It has been well known for quite some time that any new major projects near Puerto Vallarta will most likely be taking place in the neighboring state of Nayarit, where there is still ample development land. After a lull in the market for nearly ten years, Riviera Nayarit is now in full swing with a number of tourist projects slated for this year and beyond. Last year in Riviera Nayarit tourism generated nearly $200 million in revenue and maintained a hotel occupancy above 80 percent, peaking at 87.4 percent in July.

Here's a list of some of the projects either under, or soon to be starting, development:

  • JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels will soon break ground on the beach of Destiladeras on the north shore of Banderas Bay. Both being developed by the Mexico City group Artha Capital, which will soon announce a third hotel to be located in the same area.
  • In February, Krystal Grand Hotels & Resorts debuted their new Krystal Grand Nuevo Vallarta, a 480-room, all-inclusive luxury resort in Nuevo Vallarta.
  • In December, the Grand Sirenis Matlali Hills Resort & Spa will open, situated in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle.
  • Currently in development are five hotels at Costa Canuva, a mega resort project just north of Guyabitos, which will eventually add more than 7,000 guest rooms to the destination. Opening later this year will be the development's first hotel and the region’s first Fairmont property. Costa Canuva encompasses more than 550 acres and will also feature a beachfront village with 2,500 residential units, as well as a golf course designed by Lorena Ochoa and Greg Norman.
  • In 2019, just west of the airport and on the banks of the Ameca River, Grupo Vidanta will open Mexico’s first Cirque du Soleil Theme Park, that will offer entertainment shows and have the capacity for up to 5,000 spectators.
  • Rosewood Hotels & Resorts will be opening in the mega development of Mandarina, (also situated in northern Riviera Nayarit), offering 130 guest rooms, suites and villas.
  • A second stage of the Grand Sirenis Matlali beachfront development will start in 2019 and add 140 suites, and 300 rooms to the current Iberostar property in Litibu.
  • Punta Mita properties, the Auberge Resort Collection’s ultra-luxury Susurros del Corazon and Conrad Hotels & Resorts’ Conrad Punta Mita (redesign of the former La Tranquila Resort), will soon be breaking ground on the northern point of Banderas Bay.
  • Debuting in the final quarter of this year, One&Only Mandarina will feature new branded residences, the One&Only Mandarina Private Homes, which will debut alongside the One&Only Mandarina Resort, as well as a world-class polo and equestrian club replete with state-of-the-art polo grounds, dressage and jumping arenas, stables and more, in the mega development of Mandarina.
  • And looking even further into 2020, AM Resorts is set to open Dreams Punta de Mita Resort and Spa and Secrets Punta de Mita Resort & Spa.

That is quite a list for any resort area. Riviera Nayarit is quickly dwarfing Puerto Vallarta and is now recognized as one of Mexico's top major players in tourism development.