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Barra De Navidad: Discover Mexico’s Best-Kept Secret


by Lil Wilkens



Welcome to Barra De Navidad, Mexico’s best-kept secret. Nestled along the scenic coastline of the Pacific Ocean, this hidden gem offers visitors a true taste of authentic Mexican charm and beauty. With its picturesque beaches, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality, Barra De Navidad is the perfect destination for travelers seeking a tranquil and immersive experience.


Barra De Navidad is located in the state of Jalisco, just a short drive from the popular tourist destination of Puerto Vallarta. Despite its close proximity to the bustling city, Barra De Navidad has managed to preserve its quaint and laid-back atmosphere, making it a haven for those looking to escape the crowds and unwind in a more serene setting.


Arriving in Barra De Navidad feels like stepping back in time. The town’s cobblestone streets, colorful colonial buildings, and traditional Mexican architecture create a charming and nostalgic ambiance that is hard to resist. Whether you’re strolling along the promenade, exploring the local shops, or enjoying a meal at a seaside restaurant, you’ll be captivated by the authentic Mexican vibe that permeates every corner of this town.


Not only does Barra De Navidad offer an idyllic setting, but it is also blessed with stunning natural beauty. Surrounded by lush vegetation, pristine beaches, and the sparkling waters of the Pacific, this is a paradise for nature lovers. Whether you’re a sun-seeking beach bum or an avid adventurer, Barra De Navidad has something to offer everyone.


Throughout this article, we will guide you through the wonders of Barra De Navidad, from the best ways to get there and explore the town to the activities and attractions that make this destination truly unique. So pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to discover the hidden charm of Barra De Navidad.


Getting to Barra De Navidad

Getting to Barra De Navidad is relatively easy and can be done by various means of transportation.


By Air: The nearest airport to Barra De Navidad is Manzanillo International Airport (ZLO), which is approximately a 30-minute drive away. Several major airlines offer direct flights from destinations within Mexico and the United States to Manzanillo. From the airport, you can take a taxi or arrange for a shuttle service to reach Barra De Navidad.


By Road: If you prefer a road trip, Barra De Navidad is easily accessible by car. The town is located along Mexico’s Highway 200, which connects major cities along the Pacific Coast. From Puerto Vallarta, it is approximately a 3.5-hour drive to Barra De Navidad. The drive is scenic and offers breathtaking views of the coastline and surrounding mountains.


By Bus: Another option is to travel by bus. Several bus companies operate routes to Barra De Navidad from major cities in Mexico. The journey may take longer compared to driving, but it is a convenient and affordable option for those who prefer not to drive. The bus station in Barra De Navidad is centrally located, making it easy to reach your accommodation.


Once you arrive in Barra De Navidad, getting around the town is best done on foot. The town is relatively small and easy to navigate, and most of the attractions and amenities are within walking distance. Taxis are also available for longer journeys or if you prefer not to walk.


Now that you know how to get to Barra De Navidad, it’s time to explore all that this beautiful town has to offer. From its charming streets to its stunning beaches, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this Mexican paradise.


Exploring the Town

Exploring the town of Barra De Navidad is like stepping into a picture-perfect postcard. The cobblestone streets, vibrant-colored buildings, and the warm smiles of the locals create an inviting and charming atmosphere that is hard to resist.


Start your exploration of the town by taking a leisurely stroll along the Malecon, a beautiful oceanfront promenade. As you walk, you’ll pass by quaint shops, cozy cafes, and inviting restaurants. Take the time to browse the local boutiques and artisanal shops, where you’ll find unique handmade crafts and souvenirs to bring back home.


One of the highlights of exploring the town is visiting the Church of San Antonio de Padua. This picturesque church is a beloved landmark in Barra De Navidad, with its stunning architecture and ornate details. Step inside and marvel at the beautifully designed interior, which reflects the rich cultural heritage of the region.


Another must-see attraction in the town is the Central Plaza. This charming square is a hub of activity, surrounded by shops, restaurants, and cafes. Relax on one of the benches and soak in the lively atmosphere as you watch the locals and visitors go about their day. The plaza is particularly bustling in the evenings when it comes alive with live music and street performers.


No visit to Barra De Navidad is complete without a visit to the local marina. Wander along the marina walkway and admire the impressive yachts and fishing boats that are docked there. You can even take a boat tour or charter a fishing trip to experience the beauty of the Pacific Ocean firsthand.


