Located on the western flank of the Sierra Madre, and facing the gorgeous Pacific Ocean, Nayarit Riviera is evolving into one of Mexico’s most premiere and popular tourist attractions. The entire Riviera is massive, stretching some 190 mils along the coast and framed by mountains blanketed in thick jungle. But this place really has it all: beaches, islands just offshore, surfing breaks, beautiful towns and great food.
There’s so much to see and experience in Nayarit Riviera, it seems almost impossible to fit it all into one trip. The complicated necessity for visitors is to choose the activities that they deem simply too important to miss, and save the rest for another time.
One of these activities is definitely a trip into the magical Banderas Bay. One of the world’s widest and deepest bays, the area is famous as the whale watching spot of Nayarit Riviera. Thousands of humpback whales migrate through the area every year, much to the delight of visitors and locals alike. And if the whales aren’t enough to get you excited, the area is home to Puerto Vallarta, with its amazing marinas, golf courses, shopping centers and luxury accommodation.
All along the Nayarit Riviera visitors will find tiny little towns just waiting to be further explored. Some of the tourist favorites include Flamingos, home to three beautiful lakes and lots of luxury golfing, La Crus de Huanacaxtle, the fishing town so gorgeous it simply must feature in your holidays snaps, Destiladeras, a favorite among the surfing travellers, and Sayulita, a little bohemian town popular with campers and hikers.
There are also a number of archaeological sites in the area, which cannot be missed. Many tourists find themselves blown away by the Nayarit Riviera’s historical ruins, which show without doubt the incredible richness of the communities that once made their homes on the coast here. The most famous ethnic group in the area is the Huichol Indians, characterized by their interesting clothing, feathered hats and colorful handicrafts in all shapes and sizes.
One important archaeological area in Nayarit Riviera is Altavista, a pre-Hispanic sanctuary located near the beaches of Chacala and Rincon de Guayabitos. The latter of these locations is famed for having water so clear and calm that swimming in it is akin to being in an enormous natural swimming pool.
Another historical rich area is the town of San Blas, located in the north, where the Los Toriles archaeological site is located, as well as the ruins of the less ancient San Basilo fort. Visitors to this town might also find it interesting to have a look at some of the diverse landscapes, such as the Tovara swamps and the beautiful Mexcaltitlan island.
All in all, the Nayarit Riviera is an amazing location, jam-packed with destinations, experiences and wondrous opportunities for exploration. It’s not wonder that so many visitors, both foreign and domestic, are drawn to the area every year. Nor is it surprising that so many of them leave with such strong memories and a promise to return.