Riviera Nayarit, MEXICO (September 14, 2011) – In the Jaltemba Bay, nestled between the exuberant vegetation of the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, hides the quiet seaside town of Rincon de Guayabitos. Named for the groves of guava trees that once lined the shore, the name translates to “corner of the little guava trees” and nowhere will visiting vacationers find a better value for a beach escape in authentic Mexico.
In the 1970’s the Mexican government decided that Guayabitos was to become a resort and an area where foreigners could own property. Since then, many North Americans have discovered the affordable pleasures of Guayabitos and its handful of neighboring coastal towns and villages. Visitors often rent or even buy vacation homes here, but others will find the offering of B&B’s and small independent hotels and resorts in this area some 40 miles north of Puerto Vallarta International Airport equally appealing.
For centuries the home of fishermen, farmers, owners of family-run restaurants and other businesses, Guayabitos, with a population of scarcely 2,000 permanent residents, is, for the visitor, an opportunity to immerse oneself in timeless Mexico before the rest of the world changes it.
There is only one main street, Avenida del Sol Nuevo, parallel to the beach stretching the entire length of Guayabitos. It divides the town into two areas: the Hotel and Commercial Zone on the south and the Residential Zone on the north.
The Hotel and Commercial Zone is home to several mercados (grocery stores), pharmacies, boutiques offering Mexican handicrafts, clothing stores, discos and restaurants featuring Mexican and American cuisine. During the high season a popular Artisans Market is held every Monday in the Town Plaza beside the church. Many of Guayabitos’ modestly priced hotels, bungalows and condos are located in this area. During the low season, August to November, hotels are only half full and nightly rates range from $14 to $50 and can go up to $170 for stays at the main bungalow at AAA 3 diamond awarded B&B Villa Corona del Mar. Weekly and monthly rooms are available. There are several trailer parks with boat launches. The atmosphere here is casual, relaxed and “beach-y.”
The beach itself is the real protagonist of this destination. Stretching about 1 ½ miles wide, the spectacular flat beach consists of golden sand with calm blue waters. It is lined with palapa-covered restaurants and bustling with beach vendors in colorful canopied carts selling everything from coconut drinks to shrimp on a stick. In fact, the water is so calm that Guayabitos’ beach is referred to as “The Largest Swimming Pool in the World.” The beach is perfect for walking, swimming, people watching or to simply sit and run one’s toes through the sand under the warm sun. Farther down the beach there is an area that is good for bodysurfing and boogie boarding. Afternoon winds make for good sailing and windsurfing.
The majority of restaurants in Guayabitos are family-run. The local cuisine is seafood and Mexican dishes. Around town one can find a few fruit stands and stalls with fresh fruits such as mangos, pineapples, papayas and melons. Vista Guayabitos is a must try when visiting the area, as the restaurant sits atop one of the highest points in Guayabitos and offers a spectacular view of the entire Jaltemba Bay. At Tonita’s Restaurant, you’ll find Tonita and her family serving incredible Mexican dishes. La pina Loca, a popular local favorite, offers everything from tortilla soup and Enchiladas to Fajitas, coconut shrimp and locally caught seafood. At Salvador’s, established in 1980, visitors can dine on nightly dinner specials on the beachfront patio. If you are looking for something a little more casual, head down the main street to La Toscana, which offers tasty traditional Mexican fare with a warm smile; Pollo Alexandra known for its grilled marinated chicken; and George’s Tres Banderas Café to enjoy a sweet roll with a cappuccino or mango smoothie. There are many other small restaurants and stands where you can find fresh fruit and juices as well as tacos and tortas.
For the traveler who wants to do more than just enjoy good food and lie on the beach, Guayabitos and the surrounding region offers a lot to see and do.
Offshore, the deep sea fishing is renowned, with catches of marlin, sailfish and tuna. In the winter months the famous humpback whale migration provides ample opportunities for whale watching. During the summer, three native species of endangered sea turtles – the Olive Ridley, the Leatherback and the Hawksbill – become the focus of hatchling releases. Bird watching – Mexico is home to more species of birds than the U.S. and Canada combined – draws visitors from around the world while others come for horseback riding, hiking, cycling or trekking. The rugged Sierra Madre which protects the coastline provides plenty of opportunities for mountain adventures. Horseback riding trips are available through the tropical rainforest of Los Ayala, through the mountains or through the beach. And, on Monday mornings, the town’s “tianguis” or market brings out the entire population.
Boat trips to Isla Coral, a small island visible from the shore, go for just $5 per person. Glass bottom boats line the shore waiting to take people for a ride near this island where one can view marine life through the boat bottom and see frigate birds and terns nesting on the island. There is a good spot offshore Isla Cangrejo accessible only by boat for people to snorkel or scuba dive.
Other nearby beaches include Playa los Ayala and Playa del Beso, on a tiny secluded cove reachable by a path over the hills. The often deserted beach at Punta Raza is another favorite, along with the lesser known La Peñita de Jaltemba and Chacala.
The art and culture buffs can visit the Altavista archaeological site with important petroglyphs. The site is close to the coastal village of Chacala, south of Compostela. This area has been inhabited by a native group from the Tecoxquin culture, and is now an important religious center for the indigenous Huichol.
Sports enthusiasts will find jet skis, water skiing, tennis and its mini-version, pickle ball, all available as well as nine-hole golf at the Campo de Ensueño course (though several signature championship courses are nearby in Punta Mita and Nuevo Vallarta, as well as other resort areas), yoga and massages on the beach.
Rincon de Guayabitos is widely known as a safe, friendly and affordable beach vacation area. It is accessible by flights to Puerto Vallarta and Tepic, with public bus transportation and car rental available.
For more information on Rincon de Guayabitos, see www.jaltembabaylife.com. For more information on Riviera Nayarit visit: www.RivieraNayarit.com.
About Riviera Nayarit
Riviera Nayarit is Mexico’s newest travel destination stretching along 192 miles of pristine Pacific coast framed by spectacular mountains to the north of renowned Puerto Vallarta. Mostly undeveloped, the destination extends along the entire coast of the Pacific state of Nayarit including the resorts of Nuevo Vallarta, the historic, colonial town of San Blas, exclusive Punta Mita and the spectacular Banderas Bay. The region features luxury resorts and eco-tourism boutique hotels, world-renowned surfing, four professional golf courses, rare native wildlife including sea turtles and tropical birds, mountain and island adventures, shopping for local artwork and traditional Huichol handicrafts, charming fishing towns and miles of serene beaches. For more information, visit www.RivieraNayarit.com or find us on Facebook.
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