Meagan Drillinger
Meagan Drillinger

In the last few years the coastline of Riviera Nayarit has absolutely exploded. Just north of Puerto Vallarta, this stretch of jungle mountains-meet-ocean has seen quite a bit of development.

What was once a sleepy hideaway from the bustle of Puerto Vallarta has blossomed in its own right as a thriving spot to see and be seen. In fact, the tourism industry generated more than $200 million in revenue last year alone. Going forward, Riviera Nayarit has plans set through 2020 to only continue to increase drive to the west coast of Mexico.

2017 was a boon year for Riviera Nayarit. Not only was it wildly successful in terms of revenue, but it maintained a hotel occupancy above 80% throughout the year. Four-star properties reported occupancies at an average of 94%.

The destination also saw key openings, like the Krystal Grand Hotels & Resorts' Krystal Nuevo Vallarta, which has 480 rooms, and one of the largest convention centers in the city with capacity for up to 1,000 people.

Grupo Autofin Monterrey inaugurated the Grand Sirenis Matlali Hills Resort & Spa, as well, perched atop a mountain in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. And Marival Group also expanded its offerings with the debut of MozzaMare Casual Beach Gourmet, an all-inclusive beachfront experience that is part of Marival Residences Luxury Resorts.

This year still has some exciting developments left to unfold. The much-anticipated Costa Canuva CIP is a development project that was first announced at Tianguis in Guadalajara in 2016 -- a massive project that will be home to five new hotels, adding more than 7,000 guestrooms to the destination, and will feature the region's first Fairmont property, which is set to open this year.

Looking forward, Grupo Vidanta's massive Cirque du Soleil theme park is scheduled to open in 2019, offering an immersive water and nature park that will host shows for up to 5,000 spectators. Rosewood Hotels & Resorts will also open Rosewood Mandarina, with 130 guestrooms, suites and villas.

The second stage of Grand Sirenis Matlali beachfront development will also debut next year, with an additional 140 suites. Iberostar will open a second 300-room property in Litibu, and two Punta de Mita properties are scheduled to open, including Auberge Resort Collection's Susurros del Corazon and Conrad Hotels & Resorts' redesign of the former La Tranquila Resort into Conrad Playa Mita.

Finally, rounding out 2019 will be One&Only Mandarina's debut. In 2020, the destination is expected to open a Dreams Punta de Mita Resort & Spa, and a Secrets Punta de Mita Resort & Spa.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI