Central Riviera Nayarit
Visit the Heart of Central Riviera Nayarit
Located between Bahia Jaltemba Bay and Bahia Matanchen Bay in the center of Riviera Nayarit are a number of localities, ranging from more traditional Mexican towns to charming beach towns. Some are built alongside the gold beaches of the Pacific Ocean where fishermen roam, catching and selling fresh fish and oysters daily. The towns further inland contain some cultural landmarks but are largely agricultural areas surrounded by the lush tropical rainforests of the Sierra Madre mountains and foothills as well as the fertile plains and valleys along the Pacific Coast containing abundant corn and bean farms, fruit orchards, tobacco fields, lakes, and lagoons such as dazzling La Mataiza.
The main towns in central Riviera Nayarit begin at Chacala extending from the south slightly to the northwest and northeast.
The quiet, secluded beach town of Chacala and its 300 residents offer tourist accommodations, a lovely gold beach with warm water and midsize waves. Nearby activities and attractions include snorkeling at Las Cuevas Cove, advanced surfing at La Caleta Bay, and exploring Aztec ruins of the Altavista Petroglyphs.
Just 10 minutes from Chacala is the agricultural town of Las Varas that was once a hacienda. Set inland at the base of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains, this town of 12,500 residents is the point where various roads to the beaches converge. Rich in cultural traditions, its Community Museum displays archaeological artifacts from nearby sites, such as ceramics, pottery, arrowheads, fossils, and other antiques.
This authentic Mexican town of about 5,000 residents is primarily an agricultural community and has been growing in tourist interest for its rich traditions and history. It is known for its fascinating cave drawings at La Cueva de La Tigra and ancient ruins (ruinas) on the hill to the south of town. Ancient petroglyphs found in nearby Boca de Chila are on also on display here.
On the road to scenic Platanitos from Zacaulpan is a natural wonder called Laguna La Mataiza, a lovely lagoon flourishing with tropical plants and exotic birds that leads to the Pacific Ocean. The tiny beach town of Platanitos and its 120 residents boast a hidden beach cove lined by palapa-style, fresh fish restaurants and the calm waters of the aqua sea.