NileGuide Expert tip:
While in San Pancho you'll want to eat at La Ola Rica and Mar Plata -- two award winning restaurants. Also, stop in EntreAmigos, a non-profit store that benefits the local schools.
San Francisco (San Pancho to the locals) is a sleepy little fishing village just an hour north of Puerto Vallarta and three miles north of Sayulita. This little pueblo didn't even exist until 1972 when Mexico's President Echeveria landed his helicopter on San Pancho's stunning mile long beach fell in love. After striking a deal with the handful of locals living in palapas and making their living fishing, construction started. Today San Pancho has about 1,500 full time residents. In winter the number swells to almost 2,000 as the North Americans return to spend the winter. San Pancho remains the quintessential quaint fishing village, but with a new flair. No one leaves San Pancho without talking about the food – from street tacos to high end eateries and everything in between. Even today, the beach is a tranquil and beautiful oasis. No beach vendors here, just a couple of good restaurants on the sand where you can watch the fishermen bring in their daiy catch. If you can only spend one night in San Pancho, make sure you come on Saturdays and watch the polo match (yes you read that right – there is a polo field in San Pancho) and the free entertainment that follows in a surreal environment.