Proposed development in San Pancho, Nayarit. Proposed development in San Pancho, Nayarit.

Beachfront project meets opposition

Lack of infrastructure, scarcity of water cited by opponents of San Pancho development

A residential development project planned for San Pancho in the Riviera Nayarit is encountering fierce opposition from a group of local residents who question its viability and believe it poses a threat to the small town.


The Punta Paraíso project proposes the construction of two six-story apartment buildings and one three-story condominium in the small Pacific coast community but residents say that the social and cultural impact of the development along with a lack of urban infrastructure make it unfeasible.

The development, which includes a total of 65 new apartments, is backed by Canadian investors who are collaborating with Mexican real estate development company Lemmus.

A scarcity of drinking water is one of the biggest barriers to the project, according to a blog post by the Alianza de la Costa Verde.

“It seems schizophrenic to promote further tourism development of the region without resolving the water shortage problem,” the post reads.

The group also argues that deficiencies in the sewer system and garbage collection make the project unviable as it would place significant new pressure on already failing infrastructure.

“Large parts of Bahía de Banderas are practically bathed in sewage, which presents a great danger to the health of residents and tourists,” the blog post continues.


In addition, the group says the proximity of the development to the waterfront will affect turtles and the dune environment and “usurp” the beach from the public. Increased traffic and the blocking of sea views and breezes are further factors that disgruntled residents say will upset the tranquility of the town and threaten its future as a quiet, close-knit community.

San Pancho

There are also claims that the project supervisor — who is also the secretary of the municipal branch of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) — plans to bring in workers from the neighboring state of Jalisco rather than providing much needed employment for locals.

Residents met earlier this week to form a citizens’ council with the stated objective of working with local authorities for the “common good and improvement of the town.”

The Punta Paraíso project is “the tip of the iceberg” of a failed tourism development policy in the Bahía de Banderas municipality and the state of Nayarit, the group argues.

There is, however, another group of residents who have a different view of the project.

That group believes it will bring employment and greater prosperity to the small town although it too has expressed some concerns about overdevelopment.

San Pancho, as the town officially called San Francisco is better known, is located seven kilometers north of the popular beach town Sayulita and about 45 kilometers north of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco.

Source: Noticias de la Bahía (sp) Riviera Nayarit One (sp)

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  • cruz_ctrl

    i live in san pancho and this project should be stopped. no buildings higher than the palm trees and definitely not on the beach. there is no infrastructure in place to support a project like this… (water, sewage, garbage pick up, parking, wifi) btw, i have been here since 1983 so i have seen many changes and i am not against change per se. but we need it to be environmentally and civicly responsible.

  • John Milonas

    They will do it anyway. Cartel money.

    • Yachats

      I think they mentioned Canadian investors.

      • Pat

        Yachats You shouldn’t believe everything to read in or about Mexico. Especially if it comes from the government. BTW–are you in Yachats Oregon?

      • Valdimar Huerta

        have you ever heard the word laundry?

    • cruz_ctrl

      this has nothing to do with cartels. some saskatchewan real estate guy who cobbled together a group of investors hoping to capitalize on the growing trend of gringos retiring in mx.

      • Valdimar Huerta

        sure you bet! jajaja

      • Normando

        Totally agree Cruz, I’ve seen it happen all up and down the west coast of MX for the past 30 years. Just about the time an idyllic place becomes the place to go, some gringo entity wants to “make some money” and exploit the place! Prices triple, crime is up 300%,utilities are maxed, property prices go off the charts…Then all the restaurants are owned by gringos, and then visitors say…OMG! I thought Mexico was different than Vancouver!….


  • Becky Milward

    A decade and a half ago, we built a beautiful house on a lovely, small cove at the far end of the jungle road. Dang—San Pancho was a gloriously, simple treasure at that time. Please, please don’t destroy that precious place.

    • cruz_ctrl

      right on, Becky! thanks for taking the time to comment. 🙂

    • AlanGoldstein

      I bought a home in San Pancho because I appreciate the qualities of the town as they exist now. Our plan is to retire there in a few years. I understand the desire for growth but we don’t want to see the architectural look and character of the town change into just another resort town with a bunch of modern looking condos and large hotels.

      I think future growth could be an expansion of the architectural style that exists now… more Mexican style “city” homes and businesses, shops and restaurants like the ones the pueblo has now. And more larger somewhat hidden homes in the current projects around the golf course and up in the hills.

      This place is an interesting mix of an authentic Mexican town with modest Mexican homes and very up scale homes that enhance the look and feel of the community. I don’t see a valid reason to alter that mix just so one group of outside investors can benefit by building something that clearly does not fit in with what is currently there. And the people who buy those condos, by their very action of purchasing a home that does not fit in, are clearly not interested in maintaining what makes San Pancho so special

      If San Pancho does not maintain its authenticity there will be nothing to differentiate it from countless other vacation resort towns.

  • Valdimar Huerta

    more cartel mon ey being cleaned up!
    If you have ever been to this pretty little town you know it is just clinging to an infastructure that is at the breaking point!
    even at that spills are regular and water outages are often!
    Hang on San Pancho don,t be over come limd your nieghbors to the south the magic sespool of Sayulita or to the north the tird floating rincon de Guyabitos!
    You may be the only ond left with a chance! good luck!

    • cruz_ctrl

      thanks for your encouragement, Valdi… (not the famous Canadian musician)… you are right. it is a pretty little town and it is on the verge of collapse. i hope you will tell us more about the “chance” we have. how can we resist this “development”? what would you suggest? thank you.

  • Jennifer Burke

    “Punta Paraíso” is one of a few unfortunate projects being built with no concern for the town’s fragile infrastructure or the current residents. We have a 14 room illegal hotel going up behind our home in San Pancho. The municipal government has done nothing to enforce their own zoning laws, which prohibit a business of this type to be built in a residential neighborhood. The municipal government seems to be catering to money and development. With all of the crazy building that has hit San Pancho, it is clear that the government of Bahía de Banderas has not properly considered the horrible environmental and cultural impact that rapid, irresponsible growth will have have San Pancho.

  • lang_eddy

    This is just a bad case of a cartel trying to rid itself of money, in order to make more money. I don’t agree with Valdimar with his comments about Guayabitos. We already see what over-development can bring in these small towns. There is a danger with the water treatment plants in these small towns. We, in Guayabitos cannot stand anymore development until all the small towns have proper ways of dealing with the garbage which is already over-flowing. Stop this massive development in San Pancho and in other small towns.