While Cancun and Tulum get all the attention, Riviera Nayarit is poised to become Mexico’s next hot travel destination. Whether it’s hiking in the jungle or surfing Sayulita’s famous waves, this secret paradise has something for everyone.
Lace up your shoes and explore this new world. Here are the best things to do in Riviera Nayarit.
1. Visit the Crocodile Sanctuary
If you are a fan of wildlife or nature, then one of the best things to do in Riviera Nayarit Mexico is visiting the El Cora Crocodile Sanctuary. This sanctuary gives you a chance to see crocodiles in their natural habitat, and learn more about the local ecosystem.
This is a unique and fascinating tour that the whole family can enjoy. It’s also a great opportunity to get some exercise and take in the beautiful scenery of the area.
Located in the heart of Nuevo Vallarta is this charming and hidden paradise. It is often compared to Sayulita and is one of the most beautiful beaches in the region. The beach is clean and not as crowded as other nearby beaches which makes it a perfect spot to relax and recharge.
It’s also a great place to go shopping, with many vendors selling handcrafted goods like woven baskets, pottery, and traditional Mexican clothing. The locals are wary that this little town will soon become another overcrowded tourist destination, so they work hard to keep it sleepy and authentic.
2. Take a Bike Tour
With the Sierra Madre Mountains looming in the skyline and palm trees stretching for miles, this 200-mile stretch of gorgeous beaches feels a little different than Puerto Vallarta or Cancun. Unlike these overcrowded hot spots, Riviera Nayarit is still relatively undiscovered by many travelers.
Known for epic surf breaks and a charming town square, Sayulita is one of the last strongholds of Mexican coastal beauty. Here, you can stroll through cobblestone streets lined with public art and shop in artisan boutiques for handmade souvenirs and fresh tacos.
This area of the Pacific coast is also a top spot for whale watching. From December to March, humpbacks migrate here to breed and nurse. Book a boat trip from Nuevo Vallarta, Bucerias, Punta de Mita or Sayulita to see the majestic creatures splash, flip and blow water up in the air in their natural habitat.
3. Go Shopping in Bucerias
If you’re looking for things to do in Riviera Nayarit that are away from the typical tourist trail, look no further than San Pancho. This sleepy beach town is kind of like Sayulita’s dreamier sister, albeit with a few luxury hotels, spas, restaurants, condominiums, and a sizable chunk of the Bay of Banderas coastline.
The town’s main plaza is home to dozens of stalls where you can shop until your heart’s content for pottery, hand-woven baskets, and traditional Mexican clothing. You can also find unique jewelry at the Mercado de Bucerias.
The town is a mecca for artists, so you might want to check out the Splurge Art Gallery, which features a collection of ceramic dishes, onyx lighting, and cedar chairs. You can even take an art walk to discover the work of local artists and artisans. Another option is to join Human Connections on a cultural tour that takes you into less-explored neighborhoods where you’ll interact with families of local entrepreneurs in their homes and workshops. The tour also supports the local economy and gives you a deeper understanding of Mexican culture.
4. Go Whale Watching
Whale watching is one of the most popular things to do in Riviera Nayarit from December through April. The warm waters here become a breeding ground for whales as they search for mates or give birth. Watch their acrobatics from the water or your resort balcony. Small boat tours are a good option since they limit human disturbance. Plus, many whale watching companies contribute to ECOBAC, a non-profit that works to support whale conservation in the region.
Sayulita is another great place for whale watching because of its proximity to the ocean and its hippie-surfer vibe. While you’re there, go for a hike along the beach. The trail leads to Playa del Toro, where you can see a waterfall and a stunning view of the beach. In addition, you can also walk to San Pancho Beach and check out its small shops and restaurants. Soak up the atmosphere of this beautiful part of Mexico and learn about its culture from the people who live here. You can also find that perfect souvenir or reinvent your entire artistic aesthetic in this area’s local galleries.
5. Visit Isla Coral
One of the most interesting things to do in Riviera Nayarit Mexico is visit Isla Coral. This secluded island is home to a beautiful white sand beach, as well as exotic marine life. You can take a boat tour to the island, which will include snorkeling. This is a great way to see the wildlife in the area, and also take some photos.
Another popular thing to do in Riviera Nayarit Mexico when visiting Rincon de Guayabitos is to go surfing. This is a popular activity for tourists and locals alike. You can rent equipment for this activity, or you can join a class. This is a great way to experience the local culture and have some fun.
The best part about visiting Riviera Nayarit is that it’s still somewhat undiscovered by large-scale tourism. This makes it a perfect place to enjoy a luxury vacation and get a taste of what the Riviera was like before it became so popular. The beaches are clean and gorgeous, and there is plenty of natural beauty to explore in the mountains and jungles. You can even spot humpback whales during their annual migration to Banderas Bay.
7. JetBlue Flights To Get There
JetBlue Airlines is one of the best airlines to book your flight to get to Riviera Nayarit. With direct flights to Puerto Vallarta, you can get to your vacation faster and with less hassle. Jet Blue makes traveling easier for you.