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Why Travelers Are Flocking To This Gorgeous Area North Of Puerto Vallarta

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Puerto Vallarta is an incredible destination to spend your winter holidays. 

With plenty of breathtaking beaches with crystal-blue waters, a variety of all-inclusive resorts to choose from, and an endless list of activities to keep everyone entertained, it’s not surprising to see how many tourists are heading here every year. 

Sunset at the San Pancho beach in Nayarit, Mexico

However, at times, visitors may want to escape from the huge winter crowds typical of this destination to head to more secluded places to discover the authentic Mexican culture. 

In these cases, the state of Nayarit can be the perfect option!

Everything you need to know about Nayarit 

top aerial view of the beautiful beach Malpaso full of vegetation, located next to the beach of Sayulita

Nayarit is a Mexican state which can easily be reached from Puerto Vallarta with a 20-minute drive. This state is home to slightly more than 2,2 million citizens and is inhabited by indigenous peoples such as the Cora and the Huichol.

This area is characterized by diverse ecosystems, including two volcanos, the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains, and tropical plains. 

With animals such as eyra cats, coral snakes, and coyotes living here, this is also a great place to visit for nature lovers.

Playa Las Viudas in Rivera Nayarit, turquoise blue and calm beach

The economy of Nayarit is mainly focused on agriculture, with fields of beans, sugar cane, maize, and tobacco scattered all over its territories.

Despite this, tourism in the area is slowly growing, attracting more and more visitors from all corners of the world. Not by chance, Juan Enrique Suárez del Real Tostado, the Secretary of Tourism of Nayarit, recently stated that by the end of the year, this state will have received over one million tourists. 

But what are some of the activities offered by this Mexican state?

Visit small authentic towns

San Pancho Mexico locals enjoying beautiful beach day in the nice warm water

Nayarit is the ideal place for tourists to truly immerse themselves in the authentic Mexican culture. Small villages such as San Pancho, Punta Mita, and Yalepa, a fishing village only accessible by boat, are perfect escape the mass tourism typical of Puerto Vallarta. 

Here visitors can simply enjoy the laid-back Mexican lifestyle while learning everything about this charming culture through cacao ceremonies or other unique experiences. 

Explore the local fauna

Animal lovers will find plenty to do in Nayarit. For instance, people can head to the Marietas Islands to see baby sea turtles taking their first steps and running towards the water to start their exciting life. 

turtle hatching in sand puerto vallarta

Those who prefer to see more dangerous animals can head to El Cora Crocodile Sanctuary to observe these stunning specimens in their natural habitat in complete safety.

This is also the perfect place to learn everything about these magnificent animals, as your guide will be able to answer all your questions while giving you interesting insights into the life of these fascinating reptiles. 

Lastly, visitors here can spot whales in the Banderas Bay. These humongous mammals reach these waters every year to mate, giving tourists a one-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Try out some water sports

surfer at sunset in sayulita beach

Nayarit is also the ideal place for those hoping to level up their skills in all kinds of water sports. Sayulita is a surfer heaven and is the go-to destination for those wanting to learn how to surf or simply improve their technique. 

Alternatively, people interested in snorkeling can head to Coral Island where they will find unspoiled coral reefs waiting to be discovered. 


secluded beach in nayarit

Last on our list is Monkey Mountain. Located just outside Sayulita, this peak can be a tough challenge for hikers of all levels. 

In order to reach the top, tourists need to pass through dense jungles where they will be able to admire exotic plants and animals. If you were wondering, the answer is yes. This peak owes its name to the population of monkeys inhabiting its slopes. 

Tourists heading here should always keep an eye on the branches above their heads as they may spot a friendly monkey swinging from one tree to the next. 

a mountain and sea view in the riviera nayarit

Once on the top, climbers can decide to opt for a fast rappelling descent to get that extra rush of adrenaline. 

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