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Guayabitos–A Mexican Beach Paradise

Guayabitos–A Mexican Beach Paradise


Omar at Guayabitos

Omar at Guayabitos

Guayabitos and Los Ayala are our favorite Mexican beaches.  Only about 3 and a half hours from our house on good roads, they are situated in a gorgeous bay, with deserted beaches, jungle, and rocky islands to explore.  Come along on an escape with us!

Note:  Guayabitos and the town of Los Ayala abut each other, with a little hill in between.  We tend to use the name Guayabitos more, but most of the following adventures take place a few feet farther south, in Los Ayala.

Most adventures start out in our little Chevy.  We've transpirted everything from 12 foot palm trees to wedding cakes to 9 and a half month pregnant ladies in our trusty car.  Coco is checking the tires.

Most adventures start out in our little Chevy. We've transpirted everything from 12 foot palm trees to wedding cakes to 9 and a half month pregnant ladies in our trusty car. Coco is checking the tires.

We stopped near Chapultepec for breakfast in the restaurant Jarro, where the Via Recreativa takes place.  You can see folks on bikes--every Sunday miles of roads close in Guadalajara and the hikers and the bikers and the skaters take over.  There was a "Golden Rain" tree in front of the restaurant.  We want one for the park.

We stopped near Chapultepec for breakfast in the restaurant Jarro, where the Via Recreativa takes place. You can see folks on bikes--every Sunday miles of roads close in Guadalajara and the hikers and the bikers and the skaters take over. There was a "Golden Rain" tree in front of the restaurant. We want one for the park.

Lots of pines at elevations a mile high.  This shot is near the Ceborucu Volcano--you can see black lava flow (center).  For a kilometer or so there are acres and acres of tumbled black volcanic rock, with lime green patches of lichen.

Lots of pines at elevations a mile high. This shot is near the Ceborucu Volcano--you can see black lava flow (center). For a kilometer or so there are acres and acres of tumbled black volcanic rock, with lime green patches of lichen.

At a rest stop along the way, this palm was in flower.  The climate changes a lot between cool, dry Guadalajara and the humid coast.

At a rest stop along the way, this palm was in flower. The climate changes a lot between cool, dry Guadalajara and the humid coast.

We never make reservations, and because teachers (and students) had a long weekend for Teacher's Day, many of the hotels were full.  But the third one we tried had several vacancies.  We climbed 54 steps, opened the door, and this was our view...

We never make reservations, and because teachers (and students) had a long weekend for Teacher's Day, many of the hotels were full. But the third one we tried had several vacancies. We climbed 54 steps, opened the door, and this was our view...

There were plenty of folks on the beach, but people here tend to clump in front of their hotel.  If you walk a way in either direction, there was lots of space.  Even better--Monday everyone went home and we had the place to ourselves for three days.

There were plenty of folks on the beach, but people here tend to clump in front of their hotel. If you walk a way in either direction, there was lots of space. Even better--Monday everyone went home and we had the place to ourselves for three days.

We had a wonderful view of the pool...

We had a wonderful view of the pool...

...and of well-tended tropical gardens.

...and of well-tended tropical gardens.

Of course, we also had a fine view of the "showers-for-rent" place.

Of course, we also had a fine view of the "showers-for-rent" place.

We rented a "bungalo" for four, with a nice kitchen so we can cook up all the fresh fish and fruit.  Pots and pans and dishes are provided (but we bring a lot of our own, because we are fussy cooks).

We rented a "bungalo" for four, with a nice kitchen so we can cook up all the fresh fish and fruit. Pots and pans and dishes are provided (but we bring a lot of our own, because we are fussy cooks).

Omar and Pablo waste no time in whipping up something good.

Omar and Pablo waste no time in whipping up something good.

Our bungalow rented for $54 a night.  The price was up because of high season.  Still not bad when we split it with Ceci and Pablo!

Our bungalow rented for $54 a night. The price was up because of high season. Still not bad when we split it with Ceci and Pablo!

Ceci is ready to check out the beach.

Ceci is ready to check out the beach.

We'll never get down this way.

We'll never get down this way.

Yahoo!  The beach!  Coco sees a peso...

Yahoo! The beach! Coco sees a peso...

Omar goes into action.  "I smell good things on sticks!"

Omar goes into action. "I smell good things on sticks!"

