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Towns & Beaches of the Riviera Nayarit Mexico

Posted by leviw on April 18, 2016
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With over 190 miles of pristine Pacific Coastline and easy access through Puerto Vallarta, the Riviera Nayarit is a fascinating place to explore on your own!

Vacation in Mexico where you can stay close to the shore and explore dozens of charming resorts and sandy beaches with plenty of ocean activities, or head inland to explore the Sierra Madre and Sierra de Vallejo Mountain Ranges, where eco tourism and adventure activities abound.

Either way, Riviera Nayarit offers twenty three great pueblos (towns) to discover along the Pacific Coast.

Each of these Pacific Coast Mexico vacation towns offers a unique experience. Visiting and exploring a combination of these Nayarit towns and their unique attractions is what really makes your trip sensational. Below is a listing of these areas with short descriptions of each town:

Bahia de Banderas

The Bahia de Banderas’ coastline is approximately 62 miles long and locally regarded as the largest bay in Mexico. Each year, world-class all-Inclusive resorts and beach hotels in these Riviera Nayarit towns host tourists from all around the world!

  • Nuevo Vallarta & Flamingos: Enjoy some of the most visited and exclusive vacation destinations with family fun beaches, first class hotels and golf.
  • Bucerias: Traditional Mexican town perfect for Nayarit shopping and great kitesurfing; a top pick for both National and International tourists.
  • La Cruz de Huanacaxtle: Fishing Village with the largest and most modern Marina in the corridor plus a 3 mile golden beach.
  • Destiladeras: Offers a family friendly 3-mile beach with great waves and future plans for luxury Mexico hotels, first-class spas, and golf.
  • Costa Banderas: A stretch of spectacular coast where mountains meet the Pacific Ocean. Here whimsical residences and exclusive hotels are tucked away from the business of other tourist attractions.
  • Punta de Mita: Home to the most exclusive and luxurious hotel accommodations in all of Riviera Nayarit, this peninsula also offers great golf, six miles of virgin Pacific Coast beaches, plus green hills and turquoise-blue sea.

South Riviera Nayarit Mexico Pacific Towns

As you head north along the coast and away from Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta you’ll notice the tourists start to thin as the amazing Mexican Nayarit scenery gets more beautiful. There are plenty of villas, small hotels, and condominiums in this area for nature lovers and those wanting to get away from busy city life.

  • Litibu-Higuera Blanca: A soon-to-be-developed area with virgin fine-sand beaches and curious visitors. First-class Nayarit hotels and residences are on their way.
  • Sayulita: This surfing, Hippie Chick Town has a collection of people of all ages and from all parts of the world. Cobblestone streets, local Nayarit dining, art galleries, and horseback riding are just a few highlights this area has to offer.
  • San Francisco (San Pancho): Artistic Town with a touch of Adventure. Home to the La Patrona polo club as well as impressive Huichol handicrafts made by locals. Overall a tranquil fishing village thriving on community spirit.
  • Lo de Marcos: Sleepy fishing village featuring the true essence of Mexican village life. Hotels are of the purest Mexican style here and the beaches are extremely calm.
  • Punta Raza: Spectacular beach hidden by thick tropical jungles, accessed through a one-mile hike. Home to giant palm trees and panoramic views, plus an independent turtle sanctuary. This tucked away gem is just awaiting new tourist developments.

Jaltemba Bay Towns 

Located just 40 miles north of Puerto Vallarta the quaint Jaltemba Bay offers three buzzing towns with vibrant colors. This is the perfect Riviera Nayarit area for those wanting to experience the real Mexico.

  • Los Ayala: Cozy hotels with top-notch customer service and short boat rides to Coral Island and Cangrejo Island, plus great snorkeling help make this small Mexican Riviera Nayarit town memorable.
  • Guayabitos: One of the most visited Riviera Nayarit destinations for local Mexican families. The famous bay is like a giant swimming pool with fine sandy beaches. Developed less than 30 years ago, Rincon de Guayabitos offers assorted culinary delights, colorful souvenirs, and friendly people.
  • La Peñita: Charming fishing village offering guests natural beauty and tranquility along its cobblestone streets and outdoor markets.

Mid Riviera Nayarit Towns

As you continue north along the Pacific coastline towards the Bahia de Matachen and near Tepic, the capital of Riviera Nayarit, you will discover Mexico’s countryside and plenty of virgin sand beaches.

  • El Capomo: Paradise virgin beaches with abundant vegetation and the future location of a FONATUR tourism project. Currently home to a simple campground with easy access to nearby towns.
  • Chacala: A beach resort full of camaraderie and community involvement with three beaches: Las Cuevas, Chaclilla, and la Caleta.
  • Las Varas: Hacienda style town founded in 1935 set in the heart of the Sierra de Vallejo. Las Varas is the meeting point of several different roads that lead to some of the best Riviera Nayarit beaches.
  • Boca de Chila: 5 miles of white sand virgin beach with deep blue waves and stunning sunsets, surrounded by traditional Mexican countryside.
  • Punta el Custodio: Nature lover’s paradise with 6 miles of beach, important turtle sanctuaries, and low impact ecological villas and condominiums.
  • San Blas: Stepping back in time with colonial architecture, this town has over five centuries of history to discover plus four miles of beaches and the iconic Las Islitas cliff formations.

Northern Riviera Nayarit Towns

  • Costa Santiago: An area with rustic colonial towns and known for its friendly people, culture, and 328 foot mosaic mural. Nearby beaches include Los Corchos, Sesteo, and Boca de Camichín.
  • Isla Mexcaltitan: Legended to be the seat of Mexican civilization, this island is just a short boat ride away and known as the “Mexican Venice”.
  • Playa Novillero: Longest and widest virgin beach in all of Mexico stretching for 56 miles and more than a third of a mile wide. Tranquil waters are perfect for kids and inexperienced swimmers to explore.


Regardless of the purpose of your visit to Nayarit, there is no doubt that the very best way for you to experience, to the fullest, the Pacific Coast towns of Riviera Nayarit Mexico is to get out and explore things on your own.

Feel free to explore the tabs listed above where you will find more detailed information about each one of our coastal pueblos and resorts. See our Hotels page to find hotels in each Nayarit town. Come vacation in Riviera Nayarit Mexico – come live it to believe it!


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