MAGIC TOWNS IN NAYARIT
Magic Towns of NAYARIT
Nayarit is a state whose culture, traditions and gastronomy have made it one of the favorite Mexican tourist destinations for foreigners and nationals.
However, as happens in every state, when you visit any part of the state, specifically Riviera Nayarit, its small but attractive jewels, also known as Pueblos Mágicos (Magic Towns), are left out.
For this reason, it is important that you know the culture, traditions, magical places, friendly people and incredible experiences that you will only find in the 4 Magic Towns in Nayarit.
Map of MAGIC TOWNS in NAYARIT
Sayulita has become a popular destination for surfers, and has become home to warm-minded Mexicans and foreigners. Sayulita is a small town located in the Bay of Banderas in the south of the state of Nayarit.
In Sayulita there were only six or seven little houses, built of palm and lit with oil hookahs that were made from tin.
Sayulita is recognized as one of the best places to learn and practice surfing. Its beaches have ideal waves for surfing throughout the year. The best season for surfing in Sayulita is from December to April. Sayulita is the scene of various surf tournaments such as the Children’s and Youth Surf Tournament, the Pacific Music Festival Open Surf Tournament, the Annual Long Table and Rowing Surf Tournament, among many others.
Since the year 2105, at the end of February, the longboard competition MexiLog fest has been held, whose international attendance and awards places it as one of the most important. From November to April you can enjoy watching humpback whales in this area, which come to these waters to have their young.
Sayulita’s beaches are of fine sand, those in the south are ideal for beginner surfers and those in the north for all levels. It is also possible to practice snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, fishing, hiking or horseback riding.
In Sayulita you can find instructors who will facilitate your start in the world of surfing.
Every summer the olive ridley turtle species arrives at the beaches of Sayulita to spawn in these lands. The eggs are protected at the Sayulita Tortuguero Camp, where they are released all year round, but especially from October to January.
At lunchtime, be sure to try the dorado, marlin or red snapper, which you can enjoy in various restaurants. Don Pedro’s restaurant, on the beach, has positioned itself as one of the classics, and in the center, the pizzas at La Rústica are highly recommended.
In Sayulita there are galleries and shops where you can buy jewelry, paintings, clothing, handicrafts and surf boards. Friday is tianguis day, Revolución street becomes the Mercado del Pueblo, with local and regional organic products, on Sundays in Las Gaviotas street you will find everything from hats and bags to sculptures.
- The Sayulita Festival to enjoy surfing, music, cinema and tequila, in January.
- Learn to surf.
- The MexiLog fest in February.
- Dance to the rhythm of cumbias on Fridays at Club de Playa Camarón.
- The release of turtles in summer.
- Walk to Malpaso beach to enjoy the solitude of its rocky landscapes.
Jala is located at the foot of the El Ceboruco volcano. In this town you can admire its mansions from the 18th and 19th centuries and its cobbled streets, this is the ideal place to rest and relax. Seven kilometers from Jala is the El Salto Waterfall, a waterfall that appears in the rainy season (from June to September) with a height of 30 meters. It cannot be accessed by car so you have to walk a kilometer from where you leave the cars.
Leaving Jala, and an hour away by car, is the El Ceboruco Volcano. In its crater there is a valley where you can see fumaroles, as well as cycling, hiking, flora and fauna observation and camping. It is necessary to notify the Municipal Presidency of Jala that you are going to climb El Ceboruco. Once in the Historic Center, do not forget to admire the houses of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that are found in the streets of México, Zaragoza and Hidalgo, they are all part of the INAH Historical Heritage.
The Lateran Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption is decorated in pink and green stone, and its façade has three entrances. Inside it has Ionic and Corinthian style columns, and in its dome you can see the pendentives of the transept that have the paintings with invocations of the Virgin Mary recited in the litanies. This beautiful temple was declared a Laterense Basilica in 1961, with all the prerogatives of the Basilica of Santa Maria de Letrán, in Rome, by order of Pope John XXIII.
The El Santuario Chapel is located on Santuario street, it was built in the 19th century to protect Jala in its western part. As for the gastronomy of Jala, it is advisable to go to the Municipal Market to enjoy some delicious handmade gorditas and some golden tamales. You cannot leave Jala without trying its typical sweets such as donuts and biscuits, the first are cookies with a caramel coating and the second is an unsweetened bread covered with sesame seeds.
In many places in Jala you can find leather equipment, saddles and palm woven chairs.
A town full of history and tradition, it has its name in honor of the city of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. It was founded in 1530 and known as the first capital of the kingdom of New Galicia that included the States of Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima, Aguascalientes, part of Sinaloa, Zacatecas and San Luis Potosí in 1560.
In this Magic Town there is a great tradition in saddlery, utensils for riding animals are produced, such as saddles, saddlebags, chavindas, bridles, covers, among others, and cigars are made manually with selected tobacco leaves. The coffee growing area of Compostela is one of the most important in terms of coffee bean production, with elegant and distinguished aromas. Huge quantities of high-quality high-altitude coffee are produced every year.