Restaurant Row.  There is no shortage of grilled fish, shrimp, fruit, or bread--banana, coconut, yaka, or nut!  (More on yaka later).

Restaurant Row. There is no shortage of grilled fish, shrimp, fruit, or bread--banana, coconut, yaka, or nut! (More on yaka later).

Here's the spot!  Grilled sierra and shrimp in hot sauce.

Here's the spot! Grilled sierra and shrimp in hot sauce.

Sierra, swimming in the sea a few hours before.

Sierra, swimming in the sea a few hours before.

Shrimp marinaded in "El Huichol" hot sauce (bottle at left) and grilled.

Shrimp marinaded in "El Huichol" hot sauce (bottle at left) and grilled.

First lots more hot sauce.

First lots more hot sauce.

Then a splash of llime.

Then a splash of llime.

OMG that's good!

OMG that's good!

After the drive and the food, we needed a nap.  We woke up just in time for our walk on the beach.

After the drive and the food, we needed a nap. We woke up just in time for our walk on the beach.

The sun's light was just gorgeous.

The sun's light was just gorgeous.

And they ask me why I moved to Mexico...

And they ask me why I moved to Mexico...

Omar and Pablo play beach volleyball..

Omar and Pablo play beach volleyball..

...and spend most of their time falling down in the sand.

...and spend most of their time falling down in the sand.

Coco gets cuddley.  Almost bedtime!

Coco gets cuddley. Almost bedtime!

Guayabitos and Los Ayala are in a big bay--there are rarely any waves.

Guayabitos and Los Ayala are in a big bay--there are rarely any waves.

At night we sat on the beach...

At night we sat on the beach...

And watched fishermen surf fish for skates.  After taking pictures they put them back.

And watched fishermen surf fish for skates. After taking pictures they put them back.

Up early next morning, to meet the fishing boats and see what looks tasty for lunch.

Up early next morning, to meet the fishing boats and see what looks tasty for lunch.

You never know what you will find--Huachinango (Red Snapper) or fish with spots...

You never know what you will find--Huachinango (Red Snapper) or fish with spots...

Big ones and little ones...

Big ones and little ones...

Normal looking fishies...

Normal looking fishies...

Odd buck-tooth parrots....

Odd buck-tooth parrots....

Dangerous denizens of the deep...

Dangerous denizens of the deep...

And coral-eaters a lovely shafe of blue.

And coral-eaters a lovely shafe of blue.

Coco wanted to see this guy...

Coco wanted to see this guy...

He had really jumbo shrimp.

He had really jumbo shrimp.

Lots of birds hang around the fishing boats.  Throw a fish carcass in the air, and it rarely hits water before it is claimed.

Lots of birds hang around the fishing boats. Throw a fish carcass in the air, and it rarely hits water before it is claimed.

We finally decided on this beautiful manta ray fillet.  He said the fish was about 40 kilos (88 pounds).  It was incredible--meaty and fresh and tasty.

We finally decided on this beautiful manta ray fillet. He said the fish was about 40 kilos (88 pounds). It was incredible--meaty and fresh and tasty.

I see kayaks!

I see kayaks!

Quick as a wink, we are on the high seas, four feet from shore.  No--actually we got pretty far out, for landlubbers.  Our goal was to explore a distant beach that can only be reached by water.

Quick as a wink, we are on the high seas, four feet from shore. No--actually we got pretty far out, for landlubbers. Our goal was to explore a distant beach that can only be reached by water.

We're off!  We look quite expert in the pictures, I think, but don't believe it.  We all took unexpected dunks, except for Ceci--which is a good thing as she is swimming for two.

We're off! We look quite expert in the pictures, I think, but don't believe it. We all took unexpected dunks, except for Ceci--which is a good thing as she is swimming for two.

Our unexplored beach!  Omar and I are ahead (for once).  We had tried walking through the jungle to get here, but it is very steep and muddy, with 4 pound mosquitoes.  We are really excited to make it here by kayak!

Our unexplored beach! Omar and I are ahead (for once). We had tried walking through the jungle to get here, but it is very steep and muddy, with 4 pound mosquitoes. We are really excited to make it here by kayak!

The group photo.  We felt like Magellan or Captain Cook or Arthur Frommer or something.  Anyway, a great moment.  The jungle comes right down to the sea.

