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Free and Sovereign State of Nayarit
Estado Libre y Soberano de Nayarit (Spanish)
Coat of arms of Nayarit
State of Nayarit within Mexico
State of Nayarit within Mexico
Coordinates: 21°45′N 105°14′W / 21.750°N 105.233°W / 21.750; -105.233Coordinates: 21°45′N 105°14′W / 21.750°N 105.233°W / 21.750; -105.233
Country Mexico
Largest CityTepic
AdmissionJanuary 26, 1917[1]
 • GovernorMorena logo (Mexico).svg Miguel Ángel Navarro Quintero
 • Senators[2]Worker's Party logo (Mexico).svg Cora Cecilia Pinedo Alonso
Morena logo (Mexico).svg Rosa Elena Jiménez Arteaga
Logo Partido Movimiento Ciudadano (México).svg Gloria Elizabeth Núñez Sánchez
 • Deputies[3]
 • Total27,857 km2 (10,756 sq mi)
 Ranked 23rd
Highest elevation2,760 m (9,060 ft)
 • Total1,235,456
 • Rank29th
 • Density44/km2 (110/sq mi)
  • Rank23rd
Time zonesUTC−7 (MST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−6 (MDT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
Postal code
Area code
ISO 3166 codeMX-NAY
HDIIncrease 0.785 (high)
Ranked 13th
GDPUS$ 4,281.52 mil[a]
WebsiteOfficial website
^ a. The state's GDP was 53,167,305 thousand pesos in 2008,[7] an amount corresponding to US$4.281 billion (a dollar worth 12.80 pesos as of June 3, 2010).[8]

Nayarit (Spanish pronunciation: [naʝaˈɾit]), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Nayarit (Spanish: Estado Libre y Soberano de Nayarit), is one of the 31 states that, along with Mexico City, comprise the Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 20 municipalities and its capital city is Tepic.

It is bordered by the states of Sinaloa to the northwest, Durango to the north, Zacatecas to the northeast and Jalisco to the south. To the west, Nayarit has a significant share of coastline on the Pacific Ocean, including the islands of Marías and Marietas. The beaches of San Blas and the so-called "Riviera Nayarit" are popular with tourists. Besides tourism, the economy of the state is based mainly on agriculture and fishing. It is also one of two states where the tarantula species Brachypelma klaasi is found, the other being Jalisco.

Home to Uto-Aztecan indigenous peoples such as the Huichol and Cora, the region was exposed to the conquistadores, Hernán Cortés and Nuño de Guzmán, in the 16th century. Spanish governance was made difficult by indigenous rebellions and by the inhospitable terrain of the Sierra del Nayar. The last independent Cora communities were subjugated in 1722. The state's name recalls the Cora people's label for themselves: Náayerite, commemorating Nayar, a resistance leader.[9]


Map of Nayarit before the Spanish Conquest of the Aztec Empire
The colonial contaduría (accounting offices) in the old port town of San Blas

Radiocarbon dating estimate Aztatlán colonization of the western Mexican coast – including parts of Sinaloa, Nayarit and Jalisco – as occurring as early as 900 AD, with some evidence suggesting it might have been as early as 520 AD. Encountered on the western coast by the Spanish invaders in 1500, the cultures were descended from these original Aztatlán settlements and other Classic-stage cultures who had merged with them.[10][11]

Hernán Cortés was the first known European to enter into the area now known as Nayarit, which he claimed for Spain as part of Nueva Galicia. Under Nuño de Guzmán, Spaniards took the region with considerable brutality, causing the indigenous inhabitants to revolt, in what was later referred to as the Mixtón War.[12][13] After almost two centuries of resistance, the last independent Cora communities were incorporated into Spanish administration by force in 1722. Then followed intense missionary efforts by Jesuits to convert the indigenous.[14]

In the colonial period, the port of San Blas was one of the most important trade ports on the American Pacific coast. Galleons transporting goods from Manila, the Philippines arrived here before the rise of the port of Acapulco.[citation needed] Today, the town still boasts colonial architecture from its heyday, such as the aduana (customs office), the contaduría (accounting offices) and the fortress that protected the port against pirates.[citation needed]

