Take off your shoes and let the surf cover your toes in Riviera Nayarit where the pristine Pacific Coast is framed by the majestic Sierra Madre Mountains. This full-service vacation resort, twenty minutes north of Airport Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, Puerto Vallarta's international airport, is its own separate stand-alone destination sitting amidst sleepy fishing villages, stunning views and an assortment of modern hotels. Stay busy during the day snorkeling, surfing, scuba diving or just lounging poolside, while your nights are devoted to sitting on your private villa balcony watching the sun surrender to a starry canopy.
Video courtesy of OCV/CVB Riviera Nayarit.
Getting Your Bearings
Riviera Nayarit is located in the heart of Mexico's Pacific coastline and is encircled by the rugged Sierra Madre Mountains to the east and fronted by the Bay of Banderas. The area is home to migrating gray whales and a plethora of sea life. Though just a 20 minute drive from its more famous sibling, Puerto Vallarta, it is one hour ahead (so check your watch before heading to the airport). This is due to the fact that Riviera Nayarit is located in Nayarit and Puerto Vallarta is in Jalisco, completely different states.
Riviera Nayarit Fast Facts
Airport Gustavo Diaz Ordaz is located twenty minutes south and is served by a wide variety of national and international airlines, many with nonstop flights to Puerto Vallarta. Riviera Nayarit is a short taxi ride away. Passports are required for U.S. and Canadian citizens.
Expect a tropical year-round climate with average daytime temperatures of 80-90 degrees and cooler evening temperatures in the winter months. From June to October, temperatures average 90-95 with high humidity and regular rainfall. This is the true tropics. In the winter season, November to May, temperatures are cooler during the days and can be quite chilly at night. The days are dry and sunny with clear nights.
When to Go
High season is November to April, with temperatures in the 70s-80s, and people flock to the coast to avoid cold northern conditions. The streets are busy and action is in the air. This is the perfect time of year to experience the rich blend of culture and tourism in divine weather. The rainy season is June to October and gives the quiet perspective of the coast. This is a time to take in deep heat, solitary beach walks, and gorgeous evening thunderstorms. This is a very peaceful time of year.
Most of the festival action takes place in flashier Puerto Vallarta. The boardwalk hosts the city's May Day Parade on May 1st, with even more celebrations on Cinco de Mayo (May 5th); artists take over the city during the Art Festival in November; also in November is the Gastronomic Festival which attracts foodies from all over the globe; while December marks the Puerto Vallarta Film Festival. Go to www.visitpuertovallarta.com for more information. December is also the start of whale watching season in the Bay of Banderas.
A Brief History
Puerto Vallarta is old, with vestiges of its former historic self while Riviera Nayarit is a planned resort community that is mostly new. And, because of the similar names and the fact that the two "Vallartas" are close to each other, many tend to confuse them. The reality is that Riviera Nayarit is a federally funded government project that began more than ten years ago. It now features a state-of-the-art marina, more than three miles of sandy beaches, deluxe resort amenities and shopping malls. Just beyond its commercialization are a variety of quaint villages and lush natural beauty, making it enticing and full of wonder with all flavors of a Mexican coastal destination.
Don't Miss: Riviera Nayarit
- Swim with dolphins
- Visit the turtle sanctuary
- Indulge in a spa treatment
- Tour the beachfront town of Bucerias
- Surf in Sayulita (or just watch)
- Golf at El Tigre
- Go whale-watching
- Kayak in the Bay of Banderas
- Get wet at Splash Water Park
- Watch the sun set over Banderas Bay