Some 170km north of Puerto Vallarta, the first place of any size is TEPIC, capital of the state of Nayarit and home to over 300,000 people. Founded by Hernán Cortés’ brother, Francisco, in 1544, 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 Mazatlán, or a place to switch buses for San Blas and the coast.

Plenty of shops sell Huichol artesanías in Tepic, including vibrant yarn paintings and bead statues. Alternatively, you can buy them directly from Huichol artists in the Plaza Principal, Tepic’s lush central square of fountains and gardens, overlooked by the Palacio Municipal and twin neo-Gothic towers of the Catedral de la Asunción, completed in the 1890s.

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