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San Blas

(4/5 based on 340+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: beaches, nature, historic sites
San Blas is both a municipality and municipal seat located on the Pacific coast of Mexico in the state of Nayarit.CitySan Blas is a port and a popular tourist destination, located about 160 km north of Puerto Vallarta, and 64 km west of the state capital Tepic. The town has a population of 8,707.MunicipalityThe total municipality had a population of 37,478 in 2005. The Islas Marías, site of an infamous prison colony, are part of the municipality.HistorySan Blas was founded in 1531, but the official date of founding is 1768, when Don Manuel Rivera and 116 families arrived on the orders of the Viceroy of New Spain, Marqués de Croix, under the supervision of José de Gálvez, who was visitador general ("inspector") of New Spain.San Blas was the port from which the Spanish priest Junípero Serra, Father President of the California Missions, departed for California. He left on March 12, 1768 from the nearby Las Islitas beach on Matanchen Bay, in the locally built barque Purísima Concepción.In May 1768, San Blas was designated as a new naval base for the Spanish Navy. At first, only two ships were assigned to the port: the packet boat San Carlos, commanded by Juan Pérez, and El Principe, commanded by Vicente Vila. Gálvez ordered four new vessels to be built, one of which was the schooner Sonora, later sailed in 1775 by Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra to Alaska.
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