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Tepic - Mexico's Riviera Nayarit

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Tepic, the state capital, is the beating heart of Nayarit. It is resplendent with historic cantera stone, the words of native poet Amado Nervo, beaded jewelry and the colors that local artists have chosen to adorn the walls of the city.

Tepic was founded in 532 by Nuño de Beltrán as Santiago de Galicia de Compostela, the capital of the Kingdom of New Galicia (a territory comprised of the states of Jalisco, Colima, Nayarit, Aguascalientes, Durango, Sinaloa and San Luis Potosí).

In this city, you can delve into Nayarit’s fascinating culture thanks to its many museums, historic buildings and variety of time honored traditions, which reflect the essence of the entire state.

It is best to begin your tour of the capital of Nayarit in the downtown, starting with the Plaza de Armas, where you can appreciate a semicircle of ionic columns and a bronze statue of poet Amado Nervo.

Walk around a bit and admire the Neo-Gothic Purísima Concepción Cathedral, constructed out of beautiful cantera stone between 1750 and 1885; a true symbol of the city.

You will also find the Government Palace —dating from the nineteenth century and housing murals by José Luis Soto—, and the Bola de Oro portal.

You can continue your visit to Tepic by exploring the city’s interesting museums, where you can learn about Nayarit’s culture with museums that provide information about everything from pre-Colombian cultures and indigenous ethnicities, to life stories and attributes of the illustrious sons and daughters of the state.

In the Regional Museum of Anthropology you will find numerous pieces from the original cultural groups that inhabited the western region of the state.

The Cuatro Pueblos museum showcases handicrafts and cultural manifestations of ethnic groups still present in the state such as the Huichol, Cora, Tepehuan and Mexicanero communities. You mustn’t forget to visit the museums dedicated to celebrated people from the state such as the Amado Nervo House-Museum, a place where this poet was born and which now houses documents, photographs and personal objects from this writer known as the First Poet of America.

Also be sure to explore the Juan Escutida House-Museum, dedicated to this young man who, along with his comrades, fervently defended the homeland in the Castillo de Chapultepec. Round out your journey with a trip to the Emila Ortiz Museum, showcasing a variety of visual art collections of various disciplines such as painting, photography, engraving and sculpture.

Another gem of Tepic, the ruins of the Jauja and Bellavista textile factories are located seven kilometers (four miles) from the capital. These production houses were an important generator of economic growth for the region in the early nineteenth century.

Also be sure to visit the Alameda Central, the Esteban Baca Calderón Park and the Ecological Park, a green escape where you will find playground equipment for the youngsters and a small zoo. Step into the heart of this marvelous state and further enrich your visit to the tropical paradises of the Riviera Nayarit.

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