The history of San Pancho —as this town is lovingly called— is read on the walls of a compound near the beach; it is shared with images painted in acrylics, with colorful personalities and sprinkled across landscapes of this destination, considered the “cultural capital” of the state of Nayarit, thanks to the numerous initiatives carried out here to promote culture and education.
The first inhabitants of this region, where the Southern Sierra Madre begins, were indigenous tribes pertaining to the Tatuan de Nayares group.
In 1524 Don Francisco Cortés de Buenaventura named the area Azapan, and the Spanish christened the town San Francisco de Azapan and made it a part of the Jaltemba Hacienda, which produced coconut oil.
In 1936, the Sayulita common lands, which San Pancho belongs to, were formed.
This establishment, in a way, created the community spirit that characterizes this destination. And it is precisely the social advocacy of its inhabitants, their work in conjunction with educational projects, environmental issues and the promotion of the arts that has spurred San Pancho’s positive growth and development.
With an intense luminance, the beach of San Pancho welcomes both those in search of rest and relaxation on the ocean shore with the bright sun and a good book, and those with adventurous spirits that defy the waves of the Pacific on their surf boards.
Lining the streets, whose names recall far away places such as Kenya, Pakistan, India and Egypt, you will find cultural centers, galleries, small restaurants, traditional bakeries, diners and even soccer fields and golf courses.
Also worthy of praise is the La Patrona polo club (www.polovallarta.com), an emblem of San Pancho.
Here, fans of this sport can become members of the club, take private lessons and participate in national and international tournaments. And for those who do not play polo, La Patrona also includes other facilities such as a restaurant, an art gallery, a concert hall and organization services for private events and weddings. And if you still need more convincing, be sure to admire the impressive mansions that rise from the hills surrounding San Pancho and imagine that one of these architectural masterpieces could be your dream home.
Culturally enrich your visit to the Riviera Nayarit with a stop in San Pancho. Appreciate the incredible Huichol handicrafts, the art pieces on display in the galleries, the exclusivity of its polo club and the tranquility of this traditional fishing village that, with its spirit of community works, has managed to evolve while maintaining its time-honored essence.
The House of Art Opens its Doors in San Pancho.
Dedicated to art for years, Helmut Kohl decided to move the celebrated Haus der Kunst gallery from the city of Guadalajara to one of the tranquil streets of San Pancho.
“I have known of San Pancho for 32 years. I came here when they inaugurated the warehouses that were constructed for communal works and as co-ops.
They produced coconut oil and fish, among other things. And since then, I have liked San Pancho,” states the gallery owner, who has already held some exhibits showcasing artists such as Ricardo Pinto Gollas, Carlos Vargas Pons, René Almanza, and Ariel Saiz, co-founder of the San Pancho Collective, a community of independent art that aims to facilitate artistic processes for the cultural and community development of the town.
“Another interesting thing about San Pancho is the Huichol community, which has a strong presence here; they live here, they share their daily lives here,” adds Kohl.
Also known as the bridge for contemporary art, the Haus der Kunst has discovered an interesting market of art collectors in San Pancho, “we have internationalized ourselves more than ever,” concludes Helmut, from the tranquility of his new residence.