Bucerías is a sleepy little fishing village nestled between the Sierra Madre Mountains and a long stretch of pristine Pacific coast known as the up and coming Riviera Nayarit in the state of Nayarit. While most residents wish to keep their village in the sleepy status that fits so well with their laid-back, nothing fancy, lifestyles centered around their families, they’ve gotten a wake up call from developers that Bucerias is on the way to becoming the next Puerta Vallarta. Some say that Bucerias is the Puerta Vallarta of 20 years ago, and there are locals and visitors alike who would like to slow that progress down.
The charm of Bucerias is that it is not yet Puerta Vallarta, and many people who fly into Puerto Vallarta hit the road going north to Bucerias to leave the ramped up excitement of the fully established tourist destination for the undisturbed snail’s pace, quiet of Bucerias. Yet, to accommodate everyone who’s found the quiet 100-mile stretch of shoreline between Bucerias on one end and San Blas on the other, dubbed the Riviera Nayarit, resort developers are answering the call.
Bucerias is just 10 miles into Nayarit and as you approach it, all-inclusive resorts thin out, and small boutique hotels start cropping up. Cruise ships are replaced by fishing boats, and chain restaurants give way to beachfront taco shacks. Bucerias offers a relaxed, village experience with easy access to the nightlife and shopping of Puerto Vallarta.
Bucerias was founded on May 26th of 1936, occupying a territory of 1928 acres, of which only 17% was farmable. Its name on existing maps was” Santa Julia de las Tablas", which arose from being known in the region at that time for its extraction of tropical wood (used today to make handcrafted items in diverse forms, which are sold on the beaches) which were exported by ship to the old world. The new name Bucerías means “Place of Divers” and reflected the town inhabitants’ occupations, which was primarily diving and fishing at 60%. Farming of corn and beans made up 20% of occupation, the extraction of coconut oil for soaps 10%, hunting 5%, with raising cattle taking up the remaining occupation.
Things to Do in Bucerías
Beach It - most people come to Bucerias to sit or play on the beach and relax.
Deep Sea Fishing - Bucerias is known for open-water fishing for species such as sailfish and marlin dorado.
A Jungle Tour - ride through the mangrove swamps to a natural fresh water pool where you can swim with the crocodiles. See many species of birds, crocodiles in the wild, turtles and iguanas. You can also visit the crocodile farm as part of this excursion.
Isla Isabel - the island became a national park in 1980, and the federal and state governments maintain it as an ecological preserve. The island is 42 nautical miles offshore and is of volcanic origin. There are two beaches, Los Pescadores and Las Monas. It’s a marine avian sanctuary with excellent snorkeling opportunities. Bird sightings include blue-footed and yellow-footed boobies, pelicans, swallows and sea gulls. Isla Isabel is one of the main nesting areas in the Pacific Ocean. Parakeets and sea swallows use the island for breeding from September to November.
A Sailboat Tour - enjoy the ride or help the captain hoist the sails.
Art Crawl - Bucerias is rich in Mexican culture and art, and has a few galleries right in the village, which participate in an Art Crawl one night a week.
How to Get to Bucerías
Visitors can fly into Puerto Vallarta, and from there either rent a car or take a bus to Bucerias. The bus station is located about a mile from the airport. The trip to Bucerias is less than an hour.
Bucerias is a Spanish-speaking town, where little English is known. Having someone in your group that speaks Spanish will be a great advantage. The town has a travel agency, The Las Palmas Travel Agency, with an English speaking staff; at the agency you can change money, rent a car or call home – they have the town phone.