The 25 Most Popular Tourist Places In Nayarit

The tourist places of Nayarit that follow, reflect a part of the wide tourist offer of this Mexican state. It encompasses the quintessential tourist center that represents the Metropolitan Area of ​​Puerto Vallarta, of which Nuevo Vallarta is a part.

As well as the beautiful Nayarit Riviera with its attractive beaches and traditional coastal towns in the Mexican Pacific, including Playa Novillero, worthy of the Guinness Record for being the longest beach in Mexico.

Riviera Nayarita
Its capital Tepic welcomes the visitor full of tradition and culture, with its museums and temples. While throughout the territory you can visit volcanoes, islands and lagoons such as the Laguna de Santa María del Oro. Likewise, participate in nature conservation in its turtle and crocodile conservation centers.

On the other hand, golf lovers have at their disposal 8 spectacular courses, some of them on the seashore. Among them the Tigre Club de Golf Golf Course, considered one of the most difficult in Mexico.

Recommended tourist places of Nayarit


Tepic Cathedral, Nayarit (Mexico). Source: Christian Frausto Bernal, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons
It is the capital city, located in the center of the state of Nayarit, which borders the city of Jalisco, forming an extensive metropolitan area. In its Historic Center is the Temple and former convent of the Cross of Zacate from the 18th century and the Cathedral. As well as various other buildings from the colonial era along with buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries.

On the other hand, the Regional Museum of Nayarit and the Emilia Ortiz Contemporary Art Center in the old Aguirre House, are magnificent options. Like the Galería de la Plástica Nayarita and the Centro Cultural de los Cinco Pueblos, located in the old Hotel Palacio. Another tourist attraction is the Ruinas de Jauja, an old textile factory of the British company Barrón & Forbes from the 19th century.

You cannot miss the Santa Cruz de Zacate in the parish of the same name. According to legend, it is a cross-shaped area on the ground made by wild herbs that never dry out dating back to 1619. In addition, in the Jalisco area you can also visit the Los Rosales spa.

New vallarta

New vallarta
This important tourist town of Nayarit has developed as a continuation of the famous Mexican tourist destination of Puerto Vallarta, a city located in the neighboring state of Jalisco. In Nuevo Vallarta and its nearby beaches you can perform various activities, such as visiting the Dolphinarium, where there are also activities with sea lions.

Likewise, you can meet and participate in the conservation of sea turtles, as well as go scuba diving, jet ski rides, sport fishing and horseback riding. Likewise, play golf on its two excellent courses and go to Splash or Aqua Aventuras Park, wonderful water parks.

Nayarit volcanoes

Ceboruco volcano
As part of the Mexican Neovolcanic axis in Nayarit you can visit several inactive volcanoes. In the first place is the Sangangüey with 2,340 meters above sea level 21 km from the capital, where you can go hiking and admire the landscapes from its top. You ascend through the towns of La Labor and El Refugio on the slopes of the volcano, up to La Peña at the top.

There is also the Ceboruco volcano with 2,280 meters above sea level and the Sierra de San Juan, the latter with the Mirador del Águila. From this point you can see beautiful landscapes of the Pacific coast and the Sierra Madre Occidental.

Crocodile sanctuaries

Crocodylus acutus
You can visit several crocodile sanctuaries in San Blas and El Salado in Puerto Vallarta and El Cora, in the Bay of Banderas. These are wildlife refuges where in addition to meeting the American crocodile ( Crocodylus acutus ), you can see a great diversity of birds and other animals.

Golf courses

Golf El Nayar
In this Mexican state there are 8 world-class golf courses designed by international experts in this sport. Among them is the Nayar Golf Course in Vidanta, with 18 holes and 7 lakes, located between the mountains and Bahía de Banderas. Also the Tigre Club de Golf, with 18 holes and 12 lakes, considered one of the most difficult in Mexico.

About Marcos

Bahía Lo de Marcos, Nayarit (Mexico). Source: Elbeta, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons
It is one of the most picturesque coastal towns in the Rivera Nayarit, with a comfortable range of traditional hotels. There you can enjoy quiet beaches such as Las Minitas, Los Venados, El Atracadero and Lo de Marcos. The latter with abundant vegetation and an area of ​​1 km long by 40 meters wide.

