Life in San Pancho and on the Riviera Nayarit

Life in San Pancho and on the Riviera Nayarit

Pacific Sundown in Sayulita, Nayarit, Mexico

Pacific Sundown in Sayulita, Nayarit, Mexico


As you know San Pancho is a nickname for San Francisco, located in Bahia de Banderas, State of Nayarit, Mexico. San Pancho is known as the “cultural center” of Nayarit. Riviera Nayarit is a treasure of the Pacific Coast of which we are a part. This includes Punta de Mita, Nuevo Vallarta, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Bucerias, Sayulita, Guayabitos, Lo de Marcos and San Blas. There are 23 micro destinations, 70 different Hotel options, 9 golf courses and 80 major events in a single year. Stunning beaches with a wide variety of water sports highlight your experience. There is a Polo Club in San Pancho.

Secure, safe and fun would be the lead words for life in San Pancho. We have a neighborhood watch as well as a police force that we share with other pueblos. Spanish is the primary language followed by English, Italian and French.

The cost of living is favorable with all things relative to what the cost of living is at your home base. The majority of the homes that are for rent are per night or the week. Costs are rising as they are everywhere and 5.00 dollars a day does not exist in this modern day economy.

Mother Turtle post egg laying - San Pancho Beach

Mother Turtle post egg laying – San Pancho Beach


San Pancho is located on the central Pacific Coast of Mexico, one hour north of Puerto Vallarta, one half hour north of Bucerias, 10 minutes north of Sayulita and 15 minutes south of Lo de Marcos. There are approximately 2,000 people living in San Pancho, 3,500 in Sayulita and 2,500 in Lo De Marcos.
Rainy season begins in May/June and continues through October averaging 40 inches of rainfall and 345 days of sunshine.

Map showing flight times from Puerto Vallarta Airport - Near San Pancho

Map showing flight times from Puerto Vallarta Airport – Near San Pancho


Life takes so many directions for people who live in San Pancho as there are so many paths or areas of interest to choose.

  • Chilling on the beach with sunsets/ surfing/ fishing/ beach clean-up.
  • Polo at La Patrona Polo & Equestrian Club, an international regulation polo and equestrian center with games, restaurant and a Beach Club facility with an elegant restaurant.
  • Golf a 9 hole course with small restaurant, open by reservation.
  • Mercado de San Pancho/ San Pancho´s Market (Tuesday) as well as the neighboring Pueblos all have a market day one day a week. Mercado de La Cruz is the largest of the markets located in the Marina on Sundays. Sayulita´s market day is Friday. Lo de Marcos’ market day is Saturday. An excellent question, what can I expect at the market: smiling familiar faces, cookies to cinnamon buns, pizza and lasagna, flavored water, dresses, jewelry and herbs.
  • Entreamigos is nonprofit dedicated to the education of children with a library and computer center, complete with a recycle center that serves 5 communities.
  • Additionally there is a gift store with beautiful hand crafted or glasses for example recycled from wine bottles. EA is a major employer in San Pancho. The core strength of EA is the volunteers.
  • Circo de los Niños was established by Gilles Ste-Croix. Children of San Pancho are trained by the circus crew, in fact many hours of dedication are required to perfect their talents and a 4 day performance is presented to the community each season with accolades of delight.
  • Bird watching, there are over 200 bird species in this area plus countless other sub tropical species. Luis is known for birding tours.
  • Turtle release and nest preservation volunteer program. Frank has been in charge of his turtle program for over 28 years in San Pancho.
  • Jaguar preservation is headed by Erik Saracho.
  • Colectivo San Pancho is a group of artists of many medias, its a three day Festival at the end of December. Its a great celebration of music and arts.
  • San Pancho Music Festival. Three magical days with international participation, the last weekend in February every year. It is from 5 pm to 11 pm and there is no charge for tickets…in fact there are no tickets! It is held in Plaza del Sol which is where the church is located. Musicians come from far and wide, as well as local artists. The musician generously donates their time.
  • International Hip Hop Festival, started in 2015 and will have its annual event here in the spring.
  • Many artists live in San Pancho and share their talents within the community through Circo de los Niños or Entre Amigos. There are some private art classes available too.
  • Music is playing most every night in the streets of San Pancho. We are rich with talented artists and others with a musical background.
  • Yoga and meditation as well as pilates are offered here in our community.
  • Surfing is very popular for the more advanced surfer. Fishing from the shore or a “panga” boat is a favorite pastime for many. Whale and dolphin watching are annual events.
San Pancho, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

San Pancho, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico


Dining is some of the best in the world with International chefs to the ¨best ever¨ tacos throughout the region.


Hospital de San Pancho has 3 volunteer programs Michel initiated: baby program with a each newborn going home with a gift package of diaper soap and outfit all donated by members of the community. Medicine and medical studies program which is paid to assist people who have no resources. Our annual fundraiser supports these efforts through our group Mujeres Amor de San Pancho. Lastly our equipment program. Our annual event has folkloric dancing, a complete Mexican dinner and auctions. Local merchants support this event with donations of Tours, jewelry, and dinners from local restaurants.
There are many hospital services in Puerto Vallarta and as close as Bucerias with very high levels of sophistication and services. Guadalajara and Mexico City have some of the best medical services available in the world. Of course this opinion is always subjective. If you are using Medicare you will need to pay here and be reimbursed in the US if it is applicable. Many people travel from the northern regions of the continent  for Mexican dental services.


Historically San Pancho is a fishing village with an economic basis pressing coconut oil. In the late 1970s the ex president of Mexico envisioned San Pancho as a self sustaining village with fruit, fish and coconut factories. He employed members of the community to build dirt roads and the factories which currently stand as warehouses.
He planned a university.  Unique plants  were transported here from many areas of the globe.
The first hospital was located under one of the buildings. The workers were granted a home with a parcel of land. Approximately 13 of these homes stand today.


Our finest resource is You. Each community is very welcoming, each pueblo that we have the good fortune to visit and live. If you wish to have a bit of a sub tropical adventure which is a bit outside of the box and you delight in new experiences, this region will fit the bill.

“COME VISIT US, YOU MAY NEVER WANT TO GO HOME … and that is the good news.”

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