The Riviera Nayarit is a destination rich in culture, nature, gastronomy and places you really must visit at least once in your life. Here’s a list of 10 can’t-miss places in the Riviera Nayarit that will make you fall in love.
1. Islas Marietas (Marietas Islands)
Here you can visit the famous Playa del Amor (Love Beach), also known as Playa Escondida (Hidden Beach). There’s also Playa la Nopalera, known for its amazing color, although its name doesn't translate quite as romantically (Prickly Pear Beach). This beach is great for snorkeling and viewing all kinds of cool fish.
2. Cerro del Mono (Monkey Mountain)
The best place to view the sunset! We especially recommend it for people who love to hike. There are two routes: one for intermediate hikers and another for more experienced ones. Once you reach the top, you’ll be treated to the most jaw-dropping view of the Riviera Nayarit. And if you’d rather hike in the morning, the view is just as lovely.
3. Saltwater Pool
A day spent splashing around in the water is awesome, but doing it in a saltwater pool is twice as nice. Located across from the Palladium Resort in Punta de Mita, this is a big must on your list of things to do. This saltwater pool depends on the tide, so it’s only possible to swim in it when the waves literally fill it up.
Hungry for something truly delicious in the Riviera Nayarit? Then you must visit Bucerías and its Golden Zone. The town is famous for its seafood: The ceviche, seafood salad and oysters are out of this world. Have you tasted them yet? No? Well, we guarantee you’ll love them!
5. Isla del Coral (Coral Island)
Paradise doesn’t get any better than this! Just 10 minutes by boat from lovely Rincón de Guayabitos puts you in the Riviera Nayarit’s gorgeous natural aquarium: Isla del Coral, or Coral Island. This place will knock your socks off with its crystal-clear water just made for snorkeling, swimming or paddle boarding. Very highly recommended!
6. La Cruz de Huanacaxtle
It’s perfect for snorkeling, diving and surfing (the waves get high enough for boards in the wintertime), and, of course, sport fishing, one of the top activities in this locale thanks to the abundance of tuna, marlin, mahi-mahi and other species. Another of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle’s many attractions is the artisan’s market that sets up alongside the marina every Sunday from November through April. Known as the La Cruz Market, or Tianguis Huanacaxtle, it offers a fantastic variety of regional artisanal products and is a fun place to visit from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
We’re sure that if you haven’t visited Sayulita yet, you at least have it on your radar. This is the most picturesque of the Riviera Nayarit’s 23 micro-destinations, with local art and decorations on every corner. We recommend you stop in for souvenirs, a surfing class and the iconic Instagram photo on the street with the colorful papel picado or cut-paper flags.
8. La Tovara in San Blas
La Tovara is set in such beautiful surroundings that it will take your breath away and gives you the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of nature’s prettiest landscapes. The crocodiles will serve as your hosts since this is their home, and the birdwatching is spectacular: San Blas is not only one of the top places in all of Mexico for that activity, but it’s also one of the most scenic!
9. Nuevo Vallarta
The beaches in Nuevo Vallarta-Flamingos sport calm waves, soft sand and warm water, making them just perfect for a little R&R. Many vacationers opt to run or walk along the shore, while others simply lie out to work on their tan. The more intrepid hit the water aboard a fast jet ski, release turtles, paddle surf or even kite surf to catch a view of Banderas Bay from the sky.
10. Isla Isabel National Park
This natural oasis on Isabel Island is ideal for connecting with nature: You can only get here with a guided tour from San Blas and you have to spend the night, since the tide prevents a round trip in one day. Here you’ll see plenty of fauna including the whale sharks, manta rays, turtles, frigates, seagulls and blue-footed boobies. PS: This adventure is only for nature-lovers!
Ready to a plan an extraodinary visit to Riviera Nayarit? We'll work with you to create a tailored-for-you vacation, making sure nothing is left to chance. Simply submit an online consultation request to get started.
-Adapted from Travel Weekly