Sunday, December 30, 2007

Updates, For People Coming to Chacala

I was at the PV airport today and it's all open again. With nice new bathrooms near the Arrivals area. The only problem was that two of the three ATMs were not connected .But the HSBC ATM is functioning. It's at the corner where the departure area starts, at the end of the concession area that starts near the Arrival area.


The easiest way to take the bus to Chacala is as follows. There are more options in the following posts. And photos of how to leave the airport, etc.

Walk out the door of the airport that is right ahead of you as you leave the baggage-customs area.

Go to your left, over to the pedestrian bridge that crosses the highway.

Cross the bridge.

There is a bus top across the highway, for city and inter-city buses going north. The Central Camionera, long distance terminal is about a mile north of here. But you can avoid the terminal and save from 10 to 70 pesos by following these directions. And some time too.

Usually there are a number of people waiting for city buses here and you can ask for help. Be sure to watch for your bus, and wave it down. They won´t stop if they don´t see anyone waving for it.

You want to take the ATM (grey colored bus) to Brucerias. Each bus has several destinations painted on the windshield in white paint. This bus is 10 pesos. You need to have pesos and correct change or something small, like a 20 peso bill.

Tell the driver you want to go to Brucerias. Pronounced Brew-sir-re-us

Brucerias is a long town on either side of the highway.

Ask a neighbor on the bus to tell you when you get to Brucerias. It's about 15 minutes north of PV.

Then, when you get into Brucerias, go up to the driver and ask to be let off at the Pacifico bus terminal. Say ¨Pah-si-fee-co por favor". He will either let you off the corner before the little office front bus terminal or right in front of it. Be sure to get off in Brucerias.

The bus fare from Brucerias to Las Varas (say "Las Baras") is 60 pesos. Less than $6us.

In Las Varas, another 1.5 hours, more or less to the north, the taxis to Chacala are right at the corner. About 100 pesos. 10$us. If you arrive before about 4;30pm and don´t have much stuff you can take the collectivo to Chacala for 12pesos. About 1.10us. The collectivo stop for Chacala is two blocks back down the highway, the way you came into Las Varas.

If you have a reservation in Chacala make sure the person who took the reservation gives you specific directions for how to get you the place you rented. Makes it easier, especially at night.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday Before Christmas in Chacala

It´s been overcast today, at least first thing in the morning. And now, about 4:30pm, it has clouded over again. We are still having cold nights, 62-64F lows. Ugh. 80Fs in the days.

More and more tourists are arriving. But I expect the bigger group will be Christmas Day, when families from Guadalajara and other mountain towns in Mexico will arrive in Chacala. Big families, camping for the week and filling up whatever rooms are available. Some of the rentals here are mostly rented by families. Big families who are comfortable squeezing in together for the night.

I love how families seem to be in Mexico. Of course, my fantasies are probably nothing to do with reality. But in four years I have only seen kids getting whacked a couple of times. Maybe three. In the US I was always hearing a whack and then a child´s scream in supermarkets and big box stores. Maybe I am not spending enough time in huge stores in Mexico. If I did, I might see the kind of child abuse-random violence I often saw in the U.S.

I still have the grippe. Last night and this morning were awful. Throat raw and burning, headache, and sneezing and constantly running nose. But the Mapaches or whatever they are stayed away. Or I slept through their visit.

This is the last or second to last night of the Posada, and I am headed off to find it. I am going to a local party tomorrow night and a gringo party Christmas afternoon. Should be interesting.

For the past few days there has been a huge, maybe 30 by 40 foot chunk of whale fat-flesh floating in and out on the tide down on the beach in front of Mar de Jade. Really gross, but not to smelly.

Must be the God´s gift to Chacala, paybacks for the continuing destruction of the natural environment here.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Chacala Nayarit Mexico

Chacala, Nayarit, is located on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, about 2 hours north of Puerto Vallarta. Read this site for information about:
* Travelling to Chacala from the airport
Driving from the PV airport to Chacala
* Buying and Building in Chacala
* Favorite Locally-owned Businesses in Chacala
*Camping in Chacala
*Other Chacala Websites
*Visiting the Petroglyphs
*Fishing, Whale Watching, and Surfing
Learning Spanish thru Immersion.

