If you plan to travel to Mexico by car, don’t miss one of the best road trips in the country to visit Riviera Nayarit. Here are our tips and suggested tourist spots for your trip to Mexico or as part of your retirement plan.
Tips for Traveling through Mexico by Car
To travel through Riviera Nayarit, you must know that the main road is Highway 200 that covers Nayarit and Chiapas states from Banderas Bay to Punta de Mita.
But to drive in Mexico, you need to meet certain legal conditions. You need to purchase car insurance from a Mexican provider, even if you already have one in the US or Canada as Mexican law establishes. In addition to a driver’s license, you must have an Official Entry Immigration Form (FMM) which works as a tourist visa for entry and has been in Mexico for six months.
This documentation is mandatory if you decide to rent a car or drive your own one across the border during your Mexico trip. First, you should be aware that the conditions for getting a car may vary. The second case requires a temporary vehicle importation permit. To get one of these, you need car ownership, American or Canadian car registration and citizenship, and a valid driver’s license. Thus, we recommend doing your own research prior to traveling to have a more accurate budget and check all the permission timelines.
Once you get there, we suggest you avoid driving during the night given the high number of accidents and the lack of road access. Also, choose a car insurance option that offers you road assistance to feel more secure and has a backup in case you need it during your car road trip.
Beaches Towns to Retire in Riviera Nayarit
Riviera Nayarit covers over 23 destinations including the Pacific coast, magical towns, mountains, and other beautiful landscapes. However, there are certain spots that are included in the list of the best places to retire in Mexico.
- Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta is known for its warm weather and luxurious lifestyle, as well as its various piers throughout the year. Not only does this beach city have a wide gastronomic variety, but there’s also high demand for medical services, which puts it atop the list of best places to retire in Mexico. As it is one of the most visited places for car road trip and vacations, tourist activities such as water sports, golf, and yacht rides are common.
- Nuevo Vallarta
It is one of the most developed tourist centers in Mexico given its hotel offerings and luxury activities like golf and yacht rides. Apart from the weather, you can enjoy Pacific Ocean views from your apartment window. If this is not enough, Nuevo Vallarta is recognized for its well-reputed restaurants and is a widely popular gourmet restaurant proposal; thus, people from other countries are likely to come to visit.
This town of cobbled and colorful streets offers a quiet lifestyle with the sound of the Pacific Ocean as background noise. Bucerias is a popular picturesque spot for tourists, and their street markets and bars near the beach are always full. These beaches are some of the cleanest that you will find during your car road trip to Mexico.
A magical town with colorful streets that lead to white sand beaches is the best description for Sayulita. Here you can practice hiking in its surrounding mountains or just go for a walk full of art galleries and Mexican handicrafts along the route. This type of retirement is perfect if you want to disconnect from a louder urban lifestyle.
- San Pancho
San Pacho is known as the cultural site of the Riviera Nayarit due to its community center, local artisanal markets, and popular circuses. In addition, its festive central square exhibits dance, music, and artistic presentations each night. If you want to experience the heart of Mexican culture, this is one of the best places to retire in Mexico.
- Lo de Marcos
This is one of the best spots for a trip to Mexico and one of the most popular places to live and work. Here you can enjoy the real Mexican experience of exploring magical towns, day-to-day living in picturesque family restaurants, fishing clubs, and beach villages. People who love outdoor activities will find Lo de Marcos attractive given its mountain walks, jungle exploration, and water sports.
Rincon de Guayabitos offers the best of a tourist destination in terms of delicious seafood, golf resorts, snorkel, boat trips to other islands and spots, and even a visit to an archaeological zone. After retiring here, you will enjoy walking through colonial streets while you also discover Huichol art, silver jewelry, and local handicrafts for a real Mexico trip experience.
- La Peñita
This small town is well known for its nocturnal lifestyle, but also offers a quiet lifestyle full of cobbled streets, boat trips, and fishing activities. In La Peñita, you can also experience Mexica history and various virginal beaches with beautiful turquoise landscapes as a background.
Beach Road Route through Riviera Nayarit
During your trip to Mexico along the Riviera Nayarit coast, at each destination you can enjoy ecological tourism and water activities, as well as a variety of other activities. Starting in the south, Banderas Bay is Mexico’s most popular tourist destination, along with places like Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta, and Flamingos, which are all located in the same area and are part of the best places to retire. The luxury area along the coast of Punta de Mita encompasses almost 10 kilometers of turquoise virgin beaches.
But if you want to experience a more traditional experience, Bucerias has both handicrafts and modern extreme water sports; Yelapa offers several wildlife activities like hiking, waterfalls, and horse riding after you reached it by boat; and Mayto is a virgin beach with turtle camps deeply hidden among the mangroves.
Continue your Mexico trip down the south coast, and in Litibu you will find several art galleries and seafood restaurants; in contrast, Sayulita, San Francisco, San Pancho, and Lo de Marcos will offer you a coast-style view with boat rides. These latter are surf towns that encompass Mexican traditions in a quiet environment. Perhaps the most interesting spot to visit here is the wild Punta Raza, which is hidden among huge palm trees and a tropical jungle and provides a unique natural landscape.
Jaltemba Bay is the next main zone to explore during your trip to Mexico. Further north to Puerto Vallarta, you should spend some time between Rincon de Guayabitos and La Peñita. These towns have street markets, colorful streets, and delicious food like fish tacos, tortas ahogadas (drowned sandwiches), and pineapple tepache.
The central coast that covers Matachen Bay and Boca de Chila is a paradise of white sand beaches surrounded by vast marine life and Mexican traditions concentrated in a row of town after town. In contrast, the north coast exhibits the history of Mexico in its colonial and Mexica (indigenous civilization) architecture. From San Blas to Mexcaltitan Island, you can take a trip to various magical towns to find out more about the essence of the country.
In order to make sure you have the best car road trip experience in Mexico, Safe Travel with a Car Insurance is available that suits your specific needs.