Embrace the Calm in Punta de Mita, Mexico

Where to stay and what to do if you're chasing the sunshine this winter.

punta mita mexico
(Image credit: Courtesy of Brands)

The top of the new year is chock-full of resolutions, and for many, the goal is to unplug (even if just for a short time) from the stressors of daily life. That barrage of emails, texts, and social media platforms makes us long for nature's quiet calm. Best yet, you want that refuge to be accessible—aka, you don't have to venture to far-flung ends of the earth to find it. Punta Mita, a 1,500-acre peninsula about 30 miles from the bustling city of Puerto Vallarta, offers both—a serene place to unwind within driving distance of a major airport. Originally home to artists, merchants, and fishermen, visiting the area brings a choose-your-own-adventure attitude that will appeal to all travelers. For those looking to start 2024 off with a bang, here's where to stay, what to do, and what to eat and drink in the area.

Future Owns

(Image credit: Future)

Naviva stay

(Image credit: Naviva)

Although Punta Mita has a relatively small footprint compared to the neighboring metropolis of Puerto Vallarta, there are still plenty of accommodation options for all tastes, from small boutique-style hotels to beachside family-friendly resorts (The Four Seasons Punta Mita is a great option) to adult-only properties where you can indulge in a little bit of everything. Suppose you're sans kids and looking for a unique experience. In that case, you'll fall in love with Naviva, which offers a high-end, tailor-made, and sustainability-minded resort where you'll stay alongside a maximum of 30 guests at any given point. The goal is for guests to enjoy the expansive yet intimate property like a friend's enviable vacation home. The 15 ultra-luxurious glamping style suites that are hidden within the property were dreamt up by the design firm behind Amangiri's Camp Sakiri— (a favorite amongst the rich and famous)— all of them free-standing tents that blend seamlessly into the natural surroundings, ranging from 1,250-1,700 square feet and many of them with sweeping Pacific ocean views and private plunge pools. Because of the few guests staying at any given time, Naviva's 48 acres feel incredibly exclusive, making the all-inclusive, zero-transaction experience unlike a traditional resort stay. A pool-surrounded by jungle foliage and a private beach are anchored in the middle of the property, while spa pods with treatment rooms and hot tubs span throughout. While Naviva is relatively easy to get to— located just an hour from the airport— it's a quiet refuge that makes you feel like you're a world away.

what to do signage

(Image credit: Future)

Naviva spa

(Image credit: Naviva)

You're an adult, meaning you can do whatever you want on vacation, but you've probably come to the destination for nature and culture and to enjoy the sand and the surf. If you're visiting December through March, lucky you; Punta Mita is a gathering place and breeding ground for majestic humpback whales—and you can usually see them off the coast at sunrise and sunset. If you like to catch waves or want to try a new sport, the area has been a draw for surfers, with fantastic beaches for both beginners and experienced levels. Marietas Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage and Bioheritage reserve, is worth visiting with abundant exotic birds, fish, dolphins, and turtles. 

If you're at Naviva, there's plenty of what you can do and see. Think Fantasy Island: guests can customize their stay any way they please and are encouraged to do so. Naviva's guides take a keen interest in getting to know their guests and can help create an unparalleled experience. Embark on a private guided hike or a morning of birdwatching, and get whisked off to an adventure museum or your favorite local artist's studio. Indulge in treatments or a ritual, like the Mayan sweat lodge, or ask the chef to prepare your favorite picnic for a day on the water. Later, take in a private mezcal tasting in the open-air kitchen or learn how to make your favorite ceviche dish. Your wish is Naviva's command, and they take the task very seriously, only asking for a bit of notice for whatever it is you're up for.

where to eat & drink sign

(Image credit: Future)


(Image credit: Future)

The region, known for its birria tacos, ceviche, and mezcal, has a growing gastronomy scene, with passionate chefs and foodies flocking to the area. Depending on what you're craving, there's a variety of culinary offerings— from street-side taco trucks to incredibly fresh seafood to higher-end dining. For casual fare in the town of Punta de Mita, visit Tacos y Papas and Teresa's Tacos; run out of a tiny corner stand where you'll find freshly pressed tortillas and Mexican dishes made from scratch. Some highlights include the tacos, enchiladas, and homemade avocado salsa. For a higher-end dining option, make a reservation at Bahia, where the beachside restaurant excels in fresh grilled meats, seafood, and veggies and is an excellent option for large groups. If you're staying at Naviva, their open-air kitchen, Copal Cocina, has a daily rotating menu featuring the region's hyper-fresh local ingredients. You're also welcome to order off the menu. Mention your craving for pizza or a burger; the chef will whip one up without hesitation. Want to try Menudo? Consider it done. Never dull, the culinary options span far and wide. Wash everything down with a beautiful selection of wines, tequilas, and native spirits like raicilla, some of which the guides and their families have produced for generations.

Sara Holzman
Style Director

Sara Holzman is the Style Director for Marie Claire, where she's worked alongside the publication for eight years in various roles, ensuring the brand's fashion content continues to inform, inspire, and shape the conversation about fashion's ever-evolving landscape. With a degree from the Missouri School of Journalism, Sara is responsible for overseeing a diverse fashion content mix, from emerging and legacy designer profiles to reported features on the influence of social media on style and seasonal and micro trends across the world's fashion epicenters in New York, Milan, and Paris. Before joining Marie Claire, Sara held fashion roles at Conde Nast's Lucky Magazine and Self Magazine and was a style and travel contributor to Equinox's Furthermore website. Over her decade of experience in the fashion industry, Sara has helped guide each brand's style point of view, working alongside veteran photographers and stylists to bring editorial and celebrity photo shoots to fruition from start to finish. Sara currently lives in New York City. When she's not penning about fashion or travel, she’s at the farmer’s market, on a run, working to perfect her roasted chicken recipe, or spending time with her husband, dog, and cat. Follow her along at @sarajonewyork