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By Starre Vartan, Edited By Nichola Zed, Travel Editor

It encompasses much of what you might imagine when you think of Mexican beach locales; long stretches of sand, plenty of surf breaks, bays for quieter pursuits like SUPping, swimming and kayaking, cobblestoned villages with incredibly fresh local Mexican food, a laid-back vibe among colorfully painted homes and whitewashed Catholic churche10_i31_Puerto_Vallarta_Courtesy_of_Convention_and_Visitors_Bureau_of_Riviera_Nayarit.jpgs. Unlike many things in life, the reality of Riviera Nayarit lives up to its mental image.

The Riviera Nayarit is one place where people come for vacation and never leave. I did hear this story several times; from a community center founder in a sweet small beach town, San Pancho, to a coffee shop denizen in the modern-hippie enclave of Sayulita.

The beauty of Riviera Nayarit is everywhere is within an hour or so drive of each other, so you can settle in for the vibe of your choice, or move around and experience all it has to offer. Let us go!

Shopping on the four main streets make up the core of Sayulita. Try on perfect beach clothes at Rosemary boutique; Hecho en Mexico sells colorful ceramics and pop art; Evoke has gorgeous modern Boho jewelery and accessories, and Revolucion del Sueno carries the coolest out-of-the-box limited-edition t-shirts, and accessories. Whether you are shopped or surfed out, stop by Paraiso Yoga to stretch.

06_i31_Puerto_Vallarta_Courtesy_of_Convention_and_Visitors_Bureau_of_Riviera_Nayarit.jpgPuerta Vallarta is a bustling
urbanized area with a significant number of hotels and residents, and just outside the city, the jungles of the Sierra Madre Mountains abound. Do some long-distance ziplining on Canopy River’s incredible half-day tour of the treetops! You will see plenty of flora and fauna, and get a real feel for the ecosystem that make the Riviera Nayarit the incredible destination it is.

San Pancho

Hotel Cielo Rojo and Café Organico http://hotelcielorojo.com/english/hotel.html

Entre Amigos: http://entreamigos.org.mx/

Punta De Mita

Cinco Hotel: http://cincopuntamita.com/

Villa Lunada: http://www.villalunada.com/

Sufi: http://www.sufipuntamita.com/

Sayulita

Hotel Sayulita Central: http://hotelsayulitacentral.com/

Evoke: http://evokethespirit.com/home.html

Revolucion del Sueno: http://www.sayulitalife.com/revolucion-del-sueno

Lunazul Surf Shop: http://www.lunazulsurfing.com/

Casa Velas: http://www.hotelcasavelas.com/

Grand Velas: http://vallarta.grandvelas.com/

CanopyRiver: http://canopyriver.com/en

21_i31_Riveria_Nayarit_Courtesy_of_Convention_and_Visitors_Bureau_of_Riviera_Nayarit..jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: The Convention and Visitors Bureau of Riviera Nayarit.