Mexcaltitan Nayarit Mexico | Venice of Riviera Nayarit

Mexcaltitán de Uribe Riviera Nayarit

Mexcaltitan Nayarit Mexico, an island located just over an hour northwest of Santiago Ixcuintla, is quite literally a magical place. You’ve never seen anything like it. Many even say time has stopped on this ancient Mexican Island village that is only accessible by boat.

Decreed as a Historic Monuments Zone in 1986, Isla de Mexcaltitán Mexico in the state of Riviera Nayarit is known for its picturesque tile-roofed homes and small tranquil streets.

The Mexican Venice

Getting to the island of Mexcaltitan Nayarit is a highlight on its own. Your adventure begins with a 15 minute boat ride to the island. If it is shrimping season you’ll likely notice local fishermen out in the waters catching shrimp for the local restaurants of Mexcaltitan Mexico.

Not quite round, the oval shaped Isla de Mexcaltitán Mexico is not very large in size measuring just under 400 meters (1312 ft) at its widest. During the rainy season the streets of town flood, making travel by boat the only option. For this reason, the island has earned the name “The Mexican Venice.”

The name Mexcaltitán has been interpreted to mean a variety of things: for some, it means “land of herons,” while others translate the name as, “in the house of the moon.

Things to See and Do in Mexcaltitan Nayarit Mexico

Although the population of Mexcaltitan Nayarit is still only at about 800 or so, the island’s history goes far back. Many historians consider Isla de Mexcaltitán Mexico the birthplace of our Mexican identity, as it was from this island that the Mexicas originally departed on their journey to find Tenochitlán, which eventually became Mexico City, the capital of the Mexico.

Shrimp fishing is the main economic vocation of the inhabitants of Mexcaltitan Nayarit. Many shrimp fishermen will start their day at 3 am during the busy season (between May and August) and then spend the afternoon napping and relaxing at the pool hall. The few local restaurants on the island of Mexcaltitán Mexico offer fresh shrimp on their menus, including tamales de camaron (shrimp tamales).

Mexcaltitán locals are also known for their unique handicrafts made from mangroves, and barcinas, spheres created with manta cloth and palm leaves and used to preserve dry shrimp.

In addition to the houses and wide streets, the island is also home to a beautiful church and the El Origen Museum, situated in the Plaza Central. At the Mexcaltitán museum you can find a variety of archeological pieces from Meso- American cultures.

There is only one Mexcaltitan Nayarit hotel on the island called Hotel Ruta Azteca. This family run hotel is simple and provides visitors with everything they need when visiting the island. As might be expected, Mexcaltitán hotel rooms offer views of the lagoon. You can find other accommodations closer to San Blas on our Nayarit hotels page.

Mexcaltitan Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Mexcaltitan Mexico?

Located approximately 73 miles (118km) north of San Blas, the man-made island of Mexcaltitan is a popular tourist destination in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico.

How to get to Mexcaltitan Mexico?

The island of Mexcaltitan in Riviera Nayarit is about 4.5 hours by car (170 miles or 273km) from Puerto Vallarta airport.

What time is it in Mexcaltitan Mexico?

Mexcaltitan in Riviera Nayarit is in the same time zone as Mexico City, which is Central Daylight Time.

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Aerial view of town centre in Mexcaltitan Rivera Nayarit MX
Street view on Mexcaltitan Riviera Nayarit Mexico
Rooftop view of Mexcaltitan Island in Riviera Nayarit

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