Please contact me at with questions, suggestions, or corrections.

For photos and contact info for almost all the rentals in Chacala,
go to Chacala Vacation Rentals

To read about living in Chacala, go to My Life in Chacala

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Chacala Nayarit

Chacala is a small tourist and fishing town on the Pacific coast of Mexico, about two hours north of Puerto Vallarta. Chacala has a beautiful sandy beach with a safe gentle slope, and the water is comfortable year-around. Chacala is a good place to learn Spanish, because for about eight months of the year there are very few English-speaking residents or tourists in Chacala.

To the right on this page "Links" connects you to various sites about Chacala.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Photos of Puerto Vallarta Airport and Bus Terminal

THE POST WAS UPDATED December 17 2007

This website provides information about Chacala Nayarit.
If you are interested in renting in Chacala Nayarit, go to
Chacala Vacation Rentals or
Or for more rental photos go to Chacala Rentals


These directions begin at the PV airport, and were originally intended specifically for people heading toward Chacala, Nayarit via the Pacific Busline. However, I have added info for people heading for:

Mezcales (Pacifico terminal)
Brucerias (Pacifico terminal)
Sayulita - (to town or to highway dropoff - 1.5 miles into town)
San Franciso/San Pancho (on the highway at the edge of town)
Lo de Marcos (on the highway at the edge of town)
Le Monteon (on the highway at the edge of town)
Guayabitos (on the highway) (better to take the bus to La Penita and take a taxi or combi)
Los Ayalos (on the highway) (better to take the bus to La Penita and take a taxi or combi)
La Penita (Pacifico terminal)
and Las Varas/Chacala. (Pacifico terminal)

The same bus continues north to Compostella and Tepic.

Photos and Directions

This (below) is your first view as you exit the customs/baggage area in the Puerto Vallarta airport. Straight ahead, outside, and to the left is the beginning of the bridge that goes across the street to the cheaper taxis and to the city buses going north to the bus terminal. "ATM" buses headed directly for Brucerias and Sayulita also stop here.

Normally, this area is filled with drivers waving signs and calling to you. And friends, etc.
There is a booth with the more expensive airport-sanctioned taxis here, with prices posted.This would be the doorway (below) you just came out of as you left the customs and baggage area (if you turned around and looked behind you).If you want to use the restrooms, the ATM cash machines, the Cash Exchange, or get a snack or liquid refreshment, or whatever, follow the directions at the top of this post.

(as follows: Leave the Arrivals area at the big taxi sign. Go to your right, and then your right again. Walk along the building for about 100 to the big glass doors and reenter the airport, on the Departures side.)

There are three ATMs at the airport, and none at the bus terminal (so get some pesos at the airport), and there is no baggage holding area at the PV airport.This is a taxi stand you probably want to avoid. It's very expensive and it's the same taxis as across the street.
Once you are back in the airport buildng, on the Departures side, there are all kinds of stores, a bar, bathrooms, a money exchange window, the first of three ATMs, a magazine and gifty-y shop, and a "Cuban" bar. There is a Starbucks upstairs, near the departure area. And a Carl's Jr. This is the Bancomer ATM, which I think has no extra fee. This is another taxi window is for the expensive "official" taxis whose drivers pay the airport to drive into the parking area.

After you do whatever, go back outside and back around the building and notice the bridge overhead, crossing the highway. There's usually a bunch of big charter buses here, taking people to resorts.
Go toward the bridge, and find the rampway, following the guy in the white shirt. And you will see the start of the bridge across the highway. To the less expensive taxis and the buses. You have to cross the bridge to get an affordable taxi, a city bus or an ATM (short distance) bus. And some places to eat and buy drinks, snacks, etc.

