See what awaits you: The Riviera Nayarit from A to Z

There’s so much we can say about the Riviera Nayarit, a destination that stands out for its offer of luxury and nature, as well as culture and tradition. This time around, we’ve chosen to take a cue from the alphabet and look for concepts from “A” to “Z.” Though we’re trying hard, we’re actually at a loss for words to describe and express everything that Mexico’s Pacific Treasure has to offer. This is just a taste!

Adventure. Whale watching is one of the most spectacular seasonal adventures in the region. The best time of year for this activity is from mid-December through the end of March.

Bucerías. The “Place of the Divers,” or buzos, is everything that comes to mind when anyone mentions an “authentic Mexican village.” Its mix of family-owned hotels, restaurants, and aquatic activities make this micro-destination—located near Nuevo Vallarta—the perfect place for a fantastic getaway.

Culture (Huichol). In addition to sun, beach, and fabulous luxury resorts, the Riviera Nayarit also offers history, culture, and proximity to nature. And if you want even more, then a close encounter with the Huichol or Wixárica culture is just the ticket.

Delight. There’s plenty to delight visitors to the Riviera Nayarit. This destination is the ideal combination of natural beauty with recreational activities, events, and a choice nightlife.

Events. In addition to its offer of sun, sand, and beach, the Riviera Nayarit counts on meetings and events as a key asset.

Flora and Fauna. Beyond its resorts, the Riviera Nayarit’s true offer of luxury can be found in its natural beauty and marvelous biodiversity like that of the Sierra de Vallejo, a preserve that encompasses 63,598 hectares.

Gastronomy. Nayarit is the fifth state in the Mexican Republic to have declared its traditional gastronomy as an Intangible Cultural Heritage. Here you’ll find an amazing representation of Mexico’s gastronomic diversity, plus you’ll be pleasantly surprised by an array of sophisticated and avant-garde culinary trends. 

High-end Hotels. Travelers who travel to the Riviera Nayarit for their next vacation will find accommodations ranging from luxury properties and family-friendly all-inclusives to intimate boutique hotels. As if that weren’t enough, this destination’s hotels and resorts were built following rigorous environmental requirements that guarantee environmental conservation.

Islas Marietas and Playa del Amor (Lover’s Beach). Declared a Biosphere Reserve by the UNESCO, the Islas Marietas National Park and its Playa del Amor (Lover’s Beach) are an icon of Mexico’s Pacific Treasure, as well as a natural sanctuary for dozens of bird species.

Jaguar. This gorgeous feline is part of the Riviera Nayarit’s astounding biodiversity. There are several areas known to be its habitat, including the Sierra de Vallejo, Aguamilpa-Picachos, Sierra de San Juan, the San Blas coast, Sierra Madre Occidental and the National Wetlands. Such is its importance that the state created the so-called “Jaguar Route” with the participation of a group of 14 ranches dedicated to ecotourism activity.

Kitesurfing or Kiteboarding. This is one of the most popular extreme sports in the Riviera Nayarit. It’s a dynamic, eye-catching sport performed with a surfboard attached to a paraglider: this combination allows athletes to reach high speeds on the water and execute spectacular jumps.

Lo de Marcos. The peaceful and traditional atmosphere of this picturesque village is ideal for relaxation. You can sense the purely Mexican atmosphere of its narrow streets lined with flowers and colorful façades This tiny paradise has hotels and villas right on the beach: Los Venados, Las Minitas, El Atracadero, and Lo de Marcos are surrounded by green mountains and whimsical rocks.

Mexcaltitán. The island of Mexcaltitán is known as the “Venice of Mexico” thanks to its unique system of canals that crisscross it. It’s a place where you need to take your time and leave the schedule behind, as there is no transportation—private or public—so the only way to see the island is on foot. Its inhabitants’ main occupation is fishing for shrimp and other ocean delicacies.

