capital and largest city of the Mexican state of Nayarit

Tepic is the capital city of Nayarit. Nestled in a verdant valley with vestiges of the Sierra Occidental here and there, Tepic can be a little muggy and wet from April to November but otherwise offers lots of sunshine and can be an interesting destination or embarkation point to the Nayarit Riviera.

Understand edit

It was established in 1531 after Hernando Cortes and his sidekick Nuño de Guzmán claimed the area as Nueva Galicia for Spain while ravaging the Uto-Aztecan peoples like the Cora and Huichol. Guzman spared no opportunity in whetting his bloodlust while going here and there trying to uncover the fabled Cibola, that is, Seven Cities of Gold. The savagery led to revolt by the indigenous people with the Mixton War a few years later. When things settled, Tepic became an agricultural center for commodities like peanuts, citrus, and even coffee, though it remained a restive area.

While there isn't a whole lot to see or do in Tepic, it is a perfectly pleasant medium-sized Mexican city.

Get in edit

By plane edit

  • 1 Tepic International Airport (TPQ IATA Amado Nervo International Airport) (south of Tepic in the municipality of El Pantanal), +52 311 214 1850. This regional airport sees very light traffic, only having connections to Mexico City and Tijuana via Volaris. Alternative airports might be Puerto Vallarta or Guadalajara.    

By car edit

  •   &   Federal Highway 15/Tollway 15D extends from Mazatlan to Guadalajara, passing through Tepic about halfway. Several highways connect Tepic to San Blas and the Pacific Coast/Riviera Nayarit, but particularly useful is probably the new Tepic-San Blas expressway (enter either via the Guatemala-Tepic Hwy or Insurgentes Avenue). It used to be that the regular highway between Mazatlan to Tepic was considered quite dangerous for driving and using the toll road instead was advised; this may still be wise.
  •   La Carretera Tepic-Puerto Vallarta continues south as the Pacific Highway (Caretera Pacifico) from Tepic along the Pacific coast through Xalisco towards Puerto Vallarta and beyond, while MX Hwy 15D turns inland toward Guadalajara. Hwy 200 begins/ends at its junction with MX-Hwy 15D on the south side of with a sign reading "Tepic Centro/Puerto Vallarta". Going north into town it becomes Blvd Tepic-Xalisco.
  •   De los Insurgentes goes 51 km (32 mi) west from town to Santa Cruz de Miramar at the coast. It goes across as a two road most of the way.

By bus edit

Get around edit

The centro is small and walkable. For farther flung destinations, the ride hailing services Uber and Didi are available.

See edit

 
Catedral de Tepic (Nuestra Señora de la Asunción) contrapicado
 
Juan Escutia on 13 September 1847
  • 1 Tepic Cathedral, Av México Nte 246 (adjacent to the Plaza Principal), +52 311 212 2074. The original religious structure here was built in 1750, but the present stems from 1885, fashioned in a Neo-Gothic style, and which now serves as a diocese. The cathedral was heavily damaged by the 2022 Michoacán earthquake and as of January 2024 is still closed for repairs, although there is hope that the repairs will be completed sometime in 2024.  
  • 2 Plaza Principal, Amado Nervo Pte. 37. Tepic's central square, with a monument and people selling handicrafts. A great place to watch activity go on in Tepic.
  • 3 Casa Museo Juan Escutia, Miguel Hidalgo Ote. 71, +52 311 212 3390. Tu-Su 10:00-14:00, 16:00-19:00; closed M. This is an interesting museum about the local boy hero who supposedly jumped off the Castle of Chapultepec wrapped in the Mexican flag rather than let the nasty American imperialists under General Winfield Scott take it, during the Battle of Chapultepec in 1847. All displays are captioned in Spanish only, but you may be able to ask for a tour in English. Free.  
  • 4 Museo Regional de Nayarit, Av México Nte 91, +52 311 212 1900. M-F 09:00-18:00, Sa 09:00-15:00, closed Su. Part of INAH system of museums in Mexico, has intriguing display of exhibits pertaining to topics like precolonial and natural history. ~M$55.
  • 5 Centro Estatal de Culturas Populares e Indigenas (CECUPI), Av México Nte 105, +52 311 212 1705. Tu-Sa 10:00-14:00, 16:00-18:00; Su 10:00-14:00, closed M. Museum about indigenous cultures in a historic colonial building, right across from the regional museum.
  • 6 Centro de Arte Contemporáneo del Bicentenario Emilia Ortíz, Miguel Hidalgo 17, +52 311 216 0389. Tu-Su 09:00-18:00, closed M. For the art enthusiasts out there.
  • 7 Interactive Science Museum (Museo Interactivo de Ciencias e innovación de Nayarit), Av Emilio Gonzalez (across from Hospital Puerta de Hierro Tepic on southeast side of city), +52 311 456 1531. Planetarium and science exhibits, probably especially for kids.

