Riviera Nayarit | Riviera Nayarit, Mexico | Relatively unknown to many international travelers until only a few years ago, the Riviera Nayarit may be a fresh destination on the Mexico tourism travel scene. Just north of Puerto Vallarta, in the neighbor state of Jalisco, Mexico and spanning over 190 miles along the Pacific coast of Nayarit, Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit is not only a perfect holiday destination, but also the ideal place where many are establishing their temporary or permanent residence. Invited by the Four Seasons Punta Mita, I spend over a week exploring the destination and the many small villages and fishing towns that form this charming Riviera. There are nearly 200 miles of sandy beaches, resort hotels and attractions, siting at the foot of the Sierra Madre Mountain range.
I visited some of the towns within the coastal line of the Riviera, like the famous Litibu Beach, the happening Bucerias, Cruz de Huanacaxtle, and the up and coming Nuevo Vallarta, but I fell in love with two of them in particular Sayulita and Punta de Mita, just minutes away from my hotel, where we came for a lovely outdoor dinner over Anclote Beach at Rosa Mexicano. Special thanks to Richard Zarkin from the Tourism Office of Riviera Nayarit, for taking a full day to introduce me to this region of unspoiled beauty. Unfortunately time was not on my side, and I missed visiting San Blas, from what I heard, the ultimate fishing village experience, a tropical Oasis, filled with tradition among estuaries, mangroves and hundreds of birds and spectacular marine life. FYI this is where you will get the fresh giant Blue Shrimps.
Sayulita, known by many as the trendy hippie chic town, full of local and international surfers. A very bohemian, chilled feel with cobblestone streets hosting dogs, chickens and playing children, Sayulita is a half-century away from nearby Puerto Vallarta and it’s huge resorts, discos and parasailing. I must say that I was not fully crazy about the beach, but of course coming from the Four Seasons Punta Mita, that was a whole statement. I was highly recommended for lunch or dinner at Don Pedro and/or Tacos on the Street. If you choose to stay overnight, there are two quaint hotels, KUPURI and Hotel Petit d’Hafa. I wish I could have spent the afternoon there and see the village lighting up after sunset. Maybe next time.
From there we moved to San Francisco, or as many call it San Pancho, yet another quaint fishing village, nestled between the verdant Sierra Madre Mountains and jungle and a long stretch of pristine Pacific coast. The great thing about Riviera Nayarit is that you can spend over a week driving along the shore and staying every night at a different village, to truly capture the essence and soul of each of them. In this case, if you plan to overnight at San Francisco, I would recommend Hotel Cielo Rojo. Bucerias and Nuevo Vallarta where the last two stops. This two more urban and developed, in particular Nuevo Vallarta, which of the years has taken over the presence of Puerto Vallarta. Nuevo Vallarta us like stepping into Collins Ave. in South Beach, with lots of new High Risers and modern developments and hotels. If you happen to stop by, have a drink at the INSU Sky Bar and Pool Lounge, at the rooftop of the Marival Residences & Spa. Great panoramic views of the shores of Nuevo Vallarta, along with lounge music and great drinks. My personal take the Beer Bloody Mary, a true mexican Michelada.
Most say that one of the best beaches in Riviera Nayarit is Litibu, and although they are fairly close, rival by Manzanilla Beach and Las Cuevas Beach, I found my own personal favorite at the brand new self-named IMANTA Beach, right next to Litibu Beach, part of the new hotel development of IMANTA Resort. The Marieta Islands, is also a must during your visit to this region. A group of small uninhabited islands a few miles off the coast with two main volcanic formations dating from 60K years ago, each called Redonda (Rounded) and Larga (Long). Known as the Galapagos of Mexico, home to the beyond cute Blue Footed Boobies.
Riviera Nayarit enjoys a tropical climate with average 80 degree temperatures. During these winter months, temperatures can dip to about 70 degrees. December to February is the peak season for vacationing tourists. Rainy season is between June and October. Nayarit is a multicultural, multiethnic and multilingual state, flavored with the lifestyle and traditions of the cultures that provide its depth and identity. Its four tribes of indigenous people, the Huicholes, Coras, Tepehuanes and Mexicaneros, still exist today and visitors can take tours to their communities to learn about some of the ethnic group’s ceremonies, lifestyles and artistic creations.
Riviera Nayarit, is a true piece of heritage, that began at the Isla de Mexcaltitan, from what they say a true magical place. A small man-made island-city off the coast in the municipality of Santiago Ixcuintla, Nayarit. Legend has it that it was the Aztlan of the Aztecs, their home city and birthplace from where they set out on their pilgrimage in 1091 that led them to the founding of Tenochtitlan. Mexcaltitan, comes from Mexalli “mezcal” and Titlan “abundance of”. Mexcaltitan is known also as the Venice of Mexico. Many reasons to visit Riviera Nayarit right. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends (*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> or phone # 917.754.5515. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of MLGTPP, IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.
