Impressive Natural Reserves of Riviera Nayarit
Throughout Riviera Nayarit there are important areas appointed as Natural Reserves (Áreas Naturales Protegidas, ANP, in Spanish), and are designated this way to allow the observation and conservation of its ecological heritage through its correct management and administration.
This arduous task is carried out by CONANP (Comisión Nacional de Áreas Protegidas, in Spanish), a public organization that monitors them to provide relevant information on their care.
Riviera Nayarit stands out as a destination where luxury, sun and beach converge, with impressive landscapes that make it a unique place. Therefore, the most popular Natural Reserves in Riviera Nayarit are:
· Isla del Coral (32.12 acres)
This island, located 1.86 miles from Rincón de Guayabitos, is like a small paradise: beautiful turquoise beach and a great variety of flora and fauna, where you can admire different species of birds, as well as manta rays, turtles, starfish and many goldfish.
· Marismas Nacionales Nayarit (330,760.43 acres)
Located to the northwest of Nayarit, this great network of brackish coastal lagoons, mangrove forests, swamps, deltas and marshes represent between 15 and 20 percent of the total mangrove ecosystems that exist in the country. Here is the Isla Jaguar, a sanctuary for these felines.
· Parque Nacional Isla Isabel (479.38 acres)
Located in front of the coast of Santiago, Ixcuintla, this place was the first designated Natural Reserve in the state of Nayarit. It is an almost virgin paradise, with a mountainous surface that includes cliffs and panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.
· Parque Nacional Islas Marietas (3,417.46 acres)
This archipelago, made up of two islands, two islets and several sandy, rocky shallows, is located just 4.97 miles from Punta de Mita and it is home to a diversity of endemic species, as well as the impressive Playa del Amor or Playa Escondida, an extraordinary oasis of white sand and crystal clear water located inside an artificial crater.
· Parque Nacional La Tovara (14,166.55 acres)
Located in the municipality of San Blas, this extraordinary habitat is made up of an estuary and a freshwater spring, with waterways you can travel by boat surrounded by different types of mangrove, lush vegetation and flowers such as orchids and bromeliads. It also houses endemic and migratory species.
· Reserva Natural Islas Marías (1,584,647.27 acres)
This archipelago, made up of the Isla Madre, Isla María Magdalena, Isla María Cleofas and the San Juanito islet; is located 69.59 miles from the San Blas coast. This place presents a wide variety of ecosystems such as coasts, reefs, mangroves, low forests and medium forests. In addition, it contains a large number of flora and fauna species.
· Sierra de Vallejo (157,154 acres)
Extended across the municipalities of Bahía de Banderas and Compostela, this impressive place is home to enchanting flora and fauna, as well as rivers and streams that flow down from the hills, one of the most representative is Cerro de Vallejo. Here you can also find the Santuario del Jaguar, which covers 4,942.10 acres. Given its environmental importance, it is considered a heritage of Mexicans and of the entire world.
Altogether, the Natural Protected Areas of Riviera Nayarit total 2,090,657.31 acres.
Photos and info courtesy of Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau.