Beach Town-Hopping in Riviera Nayarit

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Strung like pearls along the Pacific Coast, the islands, beaches and resort towns of Riviera Nayarit beckon travelers to explore the eclectic Mexican vacation region—from towns like Sayulita on the southern coast with a boho-chic surfer town atmosphere, to Punta de Mita, a golfer’s paradise surrounded by lush green hills and six miles of beaches, to family-friendly Nuevo Vallarta & Flamingos.

Golf Punta Mita Pacifico Riviera Nayarit
Teeing off in Punta de Mita.

The Bahia de Banderas Nayarit Beach Townsare strewn along 62 miles of coastline in an area famed as the largest bay in Mexico. Here, vacationers can sample family-friendly Nuevo Vallarta & Flamingos, with its family fun beaches, first-class hotels and world-class golf courses. Nearby is Punta de Mitaset along a peninsula and known for its exclusive hotels and resorts, including world-renowned luxury brands. It’s also dotted with world-class golf courses overlooking six miles of virgin beaches and lush green hills.

Sayulita Riviera Nayarit
Sayulita is a hipster’s dream town.

The Southern Nayarit Beach Towns offer a sense of relaxing remoteness, where crowds begin to thin and the scenery becomes ever more striking. Here, vacationers can choose to stay a few days in Sayulita,with its boho-chic surfer town atmosphere and gallery-lined cobblestone streets, reminiscent of California’s Manhattan Beach. For a strong contrast, spend a few days in Lo de Marcos, where vacationers can paddleboard to find the spectacular Los Venados Beach. This hidden gem is renowned for its natural wonders, from birdwatching to its independent turtle sanctuary.

Just 40 miles north of the airport, the Jaltemba Bay Nayarit Beach Towns are three colorful pueblos providing an authentic Mexican vacation experience. The town of Los Ayalaoffers cozy hotels and snorkeling adventures and is a day-tripper’s paradise, only a short boat ride away for easy romantic getaways to Coral Island and Cangrejo Island. Nearby is Rincon de Guayabitos, long a secret getaway for local Mexican families, offering assorted culinary delights, colorful souvenirs, and friendly people waiting to welcome visitors. Just as charming is La Peñita,which still retains its fishing village roots and natural beauty.

Guayabitos Riviera Nayarit
Guayabitos is where local Mexican families escape for a vacation.

Head along the Pacific Coastline to the Central Riviera Nayarit Beach Towns, with their virgin beaches on the Bahia de Matachen near Tepic, Nayarit’s capital. Here a few towns to highlight are Punta el Custodio, with eco lodges and a turtle sanctuary. A short ride away is romantic Boca de Chila, known for stunning sunsets over its five miles of white sand beaches. And all roads lead to Las Veras, a hacienda town dating from only 1935, built at the meeting point of several important passageways in the region, making it easy to stay here and sample other vacation spots, too, including El Capomo, known for its rustic camping grounds.

The Northern Riviera Nayarit Beach Townsimmerse visitors in history, spanning from ancient Mexico through to the Spanish colonial period. Start a vacation where legend says Mexico’s native civilization began, on Isla Mexcaltitan, a short boat ride away from the coast and nicknamed the “Mexican Venice.” In this region, travelers will also find Playa Novillero, Mexico’s longest and widest beach, stretching for 56 miles and more than a third of a mile wide, its tranquil waters are perfect for children and inexperienced swimmers. The Spanish left their mark early on in the region, with San Blas,a five-century step back in time, noted for four miles of beaches and the fascinating Las Islitas cliff formations. More colonial history comes to life in nearby Costa Santiago, and its several well-known beaches Los Corchos, Sesteo, and Boca de Camichin strung along the surrounding coastline.

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