What to do:
Visit the Temple of Mercy of San Santiago Apóstol, a beautiful historical monument from the colonial era, the image of the Lord of Mercy represents Jesus crucified in life size, this sculpture was gifted by the conqueror Nuño Beltrán de Guzmán.
Visit the Regional Museum in which archaeological pieces found in the surroundings of Compostela and Zacualpan are exhibited, this museum consists of two rooms, the first where archeology of the first settlers of Nayarit, called “Los Concheros”, and in the second, objects from the time of the conquest and independence are shown.
Tour the old Train Station built on the trunk line of the Southern Pacific Railroad of Mexico that was destined to communicate the northern border of Sonora with the city of Guadalajara.
Get to know the artisan workshops of saddlery, cigars and coffee.
Admire the Hacienda de Miravalles, one of the most emblematic not only in Nayarit, but also in Mexico, built in the 16th century.
Live the Fiestas del Señor de la Misericordia that take place in the month of December, where the religious fervor of the town stands out, pilgrimages are made with live performances, floats, fireworks, accompanied by pre-Hispanic dances. You can not miss it!
As if that were not enough, Compostela is only one hour from the beach. The most popular and family-friendly is Guayabitos, from which you can tour the Riviera Nayarit: Sayulita, San Pancho, Bucerías, San Blas and Nuevo Vallarta. Just two kilometers from Guayabitos there is a Pacific paradise, Isla del Coral, an ecological reserve of 12 hectares from which you can see dolphins, turtles, pelicans, reefs and multicolored fish. There are boats that come to the island from Guayabitos.
If you dare and go to the beach, you cannot stop eating a sarandeado fish, order it accompanied by some port bean quesadillas, a winning combination. A ceviche will not disappoint, nor will an oyster soup or a shrimp caldillo. If seafood isn’t your thing, go for the Ixtlán del Río style chicken.
A short tour of just 15 minutes through the great Laguna de Mexcaltitán will take you to a surprising encounter with a mythical destination, which could have been the place from where the Aztecs left for Tenochtitlan. Its name: Isla de Mexcaltitán, and it has just received the badge of Pueblo Mágico.
This enclave, belonging to the Riviera Nayarit, is a charming place, so small that it can be covered on foot in a day, but during the rainy season a surprise awaits tourists: its streets are completely flooded, and it is possible to walk through them aboard a boat. This curious fact has allowed it to acquire the nickname of “The Mexican Venice”.
What to do:
Great Lagoon of Mexcaltitán. Board a boat and take a 15-minute walk through the waters of the Great Mexcaltitán Lagoon where you will appreciate the nature of its surroundings, birds of the region and the mangroves. In fact, this is how you get to town.
Walking tours. On sunny days walk through the central square and its streets with colorful houses and tile roofs or, in rainy seasons, take a boat to tour the city through its canals. This particularity is what makes it unique.
Museum “El Origen”. It is an archaeological museum located in the central square in front of the church of San Pedro y San Pablo in which a collection of pieces from various Mesoamerican cultures is exhibited. Among them they abound in the Mexican culture due to its origins. You will find a replica of the Boturini Codex, which narrates the migration and origin of the Mexica. The museum also shows the history of the island and of fishing in pre-Hispanic times.
The Luis Castillo Ledón culture house. Something that can be seen in this house of culture is the mural painted by José Luis Soto, made with ceramics, obsidian, glass, sea shells, flagstone, talavera and marble. In addition, workshops on pottery with clay and the making of baskets with red mangrove are offered.
The feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Saint Peter and Saint Paul are the patrons of the place, and their feast is celebrated in the last week of June, on the 29th. It is a procession to bless the waters. The ceremony culminates in a battle between saints: the entire town is divided into two rival teams (each with an image of each saint); they choose their sailors and they compete in a boat race around the island.
It is a healthy and colorful holiday, full of music, dance and food. This tradition is a kind of offering in order to obtain a good catch in the following season, since shrimp fishing is the main economic activity of the town.
Handicrafts. Local artisans make items made with materials from the mangroves in the area, especially red mangroves. Barcinas, for example, are spheres made of blanket and palm leaves for the preservation of dried shrimp.
Gastronomy. Its gastronomy is characterized by coming from pre-Hispanic recipes. Its typical dishes are bearded shrimp meatballs, shrimp filled tamales, shrimp soaked in lemon sauce with chili, tlaxtihuilli or tixtihuil (which is a shrimp soup), shrimp pate and aguachile. But also the zarandeado fish, the grilled lisa (which is a type of fish, oysters in their shell and the beef, poultry or pork tacos accompanied by cheese and chili are traditional.
Don’t leave without trying these dishes accompanied with a cold beer in its different restaurants that offer views of the Great Lagoon.
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Guided Tours in NAYARIT
Flights & Hotels in NAYARIT
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