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.
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. Unfortunately, it also became somewhat of a cartel violent hotspot, though in 2020 this was said to be lessened and that Nayarit was now one of the ten safest states in Mexico.
- 1 Tepic International Airport (TPQ IATA Amado Nervo International Airport) (south of Tepic in the municipality of El Pantanal), ☏ . This regional airport sees very light traffic, only having connections to Mexico City and Tijuana via AeroMar and Volaris, respectively. Alternative airports might be Puerto Vallarta or Guadalajara.
No train service.
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.
- Omnibus de Mexico, Av. Tecnológico 2980, ☏ . Major intercity bus line serving Tepic.
- Tepic Plus, Av. Tecnológico 3994, ☏ . 04ː00-20ː00 daily. Another cross-country bus line.
- Dollar Car Rental, Aeropuerto Internacional De Tepic- Amado Nervo El Pantanal (in airport), ☏ . 07ː00-21ː00 daily.
- 1 Tepic Cathedral, Av México Nte 246 (sits on zocalo (town square)), ☏ . 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.
- 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, ☏ . 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. free.
- 4 Museo Regional de Nayarit, Av México Nte 91, ☏ . 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, ☏ . 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, ☏ . 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), ☏ . Planetarium and science exhibits, probably especially for kids.
- 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.
- 1 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.
- 2 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.
Modern shopping centersEdit
- 1 Restaurante La Gloria Bar & Grill, Av México Nte 212, ☏ . ~Su-Th 08:00-23:00, ~Sa Su 08:00-01:00. Nice deck, enjoy your favorite Nayarit cuisine while looking over the zócalo.
- 1 Hotel Los Girasoles, Calle Lerdo #181, ☏ . 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, ☏ . 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).
- 3 Hotel Boutique Casa Mariano, Vicente Guerrero 75, ☏ . Nice decor and balconies. M$481-882.
- 4 City Express Tepic, Colima 93 Sur Col, ☏ . A modern midtown hotel, part of a chain, with a hot breakfast buffet and fitness machines. No pool though. M$742.
- 5 Hotel Fray Junípero Serra, Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada Pte. 23, ☏ . 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, ☏ . 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.
As with the rest of Mexico, pay attention to your safety in Tepic. For specific guidelines, see the safety section in the main Wikivoyage Mexico article.
San Blas 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|
|Mazatlán ← Santiago Ixquintla ←||N E||→ Tequila → Guadalajara|