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The Ultimate Guide to Nayarit Beaches

DESTINATION | Published on 02/10/2019
Optimizada beach guide

Sandy beaches dot Mexico’s Pacific coast, sparkling like jewels washed up from the turquoise sea. Laying out on the soft Nayarit Mexico beaches or trying different watersports in the sea is the perfect way to spend an afternoon on vacation. Each of the Riviera Nayarit beaches has its own distinct personality and vibe depending on its location and the fall of the waves. Some of the best beaches in Riviera Nayarit are famed surf breaks while others are smooth and tranquil spots for kids to swim. As you explore each of these Nayarit destinations, take time to soak up the views and to sample the local seafood.

Nuevo Vallarta Beach

Nuevo Vallarta is one of the most popular Nayarit destinations, attracting thousands of visitors every year to come and play on the wide beaches. The Nuevo Vallarta beach is one of the best beaches in Riviera Nayarit because it is so spacious. Stake out your own spot, and you’ll have plenty of room for building sandcastles and throwing a frisbee. Many of the top resorts are located along this long stretch of coastline, making it easy to access. If you’re staying along the beach, you can easily head back to your room for a break from the sun or head to one of the delicious dining options for authentic Mexican food.


The surfing village of Sayulita has some of the best beaches in Riviera Nayarit for watersports. Board rentals and surf class are incredibly popular with the gentle waves crashing against the shore, but kayaking and paddleboarding are also great options. As you explore the boutique shops and local restaurants along the brightly-painted cobblestone streets, it’s easy to see why Sayulita is one of the most charming Nayarit destinations. It’s also home to a Nayarit hidden beach. Most visitors stay on the beach in front of the town, but the locals know to head south through the cemetery to the less-crowded Los Muertos Beach. Don’t miss out on exploring both of these Riviera Nayarit beaches on your next vacation.

Islas Marietas

The most famous and secluded Nayarit hidden beach is on the Marietas Islands. Located off the tip of the Bay of Banderas, these islands are extraordinary for their unique formations, rare birds, and hidden beach. Underneath a jagged rock formation where blue-footed booby birds are nesting, Lover’s Beach is the most secret Nayarit hidden beach. To access the beach, you’ll have to make reservations early since only a certain number of visitors are permitted each day in efforts to conserve the unique ecosystem. After swimming into the center the island, the rocky dome opens up and light pours onto the sandy shores of Lover’s Beach.

Playa Destiladera

For powdery sand and calm waters, head to Playa Destiladera on the north end of the bay. Along several miles of virgin coastline, you can splash in the water or lay out in the sun. Local vendors will pass by, renting umbrellas and selling snacks. Here, you’ll truly feel like you’ve stumbled across paradise as you watch the palms sway in the breeze and gaze down miles of uninterrupted coastline. While it’s one of the less popular Nayarit Mexico beaches, those who have discovered it value its tranquility and beauty.

Lo de Marcos

Several of the Riviera Nayarit beaches are home to small communities whose simple lifestyles attract certain travelers to slow down and enjoy the beach life. Most of the communities along Nayarit Mexico beaches are known for their fishing boats and fresh seafood restaurants, and Lo de Marcos is one of the best. Off the beaten path, this fishing village maintains its distinct Mexican culture with wide cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and flowering trees around every corner. If you’re looking for Nayarit beaches away from the crowds and the best seafood you’ve ever tasted, a day trip to Lo de Marcos is the best way to experience more of Mexico. 

Each of the beaches in Riviera Nayarit is its own unique gem. Whether you’re looking for a charming city to explore or freshly caught seafood to eat, there’s something for everyone along Mexico’s golden coast.

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