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
another, smaller bus.
on the way to Armeria is mountainous with big skies; roads were wide
and well made.
we asked around for where to catch the next transport to Cuyutlan,
and were directed a block or two away. Unfortunately, the bus had
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.
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 (!)
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!
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.
the beach umbrellas and chairs are filled but today we had every
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.
umbrellas we enjoyed 3 shrimp quesadillas for 45 Pesos, about $3.50 USD.
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
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
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
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.
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.
disappointment, but situations like this often happen in small towns
in the third world.
Oh, that lagoon is
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
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
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
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.