Starting about 10 minutes north of the Puerto Vallarta International Airport and heading north, Riviera Nayarit is at the heart of the Banderas Bay. The northern border of the region has been officially extended to include the entire coast of the state of Nayarit—a section made up of vast areas of mangroves and wetlands that are unsuitable for building but ideal for bird-watching and other ecotourism activities.
The area includes the developed area of Nuevo Vallarta, just north of Puerto Vallarta Airport; the beach towns of Flamingos, Bucerias and La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, along the highway north that follows Banderas Bay; Punta Mita, which juts into the Pacific and is home to luxury resorts Four Seasons and St. Regis; the more isolated resort area of Litibu; Sayulita and San Francisco (also known as San Pancho); two surfing towns with large American expat communities; and a string of even more remote small towns along a lovely coast of rocky coves and mangroves to the northern border it shares with the state of Sinaloa.
Not so long ago, these charming towns were sleepy little villages. Now, they are quickly being discovered by tourists and retirees seeking a quieter part of Mexico. And for those who want to experience both sides of the country, Riviera Nayarit is within an easy distance of the shopping, dining and nightlife of Puerto Vallarta.
Among the highlights in the region is the chance to shop for local artwork and colorful traditional Huichol handicrafts.
For more information, visit the region's Web site at http://www.rivieranayarit.com.
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