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Where are the best beaches?

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Where are the best beaches?

Post by toedippers on Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:00 pm

We're new to Ajijic and wanted to understand what the best options were - should we want to go to the beach for 4-5 days....

We're looking for:

- something we wont spend all our time getting to and back from - assume we'll drive (or maybe fly the short hop to PV)
- nice sand, calm, swimmable, clean/clear water - palm trees - just like a postcard ;-)
- good/great accommodations BB or small hotel
- decent dining choices
- not touristy nor crowded - but we're not looking for solitude either
- interesting vibe/some character/ something to do when we're not sitting on the beach would be a plus

So... does such a place exist?  Anything come close?

What are your favorites and why?

thanks in advance


td

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Re: Where are the best beaches?

Post by borderreiver on Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:32 am

You know you could go to google maps and start at San Blas and head south along the coast to Chile. You can check out the beaches, zoom in and out, click on various accommodations, etc. I find it interesting.

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Re: Where are the best beaches?

Post by CanuckBob on Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:22 am

There are a lot of beach towns that meet your requirements however they are touristy and crowded at this time of year. The ones that aren't touristy or crowded may have a nice beach but not many amenities or vice versa.

Chacala has one of the nicest beaches and calmest bays on the west coast however it is a town of 300 and there is not a lot of dining or hotel choices. We spent two months there last year and really enjoyed the beach. Not much to do though. You could take a look at Guayabitos, Lo de Marcos, San Francisco or Sayulita as well. Further south you will find Barra de Navidad and Melaque.

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Re: Where are the best beaches?

Post by Zedinmexico on Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:47 am

San Francisco has very dangerous sharp drop off beaches. Try Sayuilta for beaches. My favorite is Zihuatanejo is southern Mexico. Specifically Playa La Ropa which faces west for wonderful sunsets. Town is not to small or too big. Ixtapa is near but thats all high rises and such more like Cancun. Zihuat. is more of a fishing/tourist village/town. Going in March. Yippee!!

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Re: Where are the best beaches?

Post by Trailrunner on Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:52 am

What Bob said.

My favorite Mexican beach towns are Chacala and La Manzanilla. Sayulita too. San Francisco, better known as San Pancho, is indeed dangerous. Stay away from open ocean beaches, they can be very dangerous with rip tides and drop offs and watch for red flags posted on the beach and ask locals where is safe to swim.

Spent Christmas on the beach in Michoacan this year, where they averaged 3 rescues a day. People are stupid, they get drunk and think they are infallible, may not be good swimmers, and get in over their heads, then suddenly they are in trouble and getting tired. This place had 2 drownings the week before with one body still unaccounted for.

Have fun, stay safe, we have awesome beaches in this country.


Last edited by Trailrunner on Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Where are the best beaches?

Post by CanuckBob on Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:56 am

Lo de Marcos is another hidden gem.

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Re: Where are the best beaches?

Post by Trailrunner on Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:00 am

Yes! And some good restaurants now, finally. lol They're terrified they are gonna turn into another Sayulita.
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Re: Where are the best beaches?

Post by CanuckBob on Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:15 am

It is eerily deserted every time I have been there.

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Re: Where are the best beaches?

Post by Playaboy on Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:24 am

Why not fly to the Riviera Maya. Great clear water. EVERYTHING you are looking for is on this coast. Volaris has non-stop flights for as low as 999 pesos next week. That is cheaper than driving to the coast

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Re: Where are the best beaches?

Post by RichD on Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:04 am

I'm with Playaboy. Mahahual beach is the best all around place to escape to. Too bad it ia a world away from Chapala.
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Re: Where are the best beaches?

Post by Trailrunner on Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:29 am

That's beautiful! Looks good for snorkeling. I'm a body surfer, is there ever a shore break there? High tide? Looks shallow, maybe just low tide.
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Re: Where are the best beaches?

Post by CanuckBob on Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:30 am

Playaboy wrote:Why not fly to the Riviera Maya.  Great clear water.  EVERYTHING you are looking for is on this coast.  Volaris has non-stop flights for as low as 999 pesos next week.  That is cheaper than driving to the coast

I hear it is too dangerous over there........jaja.

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Re: Where are the best beaches?

Post by RichD on Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:34 am

Trailrunner wrote:That's beautiful! Looks good for snorkeling. I'm a body surfer, is there ever a shore break there? High tide? Looks shallow, maybe just low tide.

There is a reef closely offshore. You can wade out to it, but I kayaked. Never snorkeled there, but the water past the reef is dark dark blue.
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Re: Where are the best beaches?

Post by Trailrunner on Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:52 am

Yeah. We spent about a month in Xcalak once, I was not thrilled by the beach and it was windy all the time. I found the area to be shallow, reedy, mucky on the bottom, and no surf! Unless, you are into walking all the way out to the reef, scrambling over the reef with bare feet (yeah you can get reef shoes), then surfing outside. Not appealing, figured I'd get shredded by the reef. Kayaking would be good.

Tulum, has been dredged, or maybe it's natural, but we could actually swim there!
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Re: Where are the best beaches?

Post by sparks on Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:48 pm

Don't forget Tenacatita .... but very few facilities
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Re: Where are the best beaches?