In Nayarit, the struggle for independence from Spain was initiated by the priest José María Mercado, who conquered Tepic and San Blas before being defeated and executed by Spanish royalists. In 1824, in the first constitution of the Mexican Republic, Nayarit was a part of Jalisco.[citation needed] In the mid-1800s Comanche Indians, from Texas and Oklahoma, attacked Tepic causing widespread destruction. During the second half of the 19th century, Nayarit was one of the most turbulent territories in Mexico. The population was in open revolt, demanding access to land.[15]

Nayarit was one of the last territories admitted as a state of the Mexican federation, which occurred on May 1, 1917.[16]


Sayulita on Nayarit's Pacific coast, a former fishing village now mostly given over to tourism, part of the area now marketed as "La Riviera Nayarit"

Nayarit covers 27,815 square kilometers (10,739 sq mi), making it one of the smaller states in Mexico.[17] Nayarit is located between latitude lines 23°05' north and 20°36' south and longitude lines 103°43' east and 105°46' west.[18] Its terrain is broken up by the western ends of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains. Its highest mountains are: San Juan, Sanguangüey, El Ceboruco, Cumbre de Pajaritos and Picachos.[19] Nayarit has two volcanoes, Ceboruco and Sangangüey. In the northeast are broad, tropical plains watered by the Río Grande de Santiago, a continuation of the Lerma River. The main state rivers are the Río Grande de Santiago, San Pedro Mezquital, Acaponeta, Ameca, and Las Cañas. The Río Grande de Santiago is the largest river in Nayarit. The Santiago and its tributaries are of major importance for agricultural irrigation. The Ameca and the Las Cañas lie on the border between Nayarit and the states of Jalisco and Sinaloa, respectively. Notable lagoons in Nayarit include Santa María del Oro, San Pedro Lagunillas and Agua Brava.[20][21]


Nayarit – as with all states of Mexico – is geographically divided into municipalities (municipios), creating twenty municipalities in Nayarit:


Nayarit's natural vegetation varies with altitude. The coastal lowlands and river valleys were originally covered with tropical dry forest, with many trees that lose their leaves during the dry season. The Sinaloan dry forests cover the northern coastal lowlands and extend up the valleys of the San Pedro Mezquital River and Río Grande de Santiago and its tributaries.[22] The Jalisco dry forests ecoregion covers coastal Nayarit south of San Blas and the Islas Marías.[23]

The Marismas Nacionales–San Blas mangroves, a network of coastal lagoons and tidal mangrove forests, extend along the state's northern coast and into adjacent Sinaloa. The mangroves are home to abundant wildlife, including migratory and resident waterbirds.[24]

The mountains are home to pine–oak forests, which vary with elevation. Oak forests and woodlands grow at lower elevations, interspersed with smaller areas of humid cloud forest in areas of higher rainfall. Higher elevations are home to forests of pine and oak, with forests of pine and other conifers at the highest elevations.[25]

Nayarit contains hundreds of miles of rain forest in the sierra. Its wildlife includes hundreds of bird species including the lilac-crowned amazon (Amazona finschi) and Mexican woodnymph (Thalurania ridgwayi). There are also 119 registered species of mammals, including white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), collared peccary (Dicotyles tajacu), caymans, armadillos and wild felines such as jaguarundi (Puma yagouarundi) and ocelot (Felis pardalis) and many more.[26] Unfortunately, most of the rain forest has been exploited, especially around the region of Santa María del Oro. The conservation and protection of the rain forest and wildlife of Nayarit is an issue of crucial importance.[27]

The Islas Marías were designated as the Islas Marías Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2010.[28]

Flora and fauna[edit]

Flora and fauna of Nayarit
Jaguarundi.jpg Micrurus tener.jpg Bark Scorpion.jpg Aquila chrysaetos Flickr.jpg Zenaida macroura2.jpg
Puma yagouaroundi,
eyra cat
coral snake
Centruroides suffusus,
bark scorpion
Aquila chrysaetos,
golden eagle
Zenaida macroura,
mourning dove
Amazona finschi -Xcaret Eco Park -Mexico-8a.jpg Crotalus basiliscus.jpg Odocoileus hemionus 20.JPG Canis latrans.jpg Falco peregrinus - 01.jpg
Amazona finschi,
lilac-crowned amazon
Crotalus basiliscus,
green rattler
Odocoileus hemionus,
mule deer
Canis latrans,
Falco peregrinus,
Agave tequilana 1.jpg Figa de moro 01.JPG Singapore Botanic Gardens Cactus Garden 2.jpg Cylindropuntia spinosior, with flower, Albuquerque.jpg Pinus ponderosa 9681.JPG
Agave tequilana,
tequila agave
Opuntia ficus-indica,
cactus pear
Echinocactus grusonii,
golden barrel cactus
Cylindropuntia imbricata,
cane cholla
Pinus ponderosa,
ponderosa pine


Archeological zone of Los Toriles


The state capital, Tepic, seen from the Cerro de la Cruz. Tepic is home to some 340,000 people.
Historical population
1895[6] 149,807—    
1900 150,098+0.2%
1910 171,173+14.0%
1921 163,183−4.7%
1930 167,724+2.8%
1940 216,698+29.2%
1950 290,124+33.9%
1960 389,929+34.4%
1970 544,031+39.5%
1980 726,120+33.5%
1990 824,643+13.6%
1995 896,702+8.7%
2000 920,185+2.6%
2005 949,684+3.2%
2010 1,084,979+14.2%
2015 1,181,050+8.9%
2020 1,235,456+4.6%

Nayarit is Mexico's twenty-ninth most populous state. According to the census of 2020, the state had a population of 1,235,456 and its population density was 39/km2.

Indigenous groups[edit]

Nayarit is the home to four indigenous groups: the Wixaritari (Huichol), the Naayeri (Cora), the Odam (Tepehuan) and the Nahuatl-speaking Mexicaneros. The indigenous groups mostly inhabit the Nayar highlands, but are also frequently encountered in Tepic and on the Pacific coast, where they have also established colonies. They are known for their crafts and artwork which they sell. About five percent of the state population speaks an indigenous language.[29]


Shrimp fisherman on the coast of Nayarit

Nayarit is predominantly an agricultural state, and produces a large variety of crops such as beans, sorghum, sugar cane, maize, tobacco, rice, chiles, peanuts, melons, tomatoes, coffee, mangoes, bananas, and avocados. In addition to these crops, livestock and fishing are also central to the local economy. Approximately six percent of the land in Nayarit is pasture land, with the most common livestock being cattle, horses, pigs, goats, and sheep. Nayarit has 289 kilometers of coastline, which provides an abundance of fish and shellfish, including bass, snapper, sharks, and oysters. There are over 75 cooperatives related to the fishing industry alone in Nayarit. Much of the food produced in Nayarit is exported to the larger urban areas surrounding Mexico City and Guadalajara, and much of the agricultural labor is performed by migrant laborers. Although mining exists in Nayarit, it is mostly of non-metallic substances such as limestone or kaolin.[30]

Beginning in the late 90's, Nayarit has become known as a producer of specialty Arabica coffee, regarded for its fine taste and high density beans grown in the volcanic soils of the Sierra Madre Occidental. Nayarit coffee is exported all over the world, including to the UK and Australia via the Grupo Terruño Nayarita farmers cooperative.[31]

In recent years, Nayarit has worked to build its tourism sector, marketing the "Riviera Nayarit" as a safe, beautiful destination served by Puerto Vallarta International Airport. Popular resort towns include Bucerías, Punta de Mita, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, San Blas, Santiago Ixcuintla, Sayulita and Tecuala. However, some residents in these and other towns are concerned that the growth in the tourism industry might have harmful impacts on the community.[30] Timeshare scams with links to the local Nayarit Mafia are quite common.[32]


