Where is San Pancho, Mexico?

San Francisco, Nayarit

San Francisco, aka San Pancho, Nayarit is located on the Mexico Pacific coast, in the state of Nayarit, 33 miles (53km) north of Puerto Vallarta, just below the Tropic of Cancer, with a population of approximately 3,000 full-time residents. In high season, November-April, the population swells to close to 4,000 with the arrival of the northern snowbird population, many of whom own winter homes.

San Pancho Beach

San Pancho’s main beach is a kilometer in length and boasts pristine white sand framed by lush jungle foliage, and is book-ended at each end by picturesque rocky points. The beach is lined with beautiful beach homes at the north end and a lagoon toward the south end teeming with tropical birds. At the end of the main street is the malecon, with local merchants selling their handicrafts. This leads to the beach, where the beach bars offer a shady spot to enjoy a leisurely lunch, or a seat to take in one of San Pancho’s legendary sunsets while enjoying a margarita with friends and family.

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Please be aware that this beach has a strong undertow. Swim with caution – either with a buddy or supervision, and watch children carefully. The safest place to swim is at the south end which is sheltered by the rocky point there.

San Pancho’s location is ideal, only three hours flying time from southern California (LAX) or 45 minutes from Guadalajara (GDL). First-class road connection via hwy 200 allows for an easy 45-minute drive from Puerto Vallarta (PVR), 1.5 hours to Tepic (the State capital) and 4 hours to Guadalajara (the cultural capital). A new highway is being built between Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta that will reduce the driving time to 2 1/2 hours. It is scheduled to be finished in 2021. With excellent telephone and internet connections, the town, though it remains rustic, is hardly remote.

Follow Earl on a Golf-cart tour down main street San Pancho

Other Attractions

San Pancho is more than just a pretty beach! In the village you can find: many fine restaurants that offer a variety of meals, from delicious fish or shrimp tacos to gourmet international cuisine; fine boutiques and shopping; nightlife and live music by talented local musicians; a community center that offers many activities for young and old alike; a children’s circus and a performing arts center; an annual music festival featuring international musicians and is free to the public; and a world-class polo club that offers weekly local matches and international tournaments.

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