PHOTO: A beautiful Riviera Nayarit sunset. (photo via Flickr/Daniel Lira)
During the past 10 years, Riviera Nayarit has transformed from what was often downplayed as a “Puerto Vallarta suburb” into one of Mexico’s most coveted Pacific vacation destinations.
Stretching along nearly 200 miles of pristine coastline from Nuevo Vallarta, 10 minutes north of Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR), the getaway is marking its 10th anniversary in 2017.
Back during its concept stage, a team that included of Marc Murphy (Managing Director of Riviera Nayarit CVB), Richard Zarkin (Public Relations Manager of Riviera Nayarit CVB) and several other key tourism experts brainstormed on a name and identity to pull the region from a blip on the radar into a full-fledged player. The intent was to ultimately establish the destination as “Mexico’s Pacific Treasure.”
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As it celebrates its 10th anniversary, the destination has achieved that and more.
Within Nayarit State, Riviera Nayarit is home to its original resort town of Nuevo Vallarta, upscale celebrity haunt of Punta Mita, the artsy surf-centric Sayulita, historic San Blas village, plus a string of mellow beaches and laid-back fishing villages flanking spectacular Banderas Bay.
You’ll find ample activities and festivals that help make Riviera Nayarit a favorite among first-timers and repeat visitors as well. Here are six events rolling out in 2017 that will help Riviera Nayarit celebrate its 10th anniversary.
1) Open Water Swim Tournament, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle (April 1)
One of the destination’s most intense athletic competitions, the Open Water Swim Tournament in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle was recently admitted into the Global Swim Series. Connecting competitive swimmers from across the globe, the aquatic event is open to all age and ability levels.
2) Restaurant Week (May 15-31)
Jumping onto the culinary bandwagon with other influential fine dining destinations across the globe, Vallarta Lifestyles Publishing Group established Restaurant Week in 2005 as an annual two-week festival showcasing many of Riviera Nayarit’s and Puerto Vallarta’s stellar culinary establishments.
Participating eateries offer innovative three-course menus, (with three options available for each course). Prices are often discounted by up to 50 percent, making this food affair even more delicious.
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3) Wind Festival, Bucerias (May 19-21)
Known as the Wind Surfing Capital of Riviera Nayarit, Buceraas will celebrate its premier sports competition during the 2017 Wind Festival. This version pits more than 200 competitors in freestyle and slalom races where they’ll ride the breeze on the downwind course from La Cruz de Huanacaxtle to Bucerías.
4) Vallarta Nayarit Gastronomica (October 23-26)
Always a hot ticket among foodies, Vallarta Nayarit Gastronomica united six Michelin Stars in 2016—including Mexico’s own Chef Roberto Ruiz. The 2017 food fete will engage with tastings, pairings, special events, dinners and workshops for those into upscale nosh and the professionals creating it.
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5) Festival Gourmet International (November 10-19)
It began as a simple plan to promote and enhance the culinary standards of Riviera Nayarit, Puerto Vallarta and Tepic's destinations. However, Festival Gourmet International has burgeoned into a sumptuous cultural exchange featuring chefs from across the globe.
This year’s international festival is expected to continue attracting foodies who travel to the region for a full menu of activities highlighting Vallarta’s gourmet cuisine. Count on such palate pleasers as chef’s tables and exclusive menus.
6) Festival Sinergiarte, San Pancho (December 28-30)
San Pancho’s Festival Sinergiarte is considered a “must do” for all things relating to Riviera Nayarit art and culture. Launching with a parade, the colorful three-day soiree will dazzle via performances, workshops, local food, exhibits and sports tournaments that highlight the beachfront town’s unique offerings.
For additional information on this thriving Mexico destination, its 10th anniversary and numerous events scheduled throughout the year, visit Riviera Nayarit’s website.