San Blas: Historic Gem of the Riviera Nayarit

Fernando García Castro
Vacaciones en Nuevo Vallarta

San Blas, Riviera NayaritThe Port of San Blas, a beautiful haven of nature with beaches and picturesque sunsets, is nowadays one of the main cities in the Mexican state of Nayarit. In total, its long and productive history spans almost five centuries, during which time San Blas has witnessed battles of conquest, interracial mixing and, during Colonial Spanish times, it was an important seaport for receiving incoming goods from the Orient. Over the years this beautiful city has become a cradle for the arts, and a place full of culture.

San Blas, Riviera Nayarit
The history of San Blas begins in the year 1530 when the Spanish Crown advanced westbound, conquering territory that centuries later would become the Republic of Mexico. Having stretched its domain all the way to the Pacific Ocean coast, the Spanish Empire began an unstoppable economic heyday, as the supply lines were now open that allowed valuable goods to flow easily from the Far East to the western ports of what we now know as Mexico. These goods were then transported across the Viceroyalty of New Spain to the major ports on the Gulf coast, where they were finally shipped to Europe.

San Blas, Riviera Nayarit That's how San Blas became such a strategic point for the Spanish Empire. It was a very important gateway for all the treasures that Spanish galleons were bringing from the distant eastern lands, valuable merchandise that soon would be a part of Spain's immense riches. The legacy of that age still lives on in San Blas and commercial shipping in the area is still an important economic activity for the city.

San Blas, Riviera Nayarit The desire of travelers to keep discovering destinations with clean virgin beaches, and also to appreciate, first hand, the humble lifestyle of the amiable inhabitants of San Blas, and the Riviera Nayarit has led to a marked increase in the number of tourists visiting the area. People also come to sample the delicious regional food and at the same time make the most of the comfortable accommodations, offered at such low prices when you consider the beauty that the Riviera Nayarit gives back in exchange.

San Blas, Riviera Nayarit In the surrounding areas of San Blas, it's possible to enjoy exciting boat trips through the dense mangroves of the immense La Tovara National Park. This splendid natural paradise, where salty seawater mixes with the fresh water of the springs, is home to colonies of birds, mammals and reptiles, making it a wonderful place to visit for people who love nature or have a keen interest in observing wildlife.

San Blas, Riviera Nayarit
In the city of San Blas there are many cultural, historical and religious remains that are well worth visiting, like the Fort of San Basilio also known as Fuerte de la Contaduria, an old building that served mainly as a bastion for defending the goods brought from the exotic lands on the other side of the Pacific Ocean. This fort was also the starting point for many expeditions towards the north of the American continent, as Spain continued to try and increase its territories.

San Blas, Riviera NayaritFor a long time, the long beaches bathed by the splendid waters of the Pacific Ocean, the incredible tropical backdrops and thrilling sunsets, as well as the hospitality of the inhabitants of San Blas, have been the main attractions of this beautiful port city, in the Riviera Nayarit. The impressive Bay of Matanchen is a must for people who love virgin beaches and for those who enjoy relaxing under the sun's warm rays. Incredible views can be seen from the large beaches at Los Cocos and El Borrego, as well as at Las Islitas (Little Islands), a wonderful spot that gets it name from the peculiar islets that dot the coastline, as if they were small Gardens of Eden floating next to the ocean shore.

San Blas, Riviera Nayarit If you are looking for agastronomic adventure, then this hospitable port city, in the Riviera Nayarit, has an incredible range of options available. Shrimps, prepared in all manner of tantalizing ways, are the main ingredient, although there are many other enticing dishes using freshly caught fish and seafood. The most popular include ceviche (a lime marinated appetizer), cocktails, and spicy dishes that are a delight for the senses and will definitely satisfy even the most demanding palate.

San Blas, Riviera Nayarit For all of the above, you should definitely consider a trip to this city of virgin beaches, estuaries and areas of incredible natural beauty. You'll get to see the most beautiful sunsets, explore the remnants of a fascinating culture, and learn about the rich history that can be found throughout San Blas. It really is a great choice of destination for those who want to have a vacation that combines both recreational and cultural experiences, and what makes it even more special is the traditional warmth of the people from Nayarit.