The Riviera Nayarit’s Costa Banderas, where the mountains meet the Pacific

  • This eight-kilometer-long coastline is a combination of exclusivity with gorgeous natural landscapes: elegant resorts, splendid beaches, jungle, rock formations, and crystal-clear waters.

There’s a place in the Riviera Nayarit where “the mountains meet the Pacific,” a coastal area that blends elegance and exclusivity with beautiful natural landscapes. This is the place known as “Costa Banderas.”

Tucked between La Cruz de Huanacaxtle and Punta de Mita on Banderas Bay, this eight-kilometer-long spot is home to some of the destination’s most splendid beaches, abundant jungle and rock formations, elegant residences, real estate developments, and luxury hotels.

The beaches in this area—Las Viudas, Palito Verde, Paraíso Escondido, Destiladeras, and La Lancha—are on everyone’s radar, which means they’re little visited and far from the usual tourist activity. On the other hand, those in the know assure they have the very best surfing waves.

Keep reading for a look at some of the can’t-miss hotspots located along Costa Banderas:


La Cruz de Huanacaxtle: Locals know it as “La Cruz,” a picturesque town that retains its traditions while embracing modernity with the stunning Marina Riviera Nayarit. The cobblestone streets, the traditional square with its bandstand, and the formidable huanacaxtle trees (which lend the town its name) are a perfect complement to the Marina, with its immaculate whiteness and boat sails silhouetted against the horizon.

Marina Riviera Nayarit


Las Viudas, Palito Verde, and Paraíso Escondido: They are small, but incredibly beautiful with crystal-clear waters framed by rock formations, ideal to spend a romantic day with your partner or family while enjoying nature. To access these beaches, you must drive along the old La Cruz de Huanacaxtle – Punta de Mita highway, and approximately one kilometer after the Real del Mar development, you will find a hillside with parking space enough for several cars. From there, you must walk for about five minutes along a path through the jungle until you get to Palito Verde. Las Viudas is located to the left of this beach, and Paraíso Escondido is to the right.


Destiladeras: This majestic beach, named after an extinct freshwater waterfall, is located about three minutes north of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle—at km 7 on the road to Punta de Mita—and is a peaceful haven with dreamy sunsets. It is five kilometers long, ideal for walking, resting or surfing.

destiladeras beach

La Lancha: This is one of the best spots in Riviera Nayarit for surfing enthusiasts. Its excellent natural conditions, extension and length, as well as the journey to reach it, are just some of the characteristics that make it an ideal place to practice this aquatic activity. Getting to the beach is very easy: the entrance is visible from the highway at km 14 north of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle or km 4 from Punta de Mita. The access is right in front of the Pemex station. Afterwards, you will need to walk for about 10 minutes through the jungle to get to the beach, but it will be worth it!

La Lancha beach


Palladium Vallarta: The hotel is uniquely located where travelers will enjoy either relaxing or active vacations, but always in contact with nature. Its beach is a good option for surf lovers and it also has the most spectacular saltwater pool in the entire destination.

W Punta de Mita: Located within the Los Veneros complex, the W Punta de Mita is inspired by the historical, social and spiritual context of the area that celebrates the Huichol culture, as well as its Mexican roots and traditions. The hotel offers 119 villas and the Extreme Wow Suite (the brand’s take on the traditional presidential suite) and all are exquisitely designed with contemporary Mexican touches.

Marival Armony: The all-inclusive luxury hotel Marival® Armony offers a unique fusion of nature and luxury on one of the best beaches in the Riviera Nayarit. It features comfortable suites and rooms, 281 meters of beachfront, five pools, five restaurants, beautiful gardens, and privileged views of the Western Sierra Madre and Banderas Bay.

Marival Armony Hotel


AM Resorts: Two new AMResorts hotels will open their doors in June of this year: the 278-room Secrets® Bahia Mita Surf & Spa Resort and the 363-room Dreams® Bahia Mita Surf & Spa Resort. Both properties have breathtaking views of the famous Islas Marietas and will operate as unlimited all-inclusive, Grand Tourism-level resorts. They will also feature high-end shopping and access to an 18-hole golf course, in addition to all of the chain’s luxury features.

Susurros del Corazón: Auberge Resorts’ new resort is inspired by the simplicity and rurality of Nayarit’s coastal towns and, as its name suggests, is an exquisitely created and very intentionally relaxed resort, located on a white sandy beach surrounded by cliffs and tropical jungle.

NIA Development: This future project is expected to include construction of luxury hotels, beach clubs, first class spas, restaurants and a golf course that will surely consolidate the Riviera Nayarit as a dream destination for golfers from all over the world. It will cover an area of 90 hectares with one kilometer of sandy beach, featuring a Westin Hotels resort with 400 rooms, as well as The Ritz-Carlton resort with 240 rooms, both of which are scheduled to open in 2023. In addition, they will build an Autograph Collection hotel with 300 rooms, as well as a Marriott Hotels with 500 rooms, both of which are expected to start operations by 2025.

The Riviera Nayarit is a safe destination. Hotels, restaurants, and tourist establishments are following all the health protocols established by the Federal Government’s Ministry of Health and operating at the allowed capacities. Access to the beaches is limited. Be a responsible tourist: wear your mask and keep your distance.

We’re ready!


The Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and the Bahía de Banderas Hotel and Motel Association (AHMBB) work tirelessly to jointly promote the region with the support of the Government of the State of Nayarit through its Tourism Promotion Trust (Fiprotur).