San Francisco, fondly nicknamed “San Pancho”, is a small traditional beach town located on Mexico’s Pacific coast, just 48 km (30 miles) north of Puerto Vallarta. 

It has a population of approximately 1,000 people. Local fishermen bring in red snapper (huachinango), mahi mahi (dorado), oysters, and lobsters daily. The surrounding jungle is home to many birds, butterflies, iguanas, armadillos, ocelots and jaguar. And if you gaze out onto the ocean long enough, you’re bound to see whales and dolphins.

The beach is only three blocks from Hotel Cielo Rojo. It’s great for swimming and boogie boarding, and the surrounding are has very popular spots for surfers, both local and international. While you are here, make sure you take many leisurely strolls on the beach and enjoy the serene beauty and fresh ocean air. San Pancho offers some of the most beautiful and dramatic sunsets anywhere, thus we named the hotel “Cielo Rojo”, which means “red sky.” There are many other beaches to discover nearby, up and down the coast.

San Pancho is a mix of old and new, and the natural beauty and slow pace truly makes it the perfect retreat for peace, relaxation and new discoveries. Although there are plenty of opportunities for dining and drinking in San Pancho, if you want noisier diversion, nearby Sayulita offers loud bars, places to dance.


There are many fun activities available for visitors who want action:

Surfing/SUP Lessons (view local surf forecast)
Whale Watching
Hiking: Jungle or Beach Walks
Birding with Birding San Pancho
Turtle Release
Day Trip to the Marietta Islands
Tours to Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara or Tequila
Golfing at Las Huertas Golf Club
Horseback Riding
Polo Games at La Patrona Polo & Equestrian Club
Yoga Classes
Dance Classes
Art Classes at Entre Amigos Community & Educational Center

Spanish classes


Every Tuesday, San Pancho hosts a weekly farmers and crafts market from November–May. The town has many delightful shops filled with traditional and artisanal crafts, clothing and art.

Our staff will be happy to arrange private or group tours or any of the activities listed.