Friday, July 25, 2014

La Yesca, beyond the Riviera Nayarit



The Riviera Nayarit has much to offer besides its incredible beaches and microdestinations. Go inland and you’ll find the State has several different villages that await visitors with different experiences and a chance to spend time with the locals, listen to their stories and legends, taste the local cuisine and, most of all, make wonderful memories. I invite you to get to know our State beyond the Riviera Nayarit—take a few days off and you’ll fall in love with it even more!

La Yesca is one of the smaller villages of Nayarit, located on the southern end of the Western Sierra Madre, bordering the municipality of El Nayar and the state of Jalisco to the north. It has a population of 13,600 residents so it may be small, but it offers a grand experience thanks to its boundless nature and the warmth of its community. The area is wooded, with more than 50% of its territory covered by pine and red oak. 

Another 20% is jungle, lush with copal, tepehuaje, guásima, brasil and tepame. Local fauna includes deer, tiger cats, small rodents, eagles and multiple reptiles. The climate is temperate tropical with an average annual temperature of 77 Fahrenheit. This is home to the Huichol people and it’s great for camping, hiking and mountain climbing. 

Historical Monuments
  • In the municipal capital you’ll find the Santa María de Guadalupe church, which dates back to the 18th century. Its altars and décor are primarily in the neo-Gothic style. 
Festivals, Dances and Traditions 
  • August 6th is dedicated to the Lord of Mercy, which is celebrated with processions, dances and fireworks. It’s a blend of modern Catholic and ancient indigenous beliefs. 
  • On January 12th the town of Guadalupe Ocotán celebrates the “exchange of rods,” which symbolizes the exchange of power between the traditional authorities of the ethnic groups. On this day the Puente de Camotlán community pays homage to the Virgin of Guadalupe while Saint Joseph is celebrated at Huajimic. 
Handicrafts
  • This is where the traditional Huichol dress is made. Besides being very colorful and showy thanks to its wool embroidery, it has a very deep religious significance. These outfits represent the state and are the gala dress of the Huichol people. 
Tips:
  • Visit the impressive reservoir created by the El Cajón dam.
  • Interact with the community at El Roble during the creole corn festival. 
  • Return home with a selection of locally produced cheese. 
  • Take pictures for posterity at the municipal capital.

How to get from Nuevo Vallarta/Riviera Nayarit to la Yesca: It’s 190 miles away and you can reach it in approximately 5 hours on Highway 200.

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