You walk across the highway, and down the ramp. The taxis are behind you and the bus stop is in front of you as you come off the ramp.
Taxi waiting area.
If you are heading to Mezcales, Brucerias, or Sayulita, you can catch aa ATM bus (grey new looking buses) or a taxi here. The buses have their destinations written on them in white paint. On the window. Or someone at the bus stop might help you. Wave at the bus you want, otherwise they might not stop for you.
This is the inside of an ATM bus headed toward Brucerias.
OPTION #1 (north to Chacala and other stops)
The quickest and cheapest way from the airport to Chacala via bus is to catch the "ATM" bus (at this bus stop across the bridge from the airport) to Brucerias (10 pesos), and get off at the Pacifico bus ticket office there - the driver will stop there if you ask him to. say "Pacifico, por favor". This is the Pacifico Bus Terminal in Brucerias.
(It's the exact same buses that start out at the bus terminal.)
This is their second stop coming nort
Then buy a ticket to Las Varas via the Pacifico bus (60 pesos). They come every half hour. There is a free bathroom there, probably no TP. And a small tienda down the street. Your bus will say "Tepic" or possibly, "Guadalajara".

The advantages to taking one of these local buses is
1) you don't have to go to the Bus Terminal (Caminonera Central),
2) they cost between 8 and 20 pesos (75cents/2.00US),
3) in the case of Sayulita, the bus that says "Sayulita" will take you right into Sayulita. Most of the Pacifico buses drop you on the highway where there is unlikely to be a taxi and you have to walk about 3/4 or a mile, maybe further). However, a few Pacifico bus DO go into Sayulita, but I don't know how that works.

There are also collectivos/combis going by, but you would need to know what you were doing and exactly where you wanted to go to take one.

Option #2
If you aren't taking the ATM bus to Brucerias but want to take the bus to Chacala you must get to the Camionera Central, about two miles away.
Getting to the Central Camionera
(Inter-city bus terminal)
You will need to catch either a taxi or a city bus to go to the Central Camionera.

City bus: You have to ask the bus driver if he is going there because it's hard to tell from the window signs where they are going. Again, someone may help you if you ask. 4.5 pesos.(40 cents). You need pesos, not dollars or loonies. It's hard for the drivers to understand gringos saying Central Camionera. Roll your R's. The drivers are usually in a hurry and not passenger friendly.

The blue bus with a sign that starts with Mojo goes right by the corner of the bus terminal. that's the best bet, I think.

Taxi: The taxi drivers across the bridge usually watch for people coming across the bridge and ask if you want a taxi. The taxi to the bus terminal should be about $6o pesos ($6US), a little more if there is more than one person and/or lots of luggage. The driver might offer to drive you to whereever you are going. Chacala is usually about 600 pesos. $55 , but it could be much more.

Don't let the taxi guy drop you off at the Vallarta Plus terminal (new, small, on the right before the real terminal). Those buses are expensive and only leave every few hours, and opposed to Pacifico, whicis is 70 pesos and leaves every 20 or 30 minutes.

Camionera Central
This is the entrance to bus terminal. The city bus leaves you about a 70 feet away, and it's obvious where to walk to. The taxi leaves you at the door.
This is the Pacifico window. If you aren't confident with your Spanish, it helps to have a piece of paper and pen handy. You want to go to Las Varas (pronounced Las Baras). I used to write a note, and show it to the guy. They never have change for a 500 peso bill, and sometimes not for a 200 peso bill, so planning ahead is good. It's now $80 pesos for a one-way ticket to Las Varas, about 30 pesos to San Francisco.
After you by your ticket, the ticket guy will usually point on the ticket the number of your bus and the number of the slot it will be at. And what time it will leave.

They have loudspeakers, in Spanish, but I wouldn't count of hearing anything. It's better go outside about 10 minutes before the bus is supposed to leave and stand around with the other people going on the Tepic bus.

There is a bathroom inside the terminal, clean, and now some have toilet seats, for 3 pesos each. There are a couple of junk food places and a small restaurant that sells beer too, I think.
There is also a baggage check. Very cheap. Not for overnight. Some people take their stuff there, go do errands around town, and come back to the Terminal and head north.

There is NO BAGGAGE CHECK at the P.V. airport.

Often there is no toilet on the bus, or it isn't working. Planning ahead is good because the buses doesn't make bathroom stops until Las Varas.

