Nuevo Vallarta holidays are like a beachy postcard brought to life. Think more palms than people, world-class sands and window-clear waters.

Standout sands

The sugary seafront here’s a bit of a Jack-of-all-trades. Sunbathers strike a horizontal pose under thatched parasols, while the shallows of Banderas Bay shuffle in and out. Watersports are in good supply, too, and snorkelling’s like taking the plunge in an aquarium. No cake’s complete without a cherry on top, and that comes courtesy of sea turtles in these climes – they visit the sands here to lay their eggs.

Luxe life

This place is part of the swish Riviera Nayarit – a stretch of Mexico’s Pacific Coast that’s flush with easy-on-the-eye beach resorts. And it does its bit for the team with a close-to-the-water golf course and a marina tucked away from the main shoreline. Six-figure yachts compete for attention beside the boardwalk, and restaurants and smart hotels fill in the gaps. The background scenery’s up to scratch, as well, thanks to the lofty Sierra Madre Mountains.

Bigger sibling

If neighbouring Puerto Vallarta were an actor, it’d be the sort with a huge fan base and a legion of paparazzi followers. Nuevo Vallarta, meanwhile, slots in as the well-fancied up-and-comer, sipping from the same successful cup as its co-star. Waterparks and bigger-is-better nightlife are a couple of Puerto Vallarta’s draws, and the musicians and street performers along the malecon are treated like local celebs. Whale-watching trips cast off from the harbour, and the shopping scene’s top notch.

At a Glance

  • Relax on ice-white sands
  • Go snorkelling in Banderas Bay
  • Play a round of golf beside the sea