Let's be honest, what else does anyone really need besides sun, sand and sea to be happy? In Riviera Nayarit (aka. Mexico's Riviera), the long wide sandy carpets of powder at the base of the Sierra Madre mountains make for ideal places to catch the sun's rays. Fishing, wind-surfing, scuba diving, boating and turtle watching are also encouraged.

Nuevo Vallarta Beach

This is "the" beach in Nuevo Vallarta and boasts stretches of wide sandy beach ringed by luxury condos and sprawling resort hotels.

La Manzanilla

Steady waters and gorgeous scenery make this among one of the most visited beaches in Riviera Nayarit.

Bucerias Beach

Gentle waves and a variety of oceanfront palapa restaurants make this a popular place for families. With calm waters and steady wind, this beach is fabulous for kite surfing and playing in the water.

El Anclote

This beach lies along highway 200 on your way to Bucerias and offers clear, warm waters along with dozens of coastal birds. It's also prime for amazing sunsets.

Punta de Mita

Home to The Four Seasons and the boutique resort Casa Las Brisas, this beach is quiet and beautiful.

Los Muertos Beach (El Centro)

Yes, this translates to "The Dead," but this Puerto Vallarta beach is one of the area's most popular. Fresh seafood is sold by passing vendors, and it is excellent for laying out on the sand with a good book or a friend.

Las Caletas Beach

A tourist must! This lush hidden cove, south of Puerto Vallarta, is comprised of three small sandy beaches and is the former home of movie director John Huston.

Sayulita

A surfer's dream destination. This small fishing village has become a haven for expats, surfers and anyone looking for the Bohemian coastal vibe. Only a 45 minute bus drive north through lush tropical jungle, and you will find yourself in a quaint piece of paradise.

Punta de Burro

A small beach with thunderous waves that expert surfers tend to enjoy. You can see the Marietas Islands from here, making for a fun excursion.

Boca de Tomates Beach

A bit of a drive but worth it. This sandy retreat boasts more crocodiles, sea turtles and exotic birds than sun worshippers. It also features fun palapa restaurants.

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