Are you looking for things to do in San Pancho, Mexico? We don’t blame you! This is one of the hottest up-and-coming tourist destinations in Mexico – and for good reason! It’s one of Mexico’s cutest little coastal towns.
Best Things To Do In San Pancho, Nayarit, Mexico
There are tons of things to do in San Pancho all year round, like hiking, exploring the local town, checking out nearby shops, eating at one of the many restaurants, or cooling off inside a museum. So you won’t run out of things to do in San Pancho during your visit.
Where should you start? That’s a good question! Since San Pancho has so much to offer, it can be overwhelming to figure out what to do first. Check out our list of the top things you must do during your upcoming vacation to Mexico!
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Catch some rays or grab a snack at San Pancho Beach
One of the main tourist attractions in San Pancho is the beach! Since Mexico enjoys mild weather all year round and rays of sunshine for you to work on your tan, San Pancho beach is the perfect place to step back, relax, put your toes in the sand, and hop into the crystal blue waters.
Although it has become more popular with tourists over the years, the beach remains a relatively hidden oasis unless you’re specifically making a trip to San Pancho.
Plus, if you get hungry during your half-day beach excursion, you can walk to one of the nearby restaurants located right on the beach. Forget having to dry your feet off and get into the car or hop on the local bus — head to La Perla for an ice-cold Corona on the beach and watch the sunset. Trust us, there’s nothing better.
If you are an adventurous soul, you will love the water sports and exercise-filled activities in Mexico. Since the weather is suitable for watersports almost the entire year, there are hundreds of surfers, kayakers, swimmers, hikers, runners, and other athletes who enjoy being out in the sun and surfing the whole day.
We recommend heading to San Pancho Beach to watch the surfers shred the waves at sunset. Or, you can try your beginner’s luck and try to stand up on the board during your first surfing experience!
Eat Authentic Mexican Food!
You can’t come to San Pancho, Mexico, without eating authentic Mexican food! And no, we don’t mean the Tex-Mex you get from your local restaurant at home. We mean REAL Mexican food, like tacos with the proper seasoning, burritos, chimichangas, enchiladas, nachos, and spicy margaritas.
San Pancho has gained a solid reputation in Mexico for the variety and high quality food on offer, which for a small town is pretty impressive!
Some of the best restaurants for authentic Mexican food in town are El Gallo, Evan’s Tacos, and la Loncheria. But any restaurant you try is going to be a flavor-filled experience that will quell your hunger pangs after a long day at the beach.
San Pancho Marino Restaurant & Bar
Offering both dine-in and takeaway options, San Pancho has a reputation for being one of the best restaurants in town that can do it all. If you are with a big group who wants a mixture of authentic Mexican food and other exotic options, this restaurant and bar offer classics like shrimp tacos and more exotic options, like a vegetarian burger, Indonesian wok noodles, or fresh king crab.
Ikan Cocina Marina is a great seafood stop for those who want to combine the authentic Mexican flavor with local fish. If you want tasty calamari, fresh ceviche, fermented drinks, and salty oysters, Ikan is the ideal spot for a late lunch or early dinner.
Maria’s is a perfect takeaway location that churns out authentic Mexican food, sashimi, and other Asian dishes. Known for its tropical food that is going to hit the spot on a hot day, maria’s is a local favorite due to its service, tasty drinks, and relaxed atmosphere.
Watch A Baby Turtle Release
San Pancho is the home of home of Project Tortuga, which is one of the biggest turtle conservation groups in the Riviera Nayarit area.
This turtle protection project is dedicated to conversing and increasing the population of sea turtles, which has been decimated by poachers and beachfront developers.
Project Tortuga hosts a public release of turtle hatchlings into the ocean at peak season every year. It’s a fantastic event that draws hundreds of people to watch, and it’s special to be part of something that’s making a difference to our endangered creatures.
There are dozens of hikes you can do in San Pancho, Mexico. Hike around the beaches, or take to the forest to cool off, get away from the crowds, and take in some incredible views of the waves down below.
We recommend hiking from San Pancho to Sayulita through the dense jungle, beach paths, and coastal terrain. You can see petroglyphs, waterfalls, and mountains with gorgeous views as you hike
If you’re worried about getting lost, you can hire a local tour guide in San Pancho to help you have a great day out.
