Riviera Nayarit is a popular tourist destination in northwest Mexico with a burgeoning tourism industry. This beach destination offers vacation rentals for tourists at a range of budgets. While the primary objective of choosing Nayarit is probably to relax at the beach, during your stay take advantage of the many Riviera Nayarit tours available. Nayarit’s tourism industry exists to expose its visitors to the natural and cultural wonders of this coastal region.

Riviera Nayarit possesses nearly 200 miles of coastline, granting plenty of access to the beach and water sports. Surfing is quite popular but this exotic locale also offers expeditions into indigenous archeological zones as well as ecological and wildlife tours to fully embrace your natural surroundings.

Islas Marietas

Of course, touring the beaches along the vast coastline will be of interest, but one particular area of the Riviera Nayarit of particular intrigue are the Islas Marietas. These islands are a volcanic archipelago and a UNESCO-protected natural wonder. La Playa del Amor, better known in English as the Hidden Beach, is a popular site to see in this volcanic island chain.

Hidden Beach receives its name because it is tucked away under an alcove similar to a crater inside one of the islands. There is speculation to suggest that while the islands themselves are a natural formation, their craters may have been formed from military tests and bombings in the early part of the 20th century. Boat tours are available to take visitors out to see the islands and spend some time exploring and admiring the the hidden beaches.

La Contaduria

Next, a tour of La Contaduría is a historical expedition that exposes tourists to some of the remaining architecture of the Spanish colonial period. La Contaduría itself is a military fortress constructed in 1770 found in the hill of San Basilio. This military construction served as a naval base for colonial expeditions along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. This hillside fortress features cannons that served to protect the military base and large, rectangular windows to peer inside this well-preserved historical construction.

A Museum only Accessible by Boat

If seeking cultural tourism that will take you even further back in time, el Museo de Origen offers archeological and anthropological tours of the area. The museum itself is tucked away and only reachable by boat. Nayarit takes pride in claiming that the ancestors of the Aztec people that later formed the indigenous metropolis Tenochtitlán, now Mexico City, established their original settlement here. The layout and infrastructure of Nayarit shares curious parallels with the organization of Tenochtitlán, strongly suggesting a link between the two cities. The museum offers displays of thousands of artifacts that demonstrate the progression of the pre-hispanic cultures in the area.

Huichol Community

One of the best Riviera Nayarit tours is a visit to the indigenous community of the Huichol people, who are considered to share direct lineage with the Aztec people. This tour experience immerses tourists in both nature and in culture, as the Huichol people live at the base of the Sierra Madre, central Mexico’s western mountain chain. You will visit a fishing town in Rincón de Guayabitos, and later you will traverse the roads that slowly pass through the jungles and hills at the base of the mountain. As you traverse the wilderness, your tour bus will climb an altitude of 3000 feet to arrive at the native community.

This tiny town has a population of under 150 inhabitants, and during the tour you will become acquainted with the holy temple of the Huichol people as well as their customs and traditions. This welcoming community will immediately invite you to learn about their art, folklore, traditional music, and dance. What’s more, you will see them perform wearing colorful traditional garb. Artisans in the community also sell their one of a kind crafts to tourists and popular items sell include jewelry, figurines, and woven decorations.

Riviera Nayarit is a beautiful coastal destination with plenty to do beyond just sit at the beach. Embrace these excursions to immerse yourself in the wealth of history, culture, and traditions that this region has to offer.