RIVIERA NAYARIT, NAYARIT, MÉXICO – Mexico’s Pacific treasure, Riviera Nayarit, continues its growth momentum as the country’s youngest tourism destination. Dubbed as the next it destination in Mexico that offers luxury surrounded by nature, Riviera Nayarit is prepping for its continued evolution with multiple hotel investments in the pipeline, the enhancement of the Tepic International Airport, improved ground connection with two important highways, new attractions, and more. Additionally, the destination is seeing a steady rebound in visitors after carefully reopening in phases.
“We are pleased with the positive and gradual tourism rebound Riviera Nayarit has experienced thus far,” explains Marc Murphy, managing director for the Riviera Nayarit Visitors and Conventions Bureau (CVB). “The local government has been very careful to pace its complete reopening, adjusting restrictions during peak periods, which has shown to be the best route to ensure the wellbeing of everyone. As we look forward to the second semester of this year and beyond, we are excited about the many developments underway that will continue luring curious travelers from around the world to this very unique treasure on Mexico’s Pacific coast,” added Murphy.
With all precautions in place, Riviera Nayarit saw an uptick in visitors this June, with an approximately 20% increase as compared to the same month in 2019. According to data collected from the region’s three hotel associations, the domestic market generated the highest demand, followed by the United States. Among the top attractions for visitors included the destination’s pristine beaches, boating excursions, impressive golf courses, and Mexican cultural experiences.
New Hotel Developments
Totaling over 5 billion USD, hotel investments alone are contributing to the destination’s tremendous growth and transformation. Last fall, the 324-suite Conrad Punta de Mita opened, followed by the highly anticipated One & Only Mandarina featuring 104 villas and 54 Private Homes. The property will later include a world-class Mandarina Polo and Equestrian Club slated to open by 2022. Next up is the August 1st opening of the 363-room Dreams Bahia Mita Resort & Spa and 278-room Secrets Bahia Mita Resort & Spa. In 2022, Auberge Resorts Collection will open the ultra-luxurious 59-suite property Susurros del Corazon in Punta de Mita, followed by a Fairmont and Ritz Carlton Reserve in the master-planned community of Costa Canuva.
Other impressive brands set to open in 2023 and beyond include the 130-room Rosewood Mandarina, a 500-room Marriott, a 400-room Westin, a 500-key Autograph Collection property, and a 240-room Ritz Carlton Resort. At Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta, Grupo Vidanta is continuing its plans for VidantaWorld, an immersive 830-acre entertainment destination consisting of three Dream Parks. The first phase of VidantaWorld is slated to open next year with a fire village in the jungle featuring special attractions, world-class rides, experiential dining, and much more. Later phases of VidantaWorld will include a world-class water Dream Park with thrilling attractions for both adventure seekers and families; a new Cirque du Soleil zone at the Immersive Dream Park, including the dedicated theater for nightly shows; and a nature and adventure Dream Park.
One of the most anticipated new attractions in Riviera Nayarit is Marias Islands, located about 60 miles off the coast of San Blas. The pristine archipelago, made of four islands, was mostly uninhabited except for the Maria Madre Island, which until 2019 housed a prison. Since its closure, the facility has undergone extensive renovations to become an education center that promotes biodiversity conservation. The Mexican government is currently working to update regulations that will allow for sustainable touristic activities on the islands, which will both respect the native ecosystem and empower the local community. Excursions to the island, which takes about three hours by boat from San Blas, are currently being developed.
Marias Islands was declared a Natural Protected Area in 2000, World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005, and Reserve of the Biosphere by UNESCO in 2010. The islands boast great biological wealth that visitors will be able to responsibly enjoy.
Tepic International Airport Expansion
Nayarit’s main airport is also prepping for the influx of visitors in the coming years. With an investment of 2,193 million Mexican pesos, the Tepic International Airport is being enhanced with the expansion of its main terminal building, extended runway, a new control tower as well as upgrades to equipment and furniture. Currently, most visitors to Riviera Nayarit come through the Puerto Vallarta International Airport providing easy access to popular southern regions such as Nuevo Vallarta, Punta Mita and Sayulita. The Tepic International Airport, located in the center of the state, provides shorter access to northern regions such as San Blas and the Magic Town of Mexcaltitan that boasts amazing cultural, historical, and natural attractions.
Also improving the access throughout the destination is the development of two major highways, the first from Tepic to Compostela, and the other from Las Varas to Puerto Vallarta. With an investment of nearly 900 million Mexican pesos, the two highways will reduce travel time from Costa Canuva all the way to Banderas Bay.
Nestled between the Sierra Madre mountains and the Pacific coast, Riviera Nayarit offers 192-miles of pristine pacific coastline and 23 unique beach towns such as the family-friendly Nuevo Vallarta and Flamingos, celebrity and golf haven Punta de Mita, surf mecca Sayulita, boho-chic San Pancho, fishing village La Cruz de Huanacaxtle and bird-watching paradise San Blas.