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Nayarit is one of Mexico’s 31 states and is located on the central west coast, bordering the Pacific Ocean. Nayarit is surrounded by the states of Sinaloa to the northwest, Durango to the north, Zacatecas to the northeast and Jalisco to the south with the Pacific Ocean bordering it to the west. Also in Nayarit are the cities and towns of Tepic, Ixtlan del Rio, Xalisco, Tuxpan, Santiago Ixcuintla, Acaponeta, Compostela, Tecuala, Ahuacatlán, Santa María del Oro, Amatlán de Cañas, San Blas, Matanchen, Zacualpan, Chacala and as well as the island settlement of Mexcaltitán. Also belonging to the state are the Islas Marias, Islas Tres Marietas and Isla Isabel, all in the Pacific Ocean. Its capital is Tepic, which is located inland and south on the Tepic River. Nearby is the Sangangüey volcano and the crater lake.

Nayarit covers 26,908 square kilometers (10,389.2 sq mi), making it one of the smaller states of Mexico. Nayarit is located between latitude lines 23°05' north and 20°36' south and longitude lines 103°43' east and 105°46' west. Its terrain is broken up by the western ends of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains. Its highest mountains are: San Juan, Sanguangüey, El Ceboruco, Cumbre de Pajaritos and Picachos. Nayarit has two volcanoes, Ceboruco and Sangangüey. In the northeast are broad, tropical plains watered by the Río Grande de Santiago, a continuation of the Lerma River. The main state rivers are the Río Grande de Santiago, San Pedro, Acaponeta, Ameca and Las Cañas. The last two also form natural boundaries with the states of Jalisco and Sinaloa, respectively. Nayarit also has several lagoons such as the Santa María del Oro, San Pedro Lagunillas and Agua Brava.