Newspapers of Nayarit include: El Periódico en que Nayarit Opina Día a Día, El Semanario que refleja qué hay en Nayarit, Matutino Gráfico, Meridiano de Nayarit, and Realidades.[33][34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Diciembre en la Historia de Nayarit" [December in the History of Nayarit]. (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 19 January 2008.
  2. ^ "Nayarit". Senado de la República. Retrieved 20 November 2022.
  3. ^ "Listado de Diputados por Grupo Parlamentario del Estado de Nayarit". Camara de Diputados. Archived from the original on 20 July 2018. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
  4. ^ "Resumen". Cuentame INEGI. Archived from the original on 22 December 2010. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
  5. ^ "Relieve". Cuentame INEGI. Archived from the original on 8 December 2010. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
  6. ^ a b "México en cifras". January 2016.
  7. ^ "Jalisco". 2010. Archived from the original on 20 April 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2011.
  8. ^ "Reporte: Jueves 3 de Junio del 2010. Cierre del peso mexicano". Archived from the original on 8 June 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  9. ^ "El Nayar". Enciclopedia de los Municipios de México. Archived from the original on 2 May 2007. Retrieved 7 August 2007.
  10. ^ Mountjoy, Joseph B. (2013). "Aztatlan Complex". In Evans, Susan T.; Webster, David L. (eds.). Archaeology of Ancient Mexico and Central America: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 59. ISBN 9781136801853.
  11. ^ For a map showing important archaeological sites in Nayarit, refer to: Gorenstein, Shirley (2000). "Western and Northwestern Mexico". In Trigger, Bruce G.; et al. (eds.). The Cambridge History of the Native Peoples of the Americas. Cambridge University Press. p. 320. ISBN 9780521351652.
  12. ^ Pasztor, Suzanne B. (2004). "Nayarit (state)". In Coerver, Don M.; et al. (eds.). Mexico: An Encyclopedia of Contemporary Culture and History. ABC-CLIO. p. 323. ISBN 9781576071328.
  13. ^ Patch, Robert W. (2010). "Indian Resistance to Colonialism". In Beezley, William; Meyer, Michael (eds.). The Oxford History of Mexico. Oxford University Press. pp. 180–184. ISBN 9780199779932.
  14. ^ Coyle, Philip E. “The Customs of our Ancestros: Cora Religious Conversion and Millennailism, 2000-1722. Ethnohistory 45:3 (summer 1998), pp. 509-42.
  15. ^ Morales, Leopoldo R. (2001). El Nayarit de los años del general Romano: la historia documental de un gobernante. Universidad Autónoma de Nayarit. p. 5.
  16. ^ "Nayarit y Su History ("Nayarit and Its History")". H. Congreso del Estado de Nayarit. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014.
  17. ^ "Gov Mx". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  18. ^ "Map Gov Mx". Archived from the original on 1 March 2007. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  19. ^ "Nayarit" in The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. 2012, Columbia University Press
  20. ^ Pasztor, Suzanne B. (2012). "Nayarit". In Saragoza, Alex; et al. (eds.). Mexico Today: An Encyclopedia of Life in the Republic, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO. p. 459. ISBN 9780313349485.
  21. ^ Fernández, Marina Anguiano (1992). Nayarit: costa y altiplanicie en el momento del contacto (in Spanish). Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). p. 27. ISBN 9789683616067.
  22. ^ "Sinaloan dry forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.
  23. ^ "Jalisco dry forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.
  24. ^ "Marismas Nacionales/San Blas mangroves". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.
  25. ^ "Sierra Madre Occidental pine–oak forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.
  26. ^ Pulido Pérez, R. (1995). Diagnostico de la fauna silvestre en el estado de Nayarit/."Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ Kealy, Kelly; Duecy, Erica, eds. (2011). Fodor's Puerto Vallarta with the Riviera Nayarit, Costalegre, and Inland Jalisco. Random House. p. 33. ISBN 9781400004829.
  28. ^ "Islas María". UNESCO. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  29. ^ "Página no encontrada" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 January 2013.
  30. ^ a b Standish, Peter (2009). "Nayarit". The States of Mexico: A Reference Guide to History and Culture. Greenwood Publishing. pp. 251–252. ISBN 9780313342233.
  31. ^ "San Cristobal Coffee Importers". Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  32. ^ ""Nayarit Vacation Rentals"". Nayarit Vacation Rentals. Archived from the original on 1 December 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  33. ^ "Publicaciones periódicas en Nayarit". Sistema de Información Cultural (in Spanish). Gobierno de Mexico. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  34. ^ "Latin American & Mexican Online News". Research Guides. US: University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries. Archived from the original on 7 March 2020.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]