What to do in San Pancho, Nayarit, Mexico to show your family or friends the vacation of a lifetime!
1. Spend the day at the Beach:
The beach in San Pancho is a kilometer in length, boasts clean, golden sand, and is rarely crowded. Soak up the sun on a lounge chair, gaze out at the surfers or passing whales, take an invigorating walk, and enjoy a tasty lunch at one of the beach bars. Sunset is always an event, as locals and tourists alike wander down to the beach to meet with friends, perhaps enjoy the drink of their choice, and marvel at one of the best year-round sunset venues in the world!
2. Check out the Local Restaurant Scene:
San Pancho is a foodie's paradise, offering a wide variety of excellent restaurants to suit every palate. You will find authentic Mexican restaurants and many international cuisines. Known, of course, for its fresh fish and seafood, you will also find steaks, ribs, seafood, sushi, vegan & more. Many ot these establishments line the main street as visitors and locals alike enjoy the festive atmosphere of dining outdoors and soaking up the scene, as street performers stop by to show off their talents. Live music is available every night at various establishments.
3. Experience local Culture & Celebrations:
Mexicans know how to celebrate. Most anytime you arrive in San Pancho you will be able to take in a colorful parade, a local celebration in the Plaza del Sol or a fiesta put on by the local school children. At specific times of year San Pancho hosts the San Pancho Music Festival, a three-day event featuring acts from the U.S. and Mexico and attended by thousands; Circo de los Niños, a circus performed by the children of San Pancho, directed and choreographed by the founders of Cirque du Soleil; other festivals are San Pancho Days, the celebration of our patron saint and namesake in October; and the Collectivo, Synergearte Festival in December.
4. Pop in to Entreamigos Community Center:
The name Entreamigos means 'between friends'. It is a fantastic and inspiring place that supports the entire community through outreach, education, and ingenuity. They are always finding remarkable ways of making something new out of something discarded. If you want to meet the locals and learn about what is happening in San Pancho, this is the place to do it. You can volunteer to help by sharing or teaching your skills or, if you are a student, you will be able to explore a world of new ideas to spark your imagination.
5. DIY Taco Tour:
If you are in Mexico and you don't eat as many tacos as possible well you are missing the boat. Tacos are life! They come in endless varieties and then you can customize them with your choice of toppings and sauces. They are cheap and fast and delicious. Taco tours are another must-do in San Pancho. Our friend Earl Miller can give you some hints about how to do this. We recommend you look at some of the Earl Miller Taco Tour videos where you can get some clues on some of our favorite places to try. Let us know where you found your favorite taco!
6. Immerse yourself in the Jungle:
The beach is terrific, but there is so much more to see - you also need to experience the Nayarit jungle! There are many ways to do this, and we have lots of recommendations. First, there are walks and hikes. Many people like to hike to Sayulita. You can also walk the 'jungle road', which is America Latina going to the North. For a shorter stroll, a walk to the La Patrona Polo Field is beautiful and not difficult at all. But there are other ways to enjoy the jungle. We recommend that you take a jungle tour, and our friends at Rancho Mi Chaparrita have lots of good choices! Maybe you would like to try a thrilling zip-line canopy tour or a horseback ride. Another excellent way to learn about the native flora & fauna and soak in the intoxicating beauty of our area is to take a tour of the Lo de Perla Jungle garden.
7. Dip your toes into the Ocean:
The best way to experience the Nayarit coast is in a boat! Again, we have lots of recommendations for adventures by sea. You might want to go out on a Panga right off the beach for a fun day of fishing and sightseeing. Whale-watching is spectacular in our area from Jan - early March. You could also take a trip out to the Marietta Islands, or maybe a sunset sailboat cruise around the bay, toasting your good fortune to be here! Of course, watersports like surfing, SUP and sea kayaking are always good fun. For that, we recommend that you go to one of our local surf shops to get the best advice about where to go for the best adventures.
San Pancho's beach is a great place to catch a sea turtle hatchling release. This stretch of Nayarit coast is home to Olive Ridley sea turtles. The Turtle Preservation Organization, Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C. Has been responsible for conservation and education since 1991. It has successfully increased the turtle population in our area by protecting nests and releasing hatchlings. There is a plaque honoring Frank Smith, the founder of this organization for releasing more than 1 million baby turtles. It is a beautiful sight to see the baby turtles march bravely into the waves!
