If you're an American living in a colder region of the United States, and you haven't got the chance to escape somewhere sunny yet, be it because of the soaring prices we've seen over summer or just bad timing, odds are you are entertaining the idea of an escape to the Mexican Pacific.
We wouldn't blame you, as it is truly a phenomenal destination when it comes to all-inclusive stays, beaches, and that incomparable, warm hospitality, but there's also no denying it has become exceedingly crowded in recent years and the opposite of what a relaxing vacation should be.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, tourists are now heading en masse to this alternative destination just North of hugely popular Puerto Vallarta, where they have access to all those world-class amenities and can still be surrounded by nature (with smaller crowds):
This Unheard-Of Town Is Becoming A Popular Vacation Spot For Americans
Located approximately an hour drive north of Puerto Vallarta, in the neighboring state of Nayarit, the small town of Rincón de Guayabitos is attracting more American travelers this year as demand for lesser-known, not-as-awfully-busy destinations grows.
Though Puerto Vallarta ticks all the boxes when it comes to a tropical holiday, boasting sandy beaches, a highly-developed resort strip, and a Bohemian zone, it can get jam-packed over the high season.
Last year, Vallarta saw its biggest arrival figures yet, and it looks set to surpass them in 2023 as the major international airport serving both the city and the adjacent Riviera Nayarit, of which Guayabitos is a part of, records a double-digit increase in passengers.
Not all incoming visitors are heading to Puerto Vallarta, however, and will often use the city as an entry point to the wider Pacific coast.
Of all the secondary destinations that are riding on this wave of popularity, Guayabitos is among the most sought-after spots, as it offers a contrasting experience to that of Puerto Vallarta, seeing it is much smaller, resulting in a more abundant natural environment, and less of a party scene.
What's So Special About Guayabitos?
Home to about 3,000 inhabitants, it belongs to the wider Riviera Nayarit, a coastal section stretching for 200 miles, dotted with luxury hotels, golf courses, and surfing zones, and where there is certainly no shortage of quaint, sleepy towns to choose from as a base.
Still, Guayabitos is unique:
For those of you who have been to these parts before, you know already the coast can be more rugged compared to the Caribbean, sands are usually golden, and the seas are – amusingly – not that ‘pacific', and can be of a deep azure as opposed to crystal clear.
In Guayabitos, not only are there numerous swim-friendly areas that resort guests can easily access, but the municipal beach is sandy, white-sand at that, licked by light-blue waters.
With temperatures ranging from 69°F to 89°F, it is one of the best hidden corners for enjoying the spectacular scenery of Nayarit, basking in the sun, and slowing down for a while, without the constant interference from bachelor parties and city noises you could get in Vallarta.
Looking for an all-inclusive where you can barricade yourself, put your phone on mute, indulge in some pampering and sample an assortment of delectable plates from an impressive continental breakfast spread?
You will be spoiled for choice here.
Plenty Of Charming Hotels To Pick From
And They Fit Every Budget
With rates starting as cheap as $123 per night this winter and going as high as an eye-watering $1,704, there is an incredible selection of tourist accommodations in town catering to a diverse audience, from budget-conscious travelers to big spenders.
If you belong to the first category and you're spending most of your time outdoors, the reasonably-priced Villa Corona del Mar is a great pick, as it falls within the ‘normal' price range, and it's an oceanfront property where breakfast is included and it's only a short walk to the nearest beach.
Other options include the three-star Rega suites, a short 0.4 mile walk to the main shopping street ($150 per night), or the rustic, budget-friendly Las Glorias bungalows, for those who simply need a cozy-enough room to sleep a stone's throw away from the main beach.
Looking to splurge in a landmark, ultra-luxurious resort instead?
@destinationinspiration #stitch with @saltyluxe_ Necesito practicar mi accento 🤪 Would you stay here?? #traveltiktok #bucketlisttravel #airbnbfinds #travelinspo #traveltips #uniquetravel #mexico #puertovallarta #greenscreen ♬ original sound – Destination Inspiration 🌍
The One&Only Mandarina might be the right choice for you, with an outdoor swimming pool, lush green gardens that create the illusion of being in a forested area, 24-hour catering, a kids' clube, and even an airport shuttle that eliminates the need for overpriced private transfers.
When it comes to food, there are American-style diners, Mediterranean, and of course, Mexican on-site, and for those with dietary restrictions – vegetarians and vegans – there are plenty of options available upon request, as noted on their website.
If you would like to explore beyond the resort's premises, the hotel also offers car rental service, and you may be able to book day tours that will take you deeper into the Nayarit protected reserve, where you can hike the surrounding mountains, go snorkeling, and more.
This property is most appreciated by couples, who give it a near-perfect score of 9.7/10 on average for a stay for two.
An Underrated Culture And Foodie Hotspot
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Other than the gorgeous beaches and amazing service, a standard among coastal resorts in Mexico, you should expect to find some cultural value in Guayabitos, as it is known up and down the Nayarit Riviera for being a traditional settlement that's retained its small town character, and a foodie hotspot.
No visit to Guayabitos is complete without sampling a refreshing piña loca, a tamarindo-peanut-pineapple sweet and sour dish, plátanos fritos (or fried bananas), and pan de coco, an originally Jamaican, coconut milk-based stuffed pastry that's become a popular street snack across Nayarit.
Guayabitos is preparing for a surge in tourism this season, as Benito Castillo Lerman, head of the local hotel association said himself.
According to Lermanm, ‘over a thousand employees' have now received extensive training to better host foreign visitors this winter, and businesses in the area are exploring new ways in which they can offer them more ‘meaningful' cultural and culinary experiences.
The quality of tours and excursions is increasing, too, as are hygiene levels, a widespread concern amid Americans going off-path in Mexico, as the country is depicted in the media as having suboptimal food and water safety standards outside major urban centers and resort cities.
Guayabitos Is Expecting A Record Number Of Visitors This Winter
As many as 30,000 tourists are predicted to head straight to Guayabitos upon landing in the region in the next few months – far fewer than Puerto Vallarta or Nuevo Vallarta will be hosting indeed, but it's precisely why it's perfect for travelers actively looking for a relaxing getaway.
The nearest airport is Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz Airport, which serves Puerto Vallarta as well as the Nayarit Riviera, and the town itself is located some 32 miles from the airport.
If your hotel reservation does not include shuttle service, you will be required to pre-book your private transportation in advance for a stress-free transfer.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.