Sol, Arena, y Olas – The Pacific Coast of Mexico

For two weeks we basked in the sun (sol), dug our toes into the sand (arena), and played in the waves (olas) as we traveled over 1000 miles down the Pacific coast of Mexico from Mazatlán to Puerto Escondido.

Our first stop was near the little town of Teacapán, where we had a lovely campsite right on the beach. Alas, there were no waves, but the water was warm and we were visited by some egrets and treated to a lovely sunset.

Camping on the beach near Teacapán.

Camping on the beach near Teacapán.

Palmy sunset.

Palmy sunset.

Egret on the beach.

Egret on the beach.

Along the road to Teacapán we passed field after field of chilies and tomatoes. The chilies were dried on tarps in the sun right along the side of the road. The farm workers were all very friendly and smiled and waved as we drove by.

Loading up the dried chilies near Teacapán.

Loading up dried chilies near Teacapán.

Close up of one of the endless tomato fields.

Close up of one of the endless tomato fields.

Curious audience.

Curious audience.

Chilies as far as the eye could see.

Chilies, chiles, chiles…

Trucks waiting to be loaded with chilies and tomatoes.

Trucks waiting to be loaded from the fields.

On the way to and from Teacapán we passed through the busy little town of Escuinapa, where we stopped to buy some groceries and snap a few photos. Here’s a taste of some typical street views in small-town Mexico.

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Escuinapa

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Escuinapa

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Escuinapa

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Escuinapa

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Escuinapa

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Escuinapa

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Escuinapa

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Escuinapa

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Escuinapa

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Escuinapa

 

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Escuinapa

Hobie is a great traveler, he knows when it’s time to go and hops into his little nest of blankets in the back of the van.

Hobie hiding in his nest.

Hobie in his nest.

We spent one night in the cute little town of San Blas, which is known for its lively town square, nice beach, and swarming masses of jejenes, or no-see-ums. San Blas is right next to a large area of lagoons, which are full of birds and crocodiles, and make the perfect breeding grounds for insects. We managed to get pretty lucky and camped for free right out on the public beach, where there was enough of a breeze to limit the jejenes, and our bug nets took care of the rest.

San Blas and the surrounding towns are very proud to be the mango capital of 2014. These signs were pasted everywhere.

San Blas and the surrounding towns are very proud to be the mango capital of 2014. These signs were posted everywhere.

Lagoon near San Blas.

Lagoon near San Blas.

Beautiful sunset at an RV park near San Blas.

Tim and Hobie watching a beautiful sunset at an RV park south of San Blas.

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Flowering tree at sunset.

But still no waves, so we moved on down the coast. We stopped at the very popular gringo backpacker and surfer hangout of Sayulita and finally saw the perfect sized waves for the longboard, but unfortunately everyone else saw them too and the lineup was totally packed. We boondocked for the night in an alleyway between fancy yuppie American houses in the nearby town of San Pacho, caught a few waves in the early morning before they were too crowded, and then kept heading south.

Finally a big southern swell hit. We asked for waves and boy did we get waves! The first day of the swell brought in enormous overhead breakers that thundered down on the beaches and sent huge towers of spray up into the air when the returning waves collided with the incoming ones. We had a perfect vantage point to watch these beasts wrap around our camp spot on a small point near Playa Chalacatepec.

Playa Chalacatepec

Our campsite at Playa Chalacatepec

Playa Chalacatepec

Playa Chalacatepec

Playa Chalacatepec

Waves!

Playa Chalacatepec

Emily and Chimera at Playa Chalacatepec

Playa Chalacatepec

Tim, Hobie, and Chimera at Playa Chalacatepec

Playa Chalacatepec

Waves at Playa Chalacatepec

Playa Chalacatepec

Chimera at Playa Chalacatepec

Two days later the swell calmed enough for Tim to brave the waves, and we found ourselves at the surfer mecca of La Ticla. Unlike crowded Sayulita, La Ticla was just the peaceful spot we were looking for, so we stayed for three days.

La Ticla

Sunset at La Ticla

Lagoon and beach at La Ticla.

Lagoon and beach at La Ticla.

La Ticla

La Ticla

La Ticla

La Ticla

Vulture hangout at La Ticla

Vulture hangout at La Ticla

La Ticla

La Ticla

On Tim’s birthday we woke up to the perfect-sized waves and Tim spent hours in the water with Señor Platano.

Tim heading out to catch some waves at La Ticla

Tim heading out to catch some waves at La Ticla.

Tim's birthday pancake cake.

Tim’s birthday pancake cake.

Enjoying one of the last IPAs that we brought on an isolated beach.

Enjoying one of our last IPAs on an isolated beach on Tim’s birthday.

Tim and Hobie enjoying the shade.

Tim and Hobie enjoying the shade.

How we spent our afternoons at La Ticla.

How we spent our afternoons at La Ticla.

Appropriate stickers at our hammaquero.

Appropriate stickers at our hammaquero. “Wherever we are together that is home”.

Tim rocking it on Señor Platano.

Tim rocking it on Señor Platano.

Tim rocking it on Señor Platano.

Tim rocking it on Señor Platano.

Bail!

Bail!

Flowering cactus at La Ticla.

Flowering cactus at La Ticla.

Bright blue birds eating cactus seeds.

Bright blue birds eating cactus seeds.

Can anyone identify this cute little blue bird?

Whatchu looking at?

Heading further south we got some spectacular views of the Michoacán and Guerrero coastlines.

Michoacán coastline.

Michoacán coastline.

We spent a few nights at two more well-known surf spots, Nexpa and La Saladita, where Tim caught more fun waves. At La Saladita we happened to camp right next to a very nice family from Colorado, who have been traveling in Mexico for the past six months and were great to talk to, with many useful tips and suggestions of where to go.

Emily enjoying the view at Rio Nexpa.

Emily enjoying the view at Rio Nexpa.

Dancing horse at La Saladita.

Dancing horse at La Saladita.

It's pretty easy to get used to vies like this out of our back door.

It’s pretty easy to get used to views like this out our back door.

Street view in Zihuatanejo.

Street view in Zihuatanejo.

Acapulco

Acapulco

At this point it started getting really hot. During the days we were either driving with the windows down or hanging out in the shade or the water, which wasn’t too bad, but now the nights were starting to stay almost as warm. If we were lucky enough to have a good breeze blowing through the van then it was pleasant, but on the calm nights we tossed and turned in the stuffy air. We tried using our fan, but it’s loud and a power hog. By the time we reached Puerto Escondido we were grumpy from long sweaty nights and bug bites, so we turned north into the cool, rainy mountains of Oaxaca.

3 thoughts on “Sol, Arena, y Olas – The Pacific Coast of Mexico

  1. What fun to see Tim surfing- great photos, Emily! Thanks again for keeping us updated as to your travels and experiences.

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