In search of perfection in Mexico

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In search of perfection in Mexico
Question: Where in Mexico can you go to get away from the tourism and yet still have a nice white-sand beach with minimal people and a halfway decent place to come back to at night to sleep, get a good (saltless) shower, and get some good food--all for a good price?

Eric Edward
Tulsa, OK
eedwards@uvtv.com

You'll find white sand and seclusion
on Mexico's central Pacific coast.


Adventure Adviser: Well, Eric, aren't you demanding! Actually, you're not asking for the moon. All you seek and more can be yours. Plan on heading to one of several crowd-free, laid-back outposts on the central Pacific coast. Hidden in among the fruit stands and hammock-laden trees, between the casinos of Puerto Vallarta to the north and the discos of Acapulco to the south, Sayulita and La Manzanilla have plenty to offer in the way of white-sand beaches, warm water, and fresh seafood. If you're a surfer, let Sayulita (about 45 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta) be your Surf City. By day, blend in with die-hard short- and long-boarders working the waves. By night, base yourself at the five-acre beach-rainforest compound of Costa Azul Adventure Resort ($65 per night, double occupancy) and sign on for the all-out athletic treatment. They can arrange horseback riding trips into the jungle, snorkeling off local beaches like Las Juntas, kayaking, mountain biking, and stellar fishing. Adventure package deals go for $76-$98 per person/per night, including accommodation in one of their 28 rooms. Call 800-365-7613 for more information.

Down the coast in the teeny village of La Manzanilla, you'll have plenty of elbow room to explore still-quiet Tenacatita Bay. Close-in snorkeling and spearfishing, great bodysurfing, and general lazing about on the beach are activities of choice here. Stay in a beachside bungalow in town (they don't have a phone, so reservations aren't an option) for $15-$30 per night. Look for the "bungalows/restaurant" sign. Or book a cliff-top villa at Casa Maguey above the beach ($50 per night). Great views, a perfect after-dinner terrace, and not-too-shabby sunsets make this place a real winner. They'll set you up with kayaks, snorkeling equipment, wake-surfing boards, and a water-ski boat. They can also point you in the right direction for horseback rides and crocodile tours of nearby lagoons. Call or fax them at 011-52-335-15012.

For other suggestions, be on the lookout for "La Ruta Tropical" in Outside's winter 1996-97 Travel Guide, coming online soon, and check out "La Costa Incógnita" in the Destinations section of the October 1996 issue.

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