A short boat ride away from Riviera Nayarit´s coast brings travellers to the small island of Mexcaltitán, nicknamed the “Mexican Venice”, thanks to the many canals that crisscross through it. A place shrouded in mystical and magical history that is well-worth a visit.
The Northern area of Riviera Nayarit in the Mexican pacific coast immerses visitors in the history of Ancient Mexico. A day trip to Mexcaltitán will whisk visitors away to a world of mystery and unique cultural experiences. The island is deep-rooted in ancient aztec history and many historians believe that this island is the birthplace of modern day Mexico. It is said that Mexcaltitán served as the blueprint for Tenochtitlán (Mexico City) as is evidenced by the narrow streets and ability for the city to function under rising water levels. Over time it has been popularly known as the “Mexican Venice” because Mexcaltitán features high sidewalks that allow pedestrians to navigate the island even during times of high water levels which can flood the streets of the island.
Visitors will find no cars. A canoe ride around the charming island takes about 30 minutes and provides numerous photo opportunities as well as many surprises including a close-up view of the island’s only soccer pitch—in the middle of a lake. Travellers will be enchanted by thousands of colorful Mexican houses and nameless local restaurants offering fresh seafood cuisine such as shrimp ceviche with ingredients caught right outside their very doors or tlaxtihuil (a traditional corn-based shrimp chowder). It is very common to spot local fishermen in the waters catching these fish for local restaurants.
Mexcaltitán is part of the program called ”Magic Towns”, established by the Mexican Secretary of Tourism, which gives recognition to those beautiful Mexican villages that have preserved, for Mexico and the world, the cultural and historic richness that surrounds them. For what it represents and for its historical importance, regardless of whether or not Mexcaltitan is the cradle of Mexico, travellers from around the world feel attracted to explore and enjoy an unforgettable day on this island as part of their trip to Riviera Nayarit.