JOURNEYS

Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit is a Feast for the Senses

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Mountains and Sea

Conrad Punta de Mita

Set between pristine golden beaches and the dramatic Sierra Madre Mountains on the enchanted Riviera Nayarit, Punta de Mita offers visitors an even more tranquil alternative to Mexico’s other destinations. For a stay that’s as serene as Punta de Mita itself, the Conrad Punta de Mita merges the region’s pointedly rich cultural and ecological heritage with avant-garde design and a seemingly limitless bounty of conveniences, resulting in one of the most luxurious, dynamic resorts in the world, much like its fellow Hilton Resorts properties.

Hilton Resorts offers the utmost in hospitality (thanks to more than 100 years of experience) in locations found throughout French Polynesia, Hawaii, and the Caribbean, just to name a few, plus everything from family-friendly water slides and sports to all-inclusive indulgence for just the adults. Conrad Punta de Mita features facilities and activities to stimulate both mind and body.

In the Conrad’s opulent range of suites and penthouses, the property features myriad amenities, from private terraces to beachfront plunge pools, though you’ll have plenty of reason to leave your room. Following the teachings of the area’s indigenous Huichol people, the Conrad Punta de Mita sports the first temezcal (sweat lodge) on the peninsula, leaning on in-house shamans to make your visit to the spa particularly memorable. Upon request, local fishermen will deliver the day’s catch by boat from the fishing village of La Cruz Huanacaxtle as the executive chef throws a beach barbecue to fuel you and your party for the rest of the day’s activities.

The concierge remains at your disposal to recommend the best places to visit in the neighboring town of Sayulita and beyond to ensure that your stay suits your style. And if you’d like to navigate other far-flung corners of this truly incomparable land, Hilton Resorts features myriad properties, each with its own distinctive qualities, from the rugged topography and impossibly plush comforts of Baja’s Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal to the kaleidoscopic charm of the Yucatan, whether at Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya or its erudite neighbor up north, the forthcoming Waldorf Astoria Cancun.

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TRIP HIGHLIGHT

Marietas Islands

The two uninhabited islands that make up the Marietas, formed from volcanic activity some 60,000 years ago, are often called the “Mexican Galapagos” for their exceptional biodiversity that includes more than 100 species of birds and untold varieties of sea life. Though once at risk, the islands are now heavily protected as a national park. As a result, only limited numbers of daily visitors are allowed access to the famous Playa del Amor and its unmistakable, halo-like crater. But, however postcard-worthy Lover’s Beach may be, the Marietas contain much more, with unparalleled snorkeling visibility, mysterious sea caves, and several other pristine beaches waiting for you to explore.
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TRIP DESIGNER

Hilton Resorts

Taking Hilton’s world-famous hospitality to a whole new level in terms of style and convenience, Hilton Resorts has properties spanning the globe, each offering its own kind of extraordinary experience. Whether you’re looking for family fun, a grand escapade, or something in between, Hilton Resorts will exceed your expectations
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The Conrad Lobby

Conrad Punta de Mita

Day 1Bienvenidos

After arriving in Mexico via Puerto Vallarta Airport, you’ll head west toward the northern promontory of the Banderas Bay in the state of Nayarit at the intersection of jungle and sea. As soon as you walk past the lava stones and bamboo of the garden and along the stark geometric lines of the lobby, you’ll sense the delicate balance between past and present that defines the Conrad Punta de Mita, marrying native Huichol influence with contemporary design, resulting in its own brand of luxury.

After you unpack your things, head down to The Agave Studio for a private agave spirits tasting of Mexico’s finest spirits, including mezcal, sotol (a drink made from wild-harvested sotol plants), and one made from two varieties of agave, raicilla. As Marco Tabet, the General Manager of Conrad Punta de Mita, describes “an artisanal tasting or top-shelf tasting leads to discovery of small-batch producers of the region including Clase Azul and San Matias tequilas, and Las Perlas raicilla.” Take it to the next level by pairing them with a five-course tasting menu and bring out the best of your first night.
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Entering the temezcal

Conrad Punta de Mita

Day 2Exploring Huichol Traditions

Unique to the Conrad Punta de Mita and found amidst its world-class spa, the sacred structure of the temezcal is the only one of its kind in all of Nayarit. Within this clay-domed sweat lodge, you’ll spend several hours following an ancient Indigenous tradition designed to define the spiritual goals to help make the most out of your stay.