For those interested in history and culture, a visit to the Museo de la Navidad is a must. This small museum showcases the history and traditions of Barra De Navidad, providing visitors with an insight into the town’s rich heritage. From artifacts and photographs to informative exhibits, the museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the past.


Whether you’re wandering the charming streets, immersing yourself in the local culture, or simply enjoying the laid-back ambiance, exploring the town of Barra De Navidad is an experience you won’t soon forget. So take your time, soak in the beauty around you, and embrace the magic of this hidden gem.


Enjoying the Beaches

One of the main draws of Barra De Navidad is its beautiful beaches. With its pristine shoreline, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking views, it’s no wonder that beach lovers flock to this idyllic destination.


The main beach in Barra De Navidad, Playa Barra, is a long stretch of golden sand that curves along the coastline. With its calm and gentle waters, it’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and simply relaxing. Grab a beach towel, lay back, and let the stress melt away as you soak up the warm Mexican sun.


If you’re feeling more adventurous, head to Playa de Melaque, located just a short distance from Barra De Navidad. This beach offers a slightly more lively atmosphere, with beachfront restaurants and a vibrant local scene. With its powerful waves, it’s a popular spot for surfing and boogie boarding. If you’re new to the sport, you can even take lessons to ride the waves like a pro.


For a secluded and untouched beach experience, make your way to Playa Navidad. This hidden gem is located near a luxury resort, but it is open to the public. Due to its more remote location, it is often less crowded, allowing you to enjoy the tranquility and serenity of the surrounding nature.


Aside from relaxing on the beach, there are plenty of water activities to enjoy. Rent a kayak or a paddleboard and explore the coastline at your own pace. Snorkeling and diving enthusiasts can discover the vibrant underwater world teeming with colorful fish and beautiful coral reefs. Alternatively, you can take a boat tour to explore nearby islands or go fishing and try your luck at catching some local seafood.


Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the stunning sunsets that paint the sky with vibrant hues. As the sun dips below the horizon, find a cozy spot on the beach, sit back, and watch as nature puts on a breathtaking show.


Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or simply the beauty of nature, the beaches of Barra De Navidad offer a slice of paradise. So grab your sunscreen, pack your beach bag, and get ready to enjoy the sun, sand, and sea.


Trying Local Cuisine

When in Barra De Navidad, one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the local culture is through its delicious cuisine. The town boasts a variety of dining options that will tantalize your taste buds and introduce you to the flavors of Mexico.


Seafood is a staple of the local cuisine, and you’ll find an abundance of fresh and mouthwatering options in Barra De Navidad. From succulent shrimp and tender crab to grilled fish and ceviche, there are plenty of dishes to satisfy seafood lovers. Head to one of the beachfront restaurants to savor a plateful of mariscos, accompanied by stunning ocean views.


Barra De Navidad is also known for its delicious street food. Wander through the local markets and you’ll find vendors selling a variety of snacks and treats. Don’t miss out on the mouthwatering tacos, filled with flavorful meats, topped with fresh salsa, and garnished with cilantro and onions. Pair them with some aguas frescas, refreshing fruit-flavored drinks, for the perfect combination.


For a taste of traditional Mexican cuisine, try the regional dishes that showcase the flavors and culinary traditions of Jalisco. Birria, a savory and spicy meat stew, is a popular delicacy in the area. Another local favorite is pozole, a flavorful soup made with hominy and meat, typically garnished with cabbage, radishes, and lime. Wash it down with a glass of tequila or a cold cerveza for the ultimate Mexican experience.


If you have a sweet tooth, make sure to indulge in some Mexican desserts. Treat yourself to churros, crispy fried dough sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, or try flan, a creamy caramel custard that melts in your mouth. And let’s not forget about the refreshing and fruity paletas, Mexican-style popsicles, which come in a variety of flavors.


To truly experience the local cuisine, consider taking a cooking class where you can learn to prepare traditional Mexican dishes using fresh, local ingredients. Not only will you get hands-on experience in the kitchen, but you’ll also gain insight into the cultural significance of the dishes.


With its diverse culinary offerings, Barra De Navidad is a food lover’s paradise. So come hungry and be prepared to sample the flavors of Mexico that will leave you wanting more.


Engaging in Water Sports

Barra De Navidad is a playground for adventure enthusiasts, particularly when it comes to water sports. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, there are plenty of thrilling activities to engage in and make the most of your time at this coastal paradise.


One of the most popular water sports in Barra De Navidad is surfing. The town boasts excellent surf spots with waves suitable for all levels of experience. Whether you’re looking to catch your first wave or want to challenge yourself on bigger swells, there are surf schools and board rentals available to help you get started.


