Nayarit’s long tufted coastline is one of the hidden, untouristed gems of the Mexican Pacific shore. Its beauty—verdant mountain and shoreline forests, orchard-swathed plains, and curving yellow strands of sand—is largely natural. Nevertheless, the amenities of civilization are abundant in the Nayarit Coast’s necklace of petite, hidden beachside resorts—Sayulita , Playa San Francisco , Lo de Marcos , Rincón de Guayabitos , Chacala , and San Blas —that offer an exceptional mix of South Seas delights.
Beach sunning and strolling; fishing; bird-, dolphin-, and whale-watching; wilderness camping; adventure sports opportunities; and comfortable hotels and good restaurants to boot await those willing to follow the road an hour or two north of Puerto Vallarta .
First stop along the way should be Sayulita , once mostly the home of fishing families and oyster divers. Now, it’s a haven for a winter platoon of youthful foreign sunbathers and surfer wannabes.
A few miles farther north, San Francisco  (or locally, San Pancho) still retains its sleepy beach-village ambience, but is also home to a growing community of North American vacationers and retirees.
And finally, Tepic , the Nayarit state capital, nestled in its fertile volcano-rimmed valley.