Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide: Magic Towns

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns

 

Ever since my trip to Puerto Vallarta a few years ago, I’ve been itching to get back to Mexico. I loved the food, the unique experiences and the breathtaking location! This time around, I had the opportunity to explore Nayarit’s magic towns! During the trip, I explore everything from bustling beach side towns and volcanos to quaint villages and farms. It was such an incredible experience and I’m so excited to share my latest travel itinerary with you – my Nayarit Mexico travel guide!

 

 

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Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide: The Magic Towns

Nayarit is close to Puerto Vallarta but the vibe is completely different! It was really neat to see a different and more authentic side to Mexico.

 

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns

 

What I loved my recent trip to Mexico is that I got to see so many hidden gems! The resorts are beautiful, of course, but Nuevo Nayarit  has so much more to offer. Nayarit is full of color, romance and has so many beautiful and interesting places to explore! San Pancho and Sayulita are two of those places. Situated along the Riviera Nayarit, both of these beach towns have an authentic old world charm about them that I just love! Although they’re next to each other, they differ in so many ways.

 

San Pancho

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns

 

San Pancho (also known as San Francisco) is a charming small town with a friendly locals, a gorgeous beach, stunning streets and a relaxing atmosphere. It was definitely picturesque with beautiful architecture, colorful flags lining the streets and an untouched beach. The beach was actually my favorite part of this small town! It was so clean and absolutely beautiful. I actually preferred it to the more popular Nayarit beach in Sayulita!

 

 

Sayulita

 

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Sayulita

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Sayulita

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Sayulita

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Sayulita

 

In contrast to San Pancho, Sayulita has a much more lively and bohemian vibe with tons of shopping, great eateries and an iconic surf scene. Sayulita is also one of Nayarit‘s four Magic Towns (Pueblo Magico)! I love the colorful flags in San Pancho but they are quite abundant in Sayulita with many opportunities for Instagram-worthy photos! There was also a fairly large market, a bustling beach and unique architecture.

 

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Sayulita

Don Pedro’s in Sayulita Nayarit
We stopped at the famed Don Pedro’s for lunch! This popular beachside restaurant has a great view of the ocean and serves up lots of delicious food in a casual atmosphere. I had some type of steak taco and it was pretty good!
These are definitely worth a stop if you’re looking to explore unique beach towns near Nuevo Nayarit and Puerto Vallarta. Which one is more your vibe – the quaint, picturesque San Pancho or the vibrant, energetic Sayulita?
Check out the short video to see more of San Pancho and Sayulita!
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Compostela Nayarit

 

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Compostela

We continued our Mexican adventure with a stop in Compostela, another hidden gem in Nayarit. Finding beautiful places off the beaten path brings my heart so much joy because I feel that you get a more authentic travel experience. Compostela is one of the four Magic Towns (Pueblo Magico) in Nayarit and was founded in 1530. It’s a charming and authentic small town full of incredible history, friendly locals, colorful streets and truly, the best Mexican food I’ve ever had in my life (aside from my mother-in-law, of course hehe)! Still dreaming of the strawberry “raspado” and tacos!
They are well-known for their leather goods and coffee. We were even lucky enough to visit a coffee workshop to learn about the process firsthand! Of course, we brought some back with us. We also toured their gorgeous church and picked up some fresh fruit and sweets from the market. Compostela was honestly such a dream!
Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Compostela
Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Compostela
Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Compostela
Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Compostela
Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Compostela
Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Compostela
Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Compostela
The Plaza
One thing I love about Mexico are the plazas! This one is just stunning in every way. The beautiful architecture of the church and gazebo definitely steal the show but you’ll also find an abundance of flowers, statues and people lounging about on the benches. It’s such a serene place to relax or take a stroll.
Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Compostela
Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Compostela
Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Compostela
Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Compostela
Santiago Apóstol Parish Church
I always love visiting Mexican churches because they are just SO pretty! The one was quaint but quite regal with opulent decor and breathtaking architecture. The exterior is just as gorgeous as the interior and seems to be at the center of Compostela. There is just so much history to be discovered in this area!
Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Compostela
Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Compostela
Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Compostela
Markets
The area surrounding the church is full of shops, markets and vendors. You can sample lots of delicious fruit, candy, and more! They also have a few shops with colorful clothing, blankets and crafts.
Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Compostela
Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Compostela
Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Compostela
Molote Coffee Workshop
We also had the opportunity to attend a coffee workshop at Molote, where we learned about how the coffee goes from the farm into the hands of customers. The whole process was insightful and educational and of course, I loved getting to sample a few things. We brought home some coffee and tequila! We also got to know the family and the story behind how their coffee brand came to be. They were so kind and accommodating!
Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Compostela
Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Compostela
Refresqueria el Manatial de Compostela
We stopped in at the famous Refresqueria el Manatial de Compostela for a Raspado! I had never had one previously so I didn’t know what to expect. Since I have a dairy allergy, I opted out of most toppings and ended up with strawberries and ice. It sounds so simple but oh my gosh, this was the. BEST thing ever! So so so good! Still dreaming about it lol!
Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Compostela
Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Compostela
Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Compostela
Restaurante Camahuer II
This was, hands down, one of the best Nayarit restaurants we ate at during our whole trip! I had tacos with the BEST sauce ever. My husband opted for Carne Asada and he said it was the best that he’s ever tasted! The rice, beans and salsa were delicious too. Of course, I had a bite of his to make sure haha! He wasn’t lying – it was really good.
Check out the short video to see more of Compostela!
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Jala Nayarit

 

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

 

We visited three of the four Magic Towns (Pueblo Magico) in Nayarit and while I loved all of them, I have to say that the most magical of all was Jala. Situated inland away from the hustle and bustle of the cities and resorts, is this authentic Mexican village known for it’s agriculture (including giant corn), volcano and  magic. For such a small town, there do much to do!

Adventurers will love the Ceboruco volcano (thrill seekers can also paraglide!), history lovers will enjoy seeing the basilica and old church and foodies will adore the fresh farm to table options. And of course, don’t forget to immerse yourself in the authentic Mexican culture by strolling along the colorful streets and grabbing some delicious treats from the market. Jala was probably my favorite out of all the towns we visited. Definitely worth the trek!

 

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

 

Ceboruco Volcano

Seeing Ceboruco Volcano was such a cool experience! We got up there a bit late so we didn’t have much time to explore but it was still a blast. On the way up, we stopped at a lookout to view the town of Jala. Once we got there, I saw smoke coming from various areas of rock. The smoke was actually more like steam and felt like a sauna. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen!

 

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

 

Basícila Lateranese de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción

This is truly one of the most beautiful basilicas that I’ve ever seen! The outside is, of course, very beautiful but the inside is like WOW – SO STUNNING! From the light blue color palette and shimmering chandeliers to the painted ceilings and ornate walls, I just couldn’t get enough (which I’m sure is evident from the amount of photos I included lol). This is a must see for anyone in the area!

 

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

 

Convent of Limpia y Purísima Concepción de María

This was first church in the area, built in 1582. It’s definitely smaller than the basilica but the history is incredible. I loved learning more about the church and the role that it played within the town of Jala.

 

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

 

The Plaza 

Like Compostela, Jala has lots of little areas to explore. It’s definitely a very colorful town… probably the most colorful on our tour! Strolling along the streets, you’ll find lots of murals, a rainbow of buildings and tons of unique architecture. I love how the history and uniqueness of the town are incorporated in the murals as well. Next to this specific plaza were a wide variety of vendors that sold fruit, coconut water, clothing and more.

 

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

 

The Farm 

The owners of the El Rincón del Campesino restaurant let us tour their farm and it was such an eye-opening experience. It’s situated in front of the mountains with a picturesque view. They grow so many different types of fruits, vegetables and even coffee! Many of these items are used in their restaurant for a true farm to table experience.

 

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares her Nayarit Mexico Travel Guide where she explores the Nayarit Magic Towns including Jala

 

El Rincón del Campesino

After the farm tour, we got to experience this family owned Nayarit Mexican restaurant first hand and I’ve got to say, it might be the best food we had during the entirety of our trip. You can just taste the freshness! Everything was homemade, including the tortillas (which was so cool to see). We also got to sample their honey and tequila. The tequila was definitely too strong for me lol! The honey on the other hand was the BEST that I have ever tasted! If a smaller jar had been available, I would have brought home several of them.

 

 

Check out the short video to see more of Jala!

 

 

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Nayarit Mexico FAQ

 

Where is Nayarit?

Nayarit is a small state in Mexico bordered by Sinaloa, Durango, Zacatecas and Jalisco. It located on the west side of Mexico and has a significant coastline with lots of beach destinations and a resort area known as Riviera Nayarit.

 

Is Nayarit a state?

Yes, Nayarit is a state!

 

Is Nayarit safe?

Before going, we did a ton of research and found that it was a safe place to visit. We also asked our tour guide and a few locals and they all assured us that it was one of the safest states to visit. We traveled to a few different areas along the coast and inland and never once felt unsafe!

 

What is Nayarit known for?

Nayarit is known for a lot of different things depending on the area. The Riviera Nayarit area is probably best known for it’s surf capital, Sayulita along with the many popular resorts including Vidanta Rivera Nayarit, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit and more. Inland, Compostela is known for coffee and leather goods while Jala is known for it’s magic and large corn!

 

How far is Nayarit from Puerto Vallarta?

It depends on where you are in Nayarit! From Puerto Vallarta to Riviera Nayarit, the drive was about 20 minutes by car.

 

Which flights to Nayarit Mexico should I take?

Again, this depends where you will be in Nayarit. We started off (and ended) our adventure in Riviera Nayarit so we flew into and out of the Puerto Vallarta airport. It also looks like there is an airport in Nayarit’s capital Tepic so I would consider this for more inland destinations.

 

What is Nayarit weather like?

We went in May so I can only speak for myself. It was quite warm with a bit of humidity (it was very humid on the day we left though!). I packed a lot of lightweight dresses, good walking shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, etc. It wasn’t too different than when I went to Puerto Vallarta in August. Check out my packing and outfit recommendations here!

 

Riviera Nayarit vs Puerto Vallarta

They are actually fairly close to one another and have many similarities. Having been to both, I would say that the vibe and overall feeling is different in each one. Puerto Vallarta has a more lively atmosphere and much more to do within a short distance. The town is quite walkable and there are a lot of places to be explored. It’s fairly easy to find a variety of shops, restaurants, nightlife, beach excursions, etc. I wouldn’t say that it’s necessarily a party town though. I found it to be quite romantic! Check out my Puerto Vallarta travel guide here and my hotel recommendation here!

On the other hand, Riviera Nayarit seems to be much more relaxed. There are many luxurious resorts along the coastline and it seems like most people stay at the resort (unless they venture out for the day). There is a lot to do at the resorts but there are also a few of quaint bohemian surf side towns nearby to explore. I would say that overall the vibe is much more chill and private than Puerto Vallarta.

 

 

Overall Thoughts on Nayarit Mexico

I had a great experience exploring the magic towns in Nayarit Mexico! I got to see so many things that I otherwise wouldn’t have. The food, sights and people we met were truly amazing. I can’t wait to go back and explore more!

 

Check out this post for my top Nayarit Mexico Resorts and Hotels!

 

Have you ever been to Nayarit? 

Which of these magic towns would are you putting on your bucket list?

xo

 

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