5 Riviera Nayarit beaches for socially distanced vacations

  • Summertime always means beach breaks, and the Riviera Nayarit, with its perfect beaches, is an excellent option to disconnect from the world and reconnect with nature.

Summer invariably means a visit to a beach, and the Riviera Nayarit beaches are an excellent option to disconnect from the world and reconnect with nature.

Thanks to the new normal, social distancing when traveling has become a plus. Outside of the famous Riviera Nayarit resorts, such as Sayulita or Rincon de Guayabitos, there are charming little towns that are not as well known, with nearly virgin beaches that await the nature-loving traveler looking to relax away from the crowds.

If you are tired of going to the same old places, Mexico’s Pacific Treasure has five not-so-touristy beaches to recommend below:


Playa Lo de Marcos

This is perhaps one of the least popular beaches in the Riviera Nayarit. And not because it’s not worth visiting or less beautiful than the others, but because the people of Lo de Marcos, a coastal town north of Nuevo Vallarta—located between San Pancho and Rincón de Guayabitos—, have wanted to preserve the beauty and tranquility of this beautiful refuge. The crystalline turquoise waters of the sea and the intense green of the surrounding tropical vegetation create a beautiful and relaxing landscape. The best-known beaches there are Los Venados, Las Minitas, El Atracadero, and Lo de Marcos.

How to Get There: Road access is via Federal Highway 200 Tepic-Puerto Vallarta, which connects the north, south, and center of Mexico. Departing from Nuevo Vallarta in the direction of Tepic, the town is approximately 45 km away.

Playa Matanchén

Matanchén Bay, located in the municipality of San Blas, is one of the Riviera Nayarit’s gems for tourists. The beach is 7 kilometers long and 30 meters wide, with fine sand and a moderate swell that offers visitors maximum tranquility. Its natural characteristics make it a natural for a variety of water sports, such as diving, sailing, and surfing, or simply to take long walks along the beach and enjoy beautiful sunsets.

How to get there: Matanchén is northwest of Tepic, approximately 60 minutes away, on the Tepic-San Blas highway. If you are coming from Nuevo Vallarta, you can take the coastal road Las Varas-Zacualpan-San Blas.

Playa Tortugas

Playa Tortugas is one of the purest and most beautiful wild environments in the Riviera Nayarit, located next to a very ecologically important natural estuary. The 8 km long beach is the ideal place for ecotourism and surfing enthusiasts and owes its name to the fact that different varieties of sea turtles come here to lay their eggs every year. It also is home to a turtle camp and hundreds of species of birds and reptiles. Tranquility and silence prevail on this beach.

How to get there: There are two ways to get to this spectacular beach. The first is by the Las Varas-San Blas coastal road, in front of the town of Zacualpan. A detour on the highway takes you along a dirt road; the beach is 10 km from the highway. A second route is through the community of Platanitos, along the dirt road that leads to Punta Custodio, where there are stone stairs that descend to the estuary and from there to the beach (you will have to swim across).

Playa Destiladeras

Destiladeras is one of the most attractive beaches of the Riviera Nayarit, and it is said that its name comes from an extinct freshwater waterfall. With soft sand and pristine emerald-colored water, its shallow waves provide an excellent experience for swimming and walking along the almost 5 km long beach. Although the waves are generally gentle, ideal for swimmers, sometimes the sea gets rough, and swells can reach 2 meters, which surfers and windsurfers appreciate. The beach has restrooms and showers and a restaurant for spending the day; it also has a parking area and private security.

Cómo llegar: It is located half an hour from Nuevo Vallarta, at kilometer 7 on the road to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle-Punta de Mita.

Playa Novillero

Last but not least, we finish off the list with the beach that is undoubtedly the longest in the Riviera Nayarit, in Mexico and nearly in the world at 90 kilometers long. This is Playa Novillero, located in the municipality of Tecuala, on the north coast of Nayarit. This beach is part of the Marismas Nacionales Biosphere Reserve, one of the most extensive ecosystems of mangroves, coastal lagoons, and marshes in the Pacific. It is also perfect for fun water activities or relaxing undisturbed while watching one of the best sunsets in all of Mexico.

Cómo llegar: Playa Novillero is in the northern part of the Riviera Nayarit in the municipality of Tecuala. It is approximately 4 hours or 330 kilometers from Nuevo Vallarta.


The Riviera Nayarit is a safe destination. Our hotels, restaurants, and tourist establishments follow all the health protocols established by the Federal Government’s Ministry of Health and operate 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 promote the region with the support of the Government of the State of Nayarit through its Tourism Promotion Trust (Fiprotur).