La Costa Incognita

Pacific Mexico is a thatch roof overhead, fresh snapper daily, and 660 miles of nada between timeshares.

Aug 30, 2001
Outside Magazine

From the discos of the faux village of Puerto Vallarta south to the tired old mother of all resorts, Acapulco, Mexico 200 is the two-lane lifeline that feeds the Pacific Coast. Take this road, and far from the espresso bars and the ATMs you'll find dirt tracks leading to empty beaches sprouting coconut palms and mango groves where lobster is served under the rustle of a palapa. It's the stomping ground of iguanas, geckos, frigate birds, and flamingos, where jaguars still roam the jungles and caimans swim the lagoons. And where the people are nothing if not resilient. Last June, when Hurricane Alma decimated the town of Playa Azul, restaurants on the beach were open for business two days later.
It's true that there have been civil troubles in the state of Guerrero recently, and supposedly that's why you see lots of soldiers on the road there and in Michoac¤n. They may stop your car, but they're not looking for gringos carrying guns to the insurgents. They're checking for dope. It should be intimidating, but instead it's just part of what keeps this coast the way it is. Call it the wild West in the tropics, Surf City in the campo, where nobody really takes things all that seriously. So take the chance. Leave the souvenir peddlers behind and turn down that rutted road.

Filed To: Water Activities