Nayarit is a small state in
western Mexico between the forested mountains of the
Sierra Madre Occidental and the Pacific Ocean. A
relatively new tourist destination, the Riviera
Nayarit encompasses the colorful pueblos and white
sand beaches of the 320 kilometer coastline.
Traditionally, Nayarit was the heart of
the Aztec empire (Ixtlan), until the conquest and
colonial development of towns such as the port of San Blas.
The Ameca River separates
the states of Jalisco and Nayarit.
Nuevo Vallarta is a large
development of tourist resorts with golf courses, water
sports, cultural-themed shows and soon, a Cirque de Soleil.
While staying in Nuevo
Vallarta during Easter week, it was lovely to see local
families enjoying the extensive stretch of beach.
Bucerias, meaning "place of divers", is a
coastal town known for its beach, markets, Thursday art
walks and pleasant eateries.
People gather on the
fishing piers at dusk to bring home fresh fish for dinner.
A pretty church courtyard and plaza serve
as the heart of Bucerias.
The town of
La Peņita hosts one of the largest markets in the region.
Sayulita has gained a reputation as a
surfing mecca, an artists' colony and a hippie hang-out.
The Mexican government calls Sayulita a
"magical town" for
its colorful ambience and richness and convergence of
Oyster harvesting tradition in Bucerias
Protected sea turtle habitat
Lagoons inhabited with birds, fish and
Marine life is abundant in this area.
The Cora and Huichol
indigenous people continue to make and sell traditional
wood-carved, embroidered and beaded artwork.
Huichol artisans place
tiny beads into beeswax to create ornate sculptures.
Entre Amigos is a
volunteer-run Community Center in San Pancho which offers a
library, computer training, English lessons, sports
facilities and a recycling center.
Typical of towns in the area, local
vendors prepare and sell soups, enchiladas, tacos and other "street food."