Tourism Booming in Riviera Nayarit

Vacation on tropical lake Nichupte lagoon, CancunRiviera Nayarit was once considered off Mexico’s “beaten path,” but recent tourism figures indicate sweeping changes for this extraordinary destination. According to statistics from the Riviera Nayarit Convention & Visitors Bureau, 2017 was a wildly successful year for tourism in the region, with travelers generating some $200 million in revenue. Last year also realized new heights in hotel occupancy rates, with 4-star resorts reporting occupancy rates at nearly 95 percent.

Private investors – along with federal funding—has sparked a wave of new developments, including 5-star properties, luxury residences, infrastructure and other amenities to enhance the region’s vacation appeal.

Tourism growth in Riviera Nayarit

“Riviera Nayarit is a destination like no other… Our versatility and appeal have translated into recent success for our pristine destination, from resort town Nuevo Vallarta to the historic village of San Blas, celebrity haven Punta de Mita, surfing mecca Sayulita, and everything in between,” said Mark Murphy, acting manager of the Riviera Nayarit Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Situated on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, just north of Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit may be attracting record numbers of visitors, but you’ll still find quiet stretches of beach and fewer tourists at local attractions.

The region encompasses 200 miles of coastline, nearly two dozen villages, and is home to a growing selection of world-class hotels along with delightful villas and rental homes. This area is garnering a stellar reputation for incredible cuisine, spas and wellness centers, and outdoor adventure sports like zip lining, scuba diving, boating, whale watching, surfing, sport fishing and ATV riding.

New properties opening 2018-2020

The Riviera Nayarit welcomed several developments last year, including the Krystal Grand Nuevo Vallarta, which boasts the city’s largest convention center. Additional properties are slated to open the latter half of this year and into 2019, including:

  • Costa Canuva CIP – a luxury 5,500-acre development spotlighting the area’s first Fairmont Hotels & Resorts property and a new golf course designed by Greg Norman and Lorena Ochoa
  • Cirque du Soleil Theme Park featuring evening shows to more than 5,000 spectators
  • Mandarina Polo and Equestrian Club – a top-notch facility with polo grounds, stables, and dressage/jumping arenas.
  • Secrets Punta de Mita Resort & Spa is set to open its doors in Riviera Nayarit by 2020

Vacation rentals in Riviera Nayarit

Riviera Nayarit has many inviting ways to unwind or get your adrenaline pumping. Whatever your travel style, the experts at Sea Side Reservations can help you plan the ultimate escape to coastal Mexico. We have beautiful, fully-furnished vacation rentals, villas and bungalows in the Riviera Nayarit, Puerto Vallarta and other popular beach destinations. If you’re looking for a comfortable, spacious yet affordable rental for your Mexico vacation, we’ve got you covered.

Book your beachfront rental today by calling 1-888-262-4508!

Additional Resources on Riviera Nayarit Travel:

  1. TravelAgentCentral, Riviera Nayarit’s $200 Million Tourism Industry Continues to Grow
  2. Fodor’s Travel, First-Timer’s Guide to Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
  3. MexicoNewsDaily, More Tourism Growth in Riviera Nayarit
  4. RivieraNarayit, Nayarit – A Stunning Treasure Awaits You
Saturday, June 23rd, 2018
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Tulum vs. Riviera Nayarit: Which is Right for You?

It’s no wonder that Mexico is one of America’s top vacation destinations — endless sunshine, sublime beaches, and it’s nearby. Mexico’s Pacific and Caribbean coasts have amazing scenery, archeological sites and exciting activities, but how do you choose the right spot to spend those precious vacation days? When you think of dreamy beach destinations south of the border, the brilliant white sands of Tulum may come to mind. But over on the west coast, the laid-back shores of Riviera Nayarit have been making waves as the up-and-coming hotpot for intrepid travelers.

So which beach destination is right for you? Let’s take a closer look at Tulum vs. Riviera Nayarit.