Do edit

  • 1 Sierra de San Juan (look for parking lot (Estacionamiento) on west side directly off of Lib. Nogales (i.e. Guadalajara-Tepic Hwy)). A great mountain hike on the periphery of the city that rewards you with some outstanding views of Tepic and surroundings.
  • 2 Parque La Loma, Puebla 239. Tepic's principal city park, though there is nothing of particular note here, just vendor stalls and trees and some sense of peace.
  • 3 Juan Escutia Park, Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada Pte. 390. This city park has a memorial to the "hero boy" Juan Escutia. To the southwest across Av Ignacio Allende is the Alameda de Tepic where there is a small aviary.  

Buy edit

You can find an large and varied collection of ATMs inside the 1 Palacio de Gobierno, but note the building is only open on weekdays from 8:00-16:00.

Marketplaces edit

  • 2 Mercado Morelos, Calle Emiliano Zapata Poniente. Daily 06:00-17:00. Kind of like an indoor flea market. Lots of food vendors to get tortas and such things too.
  • 3 Mercado Juan Escutia Juan Escutia Market, Puebla Nte. 273A (catty-corner from central plaza). Daily 06:00-19:00. Lots of leather works and little trinkets and doodads.

Shopping centers edit

  • 4 Liverpool, Av México Nte 104, +52 311 215 4000. Daily 09:00-21:00. In case you need to do some department store shopping, this probably won't disappoint.
  • 5 Forum Tepic, Blvrd Luis Donaldo Colosio 680, Benito Juárez Oriente. Daily 11:00-21:00. Shopping mall: Sears, Liverpool, cinema, etc.

Eat edit

You're not exactly spoiled for choice of eating options in Tepic, although what there is is usually quite good.

Budget edit

  • 1 Baja Cali, Querétaro Norte 107, +52 311 212 6666. M-Sa 09:00-16:00. Excellent fish and shrimp tacos. Terrible customer service.
  • 2 Sayulita Tortas Gigantes (corner of Ave. Ignacio Allende Pte and Calle Estadios), +52 311 441 1796. 08:00-20:00 daily. Big tortas. M$80-150.

Mid-range edit

  • 3 Restaurante La Gloria Bar & Grill, Av México Nte 212, +52 311 160 5411. ~Su-Th 08:00-23:00, ~Sa Su 08:00-01:00. Nice deck, enjoy your favorite Nayarit cuisine while looking over the zócalo. Try the arrachera (hanger steak). M$100-300.
  • 4 Chile Verde, Av. Paseo de la Loma 199, Fray Junípero Serra (across the street from Parque la Loma), +52 311 213 2080. 07:30 - 21:00. Enjoyable, family friendly restaurant with outdoor patio seating, traditional Mexican cuisine, attentive service, and affordable prices. Opens early, so good choice for breakfast. M$100-200.

Splurge edit

  • 5 Roberto's, Av. Paseo de la Loma 457, Centro (across the street from Parque Loma), +52 311 213 3005. 13:00 - 00:00. Elegant dining room with an international menu that includes a variety of crepes and seafood dishes, like oysters rockefeller, tequila shrimp, and grilled huachinango. Extensive wine list and a good range of artesanal cervezas as well as tequilas and mezcals.

Drink edit

There isn't much nightlife in Tepic, and most drinking establishments and discotheques are located well away from the city center. For a simple beer or cocktail with a lovely view of the zocalo, head to the Restaurante La Gloria Bar & Grill mentioned in the Eat section above.

Sleep edit

Budget edit

  • 1 Hotel Los Girasoles, Calle Lerdo #181, +52 311 216 2651. If you're looking for a budget place, this is a pretty workable choice, being in the heart of the city and having hot water, TV, a/c, and wifi. The environs might look a little rough and ragged along the street, but it is a doable accommodation. M$501.
  • 2 Casa Violeta, Sierra de Picachos 52a, +52 311 160 0700. This hostel can be a place to meet people and serves good coffee and pizza in the restaurant on site. The location is not too lively, in a residential area. M$280 for dorm bed (approx).

Mid-range edit

Splurge edit

  • 5 Hotel Fray Junípero Serra, Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada Pte. 23, +52 311 212 2525. Kind of a longstanding institution in Tepic, right on the square. Restaurant/bar, room service, gym, wifi, and free breakfast. Views are tops though if you get the right room. M$1043.
  • 6 Hotel Real de Don Juan, Av México Nte, +52 311 216 1888. This hotel may think a little too highly of itself, but the old architecture and the rooftop pool terrace with views of the presidential palace and square next door are kind of gratifying. Throw in a fitness center and a bar and restaurant that serves tasty breakfasts, and it has the makings of a hotel. M$1123.

Connect edit

Telcel provides 5G coverage throughout the city.

Stay safe edit

As of January 2024, the Canadian government advises avoiding non-essential travel to Tepic due to violence and organized crime. The town of Xalisco, just south of Tepic, is a narcotics trade epicenter and probably isn't wise to go poking around in.

Cope edit

Go next edit

  • San Blas – 55 km in the west with a beach. It is only about an hour away by car via the San Blas-Tepic Expressway. Or alternatively a bus service, Grupo Estrella Blanca, has almost hourly service there.
Routes through Tepic
MazatlánSantiago Ixquintla  N   E  TequilaGuadalajara


This city travel guide to Tepic is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.