Discover Mexico’s Pacific Coast Paradise

As travel starts again, make your way to Mexico but avoid the crowds by exploring Riviera Nayarit, on the country’s vibrant Pacific Coast, a region of culture, wildlife and mystery. 

Mexico is one of the most popular destinations for travellers from both sides of the Atlantic. People go to visit the beaches of Cancun, the culturally rich capital of Mexico City and to enjoy the superb facilities of the family and golf resorts of the country. However, when international travel returns, visitors might want to try heading to Mexico’s Pacific Coast to uncover the hidden treasure that is Riviera Nayarit.

Renowned for its eclectic charm, and authentic appeal, Riviera Nayarit is home to some secret spots filled with adventure, and that offer respite away from tourists. Here are some of the best-hidden gems.

As travel starts again, make your way to Mexico but avoid the crowds by exploring Riviera Nayarit, on the country's vibrant Pacific Coast, a region of culture, wildlife and mystery. 

La Tovara

Smaller in size but still as mighty, La Tovara National Park in the Riviera Nayarit is home to an abundance of nature and wildlife that coexist, forming a unique and surprising ecosystem. A sanctuary for nature lovers in Mexico’s unknown Amazonia rainforest, crocodiles have found sanctuary in La Tovara due to the comfortable water temperatures and ample availability of food. The Keikari Crocodile Preserve provides a sustainable environment for the crocs to enjoy and is also home to a crocodile nursery. Travellers can visit the preserve and discover how they get released into the wild, as part of a repopulation programme.

La Tovara’s unique location also means that natural, fresh spring water comes flowing down from the mountains. It is here where travellers can discover Camalota Lagoon’s crystal-clear waters – a perfect habitat for thousands of fish, bird, and reptile species. According to legend, those who take a dip in the lagoon will be protected by magical nets to stop crocodiles from nipping at their toes.

As travel starts again, make your way to Mexico but avoid the crowds by exploring Riviera Nayarit, on the country's vibrant Pacific Coast, a region of culture, wildlife and mystery. 

Mexcaltitán

The mysterious micro-destination known as the “Mexican Venice”, and the birthplace of the Aztecs, Mexcaltitán is Mexico’s most recently minted “Magical Town”, a recognition of the few beautiful Mexican villages that have preserved their cultural and historic richness there.

Mexcaltitán is shrouded in a mystical and magical history that makes it well worth a day trip. The island is deep-rooted in ancient Aztec history and many historians believe that it is the birthplace of modern-day Mexico. Over time it has been popularly known as the “Mexican Venice” because Mexcaltitán features high pavements that allow pedestrians to navigate the island even during times of flood. Visitors will find no cars but a canoe ride around the charming island takes about 30 minutes and passes thousands of traditional colourful Mexican houses, as well as plenty of street art.

As travel starts again, make your way to Mexico but avoid the crowds by exploring Riviera Nayarit, on the country's vibrant Pacific Coast, a region of culture, wildlife and mystery. 

Marietas Islands National Park 

Located in the UNESCO-recognised Marietas Islands National Park is the ultimate bucket-list destination, a hidden beach formed by volcanic activity and accessed only via swimming through a tunnel.

To reach this hidden beach, travellers will need to book a boat tour out to Marietas Islands National Park, a 45-minute journey from Punta Mita, in the south of Riviera Nayarit. Once there, visitors are asked to jump off the boat and swim close to the entrance. As the beach is hidden underground, visitors will have to swim through a passage that will eventually lead them to the shore.

Marietas Islands is a wildlife sanctuary, home to the rare blue-footed booby that can only be found in two parts of the planet: the Marietas Islands and the Galapagos Islands.

The crystal-clear waters and coral reefs are ideal for snorkelling, with frequent visitors to the Marietas Islands including turtles, dolphins, and humpback whales. Onshore, visitors can spot barber butterflies, humpback parrots and steel swallows.

As travel starts again, make your way to Mexico but avoid the crowds by exploring Riviera Nayarit, on the country's vibrant Pacific Coast, a region of culture, wildlife and mystery. 

Sayulita

It might be its friendly, laid-back atmosphere, its beaches perfect for surfing, or perhaps its very 60s-style vibe of peace and love. The truth is, whatever it is, the hippy-chic coastal town of Sayulita, which is home to a bohemian art colony, has a certain je n’ai sais quoi that’s quite charming. With a boho-chic style that fills its streets, shops, galleries, and accommodations, there is no doubt Sayulita is the trendiest town in Mexico.

The town has a flourishing street art scene and a delightfully growing community of up-and-coming artists. Street art in Sayulita has exploded in the last few years and started with Huichol Indians displaying their colourful art in the plaza in the heart of town.

Visitors can discover Sayulita’s street art on a day trip and immerse themselves in this quirky and colourful ‘open-air art gallery’. A perfect tour starts by exploring the cobbled streets that overflow with unique artworks, and visitors can interpret the fascinating murals for free, either alone or in a group, and end the day exploring the shops with their ceramics, pottery and locally, hand-crafted jewellery.

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About Author

Staff Writer

Staff Writer

Ultimate Encounters staff writers and contributors are made up of seasoned travel journalists and expedition leaders who have travelled the globe seeking thrilling new experiences for our readers.

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