Just 20 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta’s international airport, Bucerias is a tranquil destination rich in culture. Originally a fishing village, Bucerias is now home to people from across Mexico who have moved here to work in the booming tourism industry. As a result, it is a unique representation of the country as a whole. In Bucerias, you will hear a mixture of English, Spanish and indigenous languages. You will see a variety of cultures, religions and races within the local community, a reminder of the diversity present within Mexico.  These fascinating cultural patterns–together with the brightly colored homes, cobblestone streets, authentic food, lively music, beautiful scenery, friendly people, and a gentle surf–make Bucerias a superb destination for the adventurous and inquisitive traveler.

Are you wondering why Human Connections is based in Bucerias? Click here to find out!

Weather in Bucerias

If you’re looking for warmth and sunshine, you will love the weather in Puerto Vallarta any month of the year. The region enjoys a tropical climate, meaning the temperatures stay constant between 70 and 90 degrees most of the year. The least recommendable time to travel to the region is during the “rainy season,” which is usually during the months of July, August, and September. During this season,  the temperatures and humidity are at their highest, though the brief but heavy downpours turn Bucerias and the surrounding mountains into a lush, green paradise.

Safety in Bucerias

Bucerias, Puerto Vallarta, and the Banderas Bay region are very safe, given their touristic nature. Currently there are “no recommendations against travel to these regions” by the US Department of State (travel.state.gov) and incidences of violence are lower here than in many US cities.

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  • Plaza del Centro – The Central Plaza is the main hub of Bucerias located steps from the beach. There are dozens of local vendors selling everything from artisanal crafts to specialty foods. This area has many local restaurants to choose from for any budget and serves as a community space where locals hold events like Zumba classes!
  • Did you know there are two other plazas inside of Bucerias? Sign up for a tour to check them out!  One is called Plaza Las Brisas and the other is Plaza Javier Ovando – these plazas are used as the local hang outs. There are many vendors selling tacos, tortas, churros and more!

Tours & Activities

This region offers a wide range of activities for any budget and inclination. For the active or adventurous, there is snorkeling, surfing, paddle boarding, hiking, and zip lining, among other activities. For the foodies, we recommend dozens of off-the-beaten path restaurants. There are also several small beach towns nearby to explore and many impressive organizations with which you can collaborate. Our favorite activities in Bucerias are:

  • My Mexican Kitchen This Bucerias kitchen offers top-notch cooking classes. You will adore the teachers of your class as much as you’ll adore the food.
  • Quilombo Bucerias This cultural and sports center is uniquely multicultural and very popular with people of all ages. Here you can take crossfit, boxing, African dance, and salsa classes.
  • Experience Mex-ECO Tours was established in 2005 to support local community and conservation projects through short trips from the Costalegre area of Mexico. They have an office on Lazaro Cardenas Street, their tours are fun, and their employees are nice!

Local Markets

  • The Bucerias Sunday Market – All year round, a market is hosted on Sunday mornings right in the Bucerias riverbed (starting from the highway and heading inland). This is a chance to buy affordable local produce, clothing, and other merchandise.
  • The Bucerias Art Walk- Every Thursday (during November – April) from 7:00pm to 9:00pm, this is a fun event that  features a wide variety of unique art. This event also provides workshops for anyone interested in learning how to paint, tile, sculpt and more!
  • The La Cruz Sunday Market – Sundays (November – April) from 10:00am until 2:00pm over 170 vendors sell everything from homemade breads to artwork.  This is a truly worthwhile place to listen to music while you shop and eat.
  • Sayulita Farmers Market – Open from 10:00am until 2:00pm, this huge market features fantastic handicrafts, produce and prepared food from many artisans and local businesses.
  • Puerto Vallarta Market- Every Saturday(November – April) from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, this market comes to life with big crowds, produce, prepared foods, and artisan goods.


Bucerias is located along a bay called the ‘Bay of Banderas’ or ‘Bahía de Banderas’ (Spanish for ‘Bay of Flags’). One of Mexico’s largest bays, it is a sanctuary for many species, including manta rays, dolphins, sea turtles and the humpback whales that arrive every year to breed. Situated along the Pacific ocean and framed by the palm-covered Sierra Madre mountains, this natural paradise extends into two Mexican states: Jalisco to the south, Nayarit to the north (Bucerias is on the northern portion). The local economy is based primarily on tourism and fishing, though agriculture of crops like corn, rice, watermelon, coconut, and mango is also common further inland.

While Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, is Banderas Bay’s most famous attraction, many other worthwhile destinations dot this 42-mile stretch of coastline. In Jalisco, some must-sees are: Conchas Chinas, Yelapa, Boca de Tomatlán, Quimixto, Las Animas, and Amapas. In Nayarit, visit: Bucerias (of course!), La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Punta de Mita, Higuera Blanca, and Sayulita. The Nayaritense portion of Banderas Bay is part of the Riviera Nayarit, Mexico’s brand new tourist destination.


This map was created by a team of interns to aid our mission of fostering meaningful interactions between local individuals and travelers, and to raise awareness about ways to travel more responsibly throughout the Riviera Nayarit region. This map contains suggestions for you as you explore the region!

When choosing what locations to include in the map, interns utilized the following criterion: 1) The location should provide you with a new perspective and/or teach you something new. 2) The activity or location is not a common tourism activity. 3) The location does not have a specific website beyond a Facebook page. 4) The activity or location is community-based and fosters a sense of place.