Top 10 things to do in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
Although visitors to Mexico often head to Tulum for its wildlife or Cancun for its beaches, the lesser-known region of Riviera Nayarit is the hidden treasure of the Pacific coast that should be on the travelers list this winter for multiple reasons. .
From whale watching to luxury golf courses, walks along its hidden beaches to hikes in the Sierra Madre mountains, Riviera Nayarit is an idyllic location offering a range of activities that will keep everyone entertained.
Below are the top 10 things to do in Mexico’s most popular destination.
Stroll the quaint cobbled streets of Sayulita
The bohemian-chic town of Sayulita, blessed with stunning sunsets and beaches to tell, is the perfect getaway for a relaxed and less crowded vacation. The town, once a quaint, sleepy fishing village, has morphed into colorful, trendy cobblestone streets littered with shops and bars. Besides being a surfer’s paradise, the list of activities to practice is also endless… horseback riding, snorkeling, boating, cycling and more!
Surf in your favorite break in the whole bay of Bahia de Banderas
Punta del Burro is an unspoiled beach that all surfers must visit. After a five-minute walk through the jungle, visitors are faced with crashing waves that are perfect for surfing. Now surf enthusiasts around the world have a luxury haven to stay in. The all-inclusive resorts, Dreams Bahia Mita Surf & Spa Resorts and Secrets Bahia Mita Surf & Spa Resort, recently opened in Riviera Nayarit as part of AMResorts. With over 320 kilometers of tranquil coastline and surrounded by limitless nature, visitors will experience authentic adventures and the limitless luxury the hotel has to offer.
Explore the lagoon of La Tovara: a bird watcher’s paradise
La Tovara National Park is one of Mexico’s most important mangrove sites and is home to an abundance of nature and wildlife that coexist, forming a unique and surprising ecosystem. Its unique location means that natural, fresh spring water flows from the mountains. It is here that travelers can experience the crystal-clear waters of the Camalota Lagoon – a perfect habitat for thousands of fish, reptile species, and over 250 species of birds. According to legend, those who bathe in the lagoon will be protected by magic nets to prevent crocodiles from biting their toes …
Disconnect from the outside world on Isabel Island
The wonderful beaches and crystal blue waters of Isabel Island are the perfect place to cut yourself off from the outside world. The island is uninhabited and has a very basic and rustic infrastructure, so visitors will sleep in their tents under the stars. Diving and snorkeling on Isabel Island is a sensational opportunity to visit the oasis of marine biodiversity. The island is also ideal for bird watchers, as it is home to the blue-footed booby, brown pelican, frigates, seagulls, whale sharks and many other animal and plant species.
See Mexico’s Hidden Beach in the Marietas Islands National Park
Located in the Marietas Islands National Park, recognized by UNESCO, is the ultimate destination, a hidden beach formed by volcanic activity. The beach is hidden underground, so visitors will have to dive and swim in a passage that will eventually lead them to the private shore. The crystal-clear waters and coral reefs are great for snorkeling, and the islands frequently play host to turtles, dolphins and humpback whales. A limited number of visitors can visit in order to protect this beautiful place and respect nature.
Enjoy whale watching in winter in the warm waters of Riviera Nayarit
As winter approaches in Europe, on the Riviera Nayarit in Mexico, November marks the start of whale migration. As these ocean giants return from North America to the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean of Riviera Nayarit and surrounding areas during the winter months to feed, mate and give birth, visitors can expect visits from these magical creatures. Make close encounters, led by expert guides, with humpback whales, orcas, blue whales, sperm whales and gray whales from California, as well as many species of dolphins.
Discover the mysterious island considered to be the birthplace of the Aztecs
Mexcaltitán is surrounded by a mystical and magical history that is well worth a day trip. The island is deeply rooted in the ancient history of the Aztecs and many historians believe this island to be the birthplace of modern Mexico. Over time, it has come to be known as the “Mexican Venice” because Mexcaltitán features high sidewalks that allow pedestrians to navigate the island even during times of high water that can flood the streets of the island.
Visitors will not find cars. A canoe ride around the charming island takes around 30 minutes, passing thousands of traditionally colorful Mexican homes and street art.
Climb the stunning Sierra Madre Mountains to be dazzled by the views
Trails in the Sierra Madre Mountains, such as the “Monkey Mountain” hiking trail known as Cerro del Mono, allow visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature. From the trailhead in Higuera Blanca, hikers can take a guided tour through small authentic villages to reach the mountain. There they are greeted with stunning views of the Pacific waves crashing against the rocks as the sun sets over the horizon.
Trek through the fortresses and ruins of the temple of San Blas
San Blas is another hidden gem of Riviera Nayarit. Discover the ruins of temples built centuries ago, such as the Templo de la Marinera, surrounded by lush nature. The village was a prosperous port for the Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century and the legacy lives on in the ruins left behind, such as the Fort of San Basilio. After the adventures, visitors can indulge in authentic and mouth-watering dishes made with freshly caught fish from the region.
Dive into the golf course against the backdrop of beautiful beaches and crashing waves
Riviera Nayarit is one of the most important destinations for golf enthusiasts, not only for the number of courses available but also for the important national and international championships that it organizes. The 7,014-yard Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, with its famous 3B green on a natural ocean island, has made Punta Mita a true world-class golfing paradise. The course spans 200 acres with eight holes bordering the Pacific Ocean in Banderas Bay. The tropical landscape of palm trees and flowering trees adds to the pleasure of playing on this difficult course.