Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit region features 192 miles of stunning Pacific coast to explore. That’s a lot of beach. So where to start?
Mid-way up the coast is the beautiful Isla de Mexcaltitán. Considered to be “the cradle of Mexican identity,” it was home to the ancient Aztecs. From here, they set out to central Mexico to found the city of Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City. See remnants of this ancient civilization at the Museo El Origen. Then cross the town’s central plaza to the church of San Pedro and San Pablo, the island’s patron saints.
About halfway between Isla de Mexcaltitán and the more populated areas around Punta de Mita and Puerto Vallarta is San Blas. Here you can visit the ruins of the San Basilio Fortress, founded in 1530, and the colonial fort of La Contaduria, built in 1770. But the real attraction is the region’s natural beauty. Experience it on a boat ride through the mangrove forests of La Tovara National Park, home to alligators, turtles, and over 300 different species of colorful birds.
Sayulita – For a change of pace, visit the bohemian beach town of Sayulita, just a short drive from Playa de Mita. There’s farmers markets, local artisans and live music on the beach. Unwind at a yoga retreat, learn to surf or just relax on the town’s laid-back beaches.
If you’re more of a luxury traveler than beach bum, we recommend Punta de Mita. Enjoy the quiet atmosphere of a Mexican village while staying in 5-star all-inclusive resorts like the IBEROSTAR Playa Mita. The resort’s restaurants specialize in delicious seafood dishes like aguachile and freshly-caught fish. It’s also home to the Litibu Golf Club, one of the top courses in Riviera Nayarit and one with breathtaking oceanfront views.
Why order pizza on your Mexican vacation? Let me tell you, the pizza you get from poolside pizzeria in the Grand section of the Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort isn’t your typical take-out. They use fresh ingredients for gourmet pizzas made to order and baked in a brick oven.
Can you tell I visited Ricardo at the pizzeria more than once during my trip?
Rumor has it that the Le Blanc Spa Resort, one of Moon Palace’s sister properties, also has an amazing poolside pizzeria. Have you eaten there? Let us know.
One of the great things about the Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort is all the room to spread out. It never feels crowded. And that doesn’t just apply to the grounds. If the thought of cramming your whole family in one room makes you want to cancel your vacation, take a look at Moon Palace’s spacious Family Deluxe Suites first:
When you dream about a tropical paradise, you’re probably dreaming about Kauai. Literally–the island’s iconic Wailua Falls were part of the opening credits to the Fantasy Island TV show. The ancient mountains of Hawaii’s “Garden Isle” are draped in lush green from the cliffs of the North Shore to the coffee farms near Poipu Beach. Some of the island’s most dramatic landscapes are only accessible by sea or air. Check out the Funjet Insider’s dreamy infographic about this fabulous island: Continue reading →
What exactly is a “resort credit,” and what does it get you on vacation? While I was at Moon Palace, I talked to Isabel Del Peral about Palace Resorts’ $1,500 resort credit offer. See our conversation below:
Something Palace announced recently is the ability to rollover unused resort credit for your next vacation or give it to family or friends to enjoy. Another thing you should be aware of is that just as there is an additional tax and gratuity charge on your reservation, there is a 16% service fee on resort credit activities. Even with that, it’s still one of the best resort credit offers you’ll find anywhere.
We all say we want to unplug when we go on vacation, but in this day and age, that’s not really realistic. The kids want to share their vacation photos on Facebook, you need to check in with the neighbors about that package that was supposed to arrive before you left…Which is why Palace Resorts’ free wireless internet and free calls to the U.S. and Canada are such great perks.
And though I didn’t mention it in the video, another really convenient feature of Palace Resorts is their free smartphone app. With it, you can browse resort services, schedule activities like spa treatments or dolphin encounters and check your resort credit balance.
Have you used the Palace Resorts app during your stay? Let us know what you thought in the comments below.
Meet Jessica, the newest Funjet Insider. From her post in February on the Moon Palace kids club, you already know she’s a mom. Like all our Funjet Insiders, she’ll give you behind-the-scenes looks at our favorite resorts and destinations. Plus, she’ll offer helpful travel tips and her perspective on the best places for family vacations.
Look for more posts from Jessica soon about her trip to Palace Resorts.
If you have any questions for Jessica on traveling with kids, post them in the comments below.
If you or your kids are into marine animals of any stripe, IslandSun’s Dolphin Experience should be at the top of your list of things to do in Punta Cana. In addition the dolphins, there’s also friendly seals, sea lions and a rainbow of tropical fish.
For the more adventurous traveler, IslandSun’s exclusive ocean aquarium gives you the opportunity to get up close (but not too close) to stingrays and sharks!
Have you visited IslandSun’s ocean aquarium? Tell us about your experience below.
The Punta Blanca Golf Club is conveniently located less than a half hour from the Punta Cana airport, and only minutes from some of our favorite all-inclusive resorts, including the RIU Resorts complex, Excellence, and Grand Bahia Principe.
Designed by Nick Price, it’s a challenging course that will keep you on your toes. It makes great use of the surrounding wetlands, vegetation, and beautiful ocean views. Punta Cana is known as one of the top golf destinations for a reason.
The greens fee here is $150 per person, which includes golf cart. Many of the nearby resorts offer discounted or free greens fees, but be aware you’ll still have to pay the mandatory golf cart fee of $45 per person. If you want to rent clubs, you can do so for $40-50.
Have you played Punta Blanca or any of Punta Cana’s other courses? Let us know what you thought in the comments below.