For a unique and exciting experience, try stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) along the tranquil waters of Barra De Navidad. SUP provides a great full-body workout while allowing you to explore the coastline at your own pace. You can rent paddleboards or join guided tours to discover hidden coves and soak up the stunning ocean views.


Snorkeling and diving are also popular activities in Barra De Navidad, thanks to the area’s crystal-clear waters and thriving marine life. Dive into the underwater world and discover colorful coral reefs, tropical fish, and even the chance to spot sea turtles and dolphins. There are dive shops offering equipment rental and guided trips to ensure a safe and unforgettable experience.


If you prefer a more leisurely water activity, consider taking a kayak tour. Paddle through mangrove forests, explore hidden lagoons, and get up close and personal with the wildlife that inhabits the area. Kayaking is a great way to appreciate the natural beauty of Barra De Navidad while enjoying a peaceful and serene escape.


Fishing enthusiasts will find joy in the abundance of fishing opportunities available in Barra De Navidad. Venture out on a deep-sea fishing charter to try your luck at catching marlin, sailfish, tuna, and more. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, the local fishing captains will guide you to the best spots and share their knowledge to ensure a memorable fishing experience.


With its ideal climate and picturesque coastline, Barra De Navidad offers an array of water sports activities that will satisfy any adventure seeker. So grab your gear, get in the water, and make the most of your time in this aquatic playground.


Visiting Nearby Attractions

While Barra De Navidad itself is a captivating destination, there are also several nearby attractions that are worth exploring during your visit. These attractions offer a diverse range of experiences, from natural wonders to cultural landmarks.


One of the top attractions near Barra De Navidad is the neighboring town of Melaque. Just a short distance away, Melaque offers a charming and laid-back atmosphere with its beautiful beaches and vibrant local scene. Take a stroll along the Malecon, visit the local market, or simply relax on the sandy shores. Melaque provides an opportunity to experience a different side of the Mexican coastal lifestyle.


If you’re a nature enthusiast, a visit to the Chamela-Cuixmala Biosphere Reserve is a must. This protected area is home to diverse ecosystems, including mangroves, forests, and coastal dunes. Explore the trails, spot native wildlife, and immerse yourself in the beauty of the natural surroundings. The reserve is a paradise for birdwatchers, with a variety of species to observe in their natural habitat.


For those interested in history and architecture, a trip to the nearby town of Colima is highly recommended. Colima is known for its colonial charm and well-preserved historical buildings. Explore the Plaza Mayor, visit the Museum of Regional History, and admire the stunning cathedral. The town also offers a vibrant art scene, with local galleries showcasing works by talented Mexican artists.


If you’re up for a day trip, consider visiting the captivating town of Sayulita. This bohemian surf town is located about two hours away from Barra De Navidad and is renowned for its vibrant culture, colorful streets, and world-class surfing beaches. Experience the lively atmosphere, browse local boutiques, and enjoy delicious street food. Sayulita’s laid-back vibe and captivating beauty will leave you wanting to return.


Lastly, nature lovers should not miss the opportunity to explore the stunning Marietas Islands, located off the coast of Punta de Mita. These uninhabited islands are a protected national park and offer incredible biodiversity. Take a boat tour to witness the famous Hidden Beach, snorkel in the turquoise waters, and marvel at the diverse marine life that calls this area home.


With its close proximity to these exciting attractions, Barra De Navidad serves as an ideal base for exploring the surrounding areas and discovering even more of Mexico’s hidden gems. So plan your itinerary and embark on an adventure that will broaden your horizons and create unforgettable memories.


Experiencing the Nightlife

While Barra De Navidad may be known for its laid-back and tranquil atmosphere, that doesn’t mean the town lacks in vibrant nightlife. When the sun sets, the town comes alive with a variety of venues and activities that cater to different tastes and preferences.


Start your evening by heading to one of the beachfront bars or restaurants that offer stunning views of the ocean. Enjoy a refreshing cocktail or a cold cerveza as you listen to the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. Unwind and savor the magical ambiance as the sky transitions into a colorful display of sunset hues.


For those looking for a bit of entertainment, live music venues are scattered throughout Barra De Navidad. From cozy local bars to large beach clubs, you can find a range of musical genres being performed, from traditional Mexican music to cover bands playing popular hits. Dance the night away to the infectious rhythms, or simply sit back and enjoy the lively atmosphere.


