5 Weekend Escapes in the Riviera Nayarit
- From exploring an underground beach to a full day of shopping, these adventures will allow you to get to know the wide range of places, culture, nature, gastronomy, and Pueblos Mágicos (Magical Towns) located in the region.
When you yearn to breathe fresh beach or mountain air, or just want an escape from the monotony of the work week, all you need to do is travel to the Riviera Nayarit, a perfect destination where you can detox from the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic.
What are you waiting for? Pamper yourself and escape to Mexico’s Pacific Treasure next weekend. Here are some places you can visit for a day-trip:
Rincón de Guayabitos, close to everything
Rincón de Guayabitos is known as “The Heart of the Riviera Nayarit”—this place is full of life, vibrating to the rhythm of the thousands of visitors it welcomes mainly on weekends. Walking on the beach on a Saturday or Sunday is like watching a slideshow of Mexico’s different regions. Stay in one of the destination’s hotels or bungalows, there’s one for every taste and budget.
Hot tip: Isla del Coral is a must. Boats leave from Rincón de Guayabitos and take you to this fantastic island with white sand, turquoise waters, and coral reefs. Swimming in the crystal-clear water while watching the tiny multi-colored fish is a real pleasure.
Eco-ranches in Sayulita-Higuera Blanca
Not everything in the Riviera Nayarit is sun and beach—there are other alternatives, such as the mountains and the jungle, with ecotourism ranches located in rural areas that offer very fun activities for lovers of outdoor life. One of them is Rancho Vista Paraíso located in a natural tropical forest reserve within the grounds of La Montalbeña, very close to the town of Higuera Blanca. Then there is Rancho Mi Chaparrita in Sayulita Pueblo Mágico, where the main attraction is the Canopy Tour with 13 zip lines and three suspension bridges that descend from the top of the mountain into the jungle. Rancho Mi Chaparrita is located on the road to Punta de Mita, via Sayulita-Higuera Blanca, only 5 minutes from the center of Sayulita.
Hot tip: Pack your swimsuit because you’ll have use of the swimming pool at the ranch.
A Sunday in La Cruz Market
Want to spend a super fun day, do lots of shopping, plus enjoy a day at the beach? Then visiting La Cruz Market is an excellent choice. This traditional market is located inside the Marina Riviera Nayarit in the seaside town of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. It’s one of the most popular towns in the region thanks to the great variety of products offered each season (winter). We’re sure you’ll love it, as they also have live music and delicious typical Mexican food and dishes from other parts of the world. The market is open every Sunday from November to April, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Hot tip: After touring the market, enjoy a nice dip in the beach at La Cruz, just a few meters from the marina.
Marine safari to the Islas Marietas
A trip to the Islas Marietas National Park and its Playa Escondida continues to be one of the must-do activities in the Riviera Nayarit. The winter season is the best time to go, since it coincides with the arrival of the humpback whales to the Bay of Banderas and it’s very likely you’ll encounter these wonderful mammals on the way. To live this experience to the fullest, it’s important to choose a qualified company to take you on any of the various tours to the islands. Punta Mita Expeditions and Vallarta Adventures, for example, are certified tour providers that can guide you in this experience.
Hot tip: You’ll find boat, yacht, or guided tour services from Nuevo Vallarta, Bucerías, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, El Anclote, Sayulita, or Lo de Marcos.
Cacao Tour at Planeta Cacao
Planeta Cacao is very close to Bucerías, in the town of Tondoroque. Here you’ll find the original Cocoa Demonstration Garden, where you can interactively learn the history of this ancestral seed, its cultural uses, cultivation, and its transformation into chocolate and traditional drinks. Choco-artisans and owners of Planeta Cacao, Laura Aguilar and Mina Ibarra, will guide through in this magnificent experience. Tour hours: 9 a.m. or 1 p.m., Monday through Saturday. More information at planetacacao.mx.
Hot tip: Bet you didn’t you that chocolate comes from a tree? Participate in an artisan chocolate workshop where you’ll learn how to make it yourself, then savor ancestral drinks and munch on corn and chocolate gorditas.
Remember, the Riviera Nayarit is a safe destination, and all hotels, restaurants, and tourist establishments are following all the health protocols established by the Federal Government’s Ministry of Health. The hotels are only operating at 30% occupancy and access to the beaches is limited. Be a responsible tourist: wear your mask and keep your distance.