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Nayarit, a state on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, is a popular travel and vacation destination. There are large international resort hotels in the southernmost part of Nayarit (a spillover from adjacent Puerto Vallarta), but most of the coastal communities are smaller, less known destinations that have historically attracted backpackers, surfers, and the "off the beaten path" crowd.


  • Riviera Nayarit — a coastal strip more than 160 km (100 miles) long, beginning at the Ameca River (just minutes north of the Puerto Vallarta International Airport), and extending up north to the colonial town of San Blas.


  • 1 Tepic — the state capital, nestled in a green valley
  • 2 Bucerias — a beach town popular with expats
  • 3 Chacala — a beach town known for its unhurried lifestyle
  • 4 Lo De Marcos — it attracts Mexican and foreign tourists, particularly retirees and RV dwellers
  • 5 La Peñita de Jaltemba — the service community for the nearby resort of Rincón de Guayabitos
  • 6 San Blas (Mexico) — relaxed scene and lack of condos and package tourists
  • 7 San Francisco (Mexico) — offers Playa San Pancho and jungle hikes
  • 8 Sayulita — small, laid-back town increasingly popular with tourists, long popular for surfing
  • 9 Tuxpan — the nearest port to Mexico City

Other destinations[edit]

  • 1 Mexcaltitán Mexcaltitán de Uribe on Wikipedia — historical island settlement
  • 2 Punta Mita — a private beachfront village surrounded on three sides by the Pacific Ocean
  • 3 Ixtlán del Rio Ixtlán del Rio (archaeological site) on Wikipedia — an archaeological site in the Ixtlán del Rio municipality, in the southeast corner of Nayarit State; it is also known as "Los Toriles" and contains the only vestiges of the western cultures in Nayarit


The beaches of San Blas and the so-called "Riviera Nayarit" are popular with tourists. Besides tourism, the economy of the state is based mainly on agriculture and fishing.

Most of the state is rough backcountry dominated by mountains and canyons. These areas are definitely unpopular with tourists and are the home of two indigenous groups: the Huichol and the Cora, who refer to themselves as the Nayarit.

Get in[edit]

The easiest way to get to Nayarit is by plane to PVR for coastal destinations or to GDL for inland destinations, then use buses, taxis, or rental cars to get where you want to go.

By plane[edit]

  • 1 Tepic International Airport (TPQ IATA). Small airport with limited domestic service. Aeromar flies to and from Mexico City. Volaris flies to and from Tijuana and Mexico City.
  • 2 Licenciado Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR IATA), Carr. Fed. Tepic-Vallarta Km 7.5, Área Militar de Vallarta (4 km (2.5 mi) south of Nueva Vallarta as the crow flies but about 13 km to drive around and to the other side of the airport runway to reach the main passenger terminal from Nueva Vallarta, about 1 hour south of Sayulita via highway MEX 200 (Carr. Tepic-Vallarta)). Puerto Vallarta is the largest airport in the region with frequent flights to all major Mexican airports, frequent flights by US carriers to Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles and more Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport (Q2666312) on Wikidata Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport on Wikipedia

By bus[edit]

There's different kinds of buses you can use to get into Nayarit and to get around. Local or long-distance.

Long distance buses typically depart from bus stations (but may make unscheduled stops on demand to pick up and drop off passengers). Travellers in southern Nayarit (such as Punta Mita or Nuevo Vallarta) will use the Puerto Vallarta bus station (Carretera Tepic-Vallarta km 9, Colonia Mojoneras, located close to the PVR airport). From there, buses are available to Tepic, Guadalajara, or other cities throughout the region.

Local bus service is based in Puerto Vallarta, but the local buses also serve Nuevo Vallarta and areas as far north as Sayulita. When using local buses, be aware that every bus requires you to pay a fare: there is no such thing as a transfer ticket in this area. The bus to Wal-Mart is usually M$10, the bus to Nuevo Vallarta is M$25, and the bus to Sayulita is M$35 (2022 fares). All bus routes from Puerto Vallarta to anywhere in Nayarit will require 2 buses.

To get anywhere in Nayarit by local bus from Puerto Vallarta, take a northbound bus with a "WalMart" sign in the windshield. Get off the bus at Wal-Mart and take an appropriate bus to where you want to go. There is a guy with a clipboard there who can help you. Don't try to do this too late in the evening: The last bus to Nuevo Vallarta leaves Wal-Mart at 9pm.

  • To Nuevo Vallarta, look for the bus with "Nuevo Vallarta" for the southern part of Nuevo or "Riu" for the northern part
  • To Bucerias or Punta Mita, look for the bus with "Punta Mita" in the windshield
  • To Sayulita, look for the green and white bus with "Sayulita" in the windshield

Get around[edit]


  • The Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California — a UNESCO World Heritage site, shared with three other Mexican states




Stay safe[edit]

Nayarit is generally peaceful and tourists have few problems in the popular coastal areas, however, things become dicey north of Tepic with rural roads leading into Sinaloa, where significant cartel violence has occurred over the past two decades.

Go next[edit]

This region travel guide to Nayarit is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!