Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
Attractions in Riviera Nayarit
One of the best ways to explore the Riviera Nayarit is on an all-terrain vehicle or ATV, so you can fully appreciate the stunning natural scenery of the area. There are mountains and tropical rainforests teeming with wildlife, as well as the breathtaking Mexican Pacific Ocean that laps the golden beaches of the Riviera.
Dotted along the entire length of the coast, there are an array of towns and cities that offer diverse leisure activities for all tastes. You'll find from the most laid-back traditional Mexican towns, such as Rincon de Guayabitos and Lo de Marcos, where you can't help being lulled by the gentle sound of the waves and the truly stunning sunsets reflected upon the ocean surface, to the most luxurious resorts that feature elegant restaurants, spas, golf courses, fabulous marinas and a whole host of other attractions. Whatever you desire, whether it is excitement and entertainment or a real taste of traditional Mexico, the Riviera Nayarit definitely has something for you.
The Ameca River marks the limit between the two states of Riviera Nayarit and Jalisco. It runs through the southernmost point of Nuevo Vallarta and the northern tip of Puerto Vallarta. There are lots of fun activities to do here, both in the water and on land, such as golf and water skiing, as well as a marine park and a dolphinarium, where you can get really close to these incredible marine mammals. There are also restaurants, night clubs, and of course excellent hotels and resorts for all tastes and budgets, where you'll have the chance to experience traditional Mexican hospitality.
Located close to Nuevo Vallarta there is a place called Flamingos, a well-known tourist town with a number of hotels, resorts and real estate opportunities for those who value good taste and luxury. There are also lots of fantastic golf courses, such as the one designed by Percy Clifford. You can expect to find excellent facilities and the best water sports equipment on the Mexican Pacific Coast.
This charming town is located 10 miles north of the Puerto Vallarta International Airport and offers a number of restaurants with extensive menus featuring delicious dining options, ranging from seafood and ceviche to the finest gourmet cuisine. There are also lots of great lodging options as well that offer warm, friendly service and a laid-back atmosphere with a distinct Mexican feel.
La Cruz de Hunacaxtle
This town is a favorite vacation destination for Americans, Canadians, Europeans, and South Americans, who come here on their private yachts or by plane seeking a quiet retreat in this tropical paradise. Many have been so taken with the beauty of the area that they have even made it their home, giving rise to a very cosmopolitan community. You can still find isolated beaches here, as well as yacht clubs, enticing restaurants, and even a golf course.
This town is on its way to becoming one of the most important resorts in the Riviera Nayarit, because it has a great infrastructure including easy access to roads and highways, a good transportation system and efficient public works. In coming years, there will be hospitals, a heliport, shopping centers, restaurants, a fantastic golf course, a marina and of course, extraordinary hotels and resorts.
Punta de Mita
Located on the peninsula, Punta Mita is an excellent place for sport fishing, hiking, or activities such as beach volleyball, tennis, golf, snorkeling and scuba diving. One of the most important and luxurious resorts is the Four Seasons Punta Mita, offering upscale accommodations. Their renowned service and hospitality guarantee a perfect vacation getaway, besides it's also a wonderful base from where you can explore all the fantastic attractions of the area, including the many stunning beaches.
This nature reserve, home to several species of birds, is a group of tiny islands off limits to man but can be seen from a distance on a boat. People are allowed to snorkel or scuba dive on the reefs surrounding them, which are home to an abundance of marine creatures, such as turtles, manta rays and even wild dolphins. These islands are located in the middle of Banderas Bay, a few miles off the coast of Punta Mita, which is where you can easily charter a boat from to get there.
Colorful streets, picturesque houses and hacienda like homes give Sayulita the feel of a small Mexican town. Its fantastic beaches lure surfers and kayakers and it is a popular place for a weekend getaway with residents of the nearby cities. Tourists come for the many attractions, such as fine restaurants, charming Huichol and Cora artwork, and relaxing horseback rides around the area. This town is just 25 miles from Puerto Vallarta and it is an obligatory stop for anyone visiting the Riviera Nayarit.
This town lends itself to close interaction with nature because of the amazing mountains that surround it, ideal for climbing, hiking, or horseback riding, as well as for its quiet beaches, where you can swim freely or participate in a yoga session. San Pancho, as it is fondly known by its frequent visitors, has a reputable Polo Club that has gained notoriety for its exciting events, held from November through May and also for their regular classes.
Lo de Marcos
This peaceful, picturesque town is ideal for a family trip. You can go for a relaxing horseback ride down the beach, enjoy the local cuisine at one of the many fine restaurants, or play a challenging round of golf, as you relish the lovely scenery, on the nearby course.
Rincon de Guayabitos
Rincon de Guayabitos is a favorite with those who appreciate pristine isolated beaches and forests. It has become a very popular place to visit for people who want to go snorkeling, scuba diving, or on boat trips to see the humpback whales. The type of lodging available includes bungalows and furnished apartments and it's definitely worth staying a few nights in the area, so you have time to really appreciate all the surrounding attractions.
Over the last few years this harbor has gained popularity as a tourist destination and it is also a place where migratory birds stop for a while in the mangroves at La Tovara National Park. This area can only be reached by boat and it is a very popular place for tourists who enjoy bird watching.
The site where this mythical town was supposed to be located is in the northernmost point of the Riviera Nayarit and it is considered by many as the birthplace of the Aztec people. According to legend, it was from here that the Aztec set out on their pilgrimage to find a place where they would encounter an eagle eating a snake, perched atop a nopal cactus. This was the symbol of where they were to establish their city and state of Aztlan and which eventually led to the founding of Tenochtitlan, in modern day Mexico City. Although there is no real evidence that this site really is the cradle of the Aztec culture, it is definitely worth visiting this unique manmade island. It's located in the center of a lake and the buildings have a very distinct architecture, there is also an incredibly interesting museum to browse around. Should you get hungry, you simply have to try a delectable soup that is unique to this area, made from balls of shrimp, delicious!
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