On Riviera Nayarit’s 192 miles of Pacific Coast, you'll find not only tropical heat, but isolated stretches where palm trees are your only companions and waves without end create an inevitable invitation to surf. Listed below are some noteworthy under-the-radar, Instagram-worthy, beaches for those who crave sand and sea but not crowds:
· Las Islitas: Once known as having the longest wave in the world by Guinness Book of Records, Las Islitas is located a mere 10 minutes from San Blas. It’s one of the area’s most beautiful beaches, ideal for some great R&R. The waves are consistent, the sand is a light gray color and it’s over a mile long by 18 miles wide. You’ll also find great food, like the famous pescado zarandeado (butterflied whole fish grilled over a smoky wood fire), shrimp turnovers, oyster soup, banana bread and many more seaside delicacies. Of course, served fresh from the sea, ready to eat right on the shore.
· Lo de Marcos: The wide expanse of this quiet beach is sandy and the blue ocean waters are always warm and inviting. The scenery along this almost mile-long beach is lush and green. There are a couple of informal beachfront restaurants that serve traditional Mexican fare. The menu frequently includes the fresh fish caught offshore, which patrons typically enjoy with an ice cold agua fresca, cerveza or a michelada. Doesn’t get more summer than that, right?
· Playa Los Venados: This small, secluded beach is located at the southernmost end of the town of Lo De Marcos. It offers day-trippers one family-run restaurant serving delicious fresh oysters, plucked from the rocks on the beach, and fresh fish caught right offshore that morning, prepared as you wish. On calm days during the winter months, the ocean waters are perfectly clear and suitable for swimming and snorkeling.
The four new certified beaches include Palladium at Punta de Mita; Platanitos in Compostela, Costa Capomo Becerros in Compostela and El Borrego in San Blas. Los Muertos in Sayulita and Vallarta Norte II were also recertified during the event. The beaches at Nuevo Vallarta Sur, Nuevo Vallarta Norte I and Bucerías in Banderas Bay, as well as Chacala in Compostela, still retain their certification.
Pronatura Mexico also re-certified the beach at Nuevo Vallarta Norte with the Blue Flag, awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). There are a total of 11 Blue Flag beaches in Mexico.