What To See And Do In The Riviera Nayarit: Bucerías, “The Place of Divers”

  • This welcoming town is a mixture of serenity, adventure, entertainment, and plenty of tradition. 

Bucerías is everything that comes to mind when anyone mentions an “authentic Mexican village” to a visitor: it’s a small place, with cobblestone streets perfect for strolling while admiring the homes and their unique architecture—very typical of the area, with brightly-colored façades and wooden doors. And behind each one, its charming, welcoming owners.

On the other hand, Bucerías also offers luxury hotels, gourmet restaurants, and endless activities in the area, which is very near Nuevo Vallarta and Flamingos, making it the perfect combination for a wonderful vacation in the Riviera Nayarit.

Those with a bohemian soul seeking tranquility as well as art lovers will discover peaceful places between the beach and the village where they can enjoy any number of activities, from walks along its quiet streets to a relaxing day at the edge of the water, or perhaps a look at the artisan exhibits at the local markets (tianguis) or the art galleries located all along Lázaro Cárdenas Avenue.

That’s where they will also find most of the town’s eateries: an endless choice of restaurants and chilled-out bars, where the visitor can relax while sipping on a lemonade or savoring a ceviche tostada or shrimp cocktail.

The name “Bucerías” means “Place of Divers.” It harks back to the time when the Spaniards arrived in these lands and the seaside villagers from Banderas Bay were excellent divers who brought up conch and other marine shells, which they then traded with other peoples on the continent from Peru to Baja California. Later on, around 1880, they worked for the US-owned pearl companies.

Location and what to do
The coastal village of Bucerías is located between Nuevo Vallarta and Punta de Mita. It has 8 kilometers of beach, the longest in Banderas Bay. Its shallow waters and special waves are perfect for kitesurfing or swimming, and the beach is made for incredible walks or jogs.

Adventure lovers have lots of options: surfing, paddleboard, fishing, snorkel, zip-lines, and bike or horse rides. There’s no room for boredom!

Novelties in Bucerías for family fun include the Wibit Water Park, which is comprised of a series of floating inflatables in different shapes that make up a fun circuit with slides, bouncy pads, swings, “mountains” and “cliffs” for climbing, a spinner, a giant trampoline, and lots of others.

Festivals and traditions
Over the past few years the patron saint festivities in Bucerías have become a tourist draw, bringing in locals and people from neighboring villages—It has also become a favorite of the Canadian community that lives there, as well as US visitors and nationals. The festivities are held from January 16-24 in honor of Our Lady of Peace. One of the most colorful activities is the fishermen’s sea pilgrimage aboard their boats decorated with live tableaus and religious motifs. And, at the plaza, there are stands with typical Mexican snacks, folkloric dance exhibitions, fireworks, and much more.

The Oyster Festival deserves special mention: it takes place during the month of April and has become one of the most symbolic events in Bucerías. This popular festival celebrates the local divers: during that time the townspeople choose a queen for the festival, award the diver who brought up the biggest oyster, and visitors can enjoy free oysters and fish.

How to get there
Bucerías is located in the municipality of Banderas Bay, 145 km from Tepic—the capital of Nayarit—, and only 15 km from Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. It can be reached by air via the Puerto Vallarta international airport, or by land via Federal Highway 200.

The Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and the Bahía de Banderas Hotel and Motel Association (AHMBB) work hard to promote the destination with the support of the Government of the State of Nayarit via its Tourism Promotional Trust (Fiprotur). The cultural tourism product offer is an invaluable asset for these promotional efforts.
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