The Conrad’s resident shaman will lead you in a cleansing ceremony, complete with meditative chanting and a ritualistic embrace of the intangible feelings and memories which you wish to bring home from with you, culminating with a form of scream therapy, a ceremonial incineration of herbs, and a restorative iced cacao drink. For the full experience, the spa offers a whole menu of therapeutic options, including a full-body treatment with copal clay, smoke, and herbal applications to help you find your balance.

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Three whales in Banderas Bay

Unsplash/Fernando Gutierrez

Day 3Venturing into Town

As one of Mexico’s largest bays, the Bahía de Banderas has long been a breeding ground for humpback whales, and between December and March, the Riviera Nayarit is the perfect point of departure to spot these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. Before heading back to the resort, sneak in a little bit of shopping in town on the Avenida las Redes, where boutiques like Mita Mita and Corazon Sagrado can outfit you with colorful, locally made, boho-chic beachwear to brighten your stay.

Head a little further afield to discover local art for a distinctive souvenir from a local gallery. “My favorite art gallery in Sayulita, just 15 minutes from the resort, is Evoke the Spirit where the shop owner works with indigenous Huichol artisans to create a modern aesthetic to the traditional artforms of string art, tapestry, and clay,” says Tabet. By night, feel the wind in your hair with a horseback ride along the beach, illuminated only by the stars.

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Dining at the resort

Conrad Punta de Mita

Day 4Time to Get Physical

Wake up with the sun for a locally sourced cup of coffee from Colibri Roasting Co., then get in a scenic 18 holes at the Greg Norman-designed Higuera Golf Club, featuring some of the most stunning link-side views in all of Mexico.

After your rousing round, let a professional take the tension out of your body with a hïtïarica (awakening) massage at the spa, with an ancient approach toward stress relief featuring warm stones, purifying smoke, and energizing herbs. Then, for a particularly enchanting evening, book a private Zarandeado Beach Barbecue, where the Conrad’s executive chef will personally welcome you with fresh-caught fish from the neighboring village of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, grilled over mesquite right before your eyes.
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The colors of Sayulita

Conrad Punta de Mita

Day 5More Urban Exploration

The fishing village of Sayulita is steadily earning a world-renowned destination, with the famed Calle Delfines positively pulsating with handmade Huichol arts and crafts and the colorful cover of its picturesque flags. Grab a quick bite at one of the street-food stalls bordering the Mercado de Artesanías before heading over to the nonprofit Sayulita Turtle Camp, where you can learn about the steps being taken to conserve these threatened creatures, adopt a nest, and even help the organization release some of the adorable babies into the sea.

Upon returning to the resort, after a few hours of beach time, enjoy a wine tasting at the resort’s flagship CODEX Restaurant, featuring elevated local specialties, from lamb barbacoa served with pulque (fermented agave) consommé to soft shell crab with ancho chili and black garlic.
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Day 6 Diving in

A mere 15 minute boat ride from Punta de Mita brings you to the Marietas Islands, an uninhabited treasure trove of marine life. Once a military testing site, the islands were declared a national park thanks to the conservation efforts of famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau and have since been designated a UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve, limiting the daily influx of visitors. Work with your concierge to organize a sustainable visit, allowing you to scuba dive in its waters and, low tide permitting, bear witness to the unique topography of “Lover’s Beach” and the odd crater that frames it from above.
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Relaxing poolside

Conrad Punta de Mita

Day 7Saying Adios

For your final afternoon on the Riviera, grab some local oysters and shrimp ceviche by the pool at Paleta, and rent a private cabana for one final bit of decompression before your return to Puerto Vallarta.

You’ve experienced the best of what Nayarit has to offer, and you can continue having sublime journeys all over the globe with Hilton Resorts. Discover an entirely different experience with properties on the Yucatan Peninsula, in the Caribbean and French Polynesia, or wherever else your heart may lead you.