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Chapala Living Guide is based on our first hand eperience of living in Chapala, Mexico

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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Vallarta Plus Bus Trip

Chacala, Nayarit, Mexico

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Going to the beach from Chapala, Mexico is an easy affair. One simply hops a bus and goes. Well... more or less.

Below is our bus trip from Chapala to the tiny fishing village of Chacala on Mexico's Pacific Coast.

Vallarta Plus Coach

Vallarta Plus Coach

We took an Uber ride from Chapala (250Pesos about $14USD) to the "New Bus Station" in Guadalajara City.

 From there we took Vallarta Plus bus line (457Pesos about $25USD) in Guadalajara to the Pacific Coast of Mexico. Our plan was to have the driver drop us off in Las Varas so that we could easily make our way to our destination of Chacala, a small beach town in the State of Nayarit.

This first class bus was great. It was very modern with individual entertainment screens located on the seat back in front of us as well as USB jacks for a power source and free Wifi on board. The seats are comfy - they lean back and have individual foot rests - and these buses have air-conditioning and bathrooms too.

This map shows you Lake Chapala, Guadalajara and the town of Las Varas near the coast

This map shows you Lake Chapala, Guadalajara and the town of Las Varas near the coast

The beach town of Chacala is south of Las Varas, about 9km towards the ocean.





We ended up taking a taxi from an intersection of this road that leads to Chacala and the road on which Las Varas was located. That taxi ride was 100Pesos that we bargained down to 80Pesos (From $5.50 to about $4.50USD)

Poster of Vallarta Plus bus lines

Poster of Vallarta Plus bus lines

Before we boarded our bus, we were given a "bag lunch" of a piece of fruit, an oatmeal cookie and a drink of our choice - fruit juice or soda.

Cruising along the highways making our way to the beach was nice and smooth.

Reservations are able to be made online, or you can purchase your ticket when you arrive at the station.

Waiting for the bus to leave to the beach!

Waiting for the bus to leave to the beach!

We fully expected to be dropped off in the town of Las Varas as an option destination. But when I asked the driver about letting us off in Las Varas before our scheduled stop in La Penita, he said he could not stop the bus just for us.


If you are traveling with luggage, it can be placed here in bins under the bus

If you are traveling with luggage, it can be placed here in bins under the bus

So we exited the bus in La Penita about 20 minutes south of the turn-off road for Chacala.

Not knowing how quick we could turn around and head north again, we decided to find a restaurant and eat lunch. Meanwhile we are asking locals about the best way to get to Chacala.

We learn that across the street from where we were left off is Pacifico's Bus office and we can get a ticket there for the twenty minute ride, costing 25Pesos, about $1.35USD.



So after eating a quick meal, we scramble to the other side of the street, and no sooner did we arrive at Pacifico's Bus office, a coach pulled up.

We ran to catch it.

This driver left us off at the intersection with the road that turns towards Chacala. From there we picked up a private taxi for 80 Pesos for the 9 KM trip to the beach.

Everything was falling into place pretty quickly here.

Las Varas to the beach town of Chacala

Las Varas to the beach town of Chacala

Editors Note:

Our suggestion is to use Pacifico Bus Line straight from Guadalajara as they have a scheduled stop in Las Varas saving you time and hassle. The bus is not as nice, no Wifi, "free bagged lunch" or electrical outlets, but you still get there.

Vallarta Plus costs 457Pesos (about $25USD) one way to Penitas and Pacifico charges 330Pesos (about $18USD) one way to Las Varas where you can pick up a cab.

The reward!

The reward!

Getting to Chacala was well worth the trip. The beach is tranquilo, the weather was perfect, beers were cold and the seafood was fresh.

Everything we wanted.

Sunset in the tiny cove

Sunset in the tiny cove

If you find the Goldilocks version of a hotel (not too expensive, and not a dump) and if you eat more in the local places versus the Gringo vacation versions, Chacala is a very affordable beach option in which to spend some time.





There are camping grounds near one end of the cove if you are driving, and there are spa options, and middle of the road hotels as well.

It's a clean beach, family oriented, and fun, fun, fun.

Your table is waiting for you

Your table is waiting for you

If you live in Chapala, Mexico you can take the bus lines as we mentioned above to arrive at this splendid sweet beach.

Chacala is 90 miles north of Puerto Vallarta. So if you live elsewhere, you can fly into the international airport PVR and arrange for a taxi, a shuttle or take a local bus to bring you here.

At any rate, Chacala is worth a visit. Check it out!

For more stories and photos about Mexico, click here

About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website, 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 available on their website bookstore or on

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