From luxury resorts in Punta de Mita to hippie culture in Sayulita, Riviera Nayarit Mexico has something for every traveler. Plus, the region is home to whales and sea turtles, making it a paradise for nature lovers.
A popular activity in the region is cacao ceremonies and macrame workshops. Plus, you can attend these at Mexicolate in San Pancho and Sayulita. This beautiful destination is fast becoming the next Cancun for travelers seeking a truly unforgettable getaway.
1. Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta is a classic Mexican “pueblo” that has kept up with the times and modernized, but still proudly celebrates its traditions and heritage. It’s a place where culture and cuisine are celebrated at festivals, and there’s always something new to discover.
One of the most unique things to do in Puerto Vallarta is taking part in a whale watching tour. This is best done between November and March, when humpback whales are most often spotted. Other highlights include crossing Jorullo Bridge, which stretches across the Cuale River with a jungle section and is considered the longest suspension bridge in Latin America.
The town also has a number of scenic viewpoints, like the Hill of the Cross Viewpoint, which offers panoramic views over the city and Banderas Bay. If you’re feeling more adventurous, take part in an ATV tour that allows you to ride over jungle canopies and beachside sand. Or, try zip lining over the sea. Getting around in Puerto Vallarta is easy and convenient, thanks to an efficient public transportation system that includes buses known as Camiones.
2. La Cruz de Huanacaxtle
Whether you crave the roar of a city or the quiet solitude that comes with a simpler getaway, La Cruz has it all. This little nook is a charming fishing village that balances the traditional life of a Mexican pueblo with the sophistication and modernity of a first-class tourist destination.
Located between Punta de Mita and Bucerias, this sleepy town was transformed upon the completion of the Riviera Nayarit Marina in 2008 — a modern marina that now houses 400 boats from 30 to 400 feet in length. Since then, the town has grown to offer international restaurants and eateries, a Huichol Indian Art Gallery, cafes, and other local boutiques.
It’s the food, music, and dancing that bring people to this seaside village, and their sense of community that keeps them coming back. When walking through the streets, it’s easy to stumble upon a band playing live music or some other holiday traditional event with dancing. And, if you’re feeling hungry, stop in one of the many restaurantes to try some of the local seafood dishes and churros! There are so many amazing things to do in Riviera Narayit, just to name a few.
Sayulita has a little bit of everything – boutique hotels, yoga retreats, wood-fired pizza restaurants and more. This small pueblo is home to locals, surfers and tourists alike. During the day, you’ll find calm beaches and peaceful walks but by night the town comes alive with music and dancing.
A must-do is to climb Monkey Mountain for a view of the Riviera Nayarit coast and a fun hike. This is a moderate to hard hike so be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks.
Another popular activity is whale watching, which can be done on one of the many tours offered in Sayulita. Tours also include snorkeling and scuba diving, and even trips to the Islas Marietas.
A visit to Sayulita wouldn’t be complete without stopping at a few of the local bars and clubs for some drinks and live music. A favorite is Atico, located in the heart of Sayulita and perfect for a night out with friends. Be sure to stop at the riverside hippie market for a little shopping too!
Located a short drive from Sayulita, Bucerias is a favorite for those looking for a more relaxed beach vibe with plenty of things to do. The town offers an abundance of fun activities, but also boasts a wide variety of great restaurants at every price point. It’s also a great place to explore nearby islands or take a snorkeling or sailing tour or enjoy the local seafood dishes like grilled fish.
Many visitors are drawn to this area because of its excellent swells for surfing, windsurfing, or boogie boarding. Guests can also swim, ride a bicycle along the coastline at their own pace or go horseback riding. Additionally, the beaches are also used for sand sculpture competitions and are the perfect place to relax while admiring the stunning views.
The town has an active nightlife scene and is known for its live music. It also has a number of art galleries that showcase the work of local artists. Those craving a little bit of shopping can browse the local flea markets for souvenirs, trinkets, and handmade items.
5. Lo de Marcos
The quiet town of Lo de Marcos has a few great things to do for travelers. The main attraction is the beautiful Playa Lo de Marcos beach with its golden sand and slow-crashing waves. Plus, it’s a great place for swimming and snorkeling or walking around soaking in the peaceful vibe.
The town itself has a few Mexican-style hotels, quaint villas, and homes with a relaxed feel. There are a handful of restaurants serving homemade Mexican food and unique shops to browse. Moreover, the town center has a small plaza that was recently fixed up and is the heart of the community. Locals love to spend their weekends at the beach, eating breakfast and lunch at the restaurants, and chatting with friends.
Lo de Marcos is also a birdwatcher’s paradise and has a large population of exotic birds. There is a natural wetland that attracts waterfowl and turtles. Plus the beaches are popular for surfers but they tend to be less crowded than Sayulita or San Pancho.
Book your flight with JetBlue to get you to Riviera Nayarit safely and on time. We’ll see you on the beach!