The group photo. We felt like Magellan or Captain Cook or Arthur Frommer or something. Anyway, a great moment. The jungle comes right down to the sea.

The beach was ALMOST deserted.  We snorkled around the rocks, floatinvg with the currents and visiting with the fish and crabs.

The beach was ALMOST deserted. We snorkled around the rocks, floatinvg with the currents and visiting with the fish and crabs.

Exploring near the shore.  A wonderful adventure.

Exploring near the shore. A wonderful adventure.

Back to Los Ayala.  Pablo doesn't swim, and Ceci is 5 months along, so we kept an eye on them.  We had life vests and our friends aren't the kind to panic, so we knew they would be OK, even though we were a way out.

Back to Los Ayala. Pablo doesn't swim, and Ceci is 5 months along, so we kept an eye on them. We had life vests and our friends aren't the kind to panic, so we knew they would be OK, even though we were a way out.

Back on the beach.  Coco will stand the water and a little swimming, as long as she can take a vigorous sand bath afterwards.  She looks llike a dust devil when she gets going.

Back on the beach. Coco will stand the water and a little swimming, as long as she can take a vigorous sand bath afterwards. She looks llike a dust devil when she gets going.

She ends up throughly breaded and ready to fry.  Coco looks like a mistreated and abandoned pup from "Annie" or something, but it is just her drama kicking in.  She is happiest when she is covered with sand.  After all her exertions, she wants to take a nap in our bed.  Not before another dip, though.  "But I took a bath yesterday!"

She ends up throughly breaded and ready to fry. Coco looks like a mistreated and abandoned pup from "Annie" or something, but it is just her drama kicking in. She is happiest when she is covered with sand. After all her exertions, she wants to take a nap in our bed. Not before another dip, though. "But I took a bath yesterday!"

Tomorrow, the island!

Tomorrow, the island!

There's plenty of time to rest between adventures.

There's plenty of time to rest between adventures.

The weather was great--a little hazy, high about 85, in the 60's at night.  Here's a "taco de ojo!"

The weather was great--a little hazy, high about 85, in the 60's at night. Here's a "taco de ojo!"

The view Omar is seeing.  The deserted beach is just around the hill in the background.

The view Omar is seeing. The deserted beach is just around the hill in the background.

Back to the beach, for hiking...

Back to the beach, for hiking...

Cuddling...

Cuddling...

And "walking" the dog.

And "walking" the dog.

We even tried volleyball again.

We even tried volleyball again.

That night we sat on the beach under the coconut palms...

That night we sat on the beach under the coconut palms...

And watched our insect control system at work.

And watched our insect control system at work.

A new morning.

A new morning.

Today the island!  Actually there are two islands--La Penita and the smaller Cangrejo.

Today the island! Actually there are two islands--La Penita and the smaller Cangrejo.

This time we chartered a lancha to take us to the island.  Coco called it a yacht, but just to her friends.  It did have a foggy glass bottom.

This time we chartered a lancha to take us to the island. Coco called it a yacht, but just to her friends. It did have a foggy glass bottom.

Happiest when we're on an adventure!

Happiest when we're on an adventure!

It looks like me floating on my back

It looks like me floating on my back

Cangrejo Island is named for it's crabs.  If you look close, there is an iguana at the top.

Cangrejo Island is named for it's crabs. If you look close, there is an iguana at the top.

A study in grey

A study in grey

To the big island.  It's coral reef was damaged by a storm, but it is coming back.  It isn't the Great Barrier reef, but we saw lots of colorful fish, including globe fish and eels, and other neat creatures like sea urchins.

To the big island. It's coral reef was damaged by a storm, but it is coming back. It isn't the Great Barrier reef, but we saw lots of colorful fish, including globe fish and eels, and other neat creatures like sea urchins.

Landfall.  After the boat left, we had the small beach all to ourselves.

Landfall. After the boat left, we had the small beach all to ourselves.

La Penita beach

La Penita beach

Coco, well dusted again, picks out our campsite.

Coco, well dusted again, picks out our campsite.

Home sweet home.  In a little while a boat pulled up and a lady came to sell us fruit, ham sandwiches, and beer.  We never go hungry.

Home sweet home. In a little while a boat pulled up and a lady came to sell us fruit, ham sandwiches, and beer. We never go hungry.