From this town there are boat trips to the Crab and Coral Islands, as well as to the Beso and Tortugas beaches.

San Francisco or San Pancho

San pancho
It is another coastal town of great tourist attraction, located in the Bay of Banderas. The town itself is a pleasant place to walk, enjoy traditional food, and reach its wide beach with regular waves.

Here you can surf, dive, practice sport fishing and enjoy the scenery as well as relaxation and yoga centers. It is also an ideal place to observe marine fauna, including humpback whales, turtles and birds.


Acaponeta. Source: Carlotiko, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons
This town, head of the municipality of the same name, is located on the banks of the Acaponeta River. Among the tourist places it offers are historical monuments such as the Temple of Our Lady of the Assumption, the building of the Municipal Presidency and the Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe.

Also museums such as the Ali Chumancero House of Culture and the Vladimir Cora House Museum. On the other hand, in its vicinity is the spa called Agua Caliente.


Litibu. Source: Sapafer, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons
Another beautiful destination in the Rivera de Nayarit that offers a relatively virgin beach, surrounded by vegetation. Its waves are moderately strong, making it a popular place to practice surfing. At the same time in its vicinity there is a good offer of hotels, restaurants and even a golf club.

Mita’s tip

Mita’s tip
This is a very high level tourist site, which includes the Four Seasons Punta Mita, the St. Regis Punta Mita and exclusive residential communities. It is located on the peninsula and bay of Punta Mita, a private area located north of the Bay of Banderas. It has several beaches, including Playa El Anclote and the archaeological site called Cerro Careyeros that dates back to 800 AD.

Marietas Islands

Marietas Islands
It is a national park formed by two islands of volcanic origin, mainly dedicated to the protection of marine fauna. These islands are Isla Larga and Isla Redonda, which were a popular destination for the famous oceanographer Jacques Cousteau.

Its most popular beach is Playa Amor and among the main activities is diving. On the islands you can see seabirds, turtles, dolphins and humpback whales in winter.

Rincon de Guayabitos

El Coral Island
It is a coastal town dedicated to fishing and tourism, whose beach is highly appreciated for its calm waves. In it various sporting events are held where swimming, races and mountain bike races are combined.

In the area the release of small turtles is carried out and whale sightings can also be made. Nearby is Playa del Toro, a practically virgin beach surrounded by vegetation, 2 km away is Playa Los Ayala and a few minutes by boat, Isla El Coral.


Archaeological Zone of Altavista. Source: Ivonne Leticia Contreras Rodríguez, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons
This town is known as “Gallery Town” due to the great diversity of birds that can be observed in its surroundings. On its coast there are beaches such as Las Cuevas with strong waves, and Chacalilla with calm waters.

As well as La Caleta, with ideal waves for surfing and spa services. In its vicinity is the Archaeological Zone of Altavista, where an important sample of petroglyphs from about 4,000 years ago can be observed.


This fishing and tourist town is located in the Bay of Banderas. You can enjoy here the central beach with high waves and other nearby beaches. In addition, most fishermen have their boats (pangas) for tourist tours.

In these there are whale watching, diving and sport fishing. On the other hand, there are several nightclubs in the town that brighten up Sayulita’s nights.

Los Muertos Beach

This beach is located just 11 minutes from the town of Sayulita in the Rivera Nayarit. It receives this name precisely because it is accessed from said town through the cemetery.

In fact, the walk from the town is in itself a beautiful experience, along a path lined with abundant vegetation. It is a wide beach surrounded by vegetation and calm waters.

San Blas

San Blas
It is a city and port head of the municipality of the same name in Nayarit, which offers us beautiful beaches. Among them Las Islitas Beach, El Borrego, Los Cocos Beach and Aticama.

While in the bay of Matanchén we find the boardwalk and the tourist pier. You should also visit the Juan Bananas Bakery with the traditional banana bread.

On the other hand, you can take a boat ride through the canals and mangroves of La Tovara. As well as visiting the Fort of La Contaduría, built in 1760 and located on Cerro San Basileo, on the premises of the municipality.

