We are currently in Guanajuato taking 2-3 weeks of intensive Spanish (at Escuela Falcon) and loving this amazing university town. It’s nice to enjoy the cool air and experience city life again, but the last two weeks we explored some of the best surf and coastline we have ever seen. This patch of paradise was the coast route from Mazatlan down to Rio Nexpa in the states of Nayarit, Colima, and most impressively, Michoacan.
After arriving in Mazatlan from the ferry, we thought we were going to head down to Sayulita and spend a few weeks surfing and hanging out, but we were diverted instead to a town north of there named San Pancho / San Francisco (the “other” San Francisco). Everyone told us Sayulita was too packed and crowded and San Pancho was a much better option, and it definitely turned out that way for us.
We arrived in San Pancho after driving and spending the night in some tropical beaches mainly visited by Mexican tourists (San Blas region), and found the only campground in town. It definitely was lacking in facilities like running water, but it was right on the beach and we were excited to get Titus parked and explore!
There is a nice wave, great beach bars and amazing restaurants in San Pancho. We spent the better part of the week loving it, except for the part where I was harassed by Seahawks fans during the NFC championship game; we are both huge Packer fans. We were told that San Pancho is what Sayulita felt like 10 years ago, but the all signs look like San Pancho is well on its way to being widely discovered as well.
Once we felt we had our fill of smoothies and organic al pastor tacos, we knew we had to leave. We actually tried to stop in Sayulita, but as warned, the camp grounds were full and the place was packed. Plus, I saw a bunch of tourists with Seahawks jerseys driving a golf cart as we drove in, and that was enough for me.
So we went to La Cruz by Punta Mita to stay a night. La Cruz is an awesome town with great access to the resort town of Punta Mita. About 10+ years ago my buddy Ryan and I surfed an awesome reef break in Punta Mita and I was dying to go back. Punta Mita has changed immensely since then, with $1000/night hotel rooms, but it was still fun for us.
On our first day in Punta Mita, we found a surf shop on the main drag where they told us we could “camp” (park) in front of their store and use their bathrooms/showers for free. Score! We had a fun few days street camping and I made it back to surf the cove which is a 45 minute hike from town (or $50 boat ride if you wanna splurge).
After Punta Mita, we REALLY needed to get away from the resorts and find some cool authentic mex surf towns, and we found them in Colima and Michoacan. We had some concern about driving this part of the coast, but everyone encouraged us to go, and it turned out to be so safe and the beauty on this part of the coast was amazing. Best beach experiences of our trip so far.
But before we hit more surf and beaches, we actually needed to head over the mountains just past Puerto Vallarta to get back to the coast. We flew past Puerto Vallarta and started to climb into the lush mountains, the likes of which we hadn’t seen in a very long time. We needed to find a place to camp along the way, and found the best place ever. A raicilla distillery named Hacienda Divisadero (its pretty much like Mezcal, but handmade from yellow or green agave, instead of blue). We had an awesome lamb dinner here, camped for free on their property and got a private tour in the morning from the 4th generation owner. It was great, and of course we bought some of their product. In typical George fashion, we turned free camping into a pretty expensive bill once all was said and done.
After the mountains, the first surf spot we hit up was Arroyo Secco. The local surf pro Christiano was so helpful in getting us set up with free beach camping spots and later he gave Jenine her first surf lesson! Arroyo Secco was some of the most beautiful beach camping we have done, although the surf was pretty large and closing out fast!
Christiano also drew us up a surf map of all the surf breaks from here to the border of Guatamala. After Arroyo Secco we headed south to one of first ones, La Ticla. and. it. was. amazing.
We hit the little surf town of Ticla at the perfect time as a large NW swell was coming through, and this spot picks up great NW swell. We found a palapa to camp under, and met some really cool people, many who were local surfers in for the weekend (some amazing surfers!). I’ve been surfing for awhile, and still consider myself poor, but I had some breakthrough days in Ticla. I even got to kitesurf when the wind picked up one afternoon. The sunsets were unreal, and Jenine got some amazing shots.
After Ticla, the next stop on the surf town tour was Nexpa. We loved Nexpa immediately. Such a cool surf vibe and the whole beach is lined with little surf cabanas (which I was told rent for $300 a month – to live on the beach… at one of the best surf spots in the world!!).
We camped for about $4 a day by the river, where Jenine did yoga and the surf break was right in front. There are some cool surf bars here, and we met surfers from all over the world. Very cool.
From Nexpa I wanted badly to keep hitting surf towns (next up was Saladita!) but Jenine was right to direct us inland to the mountains and the awesome town of Guanajuato, where we were to start Spanish lessons in a few days. And that is where we are now until mid Feb. Can’t wait to update you on our Spanish progress!
Hasta La Próxima!
Song of the week:
Many more pics here: