How to Experience the Riviera Nayarit in One Day

In Play, Puerto Vallarta by Suzanne Koch

Whether you’re spending a week in Riviera Nayarit, making a pit stop mid-cruise or simply stumble upon the lush area, there’s plenty to see and do. From chic beach towns, to adventurous excursions and tempting food, Riviera Nayarit is full of surprises, even if you only have one day.


Start your day off in the hippie-chic beach town of Sayulita, where vivid colors of boutique storefronts line cobblestone streets. Grab an authentic morning breakfast like chilaquiles or huevos rancheros at Chocobanana or Panino’s. Afterwards, spend the morning working off your meal by hitting one of the many surf and SUP classes at Luna Azul, Sayulita Surf Camps or Rancho Mi Chaparrita. For a drier morning, Rancho Mi Chaparrita also offers zip-lining that gives riders heart-stopping, picture-perfect views of the town below. To calm your heart rate after, hit up Revolucion Del Sueño boutique for colorful shopping.


Head to Punta de Mita, located at the north tip of Banderas Bay on nearly six miles of beaches and hills. Enjoy a fresh lunch at popular beachside restaurant, Si Señor that serves traditional dishes like pescado zarandeado. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the nearby Las Marietas islands by private boat. The islands were formed by volcanic activity and are said to have once been a pirate hideout. Today, these islands are full of wildlife and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. For more excursions, Punta Mita Expeditions has an array of activities to please anyone, from snorkeling, diving, swimming, kayaking, birdwatching, whale watching and more.


Enjoy a casual evening in Bucerias, a tiny fishing town highlighted by its main square that’s filled with boutique shops, art galleries, pubs and authentic, beachfront seafood restaurants. Grab some handcrafted pieces of art at the outdoor Mercado Artesanal to take home with you before dining in Nuevo Vallarta where exclusive restaurants—like El Barracuda and Nicksan—abound.

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