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3 Sep 2015

Whether you’re a connoisseur of art or just a weekend aficionado, the state of Nayarit, Mexico has everything you’re looking for in the world of art and culture. Only Mexico City itself boasts more art galleries and museums than the Riviera Nayarit!

Early History

Spaniards in the sixteenth century heralded a migration of Europe’s magnificent art along with the conquistadors.  Everywhere you look in the Riviera Nayarit, you will see the Spanish influence. Blending the cultures of the indigenous tribes with the sophistication of opulent Spain has birthed a delightful mix of the best of both worlds.  You’ll see angular, linear patterns which are characteristic of the art of Mexico.  Also uniquely beautiful is the three-dimensional pottery, some of the most recognized in the world.


Spanish Church in Puerto VallartaNowhere is the Spanish culture more apparent than in the architecture of Mexico.  The wide, open plazas and intricate churches with Moorish overtones testify to the lasting influence of the European immigrants.  Blending seamlessly with the Spanish buildings are the adobe structures that have changed little over the past five hundred years.  It is believed that Frank Lloyd Wright said that Mexican architecture is the best in the Western Hemisphere.

Puerto Vallarta

Take a trip to Puerto Vallarta with its self-guided Art Walks every Wednesday in the spring and winter.  You will find galleries featuring internationally acclaimed artists.  The area is also home to many interesting museums.  Beautiful folk art from throughout Mexico spills from the shops in colorful, exotic abundance.  Artists come from around the world to drink in the natural beauty, which can’t help but inspire amazing works of art!


Punta Mita’s neighbor is the small beach village of Bucerias, boasting more than seventeen art galleries--very impressive for such a little town.   Pottery and handcrafted woodwork compete for your attention with rugs, handbags, jewelry, clothing and glassware. Or stay in Punta Mita and visit one of the many galleries the town offers. The relaxed atmosphere and age-old traditions will encourage you to take your time exploring the many shops featuring folk art.

Huichol Indians

Huichol Art BraceletsThe nearby Sierra Madre Mountains are home to the Huichol Indians, whose art hasn’t changed since pre-Columbian times.  The artisans offer a wide range and impressive selection of art and artifacts.  You won’t want to return home without some of their hand-made masks, intricate yarn paintings and beautiful beaded masks.  Textiles are especially easy to pack! If you’d like to see a Huichol village, you can take a tour of one and watch the artists at work high in the Sierra Madre Mountains.

Taste the Culture

While browsing art galleries in the Riviera Nayarit, don’t forget about your palate! As is the case the world over, food plays an important part in the culture of Nayarit.  You will find many familiar dishes and others that you’ll be excited to try.  If you’ve never had ceviche, don’t hesitate to delight your tastes buds.  Reputed to have been brought to Latin America by Moorish women from Granada, who accompanied the Spanish conquistadors and colonizers, it is a wonderful appetizer or side salad. Ceviche can be adapted to many varying tastes; the traditional preparation marinates seafood in lemon or lime juice, which actually cooks it.  Then it’s up to the chef to decide what flavors to add.

Shrimp, Lime and Salt

The art and culture of Nayarit will excite all of your senses, even if you just choose to sit and soak it all in. Eating the delicious freshly prepared food while sitting at an outside table and listening to the lilting sounds of the locals chatting in Spanish is a treat you have to experience to believe.  All the while, watching the people stroll past the beautiful Spanish architecture and open air shops bursting with local wares. If you’re really lucky, you may be serenaded by a traveling mariachi group singing traditional Spanish songs! Don’t forget to tip. Here in the Riviera Nayarit, you will surely agree that eating, shopping and people-watching has never been so much fun! No matter how you choose to soak up the art and culture of the area, our very knowledgeable staff at Exceptional Stays is more than happy to help you plan your visit. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have!