Just south of Sayulita, a stunning, jungled mountainous peninsula tumbles into the sea. Much of it has been tamed and groomed into gated resorts, and Punta de Mita village is now largely a service center for these resorts. Nevertheless, it has a string of beachfront restaurants popular with Vallarta families, and its little marina is a place to jump on a boat out to sea.
The beaches that grace the coast from here to Nuevo Vallarta – part of a larger 150km stretch known as Riviera Nayarit – are some of the best on the central Pacific coast. The water is almost always clear and aquamarine, the sand is white and the surf can get fun too. Laid-back fishing ports turned beach resorts worth exploring on this coastline include La Cruz de Huanacaxtle and Bucerías.