Catch some live music
There’s live music pretty much every night in San Pancho, especially during peak season. Many restaurants have street musicians playing outside, and there are frequent open mic nights at some of the bars if you feel like being on stage.
Each year during February, San Pancho puts on their three-day San Pancho Music Festival which brings local and international musicians to town.
Go Bird Watching
If you need a day off from intense exercise to sit back and relax, go bird-watching at the local estuary in San Pancho. There is a huge amount of wildlife here in San Pancho, with marine animals, birds, jungle creatures, and creepy crawlers. However, the birds here are among some of the most beautiful that you can see during your holiday to this beach town.
Shop The San Pancho Market
Every Tuesday, starting in November, San Pancho hosts its town markets or “tianguis“. You’ll find local crafts, food, textiles, and gifts to take home for your friends and family.
Get A Fresh Cup Of Coffee In The Morning
There is no better way to start the day than getting a fresh cup of coffee and staring out at the beach. That’s exactly what you can do here in San Pancho, Mexico! Lucky for you, San Pancho is known for its strong and flavor-filled coffee, meaning you will never have to wake up to a weak cappuccino.
We recommend trying Kokonati and Cafe Manana, both offering great indoor dining options for remote workers who need to use WiFi and churning out in-house roasted coffee that can keep you awake all day long.
One of the best coffee shops in San Pancho Nayarit is The Dough Joe. After opening in late 2020, this cafe has made a name for itself through its home coffee brewing method, sweet donuts, and flaky biscuits. Open every day, excluding Wednesday, from 8 am, this cafe is known for its huge plates and mouth-watering options.
Conveniently situated in the Agua de Luna Boutique Hotel, Amar y Ya is one of the best cafes in San Pancho for those who are just focused on one thing — coffee. If you love drip options, they use high-quality coffee and Chemex options to churn out strong espresso drinks.
Our last choice for a cup of coffee in San Pancho, Mexico, is Bistro Organico in Hotel Cielo Rojo. This coffee shop not only has strong coffee drinks, but its aesthetic interior courtyard, free WiFi, and good vibes make for a perfect afternoon stop.
Sip On A Beer At La Cerveceria
La Cerveza means ‘beer’ in Spanish — so it is no wonder that one of the best craft beer breweries in the town is called CERVECERÍA ARTESANA! Head here to try one of their many brews tap after a hot day in the sun. A crisp IPA is going to hit the spot after you have been surfing, bird-watching, and hiking in the sunshine!
Plus, you can enjoy appetizers for the table, like charcuterie plates, mouthwatering fries, or strong cheese that pairs well with the cozy interior and strong beers.
Book a massage
After a hard day of hiking, shopping, or soaking up the sun – you can treat yourself to some pampering by booking a personal massage. There are plenty of qualified masseuses in town, and most of them will come to your Airbnb or hotel to squeeze, roll, and pummel you into a deep state of relaxation!
Play a round of golf
San Pancho is home to the Las Huertas Golf Course. This is an 18-hole course that used to be a fruit orchard. When you’re golfing, you’re likely to see a lot of San Pancho’s native wildlife.
When you’ve sunk the last ball for the day, hit the golf club for a bite to eat and a drink.
Attend a local San Pancho event
Many visitors plan their trip to San Pancho to coincide with one of the many festivals and events in the town. The most popular events during the years include:
- Circo de los Ninos
- San Pancho music festival
- Art festival
- Days of Saint Francis of Assisi
- San Pancho Art Walk
Conclusion – Things To Do In San Pancho, Mexico
Are you thinking of visiting San Pancho, Mexico, during your next holiday? That is a great choice! San Pancho Nayarit has an endless list of things to do during the summer and winter seasons. If you enjoy surfing, being in the great outdoors, and feeling the sun on your face and the sand in between your toes, you will find no shortage of things to do in San Pancho, Mexico.
We recommend heading here during the winter season when the tourists are gone, and you can connect with the locals. Make sure you explore the beaches, try authentic Mexican food, see the natural animal life, and explore the thick jungle. It will soon become one of the best vacation spots you have ever been to!