Four Seasons Punta Mita | Riviera Nayarit, Mexico | Last week I spent an amazing time exploring Mexico, a new region which was totally new to me and I fell in love with. Four Season Punta Mita, my host, such a sophisticated resort, an oasis of white-sand beaches and turquoise waters within the gated community of Punta Mita, in the state of Riviera Nayarit, just less than 1 hour and 30 minutes from Puerto Vallarta International Airport in the state of Jalisco. I was driven by private transportation from Puerto Vallarta International Airport, where you will arrive, to the Four Seasons Punta Mita. The minute I crossed by the gates of Punta Mita, that is when I understood the concept of this entire Resort. Within the gated community of Punta Mita, and only minutes away from Playa de Anclote and the fishing village of Punta de Mita. The resort consists on: 173 Mexican inspired guest rooms “Casitas” and Suites. 4 Restaurants and 3 Lounges. A 55 foot Private Yacht. 3 Pools, 2 Private Beaches, 2 Jack Niklaus designed Gold Courses, 10 Tennis Courts and over 1319 square-metre spa and fitness facilities. I was welcomed by their friendly and professional staff at the Lobby under the main ” Palapa ” open-sided dwelling with a thatched roof made of dried palm leaves. There they Checked me IN, and minutes after I was already on a buckie on the way to my suite. Golf Buckies are the way to move along the resort, subdivided in the following sections: The main building, the Casitas – guest rooms, the suites, the villas and the residences. But my formal Check IN moment was still yet to come, at the privacy of my Presidential Suite and right on the beach. Quite an unusual Check IN, by the local native Huichol Indians, blessing my stay, on a ceremony asking the Gods on every corner of the earth and each element to bless my stay. This is part of the project, on which Four Seasons has committed to create unique experiences worldwide for their guest, bringing the local culture of each destination to the hotel experience, making it unique.
In the style of chic Mexican beach homes, each guest room at Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita offers simple, sumptuous décor and opens to a furnished terrace or balcony. High-tech features include plasma-screen televisions, DVD and CD players, computer/fax connections, two-line telephones and high-speed Internet access. For personal comfort, there are famously restful Four Seasons beds, large closets and an in-room safe. Spacious bathrooms feature a deep soaking tub, a separate glass-enclosed shower, a two-basin vanity, and a WC in a separate alcove. For temperature control, air conditioning and ceiling fans are provided. Amenities by L’Occitane.
I was hosted at their premium Suite Coral, also know among VIP Guests, as the “Presidential Suite”. A stunning casita located on Manzanilla Beach, this five-bedroom Coral Suite is the ultimate in luxury, complete with a private drive, poolside cabana, spa and more. It is also configurable as a two- or three-bedroom suite. There I had my own private fitness center and Cinema Room. A 208-square-metre (2,236-square-foot) furnished terrace with wraparound pools, beach access, hammocks and a teak daybed. Amenities by Aqua di Parma. Click here to see the entire Suite Coral Flickr Photo Album. One of the comments I received from fellow travel agents and some guest, when I posted on my Facebook that I was coming to experience FS Punta Mita, was the unanimous …”It is outdated, needs a renovation…”. Well guess what, they did the renovations, and they are taking advantage of the low season to do more. Rooms have been updated, from the classic Mexican style to brand new looks in suites and rooms, giving them a subtle but notable new decor. And this has not stopped there, during my visit I saw the work they are doing on the main adults pool, Tamai, updating the lounge concept, with a brand new pool and updated cabanas. The whole concept of the resort is very well though and planned, where all division interact at some of the common areas, but still each remains private and isolated from the others, meaning the Casitas, with the Residences, Suites and Villas. Click here to see the entire Four Seasons Punta Mita Flickr Photo Album. If you are keen of children, but not so much during your relaxing getaway, not to worry. FS Punta Mita has though of that too. They have their own sections for children, including their own pool area and Kids Club. Lazy River is where families can relax on an inner tube or noodle as the mild current of the Lazy River gently moves them along. This cool and refreshing “river” encircles the Oasis complex, a family-oriented building that houses 23 rooms and suites. A full-service bar is available nearby
Some of the unique haute experiences coordinated and planned by Four Seasons Punta Mita, that made an impression on me were: Private Dinner at The Rock. The Rock is a bespoke by request restaurant that only pops up at the hotel for very VIP or special occasions. Accompanied by Jason Santamaria – Sales Manager at FS Punta Mita, we enjoyed a very well though menu of 4 steps including all local fresh produce like lobster, Shrimp, Calamari and the fish of the day Mahi-Mahi all specially prepared and presented by the Chef of the Resort, along with some bottles of Dom Perignon Champagne, while enjoying the views of a stunning sunset over Mansanillo Beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Read and See More Private Yacht sailing and Sunset Diner across the Banderas Bay to Marieta Islands. What an amazing way to close my week stay at the Four Seasons Punta Mita at Riviera Nayarit, Mexico that onboard the Four Seasons Yacht