We alternated between snorkling and contemplating life.

We alternated between snorkleing and contemplating life.

A happy Mexican boy.

A happy Mexican boy.

Too bad he is so unphotogenic.  This picture reminds me of Luis Bunuel's "Un Chien Andalou" in which there is a similar shot, alternatig with a sea urchin.  There's your culture for the day.

Too bad he is so unphotogenic. This picture reminds me of Luis Bunuel's "Un Chien Andalou" in which there is a similar shot, alternatig with a sea urchin. There's your culture for the day.

Pablo has an idea...

Pablo has an idea...

Let's bury Coco!

Let's bury Coco!

Snug as a bug in a rug.

Snug as a bug in a rug.

She ended up looking like a sugar donut.

She ended up looking like a sugar donut.

Back to the bungalow.

Back to the bungalow.

We recount the day's events...

We recount the day's events...

Dan teaches Omar the "Pledge of Alligence" as they look at the stars.  Wrong hand, Dan.

Dan teaches Omar the "Pledge of Alligence" as they look at the stars. Wrong hand, Dan.

On our last day we stopped at a tropical fruit stand, and parked under a yaka tree.

On our last day we stopped at a tropical fruit stand, and parked under a yaka tree.

Yaka is breadfruit, I think, but instead of being starchy it is full of thumb-size fruits an orangey-beige color, with flavor of melon and bananas and papaya and mango and cod-liver oil (just kidding on the last one).  They also have a very sticky latex that will ruin your knives--it was used to caulk ships.

Yaka is breadfruit, I think, but instead of being starchy it is full of thumb-size fruits an orangey-beige color, with flavor of melon and bananas and papaya and mango and cod-liver oil (just kidding on the last one). They also have a very sticky latex that will ruin your knives--it was used to caulk ships.

Can you find the faux yaka?  Coco says "I don't even want to KNOW you."

Can you find the faux yaka? Coco says "I don't even want to KNOW you."

They offer a wide variety of sweets, most made from coconut or cajeta.

They offer a wide variety of sweets, most made from coconut or cajeta.

When you buy a coconut first you drink the fresh, slightly tangy juice.  It tastes more "green" than like coconut.

When you buy a coconut first you drink the fresh, slightly tangy juice. It tastes more "green" than like coconut.

When you are done you give back your empty coconut, and they open it and take out the meat for you.  Usually the meat is rubbery but this coconut was young and it was almost like pudding inside.  Very tasty with chile.  Cost for the experience?  45 cents.

When you are done you give back your empty coconut, and they open it and take out the meat for you. Usually the meat is rubbery but this coconut was young and it was almost like pudding inside. Very tasty with chile. Cost for the experience? 45 cents.

Everything's better if you share.  No, we didn't change our clothes (although anything is possible with fashion conscious Omar).  This was taken on another visit, but I like the picture so here it is.

Everything's better if you share. No, we didn't change our clothes (although anything is possible with fashion conscious Omar). This was taken on another visit, but I like the picture so here it is.

Altogether, a wonderful four days.

Altogether, a wonderful four days.

We had the best adventures...

We had the best adventures...

And enjoyed every minute.

And enjoyed every minute.

Ceci and Pablo are the perfect traveling companions--interested in everything, willing to try new experiences and foods, they have a child's sense of wonder and appreciate every minute.

Ceci and Pablo are the perfect traveling companions--interested in everything, willing to try new experiences and foods, they have a child's sense of wonder and appreciate every minute.

Great friends and new experiences in a beautifull setting...

Great friends and new experiences in a beautifull setting...

It doesn't get any better!

It doesn't get any better!

Postscript:  Many of the unspoiled beaches in the area--including our favorites--have recently been sold by the government to developers, including second-richest guy in the world, Carlos Slim.  We are hoping they set aside and protect these rare and beautiful natural areas, and plan their resorts carefully (although we will never be able to afford them).  Here Coco gives the raspberry to the whole idea.

Postscript: Many of the unspoiled beaches in the area--including our favorites--have recently been sold by the government to developers, including second-richest guy in the world, Carlos Slim. We are hoping they set aside and protect these rare and beautiful natural areas, and plan their resorts carefully (although we will never be able to afford them). Here Coco gives the raspberry to the whole idea.


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Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.