Bucerías, meaning “place to dive,” still remains a somewhat secret gem in the Riviera Nayarit. Only 20 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta, Bucerías (boo-say-REE-ahs) is a typical small beach resort town, similar to what Puerto Vallarta was like a half a century ago. You will find charming cobblestone streets, a main plaza in the center of town, colorful houses and beautiful colonial architecture. What’s more, the town is bordered by miles of pristine beaches with crystal waters, perfect for the explorer interested in getting adventurous or the traveler who just wants to sit back and enjoy the sound of the surf and a beautiful sunset!
Founded in the 1930’s, Bucerías was just a tiny fishing village with a few palapas until a better road was built in the 50’s, which opened up access for locals and tourists alike. Slowly, the town grew to be what it is today—a small, pleasant beach resort with a laid-back feel. The name comes from the Spanish word “bucear,” meaning “to dive.” For decades, oyster fisherman made their living by diving down into the gentle waters to collect oysters.
Walking around Bucerías’ relaxed downtown can give you the feeling that you’re in old Mexico. Although there are modern amenities, the hand-made cobblestone streets and the colonial architecture stand out. Take an afternoon and stroll around the Main Plaza and the surrounding streets. La Iglesia a la Señora de la Paz (Our Lady of Peace Church) is the main attraction on the plaza. This white-washed Mission-style church is a great place to visit for a few moments of quiet introspection. Just remember to dress conservatively when visiting any Mexican church! If you visit Bucerías on a weekend, the Sunday market is a must-see! Adjacent to the riverbed, the market has a very local feel. It’s almost like a flea market, where you can buy anything from tacos to tools to toys! Peruse the market and indulge your senses. Listen to the mesmerizing lilt of Spanish being spoken all around you while enjoying the bold colors and fragrant smells! Bucerías is home to several art galleries. For more local flavor, join the Thursday night Art Walk, where many participating art galleries downtown host an open house, with complimentary cocktails and appetizers. What a great way to talk to locals and other travelers!
Dining Options—Some Favorites
There are so many restaurants in Bucerías, it is always hard to choose where to go! You can eat amazing fish tacos right on the beach while you dig your toes into the sand or you can head out for a high-end elegant dinner made by a world-class chef. For low-key fish tacos or ceviche, head straight to the beach. Any of the many restaurants there will fit the bill. Karen’s Place, a favorite of many, is a great place to watch the sunset in a casual, but elegant setting under palapas. Try the Coconut Shrimp with a tamarind sauce for an appetizer or their famous Fish Tacos drizzled with a lime cilantro dressing. Award-winning Mark’s Bar and Grill is known for its imaginative Mediterranean fare using only the freshest local ingredients. Start off with the Lobster Pumpkin Bisque and then go for the Pan-Seared Tuna with coriander in a wasabi ginger mushroom cream sauce. For the best margaritas in town, head to FaMar, which is short for Familia Martinez. A locally-owned restaurant for years, FaMar is a favorite of locals and tourists alike.
Outdoor Activities Abound
Outdoor activities abound on the 7 miles of beach surrounding Bucerías. Since the surf is relatively calm, renting a SUP (stand-up paddle-board) or a kayak is a great option, especially if you’ve never tried it! If you want a little more speed, and the wind happens to pick up, why not give wind-surfing or kite-boarding a try? The winds that grace the surf in Bucerías make it a perfect destination! Try Pacific Paddle for rentals. If you’re in Bucerías during the winter months, you can book a whale-watching tour. Or take a day-trip to the Marietas Islands Marine Preserve to snorkel in the pristine and protected waters. Always wanted to zip line? It doesn’t get any more exciting than whipping through the jungle canopy! Contact Scotts Bucerias Day Tours to arrange one of many exciting day trips great for the entire family! Or if you’re the type who prefers relaxing, the miles of untouched beach will be inviting. Sit and listen to the surf, collect shells, or bargain with one of the many beach vendors who sell their local wares. Whatever you choose to do in Bucerías, you will no doubt enjoy the low-key vibe as well as the many great restaurants and activities that this picturesque village has to offer. Do not hesitate to contact our knowledgeable staff at Exceptional Stays to find out more information. We are here to ensure that you and your family have the trip of a lifetime! Written by: Kimberley Flores