Juan Enrique Suárez Del Real Tostado, the minister of tourism for Nayarit, did not mince words when asked to describe the ambiance and attraction of the Mexican State, one of 32 in the country.
First, describing Nayarit as “the jewel of Mexico”, Suárez listed volcanoes, waterfalls, beaches, whales, migratory birds, and crocodiles. Then, to top the list, he added culture, gastronomy, and magic towns (Pueblos Mágicos). Finally, he concluded, “You put all these things together, and you have Nayarit.”
Suárez noted visitors often regarded Puerto Vallarta in the State of Jalisco, and Nuevo Vallarta in Nayarit, as one vast metropolis. However, in July 2022, Nuevo Vallarta officially became known as Nuevo Nayarit, thus consolidating its distinct identity.
Popular tourist destinations on the northern coast of Nayarit, alongside Banderas Bay, include:
- Bucerias (locally referred to as ‘B.C.-erias’ to acknowledge the West Coast Canadian visitor connection),
- Punta de Mita (an upscale destination home to the St. Regis Hotel and the Four Seasons) and the gateway to Islas Mariettas, where colonies of Blue-footed Boobies can be found)
- Sayulita (a Magic Town known as ‘party central’ for surfers and beach lovers),
- San Francisco, a.k.a San Pancho (for those who love to chill out).
And further north, past the cut-off to San Blas, known for its beaches, the best birding in Mexico, and Islas Marias, we took the new Autopista Tepic-San Blas, northeast to the Magic Town of Jala. When the highway and the new International section of the Tepic airport are complete after 2024, visitors will be able to access Punta de Mita and newly planned developments, such as Costa Canuva, in 45 minutes.
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