sailing along Bahia Banderas, all the way back again to the Marieta Islands, and then sunset dinner along Anclote Beach, back to the marina over a fabulous dinner by the Executive Chef of the Four Seasons Punta Mita. OH and the final touch, a school of Blottenose Dolphins following our yacht and jumping around like saying farewell, such a magical afternoon. Read and See More Tequila & Mezcal Degustation. FS Punta Mita, assigned their Tequila Sommelier, to give us a tasting class. Tequila is a type of Mezcal, made off a very particular type of Agave. Read and See More And last but not least AT ALL, the Private Tour to the Marieta Islands, coordinated by Four Seasons along with Punta Mita Adventures. Marieta Islands National Park in the state of Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, waters of the Pacific Ocean. A group of small uninhabited islands a few miles off the coast with two main volcanic formations dating from 60K years ago, each called Redonda (Rounded) and Larga (Long). Known as the Galapagos of Mexico, home to the Blue footed Boobies. Read and See More The Spa at the FS Punta Mita, is rather small but fully equipped. When you combine basic with experienced and professional therapist, then size is not an issue. FS Punta Mita nevertheless is aware of their own limitations and as part of their renovations plans, is to grown and expand their Spa facilities. I took a 3 hours Mayan Fango Massage w/ Vichy Bed and a Men’s Facial which was outstanding. Once finished get ready for a true Mexican moment after your treatment, unwinding over your own bespoke Margaritas at the Relaxation room. From there I moved on to their Fitness Center, although I had my own at my suite, but it was literally love at first sight when I saw it. If you are into working out, then you will ADORE this gym, quite unusual to a hotel, although I must say that Four Seasons has surprised me with great Fitness Centers around the globe. Also you might join some of the daily activities planned by the hotel, like morning Yoga at the Rock or Golf
Golf is not my thing at all, reason why I say little or almost nothing about this. But it is indeed worth the mention, set at a breathtaking tropical landscape of white sand, palm trees and stunning ocean views. Two golf courses to choose from Bahia Golf Course, with its undulating fairways and greens. And Pacifico GolfCourse offers stunning panoramic views of the Pacific. Both designed by Jack Nicklaus. You see the little island at the far end on the photo above ? this is the notorious hole 3B, dubbed “the Tail of the Whale,” the world’s only natural island green. FS Punta Mita, has some of the most breathtaking sunsets I have seen ever, to be match with those over the Zambezi River in Zambia, over at the Mekong River in Laos. Either at the comfort of my suite at Manzanilla Beach (photo below), at the Nuna Pool (photo above), at Las Cuevas Beach or as I did the first day, dining in style at The Rock. The sun literally sets in front of the resort. Dinning is a whole experience, and I do not want to be reiterative, but a must during you stay are both: Private Dinner on The Rock and Sunset Dinner at the Four Seasons Yacht. The other options I tried during my stay where, Ketsi (photo below) every morning for breakfast. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Ketsi is perfect anytime of day. Located near the pool with breathtaking ocean views, this restaurant is shaded by a traditional thatched palapa roof and serves modern interpretations of Mexican classics amid a chic casual Mexican-style décor. A la carte each morning features both American and Mexican favourites including the traditional chilaquiles. A variety of fresh, local fruits and vegetables are used throughout the dining menus, along with the catch of the day. I also tried Aramara, “sacred place by the ocean” in the native Huichol language. Contemporary Asian cuisine at Aramara, where influences from the Far East are blended with a taste of Mexico. Simplicity of contemporary Asian cuisine with the produce and seafood of the Pacific, fresh from the shores of Punta Mita and the neighbouring fishing village of Sayulita. But before dinner stop at the lounge to try exotic menu and live music six nights a week. Original cocktails created with fresh herbal infusions are complemented by a selection of premium beverages, including Japanese and Mexican beers, sake, Shoju, signature tea blends, Asian-spiced coffees and 40 wines by the glass. As well, our sommelier can present a wide selection of national wines during dinner. A private dining enclave features the popular Chef’s Table on Friday evenings. The chef’s special menu is paired with the sommelier’s delightful cocktail and wine selections. A main wine list hosts a roster of 200 varieties representing both Old and New World regions. There is a third restaurant by renown Richard Sandoval called Bahia, located right on Las Cuevas Beach, but unfortunately was closed for renovations during my stay. Finally I must mention their Villas, with special mention to Villa #01. Experience a tropical vacation like no other. Nestled into the serene hillside of Punta Mitra, this luxury villa offers stunning views of the Pacific and Sierra Madres in the distance. Unwind after a fun-filled day on the beach in your infinity-edge pool, or take a soak in the whirlpool before settling down to dinner in the outside sitting area with dining table and grill. Wake to Pacific breezes each morning as you sit on your private terrace and sip your coffee or read the paper. At night, watch the deep crimson sun kiss the horizon. Four and five bedrooms Ocean View / Ocean Front and/or Beach Front Villas.
