San Pancho beach is cleaner and quieter than Sayulita, ideal for a long walk, sunbathing, and admiring the waves. The sea of this portion of the Mexican Pacific is a mixture of calm and tranquility, however, its waves are stronger than on other beaches of the Riviera Nayarit, which is why it is recommended for more experienced surfers.
One of the most important projects in this beautiful town is the Ecological Group of the Costa Verde, dedicated to the protection and conservation of sea turtles for 30 years. If you are lovers of these beautiful animals, you can join their various conservation activities.
Where to eat?
San Pancho offers a wide variety of seafood dishes and traditional Mexican food along the beach and in town at its various restaurants such as “La Perla”, “San Pancho Marino” and “María’s”.
Where to Stay?
The lodging options are varied and according to any budget. From boutique hotels, Airbnb, hostels, and houses facing the sea, some options are Pal.Mar, Verde Luna, Casa Pancho Playa, among others.
Lo de Marcos
Following federal highway 200, 17 minutes from San Pancho, you will find Lo de Marcos, a picturesque town full of color and art reflected in many of its streets and facades.
Lo de Marcos, unlike Sayulita, San Pancho, and Guayabitos, where activities are more focused on tourism, is characterized by being more local.
One of its main attractions is the central square where the town’s letterboard, the color of its kiosk, and benches that welcome you to this beautiful town, will leave you in love since it gives the impression of being in a place where art is the protagonist of this story.
A few steps from the plaza we can witness beautiful murals that adorn the street that leads to the beach, one of the most beautiful in the entire Riviera Nayarit.
This beach has a very unique beauty since it seems to be a virgin beach where we can walk and walk admiring the beautiful sunrises and sunsets while the sound of the waves accompanies our path. Although this portion of the Mexican Pacific is also a jewel for surfers, its low to moderate waves make it perfect for swimming, we could say that it is the perfect beach.
For me, this little town has a very unique history and my family often came on vacation since my grandparents built a house here. I had not had the opportunity to meet them but all those memories and stories told to me made me feel a very special affection that I confirmed when I arrived. I am sure that even if you have not visited before, when you do, you will be able to feel those same emotions too.
Being a very local and quiet town, the ideal is to get to know each one of the businesses, walk through the main square, admire the beautiful murals along the path to the beach and enjoy the tropical landscape from the moment you touch the sand.
Where to eat?
Being a very local place, small restaurants are the best option to try dishes such as jerked fish or “roasted fish” (many will ask you if you have already tried it and you will probably wonder if you heard correctly).
Like San Pancho, you will find a wide variety of seafood dishes and traditional Mexican food along the beach and in town at its various restaurants.
Where to Stay?
There are various options of bungalows, hostels and small hotels on the beach and the town as well as airbnbs adaptable to pockets.
How to get there?
The best option to visit both destinations is to fly to Puerto Vallarta and rent a car in the direction of Tepic to be able to enjoy each of the towns of the Riviera Nayarit. There are also bus services available, although they do take a bit longer, but could add a little adventure to your trip.
By Gloria Villanueva
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