Mexico’s stunning Pacific Coast is famed for embodying the authentic spirit, vibrancy and diversity of the country
This season, two of the most attractive destinations in the Mexican West Coast, Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, will once again be within easier reach for UK travellers. Launching on 3rd May, new direct weekly flights from London and Manchester to Puerto Vallarta International Airport will bring these treasures of Mexico within closer proximity to the UK market than ever before. The airport serves both destinations, which are united at Banderas Bay, (the seventh largest bay in the world) and while Puerto Vallarta (located in the state of Jalisco, birthplace of tequila and the Mariachi – the Mexican cowboy) is nestled in the bay, Riviera Nayarit unfolds ten minutes north of the airport, along 190 miles of picture-perfect coastline in the state of Nayarit.
Visitors will arrive in the midst of two equally naturally rich and exciting destinations, where the opportunity to embark on a Mexican adventure will commence – from whizzing down the longest zip-lining circuit in Mexico to trekking through the rainforest via crashing waterfalls and tropical lagoons; and wandering through traditional villages, home to descendants of the Aztecs – not to mention the scattering of captivating wildlife you will meet along the way. As well as the exhilarating activities, a backdrop of breathtakingly diverse landscapes await. Encased by the Sierra Madre Mountains yet with pristine, sandy beaches and deep-blue Pacific waters within easy reach, the views and constant subtropical climate will remain locked in the memory bank long after your exploration comes to an end.
Puerto Vallarta has a long-standing reputation in Mexico, as it was put on the map following the block-buster film ‘The Night of the Iguana’ in the 60s. The picturesque destination remains a traditional, renowned, must-visit destination in Mexico, while Riviera Nayarit has fast become the newest addition to the holiday scene, its stunning coastline and unrivalled luxury having caused quite a stir. Combined, both destinations have plenty to offer adventure seekers, wildlife enthusiasts, families and honeymooners.
AT A GLANCE
An abundance of wildlife is available to spot within the luscious, natural surroundings, a dream for animal-lovers who will rejoice at the sight of indigenous turtles and one of the largest, colourful bird populations in the world. One of Mexico’s largest bays, Banderas Bay (Bahia de Banders), stretches across both regions and is home to exotic sealife and endangered species, making it a prime ecotourism destination and must-visit spot. From interacting with spinner dolphins to whale-watching (the bay is the birthplace of the Humpback Whale), as well as the signature Olive Ridley marine turtles who can be spotted by the dozen, there are plenty of fascinating sights to be discovered.
Upholding tradition is at the heart of both regions, and visitors can learn a lot from the locals by visiting the quaint and picturesque towns. Encompassing a range of separate ethnic groups and celebrating the arts and gastronomy with dedicated festivals, unearthing the culture within Mexico is both an interactive and joyful experience. Take a trip to the remote mountain villages and discover the simple way of life of the Wixarika Indians, who still live according to the ancient pre-Columbian traditions.
Offering a mix of authentic, contemporary and international cuisine, every meal enjoyed within the confines of both regions will enrich your palette with every bite. From foodies seeking out family-run taco stands and fresh catch of the day, to gourmet creations, there is nothing short of choice when it comes to mealtimes.
The allure to unlock the very best of Mexico all in one place is what sets the unique destinations apart. Introducing Vallarta-Nayarit, but of course, you have to ‘live it to believe it’…
Images courtesy Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau and Puerto Vallarta Convention and Visitors Bureau