Boasting a balmy yearly average temperature of 80 degrees, plenty of remote sandy beaches and an array of new luxury resorts, Riviera Nayarit on Mexico’s Pacific coast is the perfect vacation destination for beating the winter blues.
The idyllic setting is just an hour’s drive from Puerto Vallarta International Airport. Here are the best places to stay, seasonal attractions and events that Riviera Nayarit has to offer.
New Luxury Resorts
Secrets Bahia Mita Surf & Spa Resort
This eco-friendly, adults-only resort is located in the exclusive Bahia de Banderas area near Punta Mita and Marina Cruz de Huanacaxtle, on the golden beaches of the Banderas Bay. Designed by renowned architect, Sordo Madaleno, the property has stunning views of the Banderas Bay and surrounding jungle, a jogging track weaving through the resort and a nursery with over four thousand plant species. Each of the 278 spacious suites have been thoughtfully decorated with contemporary furnishings and offer an array of refined luxury amenities.
Nestled in the greenery of one of the most beautiful coastal rainforests in Mexico lies the One&Only Mandarina: a collection of 104 luxury free-standing villas and treehouses. The resort is the perfect setting for a romantic break with couples able to enjoy a quiet breakfast on the white sandy beach and intimate candlelit dinners. An array of spa treatments inspired by indigenous and pre-hispanic culture take place under a canopy of large Higuera trees, including hot stone and vibrational massages, and Wirikuta Sacred Purification treatments.
Delta Hotels by Marriott
Located on a hillside in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, the resort features 117 modern and beautifully designed guestrooms featuring private balconies with mountain views. Delta Hotels by Marriott aims to elevate the essentials, with a focus on great food, activated pools and dynamic spaces for families. Surrounded by nature, the resort is the perfect sanctuary to disconnect from the stresses of everyday life and immerse yourself in a mindfulness retreat. Guests can enjoy yoga classes, hiking and an array of wellness-focused offerings.
Polo and Horseback Riding
Riviera Nayarit provides delightful ways to immerse yourself in equestrian life. The Riviera Nayarit Polo Cup is played in December at La Patrona Polo and Equestrian Club in San Pancho. The club also offers year-round horseback riding through the jungles around Nayarit, romantic surfside settings, walking on the Sierra Madre foothills, and wading through natural mountainside creeks and streams.
With so many ecological sanctuaries, Riviera Nayarit offers some of Mexico’s best bird watching. San Blas, about two hours north of the Gustavo Diaz Ordaz (PVR) airport has at least a dozen ecosystems and is home to 250 bird species. One of the best times to visit for bird watching is between the last week of January and the beginning of February during Mexico’s San Blas International Festival of Migratory Birds. Other nearby bird watching sites include the Tecuitata community and micro climate hill, Singayta and Isla Isabel where humpback whales breach and whale sharks feed swimming against the nutrient currents flowing out of the estuaries.
Whale watching is one of the most popular vacation activities in Riviera Nayarit between mid-December and the end of March. Whales actively engage in many types of surface behaviors, such as breaching (jumping out of the water), rolling, blowing, flipping and even singing. Each type of whale has their own personality, humpback whales for instance are curious and these “friendlies” as the locals call them will often float under or around Mexico whale watching boats. Nuevo Vallarta, Bucerias, Punta Mita and Sayulita are a few of the beach towns where guests can enjoy the best whale watching.
International Gourmet Festival – November 12-21, 2021
The International Gourmet Festival brings together 56 renowned chefs from around the world and 28 local restaurants to showcase thrilling spins on international and traditional Mexican cuisine for a delicious gastronomic experience. Some of the participating restaurants are Blanca Blue, Bocados, Divum, Eden, Hector’s Kitchen, Pacifico Beach and Tukipa. Visitors can hop around participating restaurants to enjoy an incredible tasting menu or gourmet dinner a la carte.
Punta Mita Gourmet & Golf – December 2-5, 2021
At the Punta Mita Gourmet & Golf event, people fly in from around the world to enjoy local and international cuisine, the best wines, tequila and mescal. Golf-aficionados can explore the two golf courses in Punta Mita – the Pacifico Golf Course and Bahia Golf Course – designed by the legendary Jack Nicklaus, which offer beautiful ocean views and world-class game play. After a thrilling day on the course, guests are treated to the food of renowned chefs Abraham Salum, Felipe Armenta, Gaby Ruiz, Sylvain Desbois, and more.