Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, two neighbouring regions along Mexico’s pristine coastline, both offer an array of endless activities and attractions for visitors. But, how do you jam –pack it all into a week/two week break? What are the real highlights to be found here? We’ve compiled the ultimate “Must-do’s” below which will ensure you fulfil that once-in-a-lifetime experience, with ease.
1. Adventures & Wildlife – Take a ride on the wild side
Both regions offer an abundance of outdoorsy adventures, both on land and at sea and an unparalleled diversity of unique wildlife.
Start off by exploring the spectrum of marine life in Banderas Bay, along the coast of Puerto Vallarta and southern Riviera Nayarit; where along with diving, water-skiing, canoeing, sailing and surfing this is a fisherman’s paradise offering some of the best sea sport fishing around.
It is not however just fish that live in these warm waters; they are joined by gentle giants including whales and dolphins who dance around the Pacific along with sweet sea turtles and even a crocodile reserve, in San Blas. Embark on an evening tour to the sea turtle nursery camps, enjoy an educational programme on the conservation and witness these stunning creatures in reality.
If, swimming with wild dolphins is on your bucket list, it can be found and enjoyed here. Vallarta’s professional biologists are on hand to provide an educational tour before introducing you to these wonderful creatures in their natural, safe habitat- no cages or man-made enclosures here!
For those looking for an adrenaline fuelled force, mountain biking, jeep safaris, horseback riding and even bungee jumping over the picture-perfect slopes of the Sierra Mountains, is on offer. Take a peak at: https://www.vallarta-adventures.com/
If you’re a surfer dude, Riviera Nayarit is the place to be. Head north to the “coolest” town of Sayulita, this colourful haven is bursting with hippy vibes and sandy toes along with the best surf around. Paddle-boarding and Surfing lessons can be found at: http://www.lunazulsurfing.com/
The state of Nayarit is also home to over 500 species of bird and has its own bird watching reserve. This Eco region has the highest concentration of migratory birds within its habitat and is home to many wonderful kinds including the Blue Footed Booby Bird. If you are “snap-happy” and enjoy getting those binoculars out, this really is the perfect place to engage with the rich wildlife in the regions.
2. Coastline – Beach Bums
Sometimes relaxation really is best, especially when jaw-dropping beaches are involved. Along with the beauty, which can be found in Banderas Bay, the regions are home to some of the best beaches in the world. Head down to Puerto Vallarta’s Los Camarones named “Shrimp Beach” (after the abundance of crustaceans), to lap up endless stretches of powdery white sands and crystal waters. Potter around the shores where craft pop-up stores decorate the promenade and restaurants beckon for you to dine on Mexican grub.
In Riviera Nayarit, water-sport fanatics will enjoy in the coastal gem of Bucerías and its breath-taking bay. Kayaking, jet skiing and Kite-surfing are among some of the activities you can do here, before settling down under a palmed lounger and swigging back an ice-cold corona. For a more laid-back experience, embark on a trip to Chacala’s beach and indulge in a spot of bird watching in a setting of complete tranquillity.
One of the hot spots and most spectacular beaches of the regions is the hidden beach, often named “Playa Del Amor” which only re-opened this summer from an extensive restoration programme and can only be accessed swimming through a volcanic rock arch during low tide.
3. Delectable Gastronomy – Let’s talk Tacos & Tequila
The real Mexican cuisine is one of a kind and one to fall in love with. There is of course, tacos and tequila in endless supply but also other delicious delicacies including yellow fin tuna and “Pescado Sarandeado” originating on the island of Mexcaltitan, in Riviera Nayarit, and best served with Red Snapper, handmade tortillas on palm leaves and fresh spices.
Embark on Vallarta’s Mex-ology tour for a whirlwind of culinary adventure. Think tequila, cocktails, tacos, beer and an endless supply of fun whilst you roam around and experience the true art and sounds of the Mexican streets.
Love a bit of luxury and fine dining? Riviera Nayarit’s Punta Mita is sure to impress. Enjoy an evening of melting sunsets and fine food at the established Four Seasons Resort. http://www.fourseasons.com/puntamita/ Here, Mexican flavours are infused with sophistication and matched with top-tier wines – compliments go to the award-winning chefs’ and their passion for perfection.
4. Celebrity Spotting – Live like an A-lister
It’s no surprise that the rich and famous flock to the regions of Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, seeking a quiet break away from the limelight. Many can be seen dotted around the areas of not only lavish Punta Mita, but also around the hidden costal towns and beaches. Famous faces include the Kardashian clan who are repeating visitors, Hilary Duff, Eva Longoria, Bella Thorne and Selena Gomez (to name a few).
If, like these stars you love a little pampering then treat yourself to a stay in Riviera Nayarit’s Punta Mita zone decorated with 5* luxury resorts including the newly opened W Punta De Mita http://www.wpuntademita.com/ or, enjoy a paralleled yet more “boutiquey” experience at Vallarta’s Casa Velas resort. http://www.hotelcasavelas.com/ We’re talking at-your-beck-and-call service including personalised hand stitched pillowcases on departure!
5. Nightlife – Singing and Sombreros
The regions come alive at night, yes there are the sleepy costal towns where a little relaxation is preferred but there are many incredible locations where the Mexican spirit oozes at night. Head to Downtown Vallarta’s Romantic Zone to experience an array of vibrant bars and clubs including many LGBT friendly choices that can be found on the South Side. For a more chilled-out approach, head down to Riviera Nayarit’s La Cruz de Huanacastle fishing village and enjoy pretty restaurants, delicious cuisine and live music, finished with a shot of tequila.