The Riviera Nayarit is a beach corridor of approximately 200 miles along the Mexican Pacific coast, from Nuevo Vallarta all the way to the historic port of San Blas. Riviera Nayarit comprises the municipalities of Bahía de Banderas, Compostela, San Blas, Santiago Ixcuintla and Tecuala, with multiple destinations among which Nuevo Vallarta, Bucerías, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Punta Mita and Sayulita stand out.
The history of this “multiple-destination” as it’s often called, goes back to the ‘80s, when the first hotel in Nuevo Vallarta was built as an extension to the already famous destination of Puerto Vallarta. Nuevo Vallarta is about fifteen minutes north of Puerto Vallarta’s Airport, just across the Ameca river that divides the states of Jalisco and Nayarit.
This state border was the main reason that kept Puerto Vallarta’s development south of the river. But with growth came competition, and soon Nuevo Vallarta got the support of the federal government, becoming a true option for visitors. The relationship between Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta was always ambivalent, as Puerto Vallarta didn’t know what to make of its ‘little brother’. Efforts were made to simply call the destination “Vallarta”, without the “Puerto” or the “Nuevo”, but that didn’t work out well. The same can be said of other attempts like “Vallarta Bay”, “Corredor Turístico Vallarta-San Blas” and “Vallarta Nayarit”.
Finally, the trendy Riviera Maya brand serve as inspiration and just like that the Riviera Nayarit was born. But we are talking now of 2007-2008, and by then Nuevo Vallarta hadd more than doubled its population and there are many other destinations (such as Sayulita, Guayabitos and Punta Mita) involved in the branding of Riviera Nayarit.
Besides this multiplicity of destinations, what makes Riviera Nayarit so unique is its amazing mix of picturesque towns; magnificent natural resources, highlighted by the Sierra de Vallejo Biosphere Reserve and the Marietas Islands National Park, the vibrant cultural tradition of the huichol, the ancient indigenous people of the region; archeological vestiges like those atAltavista, and, of course, the miles and miles of fantastic beaches and top-notch hotels.
It’s called variety, and Riviera Nayarit has plenty of it, because when talking about attractions and things to do, the list just goes on and on: seven world class golf courses, whale watching, swimming with dolphins, scuba diving and snorkeling, fantastic waves for surfing, kitesurfing or windsurfing, sailing, three marinas, bird watching, fishing and more.
The gastronomy of the region is recognized for its diversity and for having some of the best restaurants in the country; while exclusive spas and boutiques can be also found all over the Riviera Nayarit. It’s hard to write about the Riviera Nayarit, it comprises so many things that is difficult to know which ones to highlight. We haven’t even mention that it will be part of the “Escalera Náutica del Mar de Cortes”, a mega-project that is developing a group of marinas along the Gulf of California that’s looking to attract the sailing tourism; or the outstanding beauty of the National Marshes in the northern part of the state.
Riviera Nayarit has carved a niche for itself in the super-exclusive, ultra-luxury tourism with an offer of some of the best hotels in the world such as the Four Seasons Punta Mita, St Regis Punta Mita, Vallarta Palace and Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, included in the list of the best 511 hotels in the world by Condé Nast Traveler. But the very same nature of Riviera Nayarit allows it to diversify, targeting all kinds of tourism, as the Riviera Nayarit truly has something for everyone…