(Below)This is where the buses wait for the passengers at the P.V. bus terminal. The bus to Las Varas (and Mezcales, Brucerias, Sayulita, San Francisco, Guayabitos/La Penita, etc) is actually the bus to Tepic, and the sign in the window will say Tepic.

The driver take you ticket and will notice you are going to Las Varas (or wherever), but you might mention it to him or his helper as you board.

If you have lots of stuff you can ask to have it put underneath, or the driver may insist. They give you claim tickets and are pretty careful about the luggage. But sit on the passenger side and keep an eye on what comes out of the luggage compartment at bus stops, in case there's a problem. And keep your claim check. And your ticket.

Make sure the driver knows where you are going. If there is no one waiting to get on the bus, and the driver don't realize where you want to get off they won't stop. The only Pacifico bus stops with bathrooms are Mezcales, Brucerias and La Penita, and Las Varas, but don't count of being able to get off the bus, or that the toilets will be available at any of those stops. The trip north is about 2 hours to Las Varas.
This is the Las Varas Pacifico bus terminal for northbound buses. The taxi stop (to Chacala) is at the corner going back. It's obvious most of the time, with a line of taxis waiting, until early evening sometime. The gringo charge is usually 90/100 pesos ($8 or 9US) If you want to try to catch the collectivo to Chacala, walk another block down/south the same the bus came into town on, past the CMQ pharmacy, cross at the signal, walk past the furniture store and Dani's Tacos, and turn left.
Right there is the collectivo stop for Chacala (10 pesos) and some other towns. They start running about 7am until about 6 or so at night. If you have alot of stuff and the collectivo is full, you might consider taking a taxi rather than crowding in.If you have a reservation, or a place you want to go to, ask the driver to take you there. If the collectivo driver seems to be going out of his way for you, or helps you, tip him. 10 or 20 pesos.
Many of the taxi drivers and combi drivers know where all the rentals are. Someone will know.

If you don't have a reservation, you might get off the Juan's Joker Tienda, and walk up the hill (away from the ocean). There are some good rentals this way. The ones up on the paved road, 100 feet are Techos de Mexico rentals (Aurora and Concha), Casa Chacala, and Casa Iguana.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Driving to Chacala from Puerto Vallarta

Driving to Chacala from Puerto Vallarta
And suggestion for driving in Mexico

Note that the time is Chacala is one hour earlier (Mtn time) than PV (Central). This is important when returning for your flight.

When you leave the airport, you will be following the signs to “Compostela.” If you are renting from one of the rentals counters at the airport, many of them are on the highway going north, and their van will take you from the airport to the car.

Then it is easy to go north (and trickier when you return). You want to be on Nayarít Highway 200, north. All the way from the airport to the turnoff to Chacala. The signs start out saying “Compostela,” which is much farther than Chacala. Nothing will say “Chacala.” Later in the journey, the signs will add “Tepic,” which is even farther, but tell you that you are on the right track.It takes about 90 minutes to get to Chacala, but it totally depends on traffic.

The first half of the drive is mostly in mountains. The highway is all two lanes, with no shoulders and few turnouts. Be patient. And watch out for impatient drivers.

Parts of this road carry a lot of traffic. You will pass by Sayulita, San Francisco, Lo de Marcos and El Monten. Then comes Guayabitos-La Penita, where there are four traffic lights.

The turnoff to Chacala is about 15 minutes north of La Penita.

The landmarks before the turn-off to Chacala:

When you pass a white LP Gas Station on the left, called “Global Gas,” you are getting close. About a mile past the Global station there is a string of fruit stands on the right. When you start seeing them, you know you are close.

The road to Chacala is a wide intersection on the left. In order to correctly make the left hand turn to get onto the Chacala road, you need to pull over to the right, on the gravel in front of the fruit stands, and stop opposite the Chacala road.

And then wait for a break in the traffic and zip across the highway. DO NOT stop on the highway and signal to make a left. You will probably cause a wreck if you do that.

There is a hotel called Dora Maria on the far left corner, across from the fruit stands. If you reach Las Varas, a town about a mile north of the turnoff, you will need to turn around and go back south.

To do that move over to the right lane of the highway and then move onto the lateral as it appears, on the edge of town. Drive on the lateral to the first signal, wait for a green arrow and go back out on the highway, heading south.