Tulum: Mayan ruins, crystal clear waters and lush jungle

Location: East Coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, overlooking the Caribbean Sea

Getting There: No flights to Tulum; fly into the Cancun International Airport, which is a 2-hour drive

Beaches:  The white sand beaches of Tulum are Instagram worthy, and the seas are typically calm and safe for swimming

Accommodations: This area is renowned for its all-inclusive beach resorts, luxury condo rentals and lodging with family-friendly amenities. You’ll find accommodations to fit just about every budget.

Primary Attraction: The ancient Maya city of Tulum, one of the best-preserved sites and most beautiful. The ruins are easy to navigate and present numerous photo-ops thanks to its unique setting atop limestone cliffs looking out over crashing surf.

Coolest Activity: Swimming, diving or snorkeling in the cenotes – natural sink holes that are either open like lakes or completely underground, and some even boast ziplines!

Popular things to do: Swimming, stand up paddle boarding, relaxing on the beach, shopping for artisanal goods, catamaran rides, snorkeling, riding bicycles or visiting the Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, one of the area’s top eco-tourism destinations, home to monkeys, crocodiles, pumas and coatimundi 

Atmosphere: Tulum is very family-friendly and has a relaxed vibe. Some describe this Mexican hotspot as a “hippie haven.” There are health retreats, yoga and meditation classes and other holistic offerings.

Riviera Nayarit: Rugged backdrops, juicy waves and fewer crowds

Location: West Coast of Mexico, a 200-mile swath that stretches from San Blas to Nuevo Vallarta

Getting There: Fly into the Puerto Vallarta International Airport, which has many options for direct flights from U.S. hubs 

Beaches: You’ll find both white and golden sands, warm waters and rugged backdrops depending on which hamlet you visit. Some towns like Sayulita are known for wilder waves, making this a popular surfer destination. Within the blue curves of Banderas Bay, there are family beaches, great swimming beaches and others flanked with chic bars and eateries.

Accommodations: There are nearly two dozen towns in the state of Riviera Nayarit. Some feature world-class hotels, luxury all-inclusive resorts and lavish rental properties while others have a handful of modest lodging options.

Primary Attraction: Nayarit is a multicultural and multiethnic state that attracts surfers, golfers, beach lovers, history buffs and nature aficionados.  Many visitors praise the Old World charms of San Blas — a sleepy town that is packed with colonial architecture, lush palms, and extensive mangrove forests.

Coolest Activity: Take a boat trip to Hidden Beach (also known as Lover’s Beach) on the beautiful Marietas Islands where you can snorkel in clear aqua waters.

Popular things to do: Surfing and paddle boarding are the main draws of Sayulita. Recreational activities abound in this vast state. There are wellness spas and championship golf courses. You can go whale watching, sea kayaking, learn about sea turtle conservation or take a wine tasting tour.

Atmosphere: Whether you’re visiting San Pancho, Punta de Mita or Bucerias, you’ll find the ambiance of Riviera Nayarit to be laid-back and friendly.  This destination is still under the tourist radar (for the most part) and is recommended if you want to avoid heavy crowds.

More Resources on Tulum & Riviera Nayarit Travel Highlights:

  1. BeMyTravelMuse, 7 Amazing Things to do in Tulum, Mexico
  2. GQ, Go to Riviera Nayarit, Mexico’s Lesser-Known Beach Haven
  3. AnnaEverywhere, Ultimate Guide to Tulum Mexico
  4. Barefoot Nomad, What To Do In The Riviera Nayarit – 23 Reasons You’ll Love It Here
Wednesday, April 11th, 2018
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Off the Beaten Path in Riviera Nayarit

Breakwater at el Anclote beach in Punta MitaRiviera Nayarit itself is an “off-the-beaten-path” destination within Mexico. Scarcely a decade ago, the 190 miles just north of bustling Puerto Vallarta was a hideaway for surfers and Hollywood A-listers looking to stay under the radar. “Travelers seeking a more immersive experience of authentic Mexico will certainly find a trip to northern Nayarit to be a breath of fresh air,” describes Marc Murphy, managing director of the Riviera Nayarit Convention & Visitors Bureau. Here are some of our travel coordinators’ favorite hidden gems.

