Rincón de Guayabitos
Located between the villages of Los Ayala and La Penita on beautiful Jaltemba Bay, this small vacation burg is just right for a family vacation. Canadians and retirees from the northern United States flock here in the winter for a long sleep in the sun and a taste of the good life down Mexico way.
Avenida del Nuevo Sol is the main driving street through town, paralleling the beach. Many of Guayabitos’ modestly priced hotels can be accessed from here; others are one street farther in, right on the beach, on a series of paved streets that dead end in cul-de-sacs.
The beach itself is long and wide, consisting of course brown sand that stretches seductively between twin headlands. Pelicans wander completely at ease, shore birds run about, and frigates fly overhead seeking to pirate a meal from harder-working species. Salesmen ply the beach unobtrusively selling beach toys for tots, hammocks, and jewelry ... a much softer sell than in Puerto Vallarta, 60 km (36 mi) to the south. Hunger is never a problem, as vendors at colorful stands hawk delicious grilled fish on a stick, just like you used to get in Vallarta in a more innocent era. Others sell pineapple and watermelon slices at bargain prices, or beer and a variety of other cold drinks.
The wide, flat beach is perfect for throwing a Frisbee
or building a sand castle; the gentle waves lure even timid bathers
into the sea. Boat trips to El Islote, a big rock visible from shore,
go for just 60 pesos per person. There you can have a drink or a meal at the island restaurant,
and rent snorkel gear. In whale season, hire a launch for 150 pesos per person to search for humpback whales---a bargain at twice the price.
Entrepreneurs Marco and Sandy, with a stand right on the sand near Villas Buena Vida Hotel (www.villasbuenavida.com), sell these trips,
as well as boat rides to the nearly deserted beaches Toros or Frideritos at the south end of the bay.
If you feel like a walk, take a cab to Los Ayala, where you can hike over the hill to the south for a fresh fish dish at Frideras Beach.
Small, family-run restaurants are the norm here; there’s nothing fancy. Restaurante Alex is similar in price to the others
(i.e., inexpensive!), but the simple fare you’ll find there is recommended above the others.
Second-class buses access Rincón de Guayabitos from Tepic and Puerto Vallarta. If the bus you take doesn’t stop at Guayabitos, get off at La Penita, a couple kilometers up the road, and take a taxi or shared co-op van.