An important word to know when driving in Mexico is “Topes.” This word and the signs indicating them means that there is a major speed bump of some kind, often on major highways like 200. If you don’t see them and hit them at high speed, make sure your seat belt is fastened! They are used to slow down traffic at villages mostly. There are also areas with a set of grooves , intended to warn you of something.

Many drivers in Mexico over double lines, on curves, hills, etc., so stay sharp.

Passing: If you decide to pass someone, watch for the vehicle passing you while you are passing.
If you are behind a slow truck or bus grinding up a hill, and he gets to where he can see it is safe for you to pass (before you can see over the hill), he will put on his left blinker, to tell you to pass him. Of course, he may also signal left because he is making a left turn!

Left turns are variable, depending on road designs. In some towns like there is a single lane separate from the highway on each side. To turn left, you must get off the highway and onto this lateral, then wait at the intersection for a little green arrow to appear in the signal lights. Traffic will be stopped and you can make a left or U turn.

Other times there is a pull-out to the right, where you wait for your chance to dash left across the highway. The Chacala turn is like that. Do not stop in the highway with your left turn signal blinking.

Traffic signals begin to blink the green before they go to yellow and red. Most Mexican drivers ignore yellow, and many use the red to speed up. Your sudden stops at the first sign of blinking green or yellow will cause trouble. When in Mexico, do as the Mexicans.

Do as the Mexican drivers do. US-Canadian driving rules do not necessarily apply.The road may look the same but the rules are different. Pay attention.

Here are some road signs you might encounter:

No rebase = no passing

No rebase con linea continua = Don’t pass over solid line

Concede cambio las luces = lower your high beams (grant the changing of your lights)

Utilize su cinteron seguridad = fasten your seatbelt.

Moderate su velocidad = slow down (moderate your velocity)

Entroque peligroso = dangerous intersection or crossing (like truck crossing)

Topez a 100 meters = speed bump in 100 meters (300 feet).

No tire basura = don’t throw trash/ no littering

Obedezca las signales = obey the signals

Camino de bajo velocidad = a road of low speed

Conserva limpia la carretera = keep the road clean / no littering.

Chacala Nayarit: Transportation From the PV Airport

(Part of this post is duplicative of the previous entry)
There are a couple of options for getting to Chacala from the Puerto Vallarta airport.

You can make prior arrangements to be picked up at the airport
you can take public transportation (taxi or bus).

In either case, I would suggest you get something to eat before you head out for Chacala, or bring some snacks, because if you arrive after about 6 or 7pm most restaurants are closed. Also, the ATMs (three at the moment) at the airport are the cheapest way to get pesos. There are also money changing windows at the airport (Cambios).

A pre-arranged airport pickup is not cheap, however, particularly for people with lots of luggage, surfboards, disposable income, small kids, or for people with later arrivals who don't want to arrive in Las Varas after dark, this is a very practical option.

During the winter it is dark in Chacala before 5pm. However the airport is one time zone earlier, which gives you an extra hour to get to Chacala before dark.

There a locally-based van service that will pick you up, by reservation, at the airport, and bring you to where ever you are staying in Chacala. The fare is set ahead of time and depends on various factors (arriving or departing, other guests arriving/departing at the same time, season of the year, etc). In both cases you are met by the driver with a sign at the baggage/immigration exit in the airport.

Cundo's Chacala Taxi Service can be reached as follows:

Via email at
By phone at 011 52 327 219 4018
Trini speaks English and the drivers speak some English.

You will be offered a specific fare after you make contact with the specific details of your flight, including airline and the arrival time in Puerto Vallarta. Your arrival time may impact the cost of your trip (shared rides, etc).
Cundo has several large vans with 7 or 8 comfortable seats with seat belts. These vans are clean, new looking, have good insurance, are federally licensed, can carry lots of lugagge and surfboards, and have AC. The drivers speak at least some English, and are licensed and insured.

