Before you visit, find out everything you should know about Nuevo Vallarta.
If you are looking for a new and fantastic place to spend your holidays, you’ve probably heard about Nuevo Vallarta or Riviera Nayarit. These destinations are becoming top-notch and trending spots. But, before you make your final decision, check out this quick FAQ and find out everything there is to know about Nuevo Vallarta.
- What is the difference between Nuevo Vallarta and Puerto Vallarta?
- What is Riviera Nayarit?
- What is the beach like?
- What is the weather like?
- When is the rain and hurricane season?
- Is the area safe to travel?
- What are the best tours and things to do in Nuevo Vallarta?
- Are there sea turtle releases?
- When do the Humpback Whale visit the bay?
- Which towns are worth visiting?
1. What is the difference between Nuevo Vallarta and Puerto Vallarta?
Two cities, one name: Vallarta. Even though they are located in the same bay, they are in essence very different.
- Puerto Vallarta. – In the state of Jalisco, this city became famous because of the movie The Night of the Iguana. The colonial architecture and cultural authenticity make this town notorious.
- Nuevo Vallarta. – Located in the state of Nayarit. Right next to Puerto Vallarta, it has all the conveniences, plus a more relaxing ambiance and a long sandy beach. The airport is only 20 minutes away.
What you need to know about Nuevo Vallarta is that it shares tours, attractions, and even the airport with Puerto Vallarta. Giving you the same range of options during your vacation, or maybe even more.
2. What is Riviera Nayarit?
Hugged by the Pacific Ocean and the Western Sierra Madre Mountains, Riviera Nayarit is a vacation destination with a coastline that stretches almost 200 miles. Starting in Nuevo Vallarta and extending up north, you can find some coastal towns, idyllic beaches and even a set of islands called Las Marietas that boast a hidden beach.
Riviera Nayarit is well-known for the Bahia de Banderas coast and mostly Nuevo Vallarta. Whether it’s for the gourmet cuisine, the luxury hotels, the golden sand beaches or the perfect weather… It’s up to you to decide. What we do know about Nuevo Vallarta is that thousands of travelers are choosing this destination every year, and when missing the old Puerto Vallarta, a short cab ride is all that’s needed to spend the day downtown.
3. What is the beach like?
This is probably one of the most important things you want to know about Nuevo Vallarta. The beach from one hotel to another in Puerto Vallarta is very different and might even be separated. But if you go to Nuevo Vallarta, you will find one long sandy stretch of beach. This beach is fabulous not only because of its length; its sand is decorated with millions of golden specks. With a soft and gentle surf, the small waves are perfect for adults and kids, and the warm water of the Pacific makes it ideal for a relaxing time.
4. What is the weather like?
While seasons do exist, the warm weather goes year-round in Nuevo Vallarta. Winter is cooler, but still sunny, warm and dry; which is ideal for a golden tan with an average temperature of 72ºF. As spring approaches, flowers color every single corner. Meanwhile, summer can be a bit hot at midday with an average temperature of 84ºF. Summer and autumn also come with higher humidity. Furthermore, the months with the most hours of sunshine are March through May.
5. When is the rain and hurricane season?
Since Nuevo Vallarta is located right next to the beach, rain is unavoidable, but the rainy season starts in June and ends in Mid-October. Furthermore, rain and storms are quite uncommon or short from November through May. Even during the summer, it rains mostly at night, which makes for sunny days even in the midst of the rainy season.
If you are thinking of hurricanes, Nuevo Vallarta is virtually immune to them… The Bay of Banderas is surrounded by mountains to the north, the east, and the south. This natural barrier deflects hurricanes out to the sea or up north on the coast. It’s quite unlikely that a hurricane will come close enough to cause damage, and even if it did, strict safety and emergency protocols are established in the area.
6. Is the area safe to travel?
As safe & sound as it gets. The main thing to know about Nuevo Vallarta and Puerto Vallarta is that they are not included in the U.S. State Department Travel Warnings, or any international travel warnings at all. No incidents with tourists have happened in this area for years. Furthermore, the last National Public Urban Security survey declared Puerto Vallarta the safest city in Mexico. This proves that both, Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta are a safe-haven where tourist can unwind and take a night stroll without worrying.
7. What are the best tours and things to do in Nuevo Vallarta?
If you are looking for a place with a wide variety of options, Vallarta is the place for you. Among the most important things to know about Nuevo Vallarta, is that its activities and things to do can be divided into four categories:
In the Ocean
With the beautiful beaches, activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, and boat trips are a given. But with so many natural treasures in the Pacific, you will find unique options such as whale safaris, visits to a unique hidden beach in the Marietas Islands, bird watching, turtle releases, swimming with sea lions or dolphins, etc.
High-end options can be found all over Nuevo Vallarta. You can either go shopping in exclusive boutiques, golfing on world-class golf courses, attend gourmet festivals with international Chefs or even practice the sport of kings at La Patrona Polo & Equestrian Club.
Riviera Nayarit is known for its culture. Here, you will find local cuisine and handcrafted art from the regional ethnic group, Huichol. Neighboring towns are a perfect choice to discover their traditions and customs. And, a few minutes away, you can find Puerto Vallarta’s downtown, with its colonial architecture and a boardwalk decorated by nationally recognized sculptors.
In the Jungle
It covers the mountains in the backdrop of this destination and offers an infinite number of possibilities. You can take a tour to discover the wild side in ATVs. Zip lining is by far a favorite since it offers the best views. But you can also visit a crocodile sanctuary or conservation centers.
Find out the Top 10 activities!
8. Are there sea turtle releases?
Turtle releases are one of the most memorable events in Nuevo Vallarta. Seeing these cute little hatchlings start their lives while walking towards the sea is as memorable as it is beautiful. And the best part is that hatchings happen all year long, although they are more common between October and February. You may be lucky enough to witness a release during your time at the beach, or you can make sure you experience it by contacting a turtle camp during your stay. Learn more here.
9. When do the Humpback Whales visit the bay?
Every year, a visit of gigantic proportions visit the bay in a search for warmer seas. The giant Humpback Whales can be seen from the shore or in specialized tours whipping their tails during mating rituals or casually swimming with their newborns. These amazing guests are in Banderas Bay from mid-December until March, when they start their journeys back north. Learn more about them here.
10. Which towns are worth visiting?
Dozens of sandy beaches and charming towns are located along the shoreline of Riviera Nayarit. Perfect for a morning out shopping or day trip, all of them are worth a visit. But, take the time to check them out and pick the perfect one for your vacation.
This traditional spot is where the locals live and thrive. But it’s also the ideal place to shop for art and souvenirs. Also, here you can eat the absolute best seafood in the region.
La Cruz de Huanacaxtle
This fishing town is where locals have lived here for generations. A marina has recently been built, and the scenery is picture-perfect.
Punta de Mita
This glamorous residential and resort area has a white-sand beach and the most exclusive golf course: Punta de Mita Pacific. This course is considered as the most impressive golf course in Mexico, possibly the world.
A surfer town with a hippie atmosphere. This place is on the list of “Magic Towns” in Mexico. Make sure to take a surf lesson and to buy some local crafts. Learn more about this all-time-favorite here.
Nicknamed San Pancho, this town has a colorful vibe. Tourists and locals consider it the cultural capital of Nayarit because of its recycled sculptures and even a youth center. But make no mistake, the beach is a paradise.
So, now that you know everything there is to know about Nuevo Vallarta… start planning your dream vacation! And, if you have any questions, send us an inbox through our Facebook page.