Summer was a record season for Riviera Nayarit, with July occupancy numbers up to just over 86%, compared with just under 84% in July 2015. The number of visitors in Riviera Nayarit during July 2016 totaled 195,265 people, and tourism income in Riviera Nayarit for July 2016 increased by 29% from last year.

For those still planning their trips to Riviera Nayarit, here are some new things to look forward to.

Starwood's first W hotel is now open in Punta de Mita. The W Punta de Mita, part of the Los Veneros resort development, has 199 rooms, as well as five restaurants and bars. There is also a 4,000-square-foot Away Spa.

Additionally, Playa del Amor, commonly referred to as the Hidden Beach, located in Islas Marietas, is reopened to visitors. The National Commission for Protected Natural Areas had closed the beach three months ago for coral restoration.

Today the beach will welcome up to 116 visitors per day. Each arriving boat from approved tour operators will carry a maximum of 15 people, and no more than 15 people at a time will be allowed on the beach. The 30-minute time limit to visit the beach will remain the same, and in order to conserve and protected the surrounding wildlife, visitors are prohibited from diving or wearing fins.

To provide visitors with additional activities at Islas Marietas, a new trail has been opened for exploration and those interested in sustainable tourism. Similar to the nearby Playa la Nopalera and the Interpretive Trail on Isla Larga, the new Sendero Trail has been opened for visitors.

Riviera Nayarit is also readying for the eighth annual Vallarta-Nayarit Gastronomica event, to be held Oct. 23 to 26. The event brings together some of the world's top chefs, sommeliers, speakers and exhibitors. The festival takes place at the Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta in Nuevo Vallarta and will host cooking events, conferences, premium tastings and gourmet workshops. Spain will be the guest country this year, with seven chefs from the Iberian Peninsula in attendance.

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