Looking for your next dream vacation? Celebrities and bloggers are flocking to Mexico, specifically its beautiful 192-mile Pacific coastline in the Riviera Nayarit. While Puerto Vallarta has been a popular tourist destination for years some of the surrounding, lesser-known areas like Punta Mita, Sayulita, and Bucerías can only be described as hidden gems. We had the opportunity to visit the Riviera Nayarit recently and have rounded up the best hotels, excursions, cuisine and spa in the region to help you plan your next escape to paradise.
Located on the tip of Punta Mita, the St. Regis is the most exclusive resort you’ll find in the area. With its 5-Diamond rating, this resort will sweep you off your feet and into the lap of luxury. Sit back at the pool while the legendary St. Regis butler service does all the rest, like book your spa appointment or unpack your suitcases; they’ll do anything and everything to ensure your utmost comfort. We highly recommend booking a private yoga session on the beach at the beginning of your trip, the one-on-one experience will leave you feeling energized and ready to enjoy all that the Riviera Nayarit has to offer.
One cannot visit the St. Regis Punta Mita without spending the day at their absolutely breathtaking spa. With a wide range of services (including outdoor manicure and pedicures under a shaded palapa hut) and gorgeous grounds filled with flowers, plunge pools, fountains and outdoor sitting areas, it is a must-do on our list. We experienced a refreshing one-hour couple’s massage, a great way to spend some quiet time with your significant other.
The Restaurant: Mita Mary Bistro Boat
Conveniently located on the beach at the St. Regis, the Mita Mary Bistro Boat is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only is this cute little bistro actually housed in a boat, it is open for lunch, dinner and everything by-the-sea. Want shrimp tacos, guacamole and gourmet ceviche delivered to your beach cabana? No problem. Wash everything down with a glass of Monte Xanic Sauvignon Blanc and you’ll be wishing you could stay forever. We ate most of our meals here (it was that good) but if you’re only able to do it once, do it for dinner on Sunday evening. Eating on the beach at night, underneath the stars, with a live quartet serenading you, is an experience you’ll never forget.
There’s plenty to do in Riviera Nayarit outside the resort complex. The Banderas Bay is home to some of the most amazing sea life and the best way to experience it is on water! Booking a sail boat for a few hours through Punta Mita Adventures is the easiest way to see the surrounding areas in the bay including the snorkeling-haven, Isla Marietas. When the tide is low, you can access the hidden beach, Playa del Amor, created by an accidental explosion during military trials years ago. If you’re lucky, you’ll even see humpback whales (we did!).
Nearby surf town, Sayulita, is a popular destination for those looking to be charmed. The town is vibrant, full of life and there’s tons of cute little boutiques and restaurants nestled in the cobblestone streets (it’s also a street art mecca). We suggest you make the journey to Sayulita through the jungle in a UTV vehicle – you can organize this again with Punta Mita Adventures – it is an experience of a lifetime (just don’t wear any of your good clothes and shoes, you will be covered in mud). We can’t remember the last time we had so much fun. Once you’re in Sayulita, be sure to give yourself enough time to visit Evoke the Spirit, a wonderful little boutique where you can find artisan-made cow head wall mounts, handmade pillow cases and clay vases, jewelry, blankets – it’s an interior designers delight!