Punta Mita, Riviera Nayarit Travel Guide
Punta Mita Summary
- Excellent sandy beaches
- Great snorkeling, fishing, and boating
- Two renowned Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses
- Some of the best surfing waves in the region
- Upscale hotels, including some of the most famous properties in Rivera Nayarit
- Row of beachfront restaurants with authentic cuisine and great views
- Excellent fine dining at the renowned Cafe des Artistes
- Fewer crowds than in other areas
- Great whale sightings during the migration season (December through April)
- Little local charm
- Limited nightlife
- Some jellyfish problems during the fall season
What It's Like
About 30 miles north of the airport, Punta Mita is a ritzy residential and resort area, resting on a hook-shaped piece of land that's surrounded on three sides by the Pacific Ocean. A few decades back real estate developers chased a village of fishermen off the point at Punta Mita, fenced it off, and turned it into a luxe enclave, now home to upscale hotels, homes, and two of the best golf courses in Mexico (not to mention some of the best surfing waves).
The villagers moved down the road a mile or so, into a new location they called Anclote. Anclote is often referred to as Punta de Mita due to its proximity, and is seeing its own wave of development. Although some of the best dining can be found at all-inclusive, 5-star resorts such as the Four Seasons and the St. Regis, a few humble beachfront eateries have sprouted in Anclote, offering authentic Mexican food at reasonable prices. And one of one of the most important restaurants in the area, the Café des Artistes del Mar, is located in Anclote, inside the Hotel Cinco.
A number of beaches, coves, and bays encase the peninsula, keeping temperatures mild -- averages of 85 in the summer and 75 in the winter. With its abundance of pristine beaches, the most popular activities here are ocean-oriented, such as snorkeling, fishing, and boating. Also, one of the main attractions in the area takes place between December and April, when hundreds of whales can be seen swimming south along the coast during the migration season.
Punta Mita is glamorous, high-end and absolutely gorgeous -- but it is removed from the local culture. Driving through the perfectly paved roads lined with beautiful manicured grounds and striking mansions, one might feel as if she is in an upscale residential gated community in the States. Those curious to learn about the Mexican culture will have to leave the Punta Mita security guards in perfectly ironed uniforms behind and explore some of the region's charming small towns. However, few golf courses in Mexico can compare o Pacifico and Bahia, so well-heeled golfers won’t find a more convenient location than this.
Where to Stay
Punta Mita is home to two of the most upscale and renowned resorts in Riviera Nayarit: the Four Seasons and the St. Regis. Inside the complex there are only luxury properties and high-end private homes, so those looking for more affordable options might want to consider checking out the few budget lodging options in Anclote. Mid- and upper-middle-range hotels are harder to come by, beautiful Hotel Cinco being the exception.