Mexico. An important influencer in so many countries and cultures. A both divine and complex nation, well worth adventuring in. But hitting major tourist destinations, like Acapulco and Cancun, will not give you a proper taste of what Mexico has to offer. We set our eyes on the Western Pacific side and rented a Jeep.
Being from Norway, Mexican food traditions stand tall. But asides that, we tend to go elsewhere for our holidays. Long flights and fear of the unknown, especially drug related incidents, tend to spook us off. Now, there’s no need for that. Mexico is a peaceful place, full of flavours, colours and friendly people. Top that with a rich fauna and being so big, that there’s something for everyone.
A beautiful Tarantula and how to use the selfie stick
Pythons are non venomous and a relaxed species
From Puerto Vallarta it’s an hours drive to the hippie surfing town of Sayulita. A dusty affair, with some pretty cool stays. The Amour Boutique Hotel rules on the towns end, with a spectacular view of the ocean and the city shore. Over the last years quite a few tourists have lured out their inner hippie and stay for longer periods in the small town. These days it’s pretty crowded, but some charm is still present.
Food vice, Sayulita is somewhat of a tragedy. With a few exceptions you should be careful where you eat here. Food poisoning is common and flavours are not the best. But sit down at Italian La Rustica or the classic Miro Vino, and you’ll have an awesome time.
We so head south, passing Puerto Vallarta and into the great farmlands of this country. Sticking to the Pacific Coast always on our right, you’re sure to be good. Roads here are an adventure in itself, but having a Jeep keeps you cool. Nature changes all the time and there is plenty to do for your stills camera. Small villages pop up out of nothing and food stalls are to be seen everywhere.
Stop for a street taco, and you’re in for a treat.
Here on the countryside living is easy. It might seem poor to us, but the people living here enjoy their simple way of living. There’s plenty of food and beer going around, so no one is complaining.
Ran into Alexander Ludwig aka Bjorn Lothbrock from Vikings at Las Alamandas Luxury resort.
This part of Mexico is particularly fascinating. On one side you have the simple life being lead by the locals and on the other you find some of the richest people on the planet. Well hidden in private areas, extreme luxury resorts lay in silence. Once in a while private jets and helicopters landing on their private airfields give them away. Hollywood celebrities fly in, chill out and exit without anyone knowing.
It’s possible to rent a villa in Careyes, if you’re good for the money, but there are other places more charming than this.
Along the road you’ll see signs directing you to small bungalow resorts. Paraiso Costalegre is one of them. Simple, clean and delightful bungalows with a fantastic beach area connected. Prices are more than fair and the food is super. I promise you; you’ll struggle to find more secluded beaches than this. You can walk for hours, totally undisturbed. This is the good life.
Venturing further south you can reach Barra de Navidad, Melaque and Manzanillo. Barra is recovering from years of strong winter storms, but is still a nice stop for a day or two. Several locals hit the bars here in the weekends, making it a nice place to hook up and get to know the people.
Mexico is one of the largest producers of chillis in the world, with a variety for almost every purpose. The local chilli marked in Melaque, might be worth stopping by if you’re into cooking. Dried varieties can be kept for years in airtight jars, and can provide your Mexican meal at home with that extra portion of fun.
But the best times you’ll find going off road on the many trails leading to possible treasures. Ask the locals in the small villages, who will be sure to give you pointers on where to head. Pop a bottle of Mexican wine and enjoy the magnificent sunset. It will last a lifetime.
Finn-Erik Rognan - Alexander Milov - Rune Bendiksen