Nuevo Vallarta. The “Gateway to the Riviera Nayarit” boasts five kilometers of fine, golden sand surrounded by mangroves. This is also home to two world-class golf course, two modern marinas outfitted with all the services needed for over 250 vessels, more than ten kilometers of navigable canals, a shopping center, luxury hotels and resorts, several restaurants, two dolphinariums, and a water park.

Ocean. The Riviera Nayarit is bathed by the marvelous Pacific Ocean, the largest body of water on Earth, known here as the Mexican Pacific. Hence, this destination is also called “Mexico’s Pacific Treasure,” with its beautiful beaches, dreamy landscapes, and traditional coastal villages.

Punta de Mita. Located on a peninsula, Punta de Mita is a select and sophisticated micro-destination, an icon of luxury tourism in the region. The area of Punta Mita is home to some of the most exclusive and renowned hotel accommodations in the entire Riviera Nayarit, such as the Four Seasons and The St. Regis.

Quioscos (Key-ohs-kos, or Bandstands). Most of the Riviera Nayarit’s coastal villages have a public plaza with a quiosco, a circular bandstand supported by columns with a cone-shaped roof. It traditionally hosts groups of musicians for public concerts. The bandstands can be made of quarry stone, concrete or stone in different styles ranging from Moorish to Modernist.

Rincón de Guayabitos. This is a favorite corner, or rincón, for domestic tourists, although in the last decade or so it’s become a getaway for Canadian visitors. With its famous bay that resembles a huge pool with fine sand and warm water, Rincón de Guayabitos is the ideal place for enjoying various water sports.

San Blas. This quiet fishing village is known for being a popular destination for birding in Mexico. It’s also famous for La Tovara National Park—an incredible network of marshes and canals—, the delicious pescado zarandeado (grilled fish), banana bread, and, of course, its traditions and history. You can’t miss a visit to San Blas when you come to the Riviera Nayarit: your trip to this port will be truly historic!

Turtles. The Olive Ridley is the most common species of turtle in the region, although leatherbacks—the largest of the sea turtles—have also been spotted here. Releasing turtles on the beaches of the Riviera Nayarit from August through December can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.

Unique. The Riviera Nayarit is the only domestic beach destination with the Clean Tourist Destination certification awarded by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (Profepa). It’s also the only destination in Mexico that has obtained the international Blue Flag certification in three different categories: beaches, marinas, and lagoons.

Vessels (Sailboats). The Riviera Nayarit is known as one of the world’s top sailing destinations. With its gorgeous coastline, calm water, friendly currents, and predominant winds, we have the perfect stage for all kinds of marine excursions. It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or an expert sailor: if you love boating you’ll love sailing in the Riviera Nayarit.

Wesmex International Small Boat Regatta. This is one of the four main regattas in the Mexican Sailing Circuit and a qualifier for the Mexican team that will represent the country in international and world competitions for the Optimist and Laser fleets. It takes place every year in the Riviera Nayarit organized by the Vallarta Yacht Club.

Xplore Mexico. This ecotourism company offers travelers real adventures in extraordinary settings. It’s located in the town of Lo de Marcos and offers leisure activities inspired by the great outdoors, including scuba diving, sport fishing trips, surfing lessons, snorkeling, stand up paddle board lessons, and hiking trips, among others.

Yoga. The Riviera Nayarit is on the cutting edge of wellness trend: here you can enjoy days filled with sun, beach, and plenty of relaxation at its yoga retreats. Take a few days off to release your stress and reconnect with your body and soul. Retreats in Sayulita, Punta Mita, San Pancho or any other marvelous micro-destination will have just what you’re looking for to perfect your technique.

Zarandeado. The zarandeado-style fish is undoubtedly one of the best-known dishes on the entire coast of Nayarit. This is generally prepared with a snapper grilled over a wood fire, though some of the more traditional places serve it on banana leaves. It’s best eaten with handmade tortillas and spicy salsa.

Mexico’s Pacific Treasure will be here when the COVID-19 health crisis is over. Meanwhile:  #StayHomeWithRivieraNayarit

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