Editor’s note: Roadtrip!

If you’ve been reading my weekly note for some time, then you know I’m a big fan of road trips. This country is made for driving, except for the topes (speedbumps). I could live without those.  

I have been itching to get away for a weekend, but one guest after another crisis has made this impossible until this past weekend when I finally put the truck in gear and headed north into Riviera Nayarit.  

First stop – Punta Raza just before Guayabitos in the tiny ranchito of El Monteon. There are two beaches, both essentially undeveloped. Turn left, and you end up at Playa Canalan, the smaller of the two beaches, nestled between two cliffs and backed by an estuary teeming with birds. We saw a handful of people relaxing under the palapas, and not much else. Heaven! Then we returned to the fork and turned right, driving over the mountains that front the beach, turning onto Punta Raza which has a ‘random’ beach club of the same name, serves fresh ceviches, cocktails and with a salt water pool. I suspect there is more of a story behind this beach club, but I didn’t ask. I just appreciated the easy convenience of shade and alcohol after hiking in the mid-day sun.  

From here we went further north in search of the perfect beach to watch the sunset. Google maps assured us there was a tiny, private cove called Playa Divisadero if we only drove this clearly marked(!!!) road through the mango orchards just south of Chacala. Well, google wasn’t wrong. After passing through miles and miles and miles of orchards, we found a ‘Private Property” sign blocking the only entrance. Some smooth talking, batting of eyelashes and a cold beer fixed that.  

We followed the ever-diminishing dirt trail to one of the most spectacular coves I’ve ever seen. Embraced to the sand by wild jungle, with sandstone walls worn away to reveal caves, likely once filled with pirate booty, this tiny crescent of a beach is soon to be the ‘exclusive’ beach of luxury condo owners and holidaymakers.  

The sunset was a beauty. And the swarm of blood-sucking noseeums that followed was enough to make us flee! 

The next day we headed inland to visit the farming towns of Compostela, Jala and the lakes of San Pedro and Santa Maria del Oro. More about those stunning locales in the coming weeks.  

This edition of the Vallarta Tribune is beyond full of things to do and see and hear. Bruce continues to expand the live music calendar. Our website continues to be hinky, so the events have been modified for another week.  

Voting for the Best of Banderas Bay Readers Choice Awards ends in one week, on January 31st – you still have time to support your favourite businesses!  

With patience and persistence, safe travels, 

 Madeline