As of September, 2007, as you walk out of the immigration/baggage area of the airport you will be in the main floor of the airport, which is generally full of resort reps, taxi drivers etc, most with signs. At this moment, if you need a restroom, ATM, phone, money exchange, food, or a newspaper don't walk out the doors in front of you, but walk back around behind the area you just came out of and find what you need. You will notice the new wing of the airport is open, with more shops and restaurants, including an escalator to the second floor departure area.

If you are ready to head for Chacala, and haven't made prior arrangements to be picked up you have several choices.

1. You can take a taxi to Chacala. If you engage a taxi driver within the airport or right outside the door you will pay top price. If you walk out the doors right in front of you as you leave the baggage area and look to the left you will see a ramp leading to a bridge across the highway. On the other side there are other taxi's who haven't paid the special airport fees to be allowed to work right in the airport parking lot. So they are cheaper and no different, as far as I know.

Be sure to negotiate the fare before you get in or allow the driver to take your bags.
You will need pesos from now on, and the airport ATMs are good because they give out smaller bills, which you will need. I think the cheaper taxis are between 60-80 dollars (400-800 pesos) to Chacala. Might be less, might be more. The driver takes less than two hours, depending on this and that.

The taxi driver probably won't know where you are staying in Chacala, but he can ask around and find out for you. Be sure you are taken right to where you are staying and that someone is there with a key. Most planes land in mid to late afternoon in Puerto Vallarta, and chances are you will arrive in Chacala after dark from December-March. If you have reservations, that person will probably make clear arrangements with you about the location of your rental and accessing the key.

2. You can hitch-hike which would be very unusual in urban Mexico and you would possibly attract the interest of the police or (other) disreputable people

3. You can catch the ATM (grey) bus (signs say Bruceria, Punta de Mita, or Sayulita). Get off and Brucerias Pacific mini-terminal, and catch the Pacific bus (runs every 30 minutes) to Las Varas. This is for people without much stuff and some confidence about travelling in Mexico.

3. You can take the bus to Las Varas and taxi or combi to Chacala.(Via the ATM bus to Brucerias and ten Chacala)
You can take the ATM bus from the bus stop across the bridge from the airport to Brucerias. It costs 10 pesos. The buses are grey and modern looking. Wave one down when you see it.
In Brucerias get off at the Pacifico busline stop, which is about halfway thru town, on the highway, on the right. (Say to the driver "Por favor, Pacifico".)
Then catch the Pacifico bus to Las Varas-Tepic. It comes every 30 minutes as is 60 pesos. This is the easiest travel plan. And quickest.

3. You can take the bus to Las Varas and taxi or combi to Chacala.
(Via the Central bus terminal /Camionera Central)
To catch the Pacifico bus, first either take a taxi (by either method above) or a city bus and go to the central bus terminal (Camionera Central). The bus stop is across the bridge, from the airport, near the cheaper taxis. Ask the driver is he is going to the Camionera Central, which is about a mile and a half north of the airport, on the way to Las Varas and Chacala (Nayarit). The bus that has "Mojo....." is the right one.

There is another Chacala (Jalisco) to the south, so be clarify that to the taxi driver. For some reason the gringo pronunciation of Chacala sounds like Chicago to many taxi drivers, so be sure you are hearing each other correctly. There is no ATM at the bus terminal so get pesos at the airport ATM's. The taxi fare from right at the airport is about $15USD or a little more, and from across the bridge is about $6USD. The city bus is about 5 pesos/50 cents US.

When you arrive at the bus terminal enter and go to the Pacifico bus counter and ask for a ticket to Las Varas (V pronounced as B). Usually they run every half hour or so. The ticket is about 76 pesos or about $7USD. Ask what gate the bus leaves from and what time. There are clean bathrooms with TP and turnstiles (30centsUSD). They usually have small change only. No bills. There are a couple of snack shops and little restaurant. You go through little security gate where the guy writes his initials on your ticket. This is a new thing and I have no idea what the point is, except to slow you down when you are late for the bus.

They load the buses quickly. If you have more stuff than you want to take on the bus with you, you can check your stuff under the bus. It's probably a good idea to sit on the passenger side so you can watch you stuff during the brief stops on your way north. If they give you a luggage tag, don't lose it. They will want it when you claim your luggage.