I think I have covered almost every detail of my fantastic stay at the Four Seasons Punta Mita, an entire week of relaxation and indulgence. At CarlosMeliaBlog.com as member of Four Seasons Preferred Partners, we can customize the best itineraries and experiences, offering beyond competitive price and extra amenities. You can read here more about my experience at Riviera Nayarit and Puerto Vallarta. Hope you have enjoyed my review. (photo above: Manzanilla Beach / photo below: Las Cuevas Beach). CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> or phone # 917.754.5515. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of MLGTPP, IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.
Puerto Vallarta | Jalisco, Mexico | Last week, during my visit/stay at Four Seasons Punta Mita, I got to spend time at Puerto Vallarta. Four influences converged during the 1960s and early 1970s to launch Puerto Vallarta into its trajectory toward becoming a major resort destination, but without a doubt, the extensive coverage to Elizabeth Taylor’s extramarital affair with Richard Burton, during the filming of “The Night of the Iguana” in a small town just south of Puerto Vallarta, put them in the spotlight. Although my final destination was Punta Mita, approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes away, in the state of in Riviera Nayarit, all flights arrive to Puerto Vallarta. Therefore being my first time I took two hours to explore it. I must say that I found the Malecon – waterfront promenade, and the Romantic district or old Puerto Vallarta, quite quaint and charming, I was not sold by the destination. Puerto Vallarta is a mystic city that harbors tradition in its plazas, in its streets, in its people. Located on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, where Jalisco and Riviera Nayarit meet, Puerto Vallarta lays in the heart of Banderas Bay and offers both: tradition and vanguard. Only a few short hours flight from most major cities in the US and Canada. For decades now, Puerto Vallarta has been the epicenter to the LGBT scene, the gourmet happening, and although I was very happy to spend time there for my tour, I found no comparison to my experience at Punta Mita and my time exploring the small towns along Riviera Nayarit. Rapid growth in tourist volume in Puerto Vallarta has given rise to rapid growth in hotel and rental apartment construction, but to my understanding in a way that has lost in translation the spirit and heritage of this destination. Do not get confused with Nuevo Vallarta, which is a pseudo South Beach in the heart of Riviera Nayarit, and nothing has in common with Puerto Vallarta. Photo above, the Crown of Our Lady sculpture on top of the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Visit the Mercado Isle Cuale and Mercado Municipal Cuale – there are two large public markets in the Centro along the banks of the Cuale selling a variety of artisanal and souvenir goods. Plaza de Armas and City Hall. Unfortunately I did not have time to explore Playa Conchas Chinas – Chinese Shells Beach- the city’s most secluded beach, located to the South of the headland which forms the boundary of Los Muertos beach, which it might have changed my perspective of this destination. Restaurant wise, this came highly recommended by locals: El Arrayan and Trio. And you must do a stop at one of the Coconut stalls and have your own Tejuino and Tuba experience. I did and I will blog about this separately. Enjoy CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
GPS Carlos Melia Riviera Nayarit | Punta Mita, Mexico | Getting ready to depart early Monday, for my four days visit, next week, exploring Punta Mita and Riviera Nayarit in Mexico, invited and hosted by Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, Mexico. Time to relax and focus on work, while exploring the small towns and villages of the Riviera. This will be my first time back in Mexico after many many years, when my parents used to take me on holidays to Acapulco and Distrito Federal.
Mexico’s newest destination, Riviera Nayarit, stretches along 192 miles of pristine Pacific coast framed by the majestic Sierra Madre Mountains just ten minutes north of accessible Puerto Vallarta International Airport. The region extends along the entire coast of the Pacific state of Nayarit including the resorts of Nuevo Vallarta, the historic colonial town of San Blas, exclusive Punta Mita, picturesque fishing villages, miles of serene beaches and spectacular Banderas Bay. Riviera Nayarit offers countless activities, such as: PGA golf courses, luxury spas, whale watching, turtle release, zip lining, surfing, bird watching, international cuisine, and the local artwork from the traditional Huichol tribe. All to be posted here at www.carlosmeliablog.com, stay tuned. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email email@example.com or phone # 917.754.5515. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of MLGTPP, IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.