Around 280km south of Mazatlán, the first town of any size is Tepic, capital of the state of Nayarit. Despite its antiquity – the city was founded by Hernán Cortés’s brother, Francisco, in 1544 – there’s not a great deal to see here. It’s appealing enough in a quietly provincial way, but for most travellers it’s no more than a convenient stopover along the route to Guadalajara, or a place to switch buses for San Blas and the coast (there are no direct buses from Mazatlán to San Blas).
The eighteenth-century cathedral, on the Plaza Principal, is worth a quick look, as is the small Museo Regional de Nayarit (t311/212-1900), at the corner of México and Zapata, south from the plaza, with an absorbing collection of local pre-Columbian and Huichol artefacts. The Museo de Los Cuatro Pueblos, at the corner of Hidalgo and Zacatecas, has anthropological displays documenting the cultures of Nayarit’s indigenous peoples. You could also check out the Museo Amado Nervo at Zacatecas 284 Nte (t311/212-2916), which commemorates the life and works of one of Mexico’s most famous poets, in the house where he was born in 1870. Plenty of places sell Huichol artesanías, including vibrant yarn paintings and bead statues; alternatively, you can buy them directly from Huichol artists in the main plaza.Read More