There are taxis to Chacala at the Pacifico bus terminal in Las Varas until maybe 9pm or so, sometimes later, and the fare is usually about $100pesos (US10$). There are two collectivo's going back and forth to Chacala from about 7am to about 5 or 6pm for 12 pesos ( $1.10US). The taxi drivers may be willing to point out the collectivo stop to you. It's about two blocks back the way you came into town and front of the Taco sign. Most of the taxi driver's know their way around Chacala, and the collectivo drivers know everybody in town.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Some of my Favorite Places in Chacala


This is a list of some of my favorite places in Chacala.
I think it only includes places owned by people who live in Chacala.
It is not a complete Chacala resident-owned businesses list.
It includes the places I like to go to the most. Or the people I enjoy the most.

Cundo's/Chacala Van Service offers pick-ups and returns to the PV airport, day trips to various towns in the area (Tepic, Guadalajara, San Blas, Sayulita, Mexicalitan, etc) and to other places of interest to visitors. His vans are clean and very nice. They are federally licensed, with good insurance coverage. The drivers speak at least some English and are licensed and insured. There is room for lots of luggage and surf boards and have 7 or 8 passengers seats with seat belts.Reservations can be reached by calling 011 52 327 219 4018 or by emailing at Or take a look at a new website, Chacala Escape
Or, from the US, call 011 52 327 219 4018.

Lupe's Massages. Lupe is does wonderful massages in your home. Contact her in person. Her home can be reached by staying on the paved road as you approach Chacala (do NOT turn off at the green "Playa Chacala" sign). When the paved road ends at the large wooden gate, turn left and Lupe's is the fourth home on the right hand side of the dirt road.

Trini's Escuela de Espanol (Spanish Immersion Program)
offers group or individual Spanish instruction using an immersion model, which works well in Chacala, where there are few English speakers.
Trini has been teaching Spanish for more than fourteen years, and makes learning Spanish comfortable and not intimidating. Trini can be reached at or
by calling
from the US 011 52 327 219 4018.
Or go to Trini's Escuela de Espanol

Majahua Resort (Small Hotel, Spa, and Gourmet Restaurant)Majahua is a small hotel, five units, located above the south end of Playa Chacala. It has an incredible spa, with massages. The spa has waterfalls and hot and cool ponds, and incredible views of the ocean. The gourmet restaurant is open for guests, and by reservation for visitors.

Chacala Tourist Coop offers boat rides, fishing trips, whale/dolphin watching, and exploring isolated beaches. At least two members of the co-op, each with their own boat(s) are available all day, every day, at the small fishing dock (muelle). The dock is located by following the "Captain de al Puerto" signs all over town. You can fish, whale and dolphin watch, go to the surfing beach (Las Caletas) or the next lovely swimming beach to the south (Las Cuevas). You can also buy fish down at the dock, muelle, in the early morning, fresh off the boats.
To contact the Co-op for reservations or more information email call from the US 011 52 327 219 4018. Or go to the Chacala Tourist Coop website

Chico's Restaurant and Bar
serves delicious smoked and grilled fresh-caught fish and other Mexican and seafood dishes. Their new full-service bar offers whatever you want to drink. The palapa restaurant has two levels, one with concrete and the other with sand floors. You can sit at your table and watch your kids play in the water only a few feet away.
Angeles's (and Francisco's) Tiendas.
This family owns two nice tiendas: one on the beach road, right in front of Chico's restaurant and the other up next to the Church.
Aurora and Beto's Techo de Mexico Tourist Rentals Very affordable and about a block and a half to the beach. Aurora is my favorite landlady in Chacala, and her rooms are my favorite rooms. Shady, with flowers, and quieter than other places in Chacala.Cammie's Tourist ShopSarai's Mini-Mart is located right next door to Trini's Escuela de Espanol, and offers some basic food stuff and coke, milk and water. Sarai in very involved around town, particularly with the kinder and with an adult education class for adults in town who never, or hardly ever, went to school. Now has horrible video games for 1 peso a game.

Juan's Tienda, "The Joker"

Food Delivery Services.
There are a number of individuals in Chacala who sell homemade or professionally-made food by walking around town, sometimes with a wheel-barrow, or sometimes driving. There are t bakers, several orange juice makers, coco drink makers, a person who makes delicious apple tarts and small loaves of sweetbread, and various other cooks. Sometimes there are tamales, you never know. Even Concha sells iced juice drinks during holiday periods.

Paolo and Berta's Taco Stand
is right across the street from the driveway into Chico's parking lot. They have a nice little six table restaurant. Very clean, and decorated with a red/white color theme. The tacos are great and you can watch them being cooked. They have a nice sanitary stainless steel setup that I really like.

Daniela's Tourist Shop
There are a number of souvenir shops with clothes and shoes and tourist stuff. Three of them, Cammie's, Ophelia's, and Daniella's are locally owned and operated.

Fonda de Lupa (Restaurant) This is one on the first puestos on the beach road. Good place to get a Coke.
Beach Vendors On weekends and during Christmas and Easter vacation there are usually some beach vendors peddling their wares. Never agressive, almost always cheerful. They have a really hard job.

Sarahi's Hotel and Bar
is about half a block from the beach, right behind the water pumping station. She has eight rental rooms, most with a beach view.Juanita's Tienda is located in the middle of the main "business" block in Chacala. Has most everything and is open early to late. Located right next to Koko Bongo's and across the street from Las Brisas.
Ophelia's Tourist Shop
Ophelia's shop is located at the main intersection on the beach road in Chacala. It
s right next to the bizarro real estate office that looks like a church

Koko Bongo's Restaurant and Pool Hall is painted green this year, and is on the beach road. The wife is a well-trained professional cook, who has a nice clean, organized kitchen to work out of. The five children in the family all work in the restaurant and store, and are very fun to be around and some of them speak English. A very enterprising family.
Jorge's Deposito
Casa Chacala is a two-year old new six-unit hotel in town, with a swimming pool and a very nice shady, plant-filled patio overlooking the pool. Each room has a great view of Chacala. Casa Chacala has two wonderful owners who have become very involved in the town.
Koranee Hardware Store is part of a local chain in the area. The Chacala store is owned and run by local folks. The store is located on the beach road as it head up the hill toward the school.
Mirador Hotel (Chata and Isreal's rentals)Mirador is a six unit building (painted blue) located on the short bluff overlooking the sea, and is part of a family complex filled with trees and flowers. The units vary in size and amenities. The very nicest is a large one bedroom/bath unit with a very nice kitchen located on the covered patio overlooking (about 15 feet from) the ocean. The smallest is a one double bed (which pretty much fills the room) unit with a tiny bath. Clean and well-cared for. Guests can use a large palapa area with hammocks overlooking the water.

Gracias Techos de Mexico Rental
This rental unit is upstairs with patio/kitchen and a large bedroom with bath. Right across form the Church. A very nice family owns this rental, and it's very clean and nice.

Mars Tres Restaurant and Rentals is located two spaces up from Juan's Tienda, on the main road. Right across the street from the beach. Always open, early and late, with delicious tostados, tacos, breakfasts, etc. Good service and very friendly owners. The three new rental units share a large view patio with hammcocks. Very nice units.Lalo's Fish Market located just uphills from Juan's tienda and the Las Glorias Posasa. Open at the time, usually with the radio playing. They clean, weigh, and package your selection from the morning catch right in front of you.
Marcella's Tienda offers snack and alcoholic beverages and refrescos. Located between Juan's tienda and Tres Mars. Victor's Pizza is located here when open for business.

Guicho's Vino's and Licores
Here is one of the local liquor stores. Generally open Sunday and holidays.

Mingo's Restaurant, or Event Place (often has Pozole available, pick up or dine in) on Saturday nights.
Juan Luis's Rentals (part of Concha's rental complex). Brand new very nice units withkitchens on view private patios.
Villa Celeste (on the site of the former Casa Azul)
Villa Celeste has 8 units, and the site overlooks the ocean. Less than a block to the beach. One building is brand new, all units have kitchens, and are air-conditioned.

To find more information about Chacala rentals go to Chacala Vacation Rentals ( or Techos de Mexico. (