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White sand, blue waters -- what more could you want?

We just got back from Riviera Nayarit in western Mexico, known for its 190 miles of beautiful sandy beaches, wonderful resorts, and world-class golf. We went all over — from the hopping south to the remote northern areas — and fell in love with the dozens of small, charming towns that dot the coast, the region’s friendly locals, the awesome surfing spots, and the laid-back vibe.

We investigated some of Riviera Nayarit’s top hotels and snapped almost 12,000 photos. And you definitely won’t want to miss our prestigious awards lists and editor’s expert recommendations — including kid-friendly, value, and luxury hotels — based on our recent inspections. Check out more awesome pics after the jump.