Top 10 Things To Do

The Explore Nayarit team has put together a list of fun and interesting things to do to ensure that you take advantage of everything our area has to offer, no matter whether you’re vacationing here for a week or if you live here year-round!

Here is a list of our TOP 10 favorite things we think should not be missed when visiting our area (listed in no particular order)…

1 Go Fishing, Whale
Watching or Kayaking

Fishing: The waters off the Pacific coast of Mexico are an ideal fishing ground for a huge variety of game fish including dorado (mahi-mahi), sailfish, blue and black marlin, yellowfin tuna, red snapper and wahoo. If you’re lucky, you may see dolphins, manta rays, sea turtles and even a whale or two. Many of the local restaurants will prepare your catch for dinner, or you can freeze it and bring it home.

Whale Watching: Humpback whales migrate thousands of miles south to spend the colder winter months in the warm waters here, where they breed, give birth and nurse their young. Luckily, their breeding season coincides with the high season for tourists here in Jaltemba Bay, Mexico. On occasion you can spot these whales and dolphins swimming in the water in the Bay of Jaltemba. Official whale-watching season runs from approximately December 15 to March 31.

Kayaking: Kayak to Isla Coral (Coral Island) where you can dock and swim in the shallow water, or paddle along the coast and enjoy the spectacular views of the shoreline and the Sierra Madre mountains beyond.

View a list of Activities, Attractions & Tours offered in our area.

top photo by Dave Boroughs / bottom photo by Gord Wall

2Release Baby Olive
Ridley Sea Turtles

Volunteers from local turtle camps comb the nearby beaches each night in search of endangered sea turtle eggs, nests and mature female turtles. The eggs are collected and taken back to protected hatcheries. When the eggs hatch after a 45-day incubation period, the general public may participate in a turtle liberation ceremony. Olive Ridley turtles typically hatch between August and mid-January. Being able to hold a baby turtle in your hands, seal it with a kiss, and wish them farewell, is an experience of a lifetime.

To learn more, read our article entitled “Releasing Sea Turtles in Rincón de Guayabitos is an Experience of a Lifetime.”

bottom photo by Playa Las Tortugas Resort

3Watch the Spectacular Sunsets

Sometimes we try to pack so much into our vacation that we forget to sit back, relax, and enjoy the simple things going on around us. Be sure to run your toes through the sand, listen to the sound of the surf, let the warm breeze gently brush your face, and by all means watch the sun setting over the ocean. Hopefully, you’ll get to witness one of our spectacular watermelon or papaya-colored sunsets.

4Take an Afternoon Siesta… in a Hammock!

After you’ve worked on your tan, read your book, strolled the miles of secluded beaches and taken a swim in the warm Pacific, why not relax, unwind and take an afternoon siesta. “Siesta-time” is a tradition here in Mexico, whereby locals (and gringos alike) often take an early afternoon break to avoid the mid-day heat. Stay here for a day or more and you’ll quickly realize that many businesses close from 2-4pm for exactly this reason. So what should one do when the shops close up? Embrace this Mexican tradition of course, and take a siesta… in a hammock!

photo by Playa Las Tortugas Resort

5Shop the Tianguis Markets

For those who really like to shop – and even for those who don’t – the Tianguis Market in La Peñita is a must. People come from miles around to attend this open-air market held every Thursday in the plaza.

From local artists displaying silver and handmade jewelry, glassware, Talavera pottery, beautiful Oaxacan wool rugs and the famous Huichol Indian beaded artwork; to vendors with carts of ceviche and jumbo shrimp, homemakers selling fresh pastries and linens, and pickup trucks overflowing with poblano peppers and watermelons – you name it, they’ve got it here. You will also find fresh fruits and veggies, homemade breads and locally-produced honey and coffee beans. This is one of the largest and most well-known markets in the area.

View a list of all Tianguis and Farmers Markets in the area.

bottom photo by Dave Boroughs

6Try the Fresh Seafood

Fish and shrimp are caught daily by our local fishermen and served at nearly every restaurant in town. You can enjoy dorado (mahi-mahi), huachinango (red snapper) and camarónes (shrimp) prepared every way imaginable.

7Eat at a Street Stand

You’ll find some of the best tasting tacos, tortas (sandwiches), burritos, quesadillas and ceviche at the many street-side stands. And since prices are super inexpensive, you can afford to have more than one… or one of everything on the menu!

8Order a Margarita (or Michelada)… or Two

This is Mexico after all, and it just wouldn’t be a vacation if you didn’t enjoy an ice-cold grande margarita or michelada (a Mexican cocktail made with beer, Clamato, fresh lime juice and hot sauce) while sitting at one of the many palapa restaurants on the beach.

View a list of Restaurants and Dining options in our area.

9Attend or Volunteer
at a Community Event

There is so much going on in our area, especially during the winter months. Plan your vacation around one of the many volunteer and fundraising events in Jaltemba Bay (listed in alphabetical order): Barbie Angel Project, beach cleanups, Cancer de Mama Clinic, Christmas parties for the kids, “El Famoso” Horseshoe Tournament, El Gran Bazaar, Jaltemba Bay Animal Rescue (JBAR) spay and neuter clinics, Jaltemba Cup Golf Tournament, Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) trail rides, KinderAide street dance,Los Amigos de Jaltemba’s annual fiesta, recycling project and other events, Nurse Vicky’s charity, Rotary events, Women to Women Fashion Show, and many more.

View a list of Charities & Community Groups on our area.

Check our event calendar for a list of upcoming and ongoing events.

top photo by Glenn Adamson / bottom photo by Kiersten Rowland

10Explore the Area and Get to Know the People

Last, but certainly not least, take the time to explore the area and get to know the wonderful people who live in our area. You’ll be happy you did!

photo by Christina Stobbs