Hidden Beach on the Marieta Islands

Marietas Islands National Park is a small group of protected volcanic islands off the coast of Punta Mita. The former government bombing test site was saved by a group of environmentalists that included famed Sea Explorer Jacques Cousteau. Hidden caverns, natural archways, and an abundance of marinelife attract snorkelers and divers. The hidden gem here is appropriately named “Hidden Beach,” as you can only access the warm, turquoise, waters and pristine sandy cavern by swimming through a long tunnel from the Pacific Ocean. Thrillist named Hidden Beach one of the “Top 25 Beaches in the World,” alongside well-known paradises like Brazil’s Ipanema, Jamaica’s 7-Mile Beach, and Miami’s South Beach.

La Tovara Springs in San Blas

If you’ve ever been on Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” and longed for the real deal, you’ll find it in San Blas. The town itself consists of not much more than an old fort, a church, and a few restaurants with tasty seafood. A guided boat ride through La Tovara takes you beneath jungle canopy, through an endless maze of mangroves, and past nesting sites for egrets and spoonbills. You may spot crocodiles, turtles, and jaguars if you’re lucky. Guests are transported to a clear swimming spring visited by tropical parrots.

The Petroglyphs at Alta Vista

Alta Vista is one of the most sacred places in Riviera Nayarit. Down a winding dirt road, past farm fields and cow pastures, shaded by Papelillo and Kapok trees, you’ll park your car where the road is washed out and walk down a cobblestone path and dry river beds for 20 minutes to reach the discreet entrance of Alta Vista. Here you can hike the ancient trails of the Huichol Indians at “The King’s Fountain” (La Pila del Rey), a place where local Mestizos and Huichol Indians still worship. The petroglyph carvings imprinted on the slopes of the Copo volcano have been wonderfully preserved, tucked beneath dense forest canopy and surrounded by rich flora. You may spot sacrificial sites as well. Visitors say the best part of hiking Alta Vista is the quiet and ideal picnic sites alongside fresh mountain water pools and small waterfalls.

The Tianguis in La Peñita

La Peñita is one of the three small, friendly towns packed with “real Mexican flavor” in Jaltemba Bay, in the heart of Riviera Nayarit. An open-air market, The Tianguis, is this sleepy town’s main draw. Every Thursday, pickup trucks overflow with watermelons, poblano peppers, and seasonal produce. You can buy everything from just-caught Jumbo shrimp to fresh-baked pastries, Mexican table linens to Oaxacan wool rugs, handmade pottery to Huichol Indian art. If you love to shop artisan goods you won’t find elsewhere, the Tianguis is a must-see!

Monkey Mountain in Sayulita

Monkey Mountain sits high above the horizon as a standout geological feature in the area, promising spectacular views of San Pancho, Punta de Mita, and the Bay of Banderas from its summit — for those who are adventurous enough to make the arduous 1,200-foot trek. We recommend stopping at Painted Ponies, a horseback riding tour operator at the foot of Cerro Mono in Higuera Blanca. Saddle up for a three-hour adventure through the jungle. Unfortunately, the mountain’s resident monkeys were hunted to extinction long ago, so their presence remains in one’s imagination.

Need a place to stay?

Sea Side Reservations has been placing visitors in safe, comfortable, and convenient accommodations in Riviera Nayarit for nearly two decades. We enjoy high satisfaction ratings among guests and property owners alike. You can be rest assured your home-away-from-home will be well-appointed and ready upon your arrival. Contact us to learn more about booking your stay in Riviera Nayarit and about great places to see on your trip.

Additional “Off-The-Beaten Path in Riviera Nayarit” resources:

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017
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