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 alluring. It’s just like the sol, and the soul too, have spent a bit of 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, lovely, and scrumptious. There’s a purpose we’ve been again twice! Right here’s all the things to learn about planning your go to to San Pancho:

San Pancho or San Francisco?

It’s all within the title, darling. When you’ve been questioning how on the earth to get to San Poncho when all the buses go to San Francisco, it’s price understanding that title “poncho” is definitely a nickname for Francisco. So that you’ll be wanting to go 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 beneath the palm timber, prepared the superbly yellow coconuts to fall down with my thoughts. It is a chill place that, as an alternative of providing tons of packages and excursions, is extra of a spot to come back and loosen up, however that doesn’t imply there isn’t loads to do!

Sea Turtles

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


It is a massive surf space, with the extra light waves nearer to San Pancho city. Though you received’t be the one one making an attempt to catch waves, it received’t be practically as crowded as Sayulita.

Try San Pancho Surf Store, Nativa Surf Store, and Santamadre adventures on the town for surf leases and classes. You possibly can take a look at the surf report here.

Go to Sayulita

Though I a lot choose San Pancho to Sayulita, there’s much more taking place in Sayulita by way of 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 properly, from zip-lining, to ATV excursions and a really highly-rated horseback driving tour. Check out your options here.

Boutique Buying

When you’re digging the outfit I’m sporting within the picture 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, nevertheless, this outfit ended up going to a a lot shorter pal of mine after going via the wash. Be forewarned that what you purchase won’t be pre-shrunk!

Whale Watching

From November to March, in case you stare on the horizon lengthy sufficient, you’re certain to see humpback whales on their migratory route. Whereas on the seaside, 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 more in-depth look, you may head to Punta Mita, which is the halfway level between San Poncho and Puerto Vallarta, and e-book with one among these tour companies. They have an inclination to supply snorkeling on the identical journeys as properly.

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

We normally keep within the north finish of the seaside which leads to 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’ll have extra luck swimming nearer to city.

Yoga and Aerial arts

San Pancho is a haven for group, yoga, and physique motion. When you’re there, take a look at Pilates San Pancho and El Estar yoga.

The place to Keep in San Pancho

For the reason that final time we visited in 2019, there’s been a good quantity of development alongside the seaside. It’s bittersweet, as a result of it does imply that the city is rising, nevertheless it additionally implies that there are extra lovely locations to remain.

It was by probability that I ended up right here the primary time. I had initially been Sayulita, however upon discovering nothing on the sand, solid 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 book here.

It had a rooftop terrace with a scorching tub, a pool, a stunning 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, because the space is rising. We have been additionally a couple of 20-minute stroll on the sand to city. That was simply positive with us, however in case you’d choose to be within the city itself, there are various boutique motels to select from. I like to recommend Hotel Casa San Pancho, Marii Hotel Boutique, and PAL.MAR Hotel Tropical.

Among the boutique motels in Sayulita are much more spectacular. Take into account staying there and taking a day journey to San Pancho if you would like 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: increased finish Mexican meals.
  • Restaurante El Rinconchito: Respectable 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: Recent Seafood.
  • Dolce Jardin: Pasta with massive 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 have got the choice of taking an official airport automobile/taxi for round $50, the native bus for just some {dollars}, although you’ll have an extended stroll from the bus depot in case you keep up the seaside like we did, or you may cross the orange bridge outdoors of the airport and catch an Uber for about $40.

We used Uber the primary time, which labored nice, although you’ll have to be sure you have connectivity and should not counting on airport wifi as you’ll need to stroll out of the airport and cross the road to get the trip as a result of native Uber rules.

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

How typically will 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 would like.

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 preserve this little secret between you and me.

Get pleasure from this little gem!