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Posted by Luis Dominguez on 2018-08-30
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Riviera Maya or Riviera Nayarit?

Riviera Nayarit

Nuevo Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit

This one is difficult. For a person who has lived for several years in each of the two most famous Mexican Rivieras, enjoyed their stunning natural beauty and revealed in the outstanding quality of life they both offer, is really hard to pick one on top of the other. But, for the sake of having an interesting, productive debate let’s give it a try.

Let’s start with the most famous, successful and well-established of the two: The Riviera Maya. Usually defined as the stretch of spectacular white-sand beaches (and towns) located from Cancun all the way to Tulum, including Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos, Puerto Aventuras, Akumal and other minor villages and communities. It was created as the natural evolution of Cancun into a larger destination, and since the Riviera Maya brand came to light it became a complete hit. It was just perfect. All the good things that foreigners love about Mexico in a single name: Riviera (beach, sun, fun, golf) Maya (history, culture, ancient wisdom, pyramids). Since then it has only grown bigger and bigger, with the most exclusive brands of hotels in the world opening different branches along the way. During this process, places like Playa del Carmen and now Tulum, have faced huge transformations from small fishing villages to cosmopolitan beach towns that attracted not only tourists but expats from all over the world.

Villa Las Palapas

from $ US 1.200 /Night
Casa Las Palapas is a spectacular residence overlooking the Pacific Ocean, located in the Riviera Nayarit, within t [more]
Casa Las Palapas is a spectacular residence overlooking the Pacific Ocean, located in the Riviera Nayarit, within t [more]
55 13 482,00 ft2full info

Villa Cenote del Mar

from $ US 1.832 /Night
Cenote del Mar is the most luxurious 8 bedrooms beachfront villa in all of the Mayan Riviera. It is located on the [more]
Cenote del Mar is the most luxurious 8 bedrooms beachfront villa in all of the Mayan Riviera. It is located on the [more]
89 8 600,00 ft2full info

Hacienda del Secreto

from US 190 /Night
Hacienda del Secreto is found on the Caribbean shores of the Mayan Riviera. The gated complex consists of 5 exquis [more]
Hacienda del Secreto is found on the Caribbean shores of the Mayan Riviera. The gated complex consists of 5 exquis [more]
2526full info

On the other hand, Riviera Nayarit since its inception has been modeled after the Riviera Maya success and has tried really hard to get close to what its bigger sister in the Caribbean has achieved in the past couple of decades. Just like Riviera Maya, it’s also the natural consequence of the success and growth of a big tourist destination, Puerto Vallarta in this case. It started with the creation of Nuevo Vallarta, but that was just an attempt that was quickly surpassed by its own success. So, finally, at the beginning of this century, Mexican developers came up with the idea of rebranding the coastal region north of Puerto Vallarta as Riviera Nayarit.

The new destination is actually a collection of high-end communities such as Punta Mita or Nuevo Vallarta, mixed up with beautiful beach towns like Sayulita, Bucerias or San Pancho, in an eclectic blend that may be its main asset. In terms of natural beauty, both Rivieras have their fair share of impressive beaches, estuaries, and wildlife. However, we could give the advantage to Riviera Maya because of its white-sand beaches and turquoise blue waters. Called it the ‘Caribbean Bonus’ if you will. Riviera Nayarit has on its part a freshness a bit lost in the Maya lands, this is a new frontier waiting to be discovered by smart travelers looking to keep one step ahead of the rest. It also has the most exclusive gated community in Mexico: Punta Mita.

 

Riviera Maya

Cancun, Riviera Maya

 

Although Riviera Maya has the added incentive of discovering the Mayan culture and its extraordinary pyramids and archaeological sites, Riviera Nayarit has brought new life into the forgotten Huichol culture, which is now enjoying a much-deserved revival. Riviera Maya has Cozumel and Isla Mujeres, while Riviera Nayarit has the Islas Marietas and the historic port of San Blas. If I had to choose one I would choose Riviera Nayarit, only because I believe authentic Mexican culture is more easily found here. But hey, that’s just my own personal opinion. I think both are world class destinations and you should not take my word for it, go explore them both and let us know what you think.

Name of Reviewed Item: Riviera Maya or Riviera Nayarit? Rating Value: 5 Image: https://villaexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/riviera-nayarit.jpg Review Author:Review Date:
Luis Dominguez
Luis Domínguez is a freelance writer and independent journalist. Interested in travel, art, books, history, philosophy, politics and sports. He has written for Fodor’s, Yahoo!, Sports Illustrated, Telemundo, Villa Experience, MexResorts, ONE Magazine and PV Pulse, among other brands of print and digital media in Europe and North America. Luis has a Master’s Degree in Humanities from the Universidad Francisco de Vitoria from Madrid, Spain; and a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from the Tecnológico de Monterrey. A global citizen, Luis has lived in some of the largest and most vibrant cities in the world, including London, Madrid and Mexico City. Currently lives in Playa del Carmen, México, where he is the Middle School Director of an International School and writes in English and Spanish for different media around the world. He defines himself as a humanist, liberal and rational.

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