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Recommended beach escapes from Lakeside

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Post by coffeeguy Tue Feb 13, 2024 8:47 am

It's been years since we last explored places on the coast that are easily accessible from Lakeside and I thought I'd ask for some updated recommendations. We had a bad experience in Puerto Vallarta last year at about this time (totally over-run - even the small taco stands and other street food places we used to have to ourselves) but would like to combine a visit to see friends in Chapala and Ajijic with some beach time on a regular basis from mid-January through mid-February.

Have fond memories of La Manzanilla but it was expensive and hard to find lodging a decade ago. Barra? Melaque? We care more about a good choice of taco stands than access to international cuisine, have no interest in night life but would love a beach to walk on. Visited Caleta de Campos years ago and thought it was the most beautiful beach we'd been on but that sparsely-populated area of the Michoacán coast kind of gave us the creeps due to the palpable narco activity (a little tienda in Caleta had $125 bottles of booze and they obviously weren't selling them to the locals). Any recommended towns or specific places to stay much appreciated.

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Post by ferret Tue Feb 13, 2024 9:15 am

Gone are the days of having a beach to oneself. Nearly everywhere has been "discovered" and that includes Sayulita and San Pancho. Even Chacala has way more tourists as does Bucerias. All of those places, which are in Nayarit have long stretches of beach and cater to my need to have mountains meeting the ocean but with a small town feel. Forget San Blas unless you love being molested by no-see-ums. And never, ever go to a beach around Easter and for at least two weeks after.
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Post by coffeeguy Tue Feb 13, 2024 9:29 am

Yeah, we have a friend in San Miguel de Allende who's been wintering in San Pancho the past 3 years and she has to book her place a year in advance and pre-pay just to have a place she can afford.

Used to be Melaque was the cheap place popular (especially) with Canadian long-stay visitors and Barra was kind of a poor man's PV but I'm guessing that's changed too. Friends in Michoacán like Los Troncones but I know nothing about it.

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Post by ferret Tue Feb 13, 2024 10:51 am

We lived in San Pancho from 2005 to 2011 but, when we lived in San Miguel de Allende (1996 to 2005), we always went to the beach for December to March because San  Miguel was just too damn cold. Didn't care for the Marina or the noise level anywhere in PV but loved Bungalows Arroyo in Bucerias which is located on Lazaro Cardenas and was a one block walk to the beach. We walked that beach every morning with coffee in hand and for the sunset with wine in hand. Always booked it for the next year before we left. Most of the units are two bedroom but the newer section has studios. I have not felt the need to go to the beach since we moved back inland to Lakeside in 2011. Much more moderate climate.
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Post by mudgirl Tue Feb 13, 2024 12:00 pm

There are beaches around Sayulita that aren't overrun with tourists. An old friend of mine who used to live here recently came down on vacation- she rented a place out in the jungle, a 10 minute drive from downtown (and there are lots of rentals out that way now, although they aren't cheap). It was about an 8 minute walk down to the beach, where there was almost no one. There were literally 4 other people on that beach the day I went out to spend the day with her, and two people who came walking down the beach.
However, there aren't any taco stands out there in the jungle, and if you didn't have a car, you'd have to be prepared to walk the 30 minutes into town, rent a golf cart, or call a taxi.

As far as taco stands in PV being overrun, it depends on what area of town you stay. There are lots of taco stands and little Mexican restaurants in the area where I go to buy materials for my upholstery work, that only ever have a few people eating there and there aren't a bunch of tourists in that area at all. And it's only a few blocks from the beach.


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Post by ferret Tue Feb 13, 2024 12:13 pm

Are you referring to Playa Los Venados just outside of Sayulita? Or maybe I'm mixed up. It's been a while.
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Post by mudgirl Tue Feb 13, 2024 12:18 pm

No, it's called Patzcuarito. It's a black sand beach. You can't drive down to it at all- you have to walk the paths through the jungle. I've never heard of Los Venados.

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Post by ferret Tue Feb 13, 2024 12:49 pm

My error. Playa de Los Venados is just south of Lo de Marcos.
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Post by CanuckBob Wed Feb 14, 2024 7:50 am

My Dad lives in Barra de Navidad thus I spend lot of time there. I really like that town. It's like Ajijic (from 15 years ago) but on the beach. I try to visit once per month and I really notice how we are being ripped off around here compared to prices in Barra. It's still quite reasonable there.....

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Post by coffeeguy Wed Feb 14, 2024 8:43 am

Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

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