Here’s a new way to enjoy Puerto Vallarta in complete indulgent luxury

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Sayulita (Source: Shutterstock)

Located just north of Puerto Vallarta, The Riviera Nayarit offers travelers a dramatically different experience. While Puerto Vallarta is known for its lively gay beach and nightlife, the Riviera Nayarit — a picturesque, 200-mile stretch of Mexican Pacific coastline in the state of Nayarit — is where travelers go when they’re looking for a more laidback, nature-based vacation, with plenty of options for upscale indulgence. Both destinations are wonderfully queer-friendly, and they are just a short drive from one another.

During a recent stay at the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, a gorgeous hotel located on 22 acres within the 1,500-acre Punta Mita resort complex, we enjoyed some of the best queer-friendly places that the Riviera Nayarit has to offer.

Sayulita

Sayulinda
Sayulinda Hotel

The Riviera Nayarit is graced with several beachfront towns, and Sayulita is one of the most popular. It’s a great place to dine and shop for local arts and crafts, including colorful work by the indigenous Huichol community. We recommend checking in at Sayulinda, a new hotel in the area. Their rooftop cocktail lounge is an especially good place to enjoy the afternoon. Take a relaxing dip in their shimmering pool with a view of the town on one side and the ocean on the other. Sayulita’s beach is great for beginning surfers, and classes are available from a variety of local operators. More advanced surfers might want to consider Stoner Point Break in San Blas. The waves are especially powerful during the Summer months.

La Patrona Polo & Equestrian Club

 

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Nearby town San Francisco, more commonly known by its nickname San Pancho, is another great place for a quick getaway. Among the biggest attractions here is La Patrona, a venue where you can enjoy everything from horseback riding to polo lessons. Don’t worry, cowboy. If you’ve never ridden a horse, they can teach you how!

La Patrona Beach Club

For a memorable lunch with a view — and perhaps some quality beach and pool time — head to La Patrona Beach Club. Its large swimming pool and open-air restaurant, serving a variety of seafood and Mexican specialties, make this upscale beachside destination an attractive venue for a romantic afternoon.

The Marias Islands

Nature lovers will find lots to explore on the islands just off the coast of the Riviera Nayarit. One of the newest offshore attractions is, surprisingly, a former prison that’s been converted into a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. A scenic boat ride takes visitors to Marias islands, where they can enjoy outdoor activities like birdwatching. You’ll spot blue-footed boobies, blue-winged teals, and broad-billed hummingbirds, among other creatures. Divers, meanwhile, can plunge into the Pacific depths around the islands to search for more than 21 species of sharks, while snorkelers can check out the colorful coral reefs.

The Marietas Islands

This group of sun-soaked islands is home to one of the region’s most beautiful and unspoiled beaches. This area is also popular for scuba diving and whale-watching tours. Guided visits are generally the easiest way to visit this natural paradise, with companies including Punta Mita Adventures and Chica Locca Tours offering day trips.

Puerto Vallarta

 

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Of course, the always queer-popular city of Puerto Vallarta is chock-full of things to do and see, and it’s about an hour’s drive away. You can spend the day at Blue Chairs and Playa Los Muertos, the gay beach areas. Follow up your day in the sun at one of the city’s many fine dining establishments, including Café des Artistes, where live music often accompanies the sophisticated international menu. Or at La Leche, where the all-white decor sets a stylish tone for a constantly evolving menu.

After dark, check out Zona Romantica, PV’s epicenter for queer nightlife. We recommend a night out at Industry, one of the most popular dance clubs in town, and the Palm, one of the city’s longest-running cabarets.

Industry
(Source: Industry Facebook)

For more information about visiting the Riviera Nayarit, visit the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau