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5 Reasons Why You Should Visit This 500-Year-Old City Near Puerto Vallarta

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Mexico is one of the best places to go off the beaten path to discover the country's hidden gems – safely, that is.

There are definitely some no-go zones where tourists should steer clear, but one historic city nearing its 500th birthday is welcoming tourists with open arms.

Despite how Mexico can be portrayed at times, not every traveler visiting our southern neighbor is packing swimwear and booking all-inclusive resorts.

Agave fields and volcano in Tepic

Culture seekers, history buffs, and travelers just simply seeking new experiences away from “Americanized” destinations, find that Mexico is teeming with captivating getaways away from resort-lined beaches.

One of those cities in 2024 is Nayarit's capital, Tepic, which is located within a few hours of the gorgeous coastline of Puerto Vallarta.

Here are 5 reasons why you should visit this 500-year-old city near Puerto Vallarta:

More Accessible To International Tourists

Isla de Coral near Tepic

Perhaps domestic travelers have long known about Tepic's charm, given its nearly five centuries of history, but international travelers are just in the beginning stages of discovery.

By the end of 2024, the brand new international terminal at Aeropuerto Internacional de Tepic will debut shining a new light on this lesser-known city.

Given how popular Nayarit has become for beach escapes along the 200-mile stretch of paradise and islands, this airport serves as an alternate gateway into the region.

And you can't forget about Puerto Vallarta, of course, toeing the line between Jalisco and Nayarit.

That being said, travelers are doing themselves a disservice without a stop in Tepic, even if it's not their mainstay.

Tepic Is Insanely Affordable

Tepic Cathedral in city center of Tepic

As some of Mexico's most historic and cultural cities have been invaded by the digital nomad craze, prices tend to rise for everyone.

Tepic has yet to be discovered by digital nomads, or any type of traveler if we're being honest.

The airport only welcomed 250,000 visitors, but that will surely change once the airport's upgrades are complete.

Solo travelers, digital nomads, and anyone on a budget will fall in love with Tepic, as this city offers one of the best bangs for their buck in Mexico.

Despite being off-the-radar, travelers can get around cheaply by Uber and find insanely cheap accommodations, especially long-term.

Many centrally located Airbnb listings are listed under $400 per month, while Cabo resorts average $600 per night! How's that for a bargain?

Plus, you can discover all the spots to hit up by hopping aboard a super cheap $2 bus tour operated by Turibus.

An Undiscovered City That Feels Like Real Mexico

Vast agave fields of Tepic

As Mexico has soared to new heights in terms of popularity, it's fair to say some destinations are losing their authentic appeal.

As an example, certain neighborhoods in mega-popular Mexico City haven't lost their charm, but then you turn a corner and find a Starbucks and Domino's Pizza taking away from the allure of Mexico's magic.

Here, that's not the case at all, and it's a safe bet it won't be for quite some time, making for one of the best opportunities for travelers to visit charming historical streets of Colonial architecture and postcard-worthy cathedrals.

Natural Beauty Beyond The Beaches

Santa Maria del Oro of Tepic, MX

Nayarit may be primarily known to travelers for its pristine beaches, but Tepic says, “Hold my beer”—or tequila.

Beyond the beaches, there is stunning nature to admire, including vast agave fields, stunning volcanoes, and the very pretty Santa Mario del Oro—a majestic lagoon backdropped by beautiful mountains.

Here, tourists can do it all, from hiking, swimming, kayaking, and even chasing waterfalls nearby.

While the city's timeless streets are great to wander, this is an idyllic place to kick back and enjoy the outdoors in a place that has seemingly yet to be discovered by most travelers.

And best of all, there are cozy boutique hotels to maximize your stay.

No Need To Stress About Safety

Aerial view of Tepic, Mexico

You may stand out like a sore thumb in Tepic if you visit today, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to stress about safety concerns here.

Recent visitors have been blown away by the city's beauty and have not felt the need to be on high alert.

It's always smart to be aware of your surroundings anywhere you visit, but the city streets are deemed safe, as confirmed by the U.S. State Department's ‘Level 3' for Nayarit, which does not mention Tepic.

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