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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Cuyutlan, Mexico
(Pronounced: Coo-yoot-LAN, MAY-hee-coh)

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

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After our stay in Colima, Colima, Mexico, we got up leisurely and took a cab (17 Pesos) to the central Rojos bus station to catch a bus to Armeria, at 39 Pesos per person. About an hour later we arrived and were dropped off in the center of this bustling little town. We were on our way to Cuyutlan, a volcanic black sand beach town, and needed to find the bus that would take us there.

 

It was a casual start to our morning - the style I prefer. We're all packed and ready to hit the beaches of the Pacific Coast of Mexico, some of the most beautiful and rugged in the world. Above you see the bus we took to Armeria, a transportation hub-of-a-town where we would change to yet another, smaller bus.

 

The countryside on the way to Armeria is mountainous with big skies; roads were wide and well made.

After arriving, we asked around for where to catch the next transport to Cuyutlan, and were directed a block or two away. Unfortunately, the bus had just left.

No worries!

Mexicans are notoriously helpful and one of the local men walked to the middle of the street and from 2 blocks away, whistled and waved down the local bus going to Cuyutlan. We hightailed it to the bus with all our gear in tow, and for 10.5 Pesos a person, hopped aboard.
 

Yes, the height of luxury here... wind blowing from every window and door! But it sure beats the heat.

Billy loves taking these sorts of photos of me. He's trying to give you the 'authentic' feel of our experience! So much for me trying to maintain an upper crust image.

The town of Cuyutlán lies 22 miles east of Manzanillo and 33 miles south of Colima near a large salt water lagoon. Salt is still harvested there today and sold in the town. Great numbers of migrating birds can be seen around the lagoon.

 

My girlfriend and I checked out several hotels, most of which seemed to either not want to do business or had an attitude -- until we went into Maria Victoria. Their normal prices were 250 Pesos per person, but we made a deal with the manager. If we stayed a minimum of 4 nights, we could get the room for 300 Pesos per night, a savings of 200 Pesos each night (!)

Wifi was available downstairs, hot water (something not common in beach towns), and an ocean view outside our 2nd floor spacious room. We have a terrace with a table, a pool and a view of the ocean, all for under $25 USD per night. This was a good deal.

 

Here you see the view of our room itself. Mattresses were firm, even though the couch was a bit faded. Hey, it's so affordable and look at that view!

 

The Hotel Maria Victoria is to the right in this photo and is not shown. This orange building with a decent restaurant is right across the street from our hotel. Sandwiches, hot lunches and breakfast could all be had for a very reasonable price - one of the best prices in town.

 

Of course, there are always beachside restaurants selling seafood, fresh catch of the day, and refreshments of all sorts.

 

The black sand beach of Cuyutlan with a plank walkway to the umbrellas.

During holidays, the beach umbrellas and chairs are filled but today we had every choice.

 

The beach drops off here at the surf line and the waves just pounded the shore. It was a powerful sound that we heard through the night from our hotel room, merely steps away.

A wide open expanse of beach, the type we like.

 

Under the umbrellas we enjoyed 3 shrimp quesadillas for 45 Pesos, about $3.50 USD.

The constant motion of the ocean is mesmerizing.

 

The next day we took a morning walk down the abandoned beach and met Javier and his wife, who invited us to dinner at their home on the beach later that evening. Javier runs a bar/restaurant in Chapala and we had a great time chatting about things we all had in common.

 

Here you see Javier with his wife, Paula, standing on the porch of their beach home in Cuyutlan. Dinner that evening was terrific, a Mexican mixture of chicken, vegetables, rice and salad. Such generous and friendly people!

 

A few blocks away from our hotel room is the Museo de la Sal. In this simple museum the story of the history of the production of sea salt dating to pre-Hispanic times is told. The very coarse grain of salt is still produced and may be found for sale in the town.

Entrance to the museum is free and donations are accepted.

 

The town of Cuyutlan itself is very quiet and has a wild west feel to it. We expected to see riders on horseback, but the town almost seemed abandoned.

 

Looking for something different and of interest to do, since the waves were too powerful to body surf, my girlfriend and I went to the turtle sanctuary and hoped to take the lagoon trip.

In the right of this photo you will see the taxi sign and the word tortuga which means turtle in Spanish, and an arrow pointing in the direction of the turtle reserve.

 

We paid 40 Pesos for a 5 kilometer taxi ride to the Miguel Álvarez Center and the cost to enter was another 25 Pesos each. Sea turtles come to these local beaches to lay their eggs from June to December and the Center collects and hatches the eggs followed by release of the turtles into the ocean.

I had never seen anything like this and was looking forward to it.

 

I must be honest, the turtle displays were more than disappointing. There were few signs explaining the process (all in Spanish of course), and no one to speak with to shed light on the activity of the center. The exhibits themselves were sparse and subclass.

Those working in the sanctuary seemed bored, uninformed and most certainly lacked any kind of customer service training.

What a shame! It is a missed opportunity for them.

 

So I focused on taking the lagoon ride, which promised to be beautiful and showcased over 1,000 species of birds, almost 300 of them migratory.

 

Unfortunately, my girlfriend and I were the only two people at this sanctuary today, and the boat driver who went around the lagoon 'required' 3 people to take the trip. Maybe he preferred not to start his boat and would rather have taken a nap in the shade.

Another disappointment, but situations like this often happen in small towns in the third world.

Oh, that lagoon is beautiful!

 

Returning to our hotel rooms, we just laughed at our high expectations, and went to the beach to watch another spectacular sunset. No requirements necessary, no explanations needed, and it was Nature at her best!

 

Here I am enjoying morning tea on the veranda, catching up on a bit of note taking before heading to the bus station to catch a ride to our next destination, San Juan de Lima.

We had plenty of time to have breakfast and get Tortas to go for our lunch from Teresita’s across from our hotel.

 

Talk about a BIG head!

This monument of Benito Juarez is a tribute to the Mexican leader who headquartered his government in Colima during the War of Reform in 1858. He moved his government temporarily to Cuyutlan, an action in which the citizens take great pride.

After paying our hotel bill, we walked down the center streets of town to this Jardin and waited for the bus. We arrived at 10 a.m., and the bus comes at both 9:45 and 10:15.

Off to hub-Armeria once again where we were dropped off at the bus central. Walking into town, we purchased tickets for Tecoman at 10 Pesos each and arrived there at 11:30 a.m. At the bus station we bought tickets to San Juan de Lima for 32 Pesos each, had our sandwiches, and waited for the noon bus. As is typical in Mexico, the noon bus left at 12:17 p.m.

San Juan de Lima promised to be another tiny coastal town with her wide, wide beach and gentle waves for body surfing.

 

Traveling south down the Pacific coast of Mexico is a must adventure for any traveler. Our style is to go slow and if we like a place, we stay longer, ‘getting local’ as soon as possible. This means we scout out where the neighbors shop, the restaurants they frequent and we make friends along the way with store owners, the maids, and anyone who lives in town. These people know where the best prices and value can be found – it’s certainly not where the tourists shop.

The Adventurer's Guide to the Pacific Coast of Mexico details our route, the places we stayed, prices we paid along this adventure and history and culture of these locations. We also give you names of hotels in each area, the transportation available, useful information and the pros and cons of each place as we viewed it. To learn more, Click here

About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their popular website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.

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