CABO CORRIENTES TRAVEL GUIDE
Here are some ideas for eating, overnighting, and other activities at Mayto, Tehuamixtle (AKA Tehua), and Villa del Mar. If you visit this area, plan to chill, to enjoy nature and the company of the folks who call "home" this little bit of paradise. Plan also to spend cash; credit cards are not accepted and there are no banks or ATMs.
Things to Do
Local men will take visitors diving, snorkeling, or sportfishing for roosters, sierra, jack, dorado, and other fish. Cost is typically 300 to 450 pesos per hour. Most men give a discount for excursions of three hours or more. Bring your own dive gear; fishing and snorkel gear provided.
The folks at Hotel Mayto, El Rinconcito, El Cielito, Restaurant Liz Adriana, and elsewhere rent ATVs and can arrange for horses. (We personally are not fans of ATVs disturbing tranquil beaches---not to mention nesting turtles---but some folks do like their motorized toys. Make sure to give wide berth to any turtle nesting sites, or turtles, you see; these sites should be adequately flagged and protected during turtle season.)
Food and Lodgings
With both ceiling fans and a/c, El Rinconcito ($ for one person, $$ for two, south end of Playa Mayto, cell 322/105-7024) is a combo hotel, general store, and restaurant. Owner Fernando's wife, Marisela, prepares home-cooked meals and there's a pool table, BBQ near the beach, and an outdoor shower. We're talking funky, friendly, and casual, although the rooms themselves are quite adequate, even attractive.
North of Fernando's place is the more traditional Hotel Mayto (Calle Estrella del Mar 45, Guadalajara cell 33/3955-0141 or PV cell 322/120-6206, www.mayto.com.mx). The two-story property has a screened restaurant-bar overlooking the beach, swimming pool, and Wi-Fi. Rooms have air-conditioning. The owner rents four-wheelers and take guests on fishing or ocean sightseeing tours.
Liz Adriana Restaurant-Bar Familiar (cell 322/228-8444), open daily, has a full menu ($$) emphasizing fresh seafood. Service is friendly and the views are excellent. The owners also rent five clean, simple, newish rooms with screened windows but no a/c. Like most of the other options in town, these guest rooms offer polyester bedspreads, bare bulb ceiling fixtures, floor fans, new tile, and a good paint job. Also like most Cabo Corrientes options, price is per person ($), not per room ($$ for a double). Liz Adriana's one-bedroom apartment, nearby, rents for the same price per person, and with more space, is a good deal for a family or small group of friends.
Directly across the street from Liz Adriana Restaurant, Lonchería Lalo serves burgers, tortas, juices, and chocolate milk. If Lalo's is closed (which it often is), ask someone at Liz Adriana's to open the storefront stand.
The other oceanfront option is Tehua for dining and drinking is Cande's, also overlooking the bay and open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There's a house for rent ($--$$, tel. 322/278-8708) on a small bluff above Cande's restaurant. One room has a king bed and a bunk bed. The living area has a trundle bed and satellite TV; both rooms have a/c and there's an informal kitchen out on the patio overlooking the beautiful bay. Don't expect The Ritz, but in keeping with the rest of Tehua's modest accommodations, it's functional and charges the usual per-person rate. This one is spacious, too, and the bay view is excellent.
A number of other townspeople rent basic rooms with ceiling or floor fan, tile floors, and screened or louvered windows. The usual cost is 250 to 400 pesos per person, negotiable.
Villa del Mar
Cabañas El Cielito ($$ single, $$$ double, cell 322/174-2292 or 322/205-6818, www.elcielito.com.mx) has new, upbeat lodgings. Some of the ten nicely appointed cabins have a porch or balcony overlooking the sea. There's a swimming pool, and the restaurant ($$--$$$) serves soups, pastas, burgers, and fajitas in addition to the region's ubiquitous seafood dishes. No pets.
Cabañas Ecológicas El Ocaso ($--$$, cell 322/227-7019 or 322/148-1821) offers four rustic cabins on a low bluff not far from the fancier El Cielito. There's no restaurant or TV at this reasonably priced property, and windows don't have screens, however there's a friendly little dog to play with, a mini grocery store at the front of the property, and good breezes off the ocean in the afternoon. Pets are accepted.
Getting There and Away
El Tuito is about 40 winding kilometers from Puerto Vallarta. Buses (Autotransporte Cihuatlán or Servicios Coordinados de la Costa lines) leave from the corner of Calle Carranza and Aguacate, in PV's Zona Romántica. They leave for El Tuito about every half hour between 7AM and 8 or 9PM (double check schedule). The trip takes about an hour and cost just a few dozen pesos (a few US dollars). Note that you're still far from the beach!
From El Tuito to the Cabo Corrientes beaches of Mayto, Tehuamixtle, and Villa del Mar, there's just one bus per day. The one-way cost is currently 50 pesos. The bus leaves from El Tuito's plaza at 2PM; the return trip from the coast to El Tuito is at approximately 7AM, depending where you are along the route. Because there's only one bus per day, it's best to double check this info with the El Tuito tourism department to make sure the schedule has not changed. If you miss the early morning bus from the Cabo Corrientes beaches to El Tuito, you'll have to hitch a ride, try to hire a taxi, or wait until the next morning and catch the next bus.
Because buses are so infrequent, it's common for locals to stand at the beginning of the road and catch a ride with someone driving to Mayto. You might also ask at the tourism office to see if they can suggest someone who would be driving to the coast. And don't forget to give that nice old man by the side of the road a lift.
Catch a taxi at the crossroads ("el crucero"), the official entrance to the town of El Tuito along Carretera (Hwy) 200. Look for the CMQ pharmacy. Taxis are also stationed at or around the main plaza in downtown El Tuito. A taxi from El Tuito to Mayto, Tehua, or Villa del Mar should cost between 450 and 500 pesos.
Bring all the money you'll need. There is an ATM machine ("cajero automático") in El Tuito at the crossroads near the CMQ pharmacy, but no banks or ATMs at all in Cabo Corrientes Sur.
Get information before you arrive at the coast at the El Tuito Tourist Information office, Portal Hidalgo 12, facing the square. Tel 322/269-0090, 322/269-0388, ext. 112. Closed weekends.