Unveiling Nayarit’s Mystical Enclaves

While most of Mexico is scenically captivating, some places are more spectacular than others. Let’s embark on an enchanting journey to the State of Nayarit.

Welcome to Nayarit, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of west-central Mexico, where a rich and vibrant culture awaits your discovery. From exotic beaches to lush rainforests and prairies, this State has everything a traveler could hope to find. Nayarit’s timeless allure will enchant you as each moment of your visit becomes an uncharted journey waiting to be uncovered.

To truly appreciate its widespread magic, one must grasp its hard-fought independence. Nayarit’s history is filled with struggles and hardships. Named after a courageous 16th-century Cora governor who bravely fought against Spanish conquest, Nayarit proudly honors its indigenous roots, where the Cora, Huichol, Tepehuan, and Mexicanero people continue to thrive.

But Nayarit isn’t just a land of history and legends—it’s a playground for adventure seekers and beach lovers alike. From the world-class surfing spots to the tranquil shores of San Pancho and Sayulita, Nayarit’s coastline promises endless days of sun-kissed bliss.

With its mesmerizing Pacific Coastline stretching nearly 200 miles, Nayarit is a captivating tapestry of landscapes. Here, the majestic Sierra Madre Occidental mountains surround the pristine shores in perfect harmony.

The State is proud to feature more than 700 hotels with a variety of price-points and amenities. Vidanta Nuevo Nayarit is especially fascinating, given it’s remarkable size and range of activities. Named as one of the Top Hotels in Mexico and Top Hotels in the World by Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards, the property boasts more 40 restaurants on site and employs more than 43 pastry chefs. There are a variety of pools, kids’ clubs, and La Plaza, a three-story facility featuring specialty boutiques, a bakery, food bars, and hand-crafts.

The region is celebrated for its culinary prowess. World-class cuisine by epicureans like Chef Betty Vasquez’ El Delfin is not to be missed. Vasquez who studied at The Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts in Paris, serves authentic dishes that will tantalize the pickiest palates. Rincon Campesino, a local fam-to-table outdoor experience, is a must-visit for travelers seeking an authentic Mexican breakfast. The restaurant is helmed by Nayeli Flores, a 28-year-old local who wanted to serve the people of the area the food she grew up with. An architect by trade, this young entrepreneur is a self-taught chef who has managed to create an eatery that draws foodies from near and far.

Nayarit’s economy thrives on diverse sectors. Each town in the State of Nayarit boasts its distinctive characteristics:

Tepic: As the state capital, Tepic offers a mix of history, culture, and nature. Explore the neo-gothic cathedral, savor the delicious local cuisine, and venture to nearby attractions like Cerro de San Juan and Laguna de Santa Maria del Oro. You’ll want to visit Loma 42, for a vibrant nightlife scene, signature drinks and a creatively crafted menu.

Bucerias: Nestled in laid-back Bucerias, travelers can unwind in cozy inns and bed & breakfasts, complemented by a plethora of seaside and contemporary dining options, this coastal town known for its stunning beaches, and vibrant local culture. Bucerías consists of picturesque cobblestone streets lined with colorful buildings, bustling markets selling handmade crafts and fresh seafood, and a variety of cozy cafes and restaurants serving delicious Mexican cuisine. It also features cultural events and festivals throughout the year, and a lively arts scene with galleries showcasing the work of local artists. Bucerías offers visitors a relaxed Mexican experience away from the hustle and bustle of larger tourist destinations.

Punta de Mita: Indulge in luxury dining experiences that match the opulence of Punta de Mita, the crown jewel of Riviera Nayarit. From romantic sunset dinners to leisurely lunches, chic waterfront eateries, elegant resort restaurants, and casual dining spots await. But a visit to Punta Mita is not complete without a meal at Chef Thierry Blouet’s exquisite Tuna Blanca. Chef Blouet is founder of the most important International Gourmet Festival.

La Cruz de Huanacaxtle: With its lavish 400-slip marina, La Cruz beckons with a diverse gastronomic scene. Whether savoring regional favorites, fresh seafood tacos, Italian pastas, or authentic German cuisine, this seaside town is a sanctuary for those seeking repose and an exceptional meal.

Sayulita: Embrace the bohemian vibe of Sayulita, a refuge for surfers, artists, and shoppers. This town features local boutiques, an eclectic mix of bars and restaurants, and is known for Baja-style fish tacos. Sayulita is an endearing paradise that combines the surf culture with Mexican flair. Don’t miss the remarkable Hidden Beach on Islas Marietas.

Rincon de Guayabitos: Experience the charm of this quaint beach town, where a single main street leads to a vibrant array of hotels, shops, and alfresco restaurants. Indulge in grilled shrimp and other seafood delicacies served by the beach vendors, complemented by stunning ocean views.

Bahía de Banderas: This coastal gem is part of the renowned “Riviera Nayarit,” featuring stunning resorts, beautiful beaches, and a vibrant atmosphere. It’s an absolute must-visit for beach lovers.

San Francisco (San Pancho): Known for its natural beauty and thrilling Polo Club matches, San Pancho offers seaside dining experiences featuring seafood caught fresh that morning. Enjoy ceviche locally sourced produce on the sand and other, then peruse the street vendors that add to the town’s coastal charm.

San Blas: Known for its beautiful beaches, San Blas exudes a laid-back vibe. Admire the colonial architecture, enjoy whale watching during winter, and immerse yourself in the local party scene. Immerse yourself in history and gastronomy in San Blas, where colonial past meets culinary excellence. El Delfin at Hotel Garza Canela stands out as one of Riviera Nayarit’s finest dining establishments, helmed by chef Betty Vasquez, whose innovative fusion of Mexican ingredients and European techniques promises a gastronomic journey like no other.

Compostela: Step back in time and discover Compostela’s rich history and colonial charm. Sample the famous pescado zarandeado (grilled fish) and explore the nearby Cerro de San Juan. Visit Cumbres de Huicicila, a coffee farm that offers farm tours and coffee tastings.

Nuevo Nayarit, Bucerías, and La Cruz De Huanacaxtle: These charming coastal towns offer a mix of relaxation, adventure, and cultural experiences, catering to sun-seekers and surf enthusiasts alike.

Jala: Immerse yourself in the local traditions and embrace the scenic beauty of the region. Jala offers a blend of culture, delectable food, and colonial architecture. The cobble-stone streets and jagged sidewalks lend to the authentic charm of the area. A walk through town finds families seated outside their homes enjoying face-to-face interaction, without a single device in sight. Check out Quinta Nukari Boutique Hotel, where you can dine at the rooftop patio and enjoy an alluring view of the local area.

Explore the mystical islands of Marías and Marietas, recognized as UNESCO World Heritage sites for their unparalleled biodiversity and natural splendor. Discover the mysteries of ancient civilizations as you explore sacred grounds decorated with petroglyphs, telling stories from ancient times, and marvel at Altavista’s enigmatic rock carvings and their unknown origins.

The State is home to two impressive volcanoes, Ceboruco and Sangangüey, which add a dramatic shift to its topography. Additionally, Nayarit boasts the National Marshes, considered one of Mexico’s most important wetlands, consisting of picturesque lagoons of extraordinary beauty.

Nayarit, Mexico offers a blend of natural beauty, rich heritage, and diverse experiences. Whether you seek beach relaxation, cultural immersion, or adventure, this state has it all. Embark on a journey to Nayarit and uncover the wonders that await.

By Monique Reidy


photos courtesy of:

Visit Nayarit / EnRoute Communications


P.O. Box 1435 | Thousand Oaks | CA | 91360


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