(See Map below) Nayarit’s long tufted coastline is one of the hidden, untouristed gems of the Mexican Pacific shore. Its beauty—verdant mountain and shoreline forests, orchard-swathed plains, and curving yellow strands of sand—is largely natural. Nevertheless, the amenities of civilization are abundant in the Nayarit Coast’s necklace of petite, hidden beachside resorts—Sayulita, Playa San Francisco, Lo de Marcos,Rincón de Guayabitos, Chacala, and San Blas—that offer an exceptional mix of South Seas delights.
Beach sunning and strolling; fishing; bird-, dolphin-, and whale-watching; wilderness camping; adventure sports opportunities; and comfortable hotels and good restaurants to boot await those willing to follow the road an hour or two north of Puerto Vallarta.
First stop along the way should be Sayulita, once mostly the home of fishing families and oyster divers. Now, it’s a haven for a winter platoon of youthful foreign sunbathers and surfer wannabes.
A few miles farther north, San Francisco (or locally, San Pancho) still retains its sleepy beach-village ambience, but is also home to a growing community of North American vacationers and retirees.
And finally, Tepic, the Nayarit state capital, nestled in its fertile volcano-rimmed valley.