The recipe for a world-class LGBTQ+ destination is simple: All you need are fabulous hotels, beautiful beaches, exquisite dining, electric nightlife, gorgeous scenery and, of course, an inclusive energy. Enter Mexico’s State of Nayarit, a destination that exceeds in these areas and beyond. It’s a place practically tailor-made for LGBTQ+ travel.
In fact, Nayarit has been catching the eyes of LGBTQ+ travelers for a while now. It is one of the many states in Mexico that recognize same-sex marriage and has always been a champion for inclusivity, including a unique Huichol (indigenous) ceremony, with a Marakame (a person who is an intermediate between the living the spirit world) who “unites the souls”.
In 2022, the state’s beaches –also known as the Riviera Nayarit –took home the award for top Beach Destination at the LGBT+ Travel Awards Mexico. The organization recognized Riviera Nayarit for its diversity, inclusion and respect for all.
Nayarit is home to many wonderful cities, beach towns and small villages, all of which are ready to welcome and host LGBTQ+ travelers. From the gorgeous oceanfront resorts and restaurants of Nuevo Nayarit to boutique-heavy bohemian beach towns like Sayulita, the luxury hotspots of Punta Mita, like Thierry Blouet’s Tuna Blanca, and the rugged nature and beautiful wildlife of San Blas, Nayarit has a vibe to fit every style of traveler.
Of course, the LGBTQ+ community is welcome beyond just the beaches in the state of Nayarit. The state capital, Tepic, for example, has a small but active gay scene, with several gay bars, as well as an annual Pride march held every June.
Among the top draws to Nayarit for LGBTQ+ travelers is a lengthy list of luxury hotels, resorts and villas. Punta Mita is one of the top luxury enclaves within the state of Nayarit.
It is home to five-star resorts like St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, the newly opened Naviva by Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, the new adults-only, 15 glamping suites; and the Susurros del Corazon, part of the Auberge Resorts Collection.
Travelers will also find other resorts along northern Punta de Mita, as well as one of the most robust villa rental portfolios in the country.
More boutique hotel options can be found in between, from the village of Bucerias up through Sayulita, San Pancho, Chacala known for its wellness offering, and San Blas for bird watching.
Nayarit is perfect for the active LGBTQ+ travelers who want to experience more than just sun and sand — though the beaches along the Riviera Nayarit are among the most pristine in Mexico, particularly for surfers. Wildlife enthusiasts can spot thousands of migratory birds in the seaside village of San Blas and Islas Marias, San Pancho, Islas Marietas National Park, a protected park known for its marine life, as well as its birds. Hiking, mountain biking and yoga are also all part of the Nayarit experience.
Visitors can also take their time learning about history and culture. Nayarit has four of Mexico’s famous Pueblos Magicos, or “Magic Towns,” that are recognized for their preserved history, culture and traditions.
Sayulita is arguably the most famous Pueblo Magico in not only Nayarit but all of Mexico, and the state is also home to Compostela, Jala and Mexcaltitan. Compostela boasts splendid churches and gorgeous colonial architecture, as well as one of Mexico’s largest bird sanctuaries. The town of Jala sits in the shadow of the Ceboruco volcano, which is a beautiful spot for hiking or watching the sunset. Mexcaltitan is known as the Venice of Mexico, thanks to the canals that form within the streets during the rainy season. The car-free island is splashed with brightly colored houses and features some of the best seafood in Mexico.