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Do you sometimes dream of Mexico's beaches and sunsets? If so, you should head to Riviera Nayarit. Hundreds of beautiful and secluded beaches dot this region of Mexico's Pacific Coast, right at the foot of the Sierra Madre Mountains. Between the wild jungle and the sea full of islands and islets, you will find picturesque fishing villages ready to be discovered.
There is no shortage of beaches along the Riviera Nayarit coast. The chic Punta Mita peninsula is a favorite, with its luxurious hotels and idyllic beaches. To get away from the crowds, you can go to Playa de los Muertos (Beach of the Dead), a tiny, secluded beach with calm waters. To get there, you have to cross a picturesque cemetery that has given its name to this welcoming place. For those who prefer large expanses of sand, San Francisco is the place to go. The locals organize "paseos a caballo", horseback rides on the beach.
From June to November, turtles come to lay their eggs on the beaches along the coast. It’s an unforgettable spectacle for those lucky enough to witness it. Bird watchers, for their part, will want to head to San Blas, a great base for observing many local bird species. The Islas Marietas National Park, about 45-minute away by boat, is also a must-see. These two paradisiacal, uninhabited islands are difficult to access, but they are home to impressive caves that make them a diver's paradise.
For beginners and experimented surfers alike, Riviera Nayarit is a dream destination. Sayulita Beach (48 km north of Puerto Vallarta) has a rustic charm that attracts tourists and locals alike. No matter the tide, Sayulita is a safe choice. Passionate surfers will be pleased at Punta Mita. The peninsula has no less than seven ideal locations, including The Cove, considered by experts as a surfer's paradise. Beginners can head to El Anclote: its regular and long waves make learning easier.
To fully experience local flavors - and taste delicious fresh shrimps, considered to be Riviera Nayarit's specialty - take some time to explore the fishing villages that dot the coast. The tiny and authentic Chacala is a vacation destination for many Mexicans. For a total change of scenery, discover Mexcaltitán, a small island village set in the middle of a necklace of lagoons, accessible only by boat. There you can enjoy a delicious grilled fish while looking out to sea. In San Blas, the ruins of the imposing La Contaduria fortress await you, offering a magnificent view over the village.
Immerse yourself into the rich culture of the Huichol and Cora Indians, the two indigenous communities that inhabit the mountainous Sierra Madre region. For an immersive stay among the Huichol, travel to the village of Tawexikta, located north of Tepic. The efforts made to get there (part of the climb must be done on foot) will be rewarded by the warm welcome from the locals. You can spend the night in the village, receive treatment from the local shaman, in addition to purchasing colorful artefacts that are Huichol's signature.
The country's official currency is the Mexican Peso (MXN). ATMs are easily found in Mexico. U.S. dollars, credit and debit cards are also accepted almost everywhere. Remember to communicate the dates of your stay to your banking institution if you plan to use your cards in Mexico.
Electrical outlets used in Mexico are the same as in Canada. However, the voltage and frequency may differ depending on the hotel. If your devices do not include the words: INPUT: 100-240V, 50/60Hz, plan ahead and bring a power converter.
LEGAL NOTICE: Information subject to change without notice. Photos and descriptions for information purposes only.