Riviera Nayarit: One week itinerary
Welcome to Riviera Nayarit!
During my second trip to the Riviera Nayarit I wanted to go beyond Punta Mita, getting to know lesser known villages, some of them with almost no tourism, but all of them interesting and beautiful Riviera Nayarit is much more than beaches and resorts!
Day 1: Bucerías
We start our trip in Bucerías, less than 30 minutes away from Puerto Vallarta international airport.
Bucerías is a coastal town with cobblestone streets full of flowers. The local market is a must, especially the stalls with huichol handicrafts, the Paseo del Beso and the boho fashion & decor boutiques.
Make sure to enjoy the sunset by the beach and taste their delicious oysters!
Looking for a place to stay in Bucerías? I recommend Hotel Refugio del Mar, with a lovely swimming pool and perfect location next to a cute alley with papel picado by the sea. It’s a charming places that will make you feel at home: every room has a kitchen and a living room.
Day 2: San Blas
Next stop in our road trip: San Blas, in northern Riviera Nayarit.
You will probably recognize San Blas thanks to Mana’s famous song. The harbor mentioned in the song takes place in this little town.
San Blas offers lots of plans and things to do:
+ Exploring La Tovara mangrove, one of the best places in the world for bird-watching. You will probably see crocodiles and turtles too, and if you’re lucky even jaguars!
+ Swimming with whale sharks is also possible in San Blas, and good news: here this activity is totally sustainable!
+ Surfing is one of the best things to do in San Blas. You can hire your surf board or join surf classes in Stoners’ Surf Camp.
+ Visiting the remains of la Iglesia de La Marinera.
The best place to stay un San Blas is Hotel Garza Canela, owned by the Chef Betty Vázquez. It’s such a beautiful property, full of trees, with a swimming pool and near the beach.
Tip: beware of the mosquitos in San Blas! Make sure to use repellent, especially during sunrise and sunset.
Day 3: Mexcaltitán & Santiago Ixcuintla
After leaving San Blas on the way back south, you need to visit the newest Pueblo Mágico in Riviera Nayarit: Mexcaltitán island.
Mexcaltitán is a small town, oftentimes named the “Venice of México”. Personally it reminds me more to Burano!
You can walk the whole island in nearly 15 minutes, enough time to fall in love with it. You will love the streets decorated with the Huichol God’s Eyes, the colorful houses that are always open and you will absolutely love its traditional gastronomy: you need to try the camarón cucaracha! The seafood is super fresh and it’s collected using prehispanic techniques.
Santiago de Ixcuintla is another town you could fit in this itinerary. Do not miss the main church and the street art!
Day 4: San Pancho
San Pancho was the biggest surprise of the trip. I had never heard about it before, but I felt really connected to it since the very first sunset.
San Pancho is a hippy town, they have preserved the sense of community and they’re an example for sustainable tourism.
I recommend staying at Hotel Maraica San Pancho, a sustainable hotel with direct acces to the beach and a terrace with gorgeous sunset views.
Day 5: Sayulita
Sayulita is one of the most famous spots in Riviera Nayarit. If you’re active on instagram, you have probably seen the photos taken at the Main Street with the colorful papel picado.
Sayulita is perfect for everyone: a colorful town, a surfers’ paradise, the best for shopping and food. I highly recommend the tacos at Naty’s, the paletas at Wa Kika and enjoying a beer by the beach.
Day 6: Marietas island and The Hidden Beach.
One of the biggest attractions in Riviera Nayarit is the Hidden Beach in Marietas islands.
If you’re planning to visit Marietas islands, you need to join a tour. Book it in advance as there’s a limit to 116 visitors per day in groups of 20 people every time. Si planeas visitar islas Marietas, debes tomar un tour.
You can book a group or private tour with snorkel and kayak, which are perfect to see the blue-footed bobbies, which are only seen here and in Galápagos.
If you plan to visit the Hidden Beach, you will have to go early in the morning to go with the tide. You need to know how to swim to go through the rock tunnel: I’m a good swimmer and I have to admit that it’s more complicated than I expected! The maximum time for the experience is 30 minutes, counting since you jump out of the boat.
Also keep in mind you can’t use sunscreen once you’re in the islands.
If you’re planing to take your camera or phone with you, use a waterproof bag and make sure to use a wide angle to capture the hole. Drones are not allowed.
Day 7: Enjoy a 5* hotel
After a week going up & down Riviera Nayarit, I recommend ending the trip with a nice stay in one of the gorgeous resorts available in the area.
After staying in several hotels in this region, I have to say that my absolute favorite (and one of my favorites in the whole world) is Four Seasons Punta Mita. I’m a Four Seasons fan, but this one is really especial. The location is hard to beat, and they offer so many experiences that make it really unique.
After my last stay in this resort, I could enjoy its beaches, the quieter ones in the region, and its wonderful pool, recently renovated. I also joined a tequila blend experience, I’ve got a massage and I ordered the catch of the day.