Paradise on the Pacific Ocean Side of Mexico
of Puerto Vallarta)
Our bed and breakfast, Mi
Casa es Su Casa, is less than an hour's drive north of Puerto Vallarta. It
is located in a beautiful area bypassed by most of the tourist crowd. We, Vicky
and myself, invite you to this quaint Mexican resort located by a beautiful palm-lined
beach on a blue-water bay dotted with islands.
give you a small idea of what you can expect, join us now for a jeep ride to Turtle
Its 8:45 AM and another
beautiful day in paradise. We, and our guests at our B&B, are loaded in our
jeep and headed for Turtle Beach.
is green, the mangoes are getting larger, they should be starting to ripen in
late May or early June. We see smoke back in the mountains. This means more rain
forests going down the tube. If they keep this up the day will be seen when there
are no more in Nayarit. I read somewhere that at the current rate all will be
gone in Mexico within 50 years. During my 6 years here in Guayabitos I keep seeing
them going and going. Oh, well, civilization, I guess that is progress.
pass Puerto de La Lima. The tobacco is starting to ripen, and all the fields look
good, even though it is getting toward the dry season. We pass the cut off to
Chacala and the many fruit stands. They sell so many nice things. A shame that
few gringos stop. Mostly they don`t know what the little packages contain. Many
types of fruit and coconut candies. Banana pastries. Honey, fruits, and melons.
San Ysidro, we stop at a small fruit stand on the right. They have maps of the
coast near Turtle Beach and the development which has been slowly going in during
the past few years. There are high mountains off to our right, which are Le Cumbre
and El Malinal. These are the places where our coffee beans come from. We roast
the green beans and grind them fresh daily.
of these little villages have topes (speed bumps) , so I drive slowly. The country
around us now is dominated by dry scrub trees. Not very hospitable looking and
the ground doesnt look fertile. Sad, because this area used to be a beautiful
Reaching the turnoff to Turtle
Beach, we turn left. It is 10:18 AM. We pass through many newly planted mango
groves and planted fields. The road curves and there is a sign that says 6.5 kilometers
to Playa Las Tortugas. We soon arrive in a coconut grove that stretches as far
as the eye can see to the south and the point of Punta Custodio to the north.
development here consists of about a half dozen very nice homes. Passing through
the home area we come to the end of the road and park. The beach is in front of
us and there is a large estuary on the right. The beach is long and beautiful.
If I only had balloon tires on the jeep I think I could drive all of the way to
Boca de Chila.
There are a couple of wrecked
buildings, downed power poles and much evidence of damage by Hurricane Kenna back
in October of 2002. A turtle hatchery was here. Because the green turtle is, or
was on the endangered list, eggs were gathered and brought here to escape poachers,
who would gather and sell them. Thousands were here and they, along with the buildings
that housed them, were destroyed. Hopefully the program will be restarted before
the summer season starts again.
We talk briefly
with a home owner who tells us that a new phase of the development has started
and more homes will be built. A nice place to get away from it all. It looks like
something you would find in the South Seas.
reboard the jeep and leave Turtle Beach in the direction we had come. Seeing a
hand written sign that says Crocodile 5 pesos, we turn toward the
estuary and finally come to a palapa and a few small pens containing crocodiles;
or at least I thought they were. A man comes out from the palapa and explains
that the penned animals are caimans and not crocodiles. For the life of me I cannot
tell the difference. Although the difference between alligators, crocodiles and
caimans has been explained to me many times I do not recall the difference. I
only know that where they swim I refuse.
further explained that his caimans were hungry because there was a shortage of
food for them. No one in our group, however, volunteered to go in and comfort
them. The gentleman cut off the ends on several coconuts and offered them to us
for the cool juice. It hit the spot because we were hot and thirsty.
in the jeep, we make another stop on this long beautiful beach. No one lives here
for miles and it ends at the mouth of Boca de Chila, the old pirate cove. Here
is the only road that I know of that will bring you to the beach. We get out and
snap a few photos. There are also miles of coconut groves and, according to a
couple of hard to get maps that we have, more estuaries, sand bars and other interesting
things. If only I had balloon tires on my jeep I would like to check out this
long isolated stretch, just to see what is there.
next stop is the beach at Platanitos. On the way there, we pass a defensive position
that is manned by Mexican Marines. What are they checking for? Going left and
down, we pass the beach and palapas. Last October this whole stretch of beach
was wiped clean by hurricane Kenna. It is nice to see that is has been largely
rebuilt. A few fishing pangas are scattered here and there. You can always eat
fresh catch here.
Leaving the beach we go left
around the small mountain and soon come to the estuary. Turtle Beach, where we
were earlier in the day, is right across the way. There is a clearing below and
I see cars parked. We could easily swim across or maybe wade. Who is afraid of
the caiman. Me??
Continuing on we come to
another small home development at Punto Custudio. We pass a short distance, find
a shady spot and have lunch. The usual, Turkey ham and cheese sandwiches, potato
chips, bread and butter pickles, pickled beets, small snacks, beer, soda and coffee.
filling ourselves, we drive on down the hill to Platanitos, park the jeep and
have a look around. I have heard that this place is scheduled for development
as soon as the ecologists are dealt with. Hotels, a golf course, homes and of
course a bridge across the estuary. Farewell to the little fishing village of
On the way home, we stop in Zacualpan.
Here, at the old semi roofless packing shed, are the children of the workers that
we helped this morning on our way to Turtle Beach. We pass out all of the clothing
and candy we have with us and promise to return again with more food and clothing.
has arrived when we return to our B&B. Our guests and ourselves relax and
enjoy locally grown tropical fruits and juices. Then well decide what well
do tomorrow. Perhaps it will be a river trip with lots of birds and even crocodiles,
a hike to hidden waterfalls, a swim in a mountain lake, go see a steaming volcano,
soak in a hot spring, snorkel, ride a bicycle, go fishing, or just lay on the