The ULTIMATE Information to San Pancho, Mexico


The waves crash quick on the yellow sand, stirring up flecks of gold within the green-hued Pacific. I’ve recognized this ocean all my life and but by no means felt it so heat and welcoming. It’s just like the sol, and the soul too, have spent a bit extra time right here.

That is San Pancho, Mexico, Nayarit. About an hour’s drive from Puerto Vallarta, however a world away in lots of respects. It’s quiet, stunning, and scrumptious. There’s a purpose we’ve been again twice! Right here’s every part to find out about planning your go to to San Pancho:

San Pancho or San Francisco?

It’s all within the title, darling. In the event you’ve been questioning how on the earth to get to San Poncho when all the buses go to San Francisco, it’s value figuring out that title “poncho” is definitely a nickname for Francisco. So that you’ll be wanting to move to this a part of the Nayarit coast. (Extra on methods to get there in a bit).

What to Do in San Pancho

Typically I spend my days in San Pancho mendacity below the palm bushes, prepared the peerlessly yellow coconuts to fall down with my thoughts. This can be a chill place that, as an alternative of providing tons of packages and excursions, is extra of a spot to return and loosen up, however that doesn’t imply there isn’t lots to do!

Sea Turtles

The primary time we visited and November 2019, whereas strolling down the seashore we had the very best shock – child sea turtles making their journey to the water! I’d been a part of organized releases prior to now in greater areas like Cancun, however to see it occurring naturally with none intervention was fairly particular! There’s a main turtle conservation group – Undertaking Tortuga – within the space as nicely, which accommodates volunteers.


This can be a huge surf space, with the extra mild waves nearer to San Pancho city. Though you received’t be the one one attempting to catch waves, it received’t be almost as crowded as Sayulita.

Try San Pancho Surf Store, Nativa Surf Store, and Santamadre adventures on the town for surf leases and classes. You’ll be able to try the surf report right here.

Go to Sayulita

Though I a lot want San Pancho to Sayulita, there’s much more occurring in Sayulita when it comes to locations to eat, issues to do, and a celebration scene if that’s what you’re after.

There are extra excursions that depart from Sayulita as nicely, from zip-lining, to ATV excursions and a really highly-rated horseback driving tour. Try your choices right here.

Boutique Procuring

In the event you’re digging the outfit I’m carrying within the photograph above, you could find one thing related at one of many many boutiques on the primary highway in San Pancho.

As you stroll round city, you’ll discover loads of little clothes boutiques with handmade choices of the BoHo stylish selection. Sadly, nonetheless, this outfit ended up going to a a lot shorter buddy of mine after going by the wash. Be forewarned that what you purchase may not be pre-shrunk!

Whale Watching

From November to March, in the event you stare on the horizon lengthy sufficient, you’re certain to see humpback whales on their migratory route. Whereas on the seashore, we noticed them breaching and enjoying within the water, bringing me again to my whale swim days in French Polynesia.

If you wish to get a better look, you possibly can head to Punta Mita, which is the halfway level between San Poncho and Puerto Vallarta, and ebook with one in every of these tour firms. They have an inclination to supply snorkeling on the identical journeys as nicely.

Seashore Days

san pancho beach
The surf had been so excessive it carved a cliff into the sand behind me

After we go to Sam poncho, we often select to remain in a seashore home rental with a pool, this time a scorching tub, and a few straightforward seashore entry. I’ll speak extra about the place we’ve stayed within the subsequent part, however it’s truthful to say we spend most of our time on the sand on the uncrowded seashore, having fun with the day because it turns into sundown.

We often keep within the north finish of the seashore which ends up in an extended stroll to city, which we don’t thoughts in any respect, however be forewarned the surf is greater at that finish, and you will have extra luck swimming nearer to city.

Yoga and Aerial arts

San Pancho is a haven for group, yoga, and physique motion. Whilst you’re there, try Pilates San Pancho and El Estar yoga.

The place to Keep in San Pancho

Because the final time we visited in 2019, there’s been a good quantity of development alongside the seashore. It’s bittersweet, as a result of it does imply that the city is rising, however it additionally signifies that there are extra stunning locations to remain.

It was by probability that I ended up right here the primary time. I had initially been taking a look at Sayulita, however upon discovering nothing on the sand, forged a wider internet and located a bungalow on Playa San Pancho. It’s like destiny stepped in as a result of we got here to like this space.

Are you able to consider a extra good place to do nothing?

The unique place we booked isn’t providing rooms anymore, however we liked the home we rented this most up-to-date journey on Airbnb, which you’ll ebook right here.

It had a rooftop terrace with a scorching tub, a pool, a beautiful backyard, and our dwelling space, which had two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a stunning sitting space.

The one draw back was the fixed sound of development, for the reason that space is rising. We have been additionally a few 20-minute stroll on the sand to city. That was simply effective with us, however in the event you’d want to be within the city itself, there are lots of boutique motels to select from. I like to recommend Lodge Casa San Pancho, Marii Lodge Boutique, and PAL.MAR Lodge Tropical.

A few of the boutique motels in Sayulita are much more spectacular. Think about staying there and taking a day journey to San Pancho if you need a bit extra luxurious and motion.

The Finest Locations to Eat in San Pancho

There’s a veritable cornucopia of choices in San Pancho, from fancy eating places to smaller taco stands with plastic chairs on the road, wholesome salads, and occasional/dessert bars. Right here’s what we tried and liked:

  • Taquería Los Arbolitos: Low-cost tacos that have been sadly much less scrumptious the second time we visited.
  • La Ola Rica: larger finish Mexican meals.
  • Restaurante El Rinconchito: First rate low-cost tacos.
  • Chido Greens: Salads and acai bowls.
  • Maria’s Restaurant Bar: Nice brekkie and brunch.
  • Yasmina’s Itzalanyasayan: Cute, hidden restaurant with scrumptious kombucha and Mexican/Asian fusion.
  • Ikan Cocina Marina: Contemporary Seafood.
  • Dolce Jardin: Pasta with huge parts.
  • Victor’s Tacos: One other respectable, low-cost taco joint.
  • Café Paraíso: espresso and cake.
  • El Indio for groceries.

Attending to San Pancho

Likelihood is good you’ll be coming from the Puerto Vallarta airport. You will have the choice of taking an official airport automotive/taxi for round $50, the native bus for only a few {dollars}, although you’ll have an extended stroll from the bus depot in the event you keep up the seashore like we did, or you possibly can cross the orange bridge exterior of the airport and catch an Uber for about $40.

We used Uber the primary time, which labored nice, although you’ll must be sure you have connectivity and aren’t counting on airport wifi as you’ll should stroll out of the airport and cross the road to get the trip on account of native Uber laws.

For our second journey, we employed a personal driver. I want I might suggest him, however he was virtually an hour late selecting us up to return to the airport. Sooner or later I might ask on the Airbnb for assist reserving transport there and again. Don’t depend on Uber in your return trip to the airport out of San Pancho, as there are far fewer vehicles accessible going that path.

How usually can we, even when on trip, truly simply decelerate, sleep, and haven’t any agenda? For me, it’s a continuing state of doing, and in San Pancho I do much more simply being, and it was precisely what I want.

If it’s precisely what you want too, I hope you come test it out. However don’t let the phrase get out an excessive amount of, okay? Let’s simply maintain this little secret between you and me.

Take pleasure in this little gem!


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