9. Yoga, Massage & Other Wellness Pursuits:
Yoga has become an increasingly integral part of San Pancho Life. Healthy lifestyles are becoming more the norm, and the health-and-wellness community of San Pancho is strong and ever-growing. Your next stay in San Pancho is the perfect opportunity to give your body, mind, and spirit a well needed tune-up. Check out the schedule of the classes provided by our good friends at El Estar.
10. Polo Brunch:
One of San Pancho's unexpected gems is the La Patrona Polo & Equestrian center. A quiet road that meanders through the lush tropical forest leads you to this beautifully-designed, state-of-the-art equestrian facility. We highly recommend that you try their Sunday brunch accompanied by an exhibition polo match. It is a super fun way to experience the 'sport of kings'.
11. Try some authentic Mexican beverages:
It is hard to think about Mexico without thinking about tequila, and you need to find out who in town makes your favorite margarita, for sure. But there are many other authentic Mexican beverages that you must try. First you should sample some Pulque. This ancient beverage is the ancestor to tequila. It is making a surprising comeback to popularity. You can also delve into the smoky depths of mezcal, tequila's brother from another mother. Mexican beer is a staple of beach life, and San Pancho has some fantastic local Mexican craft-beer offerings. Other beverages you need to try are the endless varieties of agua fresca, almost all of the restaurants will have a special 'agua del dia' for you to sample. Horchata is a wonderful, creamy beverage that is made from rice. Agua de cocoa is a super-healthy drink and so is coconut water straight from the coconut. Tuba is another exotic beverage you might come across - it is made from the sap of the coconut-flower stock, lightly-fermented and garnished with chopped fruit and nuts. We invite you to explore and enjoy the tasty and authentic flavors of Mexico. Stay, thirsty, my friend!
12. Tuesday Market:
Every Tuesday in high season you will want to make your way to the Plaza del Sol for the Tuesday market. San Pancho's Tuesday market has something for everyone. There are wonderful handmade items of jewelry or clothing that will catch your eye. Most of the locals will be standing in line for the fresh, organically-grown produce. There are also local vendors selling all sorts of wonderful food items like sausages and cheeses, freshly-made bread and pasta, pizza and quiche by the slice, and tables piled high with seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables. Local musicians serenade you as you wander the stalls. Our Tuesday market is a colorful place to meet up with friends and chat.
13. Pamper yourself with a day at the LP Beach Club - & make sure you stay for sunset!
The La Patrona Beach Club is an architectural wonder with it's towering palapa and open-air restaurant-bar overlooking the beach. It is a stunning work of art in every detail. If you are looking for a special place to reward yourself with some well-deserved pampering, this is your spot! Spend a luxurious day lazing in the breathtaking infinity pool, while the sound of the waves release your stress and the cool ocean breezes gently caress you back to life. The best food and drink anywhere in town can be found here. This is our favorite location to catch a San Pancho sunset with a beautifully-crafted cocktail in hand. LP Beach Club is a San Pancho treasure for beachside refined elegance. Enjoy!
14. Meet the Neighbors:
San Pancho is so wonderful that you will be tempted to stay put, but a few minutes by car to the north or the south are the towns of Lo de Marcos and Sayulita. Lo de Marcos is a more rustic and laid-back village with a great swimming beach, and Sayulita is a trendy and happening place with great restaurants, shops and nightlife. Sayulita, San Pancho and Lo de Marcos are strung like pearls along this stretch of the Mexican Pacific coast of Nayarit. Each one is a rare treasure that you must experience.
15. Shop, Shop and Shop some more:
If you enjoy shopping, you will find that San Pancho is treasure trove of exotic delights. As you walk up the main street, you will encounter many boutiques, each filled with unique items from around Mexico. Each shop will have a collection of carefully-curated surprises that is unlike any of the others, so we highly recommend that you visit each and every one of them in your quest for that perfect gift. You will find unique works of art, jewelry, gifts, clothing, and home decor.