I had never been out of the country before, so I was beyond excited to go to Riviera Nayarit, Mexico with nine of my best friends known as the GenZ Guys and Girls. The Riviera Nayarit is nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Western Sierra Madre Mountains with a coastline that stretches for almost 200 miles. We flew into Puerto Vallarta International Airport and couldn’t wait to get on the bus to our hotel.
After about a 20 – 30-minute ride my GenZ friends and I arrived at what would our home for the trip, the beautiful Reflect Resort Krystal Grand Nuevo Vallarta. We were greeted with cool towels to refresh our faces and wonderful bellman to take care of our luggage. Check in was quick and easy and we were in our room in no time with a special VIP backpack of goodies.
Our suite was amazing! Our room with a balcony overlooked the swimming pools and had a spectacular view of the beach and the Pacific Ocean. The room was spacious with two beds, a refrigerator full of complimentary drinks for our adventures, a dining table, a television, additional bench seating, and a beach bag with pool towels ready to go. I met the group for lunch at the O Restaurant which was an International buffet with food that made even the pickiest of our group happy. The restaurant served breakfast, lunch, and dinner and the food was delicious!
Back on the bus we went for our first adventure “Fiesta en el Rancho” at Vista Paraiso. What an experience! There were carnival games where you could win prizes, animals such as miniature horses, little pigs, peacocks, horses, food and fun! There was also a mechanical bull that some of my crazy friends rode while I kept my feet on the ground. We were then called to the rodeo to watch cowboys ride bulls, beautiful horses prance in the arena, and people dance. I was picked to join in the fun and ended up riding a donkey in a race! After the rodeo we were treated to a delicious traditional Mexican dinner.
Exhausted from the long day, we went back to the hotel but were too excited to sleep. The teens in our group headed to the hotel game room while the parents sat by the pool and enjoyed the view.
Our first full day with my GenZ friends in Mexico started off with breakfast at the O Restaurant before we boarded our bus for a day of ATV riding and Ziplining back at the Vista Paraiso. The group was divided in half (boys and girls) and we were off on our adventures. My adventure started out with an ATV ride with my GenZ friends. I had never ridden an ATV before, and it was a blast! We went through the town, across the fields and mountain terrain and even splashed through a few mud puddles. It was about a 2-hour ride of fun with a lot of laughs throughout the morning. Once we parked our ATV’s we had a quick bite at the ranch before starting our next extreme adventure on the zipline.
Our guides got us all geared up and loaded in a truck to climb up the mountain to the first of 10 zip lines that would eventually take us back down the mountain. It was quite the adventure that took us across trees and gave us amazing views of the ocean and the countryside. The last two zip lines were the longest and of course the most fun! Back at the hotel we had the dinner buffet (yes, again!) and more fun in the game room before turning in to rest up for the next day.
The GenZ gang had an early start the next day with a quick breakfast before we boarded our bus to La Cruz de Huanacaxlte for the tour with Punta Mita Expeditions on the Pacific Lounge Experience. This was my favorite day! We boarded a beautiful boat with a fantastic crew and headed out to sea. We saw several whales, which was AMAZING! We were so close it was unbelievable. Once the boat anchored near a reef we went snorkeling and paddle boarding. We were able to paddle board out to a secluded beach area where my friends and I explored and played in a tide pool before paddling back to the boat and returning to the hotel.
At the hotel we changed into our swimsuits and hung out at the biggest pool on the property. The hotel had 3 pools total. The big one we were in, an adult only pool and a gorgeous infinity pool. I also discovered my love for virgin strawberry daiquiris which my friends and I would order whenever we had the chance. That night we were treated to an amazing dinner at the Ayami restaurant. This was a Pan-Asian/Teppanyaki restaurant. The night started off with a performance by the bartender on the outside patio who made the kids nonalcoholic drinks and the parents a special concoction before going inside for the Teppanyaki. The chefs amazed us with their skills and the food was fabulous too. It was the perfect end to a perfect day.
Our last full day in Mexico took us to Sayulita and surf lessons with Luna Azul Surf School. Many of my friends had never been surfing before so this was quite an experience. We had a brief lesson before we hit the waves. Let’s just say I’m not entering a surfing contest anytime soon, but I had a great time. The waves were perfect, the instructors were great, and the laughter was endless.
Before lunch, my GenZ buddies and I explored the colorful, quaint town of Sayulita. We enjoyed taking photos and checking out all the little shops. Lunch was at a restaurant called Don Pedros. It was a beachside restaurant with a variety of food from pizza to lobster.
Tired and full we headed back to the hotel for more pool time and exploring the hotel. Being teenagers we were always hungry and the hotel didn’t disappoint. We could get snacks at one of the many outdoor snack bars or at the coffee shop, not to mention one of the several restaurants on property.
Our last GenZ dinner was at the beautiful Hacienda El Mortero restaurant which was very elegant, not to mention delicious. Dinner was a little bit sad since it was our last night together as a group for a while. We spent the time talking and laughing and planning our next adventure. After dinner we hung out at the game room (where else would teenagers go) while the adults watched the stage show by the pool.
One last breakfast at our favorite buffet and then it was off the airport and the end of our Gen Z adventure in Riviera Nayarit. A special thank you to Reflect Resort Krystal Grand Nuevo Vallarta. It was an amazing all-inclusive resort with fantastic service, delicious restaurants, and plenty of activities for everyone in your family. If you would like to see more of my adventure please visit my YouTube: https://youtu.be/fmzWwu7i44c. And for more information about the Riviera Nayarit, visit their website: Riviera Nayarit.
Contributor: Connor Dean
Actor and USTA Tennis Player. Best known as the fan favorite Butch the Bully in the Cool Cat Movie Series.