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A day trip to Bucerias wasn’t initially on my itinerary when I visited Puerto Vallarta, but I decided to take advantage upon realising it was only 30 minutes away from
Grand Palladium Resort
where I was staying.

Overview of Bucerias

colourful houses in Bucerias

Nestled along Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit, Bucerias was once a small fishing village. Over the years, it has transformed into a popular tourist destination, famous for its quaint charm, sandy beaches, and vibrant local culture.

How to Get to Bucerias from Puerto Vallarta

You can easily travel by bus from Puerto Vallarta, which takes around 30-45 minutes. Alternatively, taxis offer a more direct route, taking approximately 20-30 minutes depending on traffic. We booked an Uber from the Grand Palladium and were pleasantly surprised at how quickly we reached Bucerias. On the way back, we opted for a local bus, which was a fun experience that offered a glimpse into local life.

Is Bucerias Good for a Day Trip?

Bucerias is ideal for a day trip due to its close proximity to Puerto Vallarta and Punta Mita. It’s also perfect for a long weekend, if you are after total relaxation in beautiful surroundings.

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Best Time to Visit Bucerias from Puerto Vallarta

November to April is the dry season when the weather is pleasantly warm and rainfall is minimal. We visited in May, and although the day we traveled to Bucerias was the only cloudy day of our trip, it didn’t prevent us from enjoying the town, swimming at the beach, and relaxing.

How to spend a day in Bucerias

Our Uber dropped us in town around 9:30 am and we headed straight to the beach. We walked past the local market which was closed and were surprised how quiet and empty the whole town was. We walked along the golden sand for 15 minutes before finding an open café. The owner was very friendly and served us coffee on the beach, where we relaxed on loungers. Despite the shy sun, the calm and inviting water tempted me for a swim, which was incredibly warm and refreshing.

coffee shop on the beach in bucerias

Playa Bucerias is a must-visit, with its golden sands, very wide beach and calm waters perfect for swimming and sunbathing.

girl standing in an empty sandy beach

After breakfast and our swim, we took a long walk along the beach. Even by lunchtime, the beach remained relatively empty, with only a few people scattered around. We saw guided horse riding tours, which looked fun, and admired the many beautiful condos adorned with Canadian flags. We later learned that there is a large Canadian community living in Bucerias, many of whom came in the 80s and decided to settle there.

Canadian flags in condos at Bucerias beach

For lunch, we stopped at Karen’s Place which was recommended to me by another blogger for the food and the views and we were not disappointed. We enjoyed the most delicious burger. The sun was now shining so we chose an outdoor table opposite the beach, perfect for people-watching.

After lunch, we wandered back into town and explored the local flea market and the rest of the town. I loved Strolling along the cobblestone streets and discovering Bucerias’ unique blend of traditional Mexican and colonial architecture. The town’s street art is a testament to local artistry. One standout landmark is the Parish of Our Lady of Peace, notable for its striking bell tower.

view from the street of Parish of Our Lady of Peace in Bucerias

Don’t miss the statue of “El Buzo,” or “The Diver”. The statue is the work of Jalisciense sculptor Octavio González Gutiérrez and was a tribute to Bucerias’ coastal history, when divers would dive to the bottom of the ocean in search for pearls.

top Things to Do in Bucerias

Discover Local Art

Bucerias is home to several art galleries and studios featuring works by local artists, from paintings to handcrafted jewellery. Engaging with the friendly locals can be a rewarding experience, especially if you learn a few basic Spanish phrases.

Street art in Bucerias town

Shop in the local Markets

Bucerias has several local markets where you can find handmade crafts, clothing, and souvenirs. The Bucerias Centro Market is a daily flea market in downtown Bucerias, offering clothes, hats, pottery, and more. On Wednesdays, the farmer’s market features fresh produce, souvenirs, and handcrafted items. The Sunday market, held on the dry river bed and down Camino Valle de Banderas, is a truly Mexican market where you can buy almost anything, including food. Learn more about the markets in Bucerias and Puerto Vallarta here. Look for unique souvenirs like Huichol beadwork, hand-painted ceramics, and locally produced textiles.

Flea market in Bucerias

When visiting, ensure you carry enough Pesos, as many local markets, taxis, and establishments only accept cash. While some places accept US Dollars, they are rare. Credit cards can be used for payments and ATM withdrawals, though ATMs can sometimes be hard to find or may not work.

Take Part in Workshops

Participate in workshops to learn traditional crafts such as pottery, weaving, or Huichol beadwork. These hands-on experiences provide a deeper connection to the local culture.

Watch an Epic Sunset

Bucerias offers stunning sunset views. Head to the beach or a rooftop bar like Mar y Sol for the best vantage points to watch the sun dip below the horizon.

Enjoy Live Entertainment

sunset view from El Chivero in Bucerias

If your day trip extends into the evening, visit Luna Lounge or El Chivero for live music on the beach.

Where to eat in Bucerias?

Despite its small size, Bucerias offers an amazing range of culinary experiences that caters for every palate, from casual beachside eateries to upscale restaurants. Some of the best recommendation are the following:

El Rinconcito de Ensenada: Head there for the best tacos and seafood in town.

Luna Luna: Popular for its breakfast and brunch options,they make the best huevos rancheros.

huevos rancheros

La Postal: Quick and efficient service. They make Italian dishes such as pasta and pizzas. Ideal for a takeout and lunch on the beach.

Mark’s Bar & Grill: Offers a fusion of Mediterranean and Mexican cuisine, and a wide range of dishes from seafood to steaks.

Karen’s place: For delicious burgers and the best seaview on the beach.

the burget at karen's place

Villa Cocoa Chocolates: Offers artisan chocolates, a treat for those with a sweet tooth.

Bucerias or Sayulita for a Day Trip?

While both are charming, I felt more at home in Bucerias. If you’re after a compact town with a hippie soul, great surf, and a young population, head to Sayulita. For a day of tranquility, local culture, and seaside charm, Bucerias is the perfect choice.

Is Bucerias Safe?

Although I didn’t spend more than as day in Bucerias, it felt extremely safe to walk everywhere. The beach was the cleanest I have seen in Nayarit and the locals and vendors were very friendly and didn’t harass us at all. As with any travel destination, it’s wise to stay aware of your surroundings, respect local customs, and follow standard safety precautions.

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