Traveling to Riviera Nayarit

The Riviera Nayarit is a nearly 200-mile stretch of Pacific coastline between San Blas, Nayarit to Banderas Bay, Nuevo Vallarta. It includes the beautiful beach towns of Chacala Bay, Chacalilla, Alta Vista, San Francisco, Sayulita, among many others. It’s one of the most frequently visited tourist destinations in Mexico and is sought out by solo travelers and families alike for its perfect beaches and outdoor activities.

Getting to Riviera Nayarit, whether by air or by land, is relatively easy. But before you start packing your bags and booking your vacation rentals, read the details below so you know how to get there and how to stay safe.

Traveling to Nayarit by Air

The quickest and most efficient way of getting to Riviera Nayarit is by air. Travelers typically fly into the Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport, which is north of Puerto Vallarta. If you’re in Tijuana or Mexico City, you can fly into Tepic International Airport located an hour away from San Las. There are also multiple U.S. and Canadian airlines that offer flights directly into the Puerto Vallarta International Airport.

Puerto Vallarta International Airport is only about 10 or 15 minutes away from Riviera Nayarit’s southern city Nuevo Vallarta. The airport has national and international travelers, and so, the facility is considerably modern; it offers plenty of food and drink vendors, rental car booths, gift shops, booths for vacation rentals, and bank kiosks for exchanging currency.

The parking and transportation options at Puerto Vallarta International are up to par with what you’d expect from any modern airport. It offers both long and short-term parking, as well as taxi service between the plethora of hotels and resorts in the area. There are also charter buses available for groups through various travel agencies.

Traveling to Nayarit by Land

Getting across the border from the U.S. can be daunter during holidays and heavy travel times. To avoid delays and congestion, try not to cross between the hours of 7am and 9am, and 4pm and 7pm.

You’ll likely be using the Pacific Motorway as it’s the main freeway in Nayarit. Mexico City links to Nogales by Federal Highway 15, while Federal Highway 200 connects to various locations in Banderas Bay, as well as Tepic and Puerta Vallarta in Compostela.

To stay safe when traveling through Mexico, keep this tips in mind:

  • Stick to toll roads
  • Avoid driving at night
  • Always carry a spare tire

Getting Around in Riviera Nayarit

Some visitors opt to rent a car while in Riviera Nayarit for the freedom it offers. If you’re planning on going this route, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. First off, Mexico does not recognize U.S. insurance, so you’ll need to purchase local liability insurance. Secondly, you’ll need to have a valid U.S. drivers license. Here are a few more tips to keep you safe:

  • Drive only during the day
  • Keep to the toll roads as they’re better maintained
  • Stay alert to pedestrian traffic and obey all traffic rules

If you’re a little more adventurous and want to try out the busses, you’ll find that it’s quite affordable: Taking the bus around Bucerias, for example, will set you back six pesos, or 40 cents. Using the bus system, you can travel between Sayulita, Mescales, or Puerto Vallarta for under 12 pesos.