EL TUITO TRAVEL GUIDE
Where to Stay - Click here for price key
Although steadily increasing in popularity and in the amount of promotion given it by the Jalisco state government, Tuito's tourism is still in its infancy and the town has few hotels. Recommended for budget travelers, Hotel Real del Valle ($, Crucero del Tuito, Carretera a Puerto Vallarta, tel. 322/269-0011 or 322/269-0012) has rooms with ceiling fan, or pay just a few dollars more for a/c. Surrounding a garden and a chipped but clean swimming pool, the two-story structure has battered, lacquered furniture and okay beds with the ubiquitous polyester spreads. Parking.
About 15 minutes by car beyond El Tuito, Hacienda El Divisadero ($$$, Camino El Tuito - Chacala Km 9 s/n, Las Guasimas, cell 322/205-8704, www.haciendaeldivisadero.com) has three pretty rooms to rent and a restaurant ($$--$$$, closed Mon.) specializing in carne asada and country dishes. They have an excellent stable of horses; guides lead tours to area petroglyphs. Tourists from Puerto Vallarta visit the small raicilla (a spirit similar to tequila) production facility and sample or buy the finished product.
Where to Eat - Click here for price key
Rosita (half block from the plaza toward the Puerto Vallarta highway, tel. 322/269-0291) is open 7:30 to 5:30 daily and offers typical Mexican dishes.
Next door to Rosita's, Valle Azul (tel. 322/269-0404, closed Tuesdays) is open between 9AM and 10PM. Friendly and attentive owners and staff serve up yummy nachos, pizza, and hot chocolate; the veggies served on the shrimp, fish, chicken, and beef plates are steamed just right.
El Patio de Mario (Portal Juárez 10, tel 322/269-0604, closed Sunday) has the usual oilcloths on square wooden tables and cane-bottom wooden chairs. Nothing on the menu the day I was there---including a generous portion of crayfish and coconut shrimp---cost more than 100 pesos (about US$7.50).
El Tuito isn't a shopping town. You might pick up a souvenir at Casa de Artesanías Luz de Luna (Calles Pablo Ríos and Matamoros); hours are sporadic. Inside the door at El Patio de Mario (see above), on the square, purchase bee pollen, honey, regionally grown coffee, and fruit liqueurs.
El Tuito just got internet access in 2008. Tuito.net Internet café faces the main plaza; rates are low and there are plenty of computers.
Portal Hidalgo 12, facing the square. Tel 322/269-0090, 322/269-0388, ext. 112. Open weekdays only.
Getting There and Away
El Tuito is about 40 winding kilometers from Puerto Vallarta. Buses (Autotransporte Cihuatlan or Servicios Coordinados de la Costa lines) leave from the corner of Calle Carranza and Aguacate, in PV's Zona Romántica. They leave about every half hour between 7AM and 9PM. The trip takes about an hour and cost just a few dozen pesos (a few US dollars).
From El Tuito to the Cabo Corrientes beaches of Mayto, Tehuamixtle, and Villa del Mar, there's just one bus per day each way. The one-way cost is currently 50 pesos. The bus leaves from the El Tuito plaza at 2PM, except on Wednesdays and Sundays, when there is apparently no bus at all. 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.
Look for taxis at "the crossroads" (the second or third entrance to El Tuito from the coast highway, where you'll see outdoor chicken and tacos vendors, and a CMQ pharmacy) or in downtown El Tuito, at the main plaza. The costs (as of mid-March, 2010) are as follows. To Puerto Vallarta: 400 pesos; Mayto: 450 pesos; Tehuamixtle or Villa del Mar: 500 pesos.
There is a bank on the plaza but its often crowded with locals making transactions. The ATM machine ("cajero automático") at the crossroads near the CMQ pharmacy is the easiest way to get cash (in pesos, of course).