The Riviera Nayarit is truly a place apart. Situated amongst green mountains and lush rain forest and set along a roaring Pacific coastline, the area is dotted with charming towns and villages. From Sayulita to San Pancho, each one has its own unique personality, and, as you jump from town to town, you’ll find small galleries, fascinating shops and truly excellent restaurants serving up some of the freshest seafood in Mexico.
Avocados abound in Riviera Nayarit, so many dishes include that fresh, green fruit, and the guacamole here is arguably the best in the nation. Another specialty is pescado sarandeado, a very local seafood dish that features freshly caught red snapper or sea bass grilled over espino wood. Try the guacamole at: Mariscos Tino’s in Punta de Mita, where it’s sold by the kilo and served up with corn tortillas, red onion and an array of sauces.
While the rates for a private villa at the super-exclusive Imanta Resort may be a little out of reach, you can enjoy one of the most beautiful private beaches in the region at Catch of the Day, the resort’s barefoot restaurant where the tables and chairs sit right in the sand. Try one of the Mexican ceviches or the excellent version of pescado sarandeado.
The Four Seasons Punta Mita offers four top-drawer restaurants and a number of culinary programs, including special days each week when local fishermen bring their catch right to the hotel’s beach and guests select their dinner—afterward, chefs prepare it according to your preference.
The Best Part
You can try a new village each day. Head to Don Pedro’s Restaurant and Bar on the main beach in Sayulita to try huitlacoche, a delicious sort of fungus that grows on corn. Originally eaten by the Aztecs, here it’s added to pasta. Or, at Bistro Organico in San Pancho, you can eat fresh, organic foods in a lovely courtyard—try the daily catch.
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A city of undulating cobblestone streets strung along a broad sweep of the Pacific Ocean, Puerto Vallarta has been welcoming visitors to one of the best culinary scenes on Mexico’s west coast since Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor first put this former backwater fishing town on the map back in the 1960s.
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