When you imagine a summer holiday, chances are you think of golden sandy beaches, bowing palm trees, endless sunshine, delicious food and a crystal-clear sea to cool off in. Turns out – you’re imagining the paradise of Puerto Vallarta in the state of Jalisco and Riviera Nayarit in the state of Nayarit!
Set on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, these neighbouring regions provide the perfect opportunity to kick back, relax and enjoy land and sea adventures bundled with history and culture.
The best part? You can fly DIRECT from the UK!
Soak up the Sun
With more than 200 miles of dazzling sandy coastline, Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit boast the perfect spot for beach-bum fanatics. Whether it’s lounging with a cocktail, snorkelling in the reefs or surfing the waves – these beaches can’t be beat.
Nuevo Vallarta is one of the most exclusive beach destinations in Riviera Nayarit, home to 5km of sandy shore. Along with lounging, NV provides an array of adventure-fuelled activities, including scuba diving, surfing and snorkelling. The destination is also home to stunning hotels, wellness retreats and award-winning golf courses.
If you’re a keen explorer of hidden gems, head down to Chacala’s beach in Riviera Nayarit, where you’ll see locals splashing in the waves and enjoying their weekends. The grilled fish in the thatched-hut restaurants is a mouth-watering experience.
One of the most famous beaches in the region of Puerto Vallarta, Playa Los Muertos is ideal for a family-fun day out in the hustle and bustle of excitement. But if you’re keen on a more tranquil and secluded day out, Boca de Tomatlán and a trip to Las Caletas will leave you breathless.
Top Tip: no matter what beach you’re on, make sure you take out your earphones and listen to the wildlife sounds (whilst wearing a sombrero).
Ride on the Wild Side
Nature and wildlife frame the beauty of the destination and will leave you with once-in-a-lifetime memories.
Starting with the marine life, Banderas Bay is home to groups of whales between the season of December – March dolphins and sea turtles that love to play. These beautiful creatures are looked after by the regions, respected and cared for – so much so that they come into human contact in the wild. Take a trip with Wildlife Connection, where professional biologists give an educational boat tour to seek out the sea-life.
Top Tip: the dolphins like to play with the whales, so look out for some big splashes and noisy sprays!
Adrenaline Junkies’ Dream
Whether you head out on the water or stay dry on land, there is adventure to be found at every turn within both regions.
Watersport fanatics can kayak, jet-ski and kitesurf in the bays of Riviera Nayarit and some of the world’s best surf spots. Sayulita rocks a cool hippy vibe and is the perfect base for your surfing and paddle boarding adventures.
For one of the best snorkelling spots where the marine life is unparalleled, head out with Los Arcos National Marine Park in Puerto Vallarta and become one with the sea-life.
If you want to stay out of the water – or rather ABOVE the water – head up the Sierra Mountains for mountain biking, jeep safaris, horseback riding and bungee jumping on slopes and waterfalls. Vallarta Adventures offer great excursions.
Top Tip: wear a go-pro on your head whilst flying on a zip-line for epic footage!
Tease Your Taste Buds
Mexican cuisine has been replicated all over the world, but no matter how good the tacos and tequila you’ve had before, nothing will prepare you for the real thing!
For a fantastic foodie day out and a hands-on experience, check out Gaby’s Restaurant Bar in Puerto Vallarta and embark on a cooking class. It includes a walking tour to the local markets, picking out fresh ingredients, raicilla tasting, endless food and a lot of fun!
If you want a full day of food (who doesn’t?), check out Vallarta Food Tours and their array of excursions. You’ll enjoy everything from cheese-crusted shrimp tacos and yellow fin tuna to cold Pacificos beer and pescado zarandeado, best served with red snapper and handmade tortillas.
Love fish? Head over to El Barrcuda in Nuevo Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit – home to the most delicious ceviche and shrimp pastors. There is also a branch on the beach at Playa Camarones in Puerto Vallarta if you want to enjoy some light bites whilst tanning.
Top Tip: try the super-moreish mole sauce at Gaby’s or the famous pineapple mezcalita cocktail at El Barracuda.