Ixtlán del Rio

Church of Santo Santiago Apóstol in Ixtlán del Río, Nayarit (Mexico). Source: Edgalyndo, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons
Located southeast of Nayarit, it offers historic buildings such as the Parroquia de Santo Santiago Apóstol, the Portal Redondo and the Tereseña. While in the municipal territory are the archaeological sites of Los Toriles or Ixtlán.

In it are the Palace of the Columns, the Palace of the Reliefs, the Palace of the Four Columns and the Palace in Square. As well as a rare pyramid in Mesoamerica with a circular base, 4 m high and 24 m in diameter.

Novillero Beach

This beach won the Guinness Record as the longest beach in Mexico, reaching 85 km long and 50 meters wide. It is found crossing the bridge that crosses the channel of La Barra in Tecuala. In addition to enjoying the beach, you can explore the mangroves, observe the abundant fauna and visit the Laguna de Agua Brava.

Cruz de Huanacaxtle

Bay of Banderas, Cruz de Huanacaxtle
Located between Bucerías and Punta de Mita, this coastal town offers attractive beaches such as Playa de La Cruz, Playa La Manzanilla and Playa Destiladeras. In addition to its famous market, the Tequila and Mariachi Museum and boat rides to see the dolphins.

Sierra de Nayarit or Sierra de Nayar

Sierra de Nayarit, Mexico. Source: Christian Frausto Bernal, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons
This mountain range is part of the Sierra Madre Occidental and offers a beautiful natural environment for adventure tourism. In it you can go hiking, camping, observe the abundant flora and fauna and even visit historical ruins, such as the Mission of the Holy Trinity. On the other hand, in the region of Santa Teresa de Jesús there are various waterfalls and wells of great beauty.


In this coastal town you can enjoy walking through its streets, visiting the Church of the Lady of La Paz and the market, as well as beautiful beaches. It offers comfortable hotels, horseback riding and beach sports.

In addition, in Bucerías there is the traditional night art walk or Art Walk Night, visiting art galleries and craft shops.

Tortugueros camps

Tortuguero camp in Nayarit
In Nayarit there are more than a dozen turtle camps, sites destined to conserve and make known the sea turtles. These animals in danger of extinction worldwide are protected in these places, incubating their eggs and releasing the turtles on the beaches.

These camps allow you to live closely with nature while participating in its conservation. They are found in Punta de Mita, Punta Raza, Sayulita, Lo de Marcos, San Blas, San Marcos, Boca de Chila and Nuevo Vallarta. Also in El Naranjo, Platanitos, Playa Las Tortugas, La Puntilla, Sesteo and Corchos.

Mexcaltitán Island

Mexcaltitán Island. Source: Luis Méndez Covarrubias, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons
This peculiar island is located in the municipality of Santiago Ixcuintla and is completely covered by the houses of the town of the same name. They are houses with gabled roofs painted in colors, whose streets are flooded in the rainy season, so they are traveled in pangas (boats).

Isabel de Nayarit Island

Isabel de Nayarit Island
It is an island of volcanic origin located 74 km from the coast of San Blas, which was declared a national park. It has a rich marine fauna and is ideal for diving and underwater photography. Many seabirds nest in it, including earwigs and various species of so-called booby birds.

Santa Maria del Oro Lagoon

Santa Maria del Oro Lagoon
It is a circular lagoon of 3.7 km 2 in surface, with a maximum depth of 60 m, on whose banks is the city of the same name. It is called the crater lake due to its origin in the caldera of an ancient volcano. There it is possible to perform various water sports, camping or boating the lake, and restaurant service is also offered.


  1. CONACULTA. Nayarit. West. Mexico. Taken from:
  2. Huízar-Sánchez, MA (2018). Local development and tourism in the Bay of Banderas. University of Guadalajara.
  3. Marín-Guardado, G. (2009). Tourism, globalization and local development: Puerto Vallarta and the challenges of the future Demographic and Urban Studies, El Colegio de México, AC Distrito Federal, Mexico.
  4. Mexico. Nayarit Maps and Tourist Information Riviera Nayarit, Colonial Nayarit, Lagunas Encantadas, Sierra del Nayar Nayarit Maps and Tourist Information Taken from:

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