If you’re in the mood for a more low-key evening, explore the town’s restaurants that offer a relaxed and intimate dining experience. Enjoy a romantic dinner under the stars, indulging in delectable Mexican cuisine and sipping on fine wines. Many establishments also offer live music performances, setting the perfect backdrop for a memorable night out.


For a taste of local culture, make sure to check if there are any traditional fiestas or events taking place during your visit. These celebrations often feature lively parades, colorful costumes, traditional music, and dance performances. Immerse yourself in the local customs and join in the festivities that showcase the rich cultural heritage of Barra De Navidad.


If you’re feeling lucky, pay a visit to the local casino and try your hand at games of chance. The casino offers a variety of slot machines and table games, providing hours of entertainment for those seeking a bit of excitement after dark.


While Barra De Navidad’s nightlife scene may not rival that of larger cities, it offers a unique and intimate experience that is a true reflection of the town’s charm and warmth. So embrace the evening, embrace the energy, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Shopping for Souvenirs

No trip is complete without bringing back a little piece of the destination with you. Luckily, Barra De Navidad offers a variety of shopping options where you can find unique and authentic souvenirs to commemorate your time in this charming town.


One of the best places to start your shopping adventure is along the town’s main street, Avenida Veracruz. Here, you’ll find numerous boutiques and shops selling an array of locally made crafts and artwork. From handmade textiles and pottery to intricately crafted jewelry and woven baskets, there is something for every taste and budget.


In addition to traditional crafts, Barra De Navidad is also known for its beautiful silver jewelry. Visit the jewelry stores in town to browse exquisite designs crafted by local artisans. Whether you’re looking for a statement piece or a delicate memento, there’s a wide selection of rings, earrings, bracelets, and pendants to choose from.


To truly experience the local flavor, make sure to explore the local markets. Here, you’ll find a lively atmosphere filled with vendors selling fresh produce, spices, and local delicacies. Don’t forget to sample some of the regional specialties, such as Mexican chocolate and vanilla, and take some home to share with family and friends.


If you’re a fan of traditional Mexican clothing, make sure to look out for shops selling colorful embroidered textiles and garments. Mexican dresses, known as “huipiles,” are particularly popular with their vibrant patterns and intricate stitching. These beautifully crafted pieces make for a unique and stylish souvenir to add to your collection.


For art enthusiasts, a visit to the local galleries is a must. Barra De Navidad is home to talented local artists who capture the essence of the town and its surroundings through their artwork. Admire paintings, sculptures, and other forms of art that reflect the beauty and culture of Barra De Navidad. Purchasing a piece of artwork allows you to take a visual reminder of your time in this special place.


When shopping for souvenirs, remember to support local businesses and artisans. By purchasing directly from them, you not only bring home a special memento but also contribute to the local economy and the preservation of traditional crafts.


So take your time, explore the shops and markets, and allow yourself to be enchanted by the unique and authentic souvenirs that Barra De Navidad has to offer. These cherished mementos will serve as a tangible reminder of your unforgettable experience in this hidden gem of Mexico.



Barra De Navidad is Mexico’s best-kept secret, a hidden gem along the Pacific coast that offers visitors an authentic and immersive experience. From its picturesque beaches to its vibrant culture and warm hospitality, this town captivates travelers with its charm and natural beauty.


Whether you’re strolling along the cobblestone streets, exploring the local shops, or indulging in delicious Mexican cuisine, Barra De Navidad provides a true taste of Mexican culture and traditions. The town’s laid-back atmosphere and breathtaking scenery invite you to unwind, relax, and embrace the slow pace of life.


And let’s not forget the array of outdoor activities that await you. Whether you’re surfing the waves, snorkeling in crystal-clear waters, or simply lounging on the golden sands, Barra De Navidad offers a paradise for adventure-seekers and nature enthusiasts.


But Barra De Navidad isn’t just about beaches and nature; it also boasts a vibrant nightlife scene with live music, cultural events, and cozy bars to enjoy. Whether you’re sipping on a cocktail by the ocean or dancing to the rhythms of traditional Mexican music, the nightlife in Barra De Navidad adds an extra layer of excitement and entertainment to your stay.


As your trip comes to an end, don’t forget to explore the local markets and shops, where you can find unique souvenirs and artwork to remind you of your time in Barra De Navidad. By supporting local businesses and artisans, you not only bring home a piece of this special place but also contribute to the preservation of their crafts and traditions.


Barra De Navidad is a destination that will leave a lasting impression, where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of Mexico’s coastal charm while enjoying a sense of tranquility and authenticity. So pack your bags, set off on an adventure, and discover the secrets of Barra De Navidad for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.