Post by Trailrunner on Sat Feb 11, 2017 2:42 pm

Ah, yes! Tenacatita, my favorite of all. Thanks for the reminder, gotta go back. Won't be the same though. . .

Additionally, sharks hang out on the outside of reefs. IMHO, the month in Xcalak and on the RM was about 3 weeks too long. Just sayin'.
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Re: Where are the best beaches?

Post by Clete on Sat Feb 11, 2017 6:09 pm

Trailrunner wrote:Yes! And some good restaurants now, finally. lol They're terrified they are gonna turn into another Sayulita.

Who are "they"?

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Re: Where are the best beaches?

Post by Trailrunner on Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:14 pm

All the people I tried to rent a house/bungalow from, mostly. The guy with the palapa restaurant on the beach up the north end actually told me that. I gave up on trying to live there, went back to Sayulita. This was awhile ago, maybe nine or ten years ago.
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Re: Where are the best beaches?

Post by slainte39 on Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:27 pm

Trailrunner wrote:Yes! And some good restaurants now, finally. lol They're terrified they are gonna turn into another Sayulita.


Sayulita has changed so much over the last 30 years, that they would be shooting at a fast moving target.

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Re: Where are the best beaches?

Post by Rosa Venus on Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:57 pm

toedippers wrote:We're new to Ajijic and wanted to understand what the best options were - should we want to go to the beach for 4-5 days....

We're looking for:

- something we wont spend all our time getting to and back from - assume we'll drive (or maybe fly the short hop to PV)
- nice sand, calm, swimmable, clean/clear water - palm trees - just like a postcard ;-)
- good/great accommodations BB or small hotel
- decent dining choices
- not touristy nor crowded - but we're not looking for solitude either
- interesting vibe/some character/ something to do when we're not sitting on the beach would be a plus

Mexico has such magnificent beaches and beach towns. As you can see, everybody has their favorite(s) based on their own criteria and experiences. You have lots of great suggestions. Find your favorite. That's the fun part. Point your car toward Nayarit or Colima/Jalisco, etc. You can't go wrong (unless you're super fussy). Have fun!

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Re: Where are the best beaches?

Post by Playaboy on Sun Feb 12, 2017 6:04 am

CanuckBob wrote:
Playaboy wrote:Why not fly to the Riviera Maya.  Great clear water.  EVERYTHING you are looking for is on this coast.  Volaris has non-stop flights for as low as 999 pesos next week.  That is cheaper than driving to the coast

I hear it is too dangerous over there........jaja.

Beer

Things have heated up considerable the last month or so. It hasn't affected the occupancy rates at the hotels yet. If overt cartel (shootings) activity keeps up it will and this area will suffer greatly.


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Re: Where are the best beaches?

Post by cypress on Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:19 am

If you want clean/clear water you pretty well have to go to the east coast. I've been to many beaches on the west coast from the US south to Oaxaxa and I've only seen a couple of small ones that have clean/clear water.

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Re: Where are the best beaches?

Post by CanuckBob on Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:35 am

slainte39 wrote:
Trailrunner wrote:Yes! And some good restaurants now, finally. lol They're terrified they are gonna turn into another Sayulita.


Sayulita has changed so much over the last 30 years, that they would be shooting at a fast moving target.

I understand the infrastructure in Sayalita is overburdened due to overcrowding. The raw sewage was running in the streets. I would avoid that town during the high season for now.

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Re: Where are the best beaches?

Post by Trailrunner on Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:11 am

Good advice! Avoid Sayulita during the high season AND during the rainy season.

The sewage problem continues. While I lived there there were active local groups working on the treatment facility issue and we had meetings in the plaza regularly. The officials got some funds together to improve the capacity of the plant, problem was. . .they only brought it up to capacity for the population - at that time. When the rains started, it flowed into the river and into the ocean again and people were getting sick from swimming in the ocean.

My understanding is there has been no improvements since then and that was ten years ago, the population and popularity of Sayulita has probably almost doubled by now.

Dumping raw sewage into the ocean is not good publicity for a beach and surfing mecca. Not to mention the stench!
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Re: Where are the best beaches?

Post by coffeeguy on Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:41 pm

I'm learning a lot from these great posts - thanks!

Only problem with La Manzanilla aside from it being a PITA to get to without a car is that it seems like most of the lodging is gringo-owned and very expensive. Otherwise yeah: great beach, amazing variety of restaurants for the size, lovely.

We have a friend who's a serious beach fanatic and dedicated swimmer, and she spends months at a time in Caleta de Campos on the Michoacán coast. We only spend a few days but if you want a tranquil cove with absolutely perfect swimming conditions and unspoiled beach experience it is hard to beat. The "buts" however are going to exclude most people: taco stands and other humble local places only, nothing to do really except hang out, very low chance of hearing anything but Spanish spoken. And it's a twisty, windy drive from either Manzanillo or Lazaro Cardenas.

The Retire Early Lifstyle folks did a profile on the place a few years back:

http://www.retireearlylifestyle.com/caleta-de-campo-.htm

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Re: Where are the best beaches?

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