For many who vacation here, the sun-kissed beaches are some of the best places to visit in Riviera Nayarit. In addition to the spectacular shoreline, this lovely 200-mile expanse of coastal Mexico offers dozens of natural attractions and sightseeing opportunities. From Sayulita to San Blas, Casago has all the insider tips you need to plan the perfect vacation to paradise.
Riviera Nayarit Beaches
Beach lovers have myriad choices for a day of fun in the sun. Whether you’re looking for a hip surf spot or a quiet place to dig your toes into the soft sands, the Riviera Nayarit boasts numerous beaches to choose from. Some Riviera Nayarit beaches are fronted by luxury resorts and chock full of amenities, while others are well off the beaten path.
Nuevo Vallarta Beach
Many consider Nuevo Vallarta to be one of Mexico’s prettiest beaches. It’s spotless, the shoreline is wide and goes on for miles, and it’s a fantastic beach for swimming, walking, and water sports. There are no rocky outcroppings to watch out for in the water, making this an ideal spot for Jet Skiing, boogie boarding, paddle boarding and swimming. You’ll find Jet Skis for rent, parasailing tours, and you can even get a massage just feet from the lapping waves. During certain months of the year, visitors can watch sea turtle hatchlings make a mad dash for the water.
Sayulita Beach attracts a younger crowd and can get very busy on the weekends as locals pour in. This is a great beach for hanging ten, but you need some confidence to brave the surf, which can get a bit rough for inexperienced swimmers. There are umbrellas and chairs for rent, vendors plying the beach with drinks, snacks and souvenirs, and a nice selection of eateries just steps from the ocean. Surf lessons are on offer, and you can even rent a bodyboard by the hour. For a more secluded area, walk to the northern end of the beach where its less crowded.
Playa Los Muertos
If you’ve got small kids, plan a daytrip to this beautiful gem, located 3 kilometers (a 15-minute walk) from downtown Sayulita. Playa Los Muertos is next to an old cemetery and accessed from a long, unpaved road. The water is blue and exceptionally clear, the waves are calmer than neighboring Sayulita, and there are chairs and umbrellas available for those who come early. Towering coconut palms offer a few shady patches along the shoreline, and with fewer people, there are plenty of spots to swim and sunbathe in virtual seclusion.
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The sightseeing in Riviera Nayarit is second to none. Flecked with picturesque fishing villages, lush jungle coves and brimming with friendly locals who are proud of their heritage, this vacation destination promises a true taste of authentic Mexico.
Flamingos Golf Club
Flamingos bears the distinction of opening the first championship golf course on the Banderas Bay – a challenging 18-hole course surrounded by miles of palm trees and natural estuaries. Now considered a world-class golf destination, Flamingos boasts a wide selection of luxurious resorts, villas and rentals, most of which are located on its two-mile stretch of gorgeous coastline. Visitors will discover interesting eco-tours focusing on avian wildlife, upscale spas offering pampering treatments and a fine selection of elegant restaurants and casual eateries.
Browse a delightful collection of art galleries, boutiques and colorful shops on the cobblestone streets of Bucerias. Meaning “the place of divers,” Bucerias is a small, traditional town that enchants with its quaint flea markets, quiet beaches and appreciation for culture and art. Bucerias is less than 30 minutes from tourist-laden Puerto Vallarta but feels worlds away, thanks to its provincial charm and tranquil pace. This is a fantastic spot for picking up handmade clothing, artisan works, silver jewelry and other trinkets, and the town has a vibrant culinary scene that specializes in local delicacies like ceviche, lobster, and grilled fish.
La Cruz de Huanacaxtle
La Cruz de Huanacaxtle is tucked between Punta de Mita and Bucerias, about 20 miles from Puerto Vallarta. This once sleepy town was transformed upon the completion of the Marina Riviera Nayarit in 2008 – a modern facility that attracts boaters from the world over. Thanks to its balmy weather and magnificent range of water-based activities, the area has become a favorite among international retirees. Popular tours include sportfishing, scuba diving and snorkeling. The town now features an eclectic group of international eateries and restaurants, an Indian Art Gallery, and other modern amenities. At its heart, La Cruz remains a traditional Mexican village replete with cobblestone streets and pretty plazas where locals gather to catch up.
Riviera Nayarit Parks & Attractions
Explore the fascinating history and natural wonders of Riviera Nayarit’s top attractions for an unforgettable family vacation.
Santa Maria del Oro
Visit a once-productive gold mine in Santa Maria del Oro, a small town made famous for its rich mineral deposits and beautiful crater lake of the same name. The area has become popular among tourists for its breathtaking mountain scenery, great walking trails and diverse flora and fauna. The impressive cater lake is surrounded by rolling green hills and has a well-tended path that encircles the shoreline. Stop by Our Lady of Las Mercedes, built by the Mercedarian friars in the mid-18th century. This beautiful church has maintained its charms over the centuries and is well worth a visit.
Isla De Coral
Delve into the warm turquoise waters of Isla de Coral (Coral Island) and its neighbor, Isla de Cangrejo (Crab Island). These ecological preserves are the anchors of Jaltemba Bay, located less than two miles from Rincón de Guayabitos. Boat operators will take you out for a half or full day of explorations, allowing you to swim, kayak, snorkel (equipment available for rent) or just relax on the sandy beaches. True to its name, this island has a living reef that hosts starfish, stingrays, sea turtles, fish and other marine life.
Destiladeras is praised by many as the best beach on Banderas Bay. This three-mile, white-sand beach is popular among those who love kiteboarding, boogie boarding and surfing. The waves are small enough to accommodate young swimmers, umbrellas and lounge chairs can be rented by the day, and there are a couple of seafood vendors selling the freshest ceviche in town. Destiladeras is about 5 minutes north of La Cruz, or a 35-minute jaunt from Puerto Vallarta.
Plan your ideal escape to Riviera Nayarit with helpful travel assistance from Casago vacation rentals. Whether you’re looking for a jungle villa or oceanfront condo with modern amenities, we can help you find the ultimate accommodations for your taste and budget. And once you’re here, our expert concierge staff will help you discover the best places to visit in Riviera Nayarit, from fine dining to ocean adventures, and much more!