Surfing in Chacala

Surfing in Chacala can be a great and it is a great beach town. The last time I went to Chacala while the waves were great, there were also 20 people on the break. So why am I posting this? It’s a good question, but we provide information on surfing in Mexico, and things to do in Mexico and this is a top spot so we’d be bereft in our information if we didn’t because it is a great destination.

Chacala Surf photo by Juan Muñoz

Chacala is north of Puerto Vallarta by some 100 km, and it’s becoming a haven itself for part time expat residents. If you stop by maybe you’ll want to ride some waves, or eat some fish at the beach, or go to a yoga retreat.  Head up to Chacala, just a few miles further up Highway 200 and another mile or three to the west, back to the beach. There you can check into the Mar de Jade resort, located at the south end of the town beach, for some good old-fashioned community service on your vacation. My friend Bob Leversee the surfing accupuncturist comes down from Seattle every year and while staying at the hotel and surfing the nearby wave, he treats the local community with the medical pins and needles.

That nearby wave can be a great one on occasion. Though its only ten minutes away, you have to take a boat to get to it. Once you’re there, you’ll find, on a good day, a beautiful peeling left-hander wrapping around and breaking off a small, rocky point.  And if you’re lucky, there will be nobody out there, though the crowd-free days are evidently (based on my own experiences and those of my friends) getting fewer. Inside the cove lies a shady litle tropical park where you can camp, thereby beating the crowds at dawn or dusk. There is road access, but its half an hour of hardtack road and, I hear, four wheel drive only.

Back in Chacala, which was the main port on Mexico’s west coast before San Blas and Mazatlan even existed,  the beach is lined with several cheery, palapa-roofed seafood restaurants. If you book a boat to surf, you’ll see the fishermen getting in and out of their boats—the same pangas that ferry surfers to the waves—bearing fresh fish headed for those restaurants. North of the old village, which is a bit of a crazy quilt of original village and new construction piled on and woven in, lies the posh Marina Chacala development, with its grand and beautiful waterfront mansions. Behind the gated cliffside and beachfront mansions, there are smaller, less posh places, and some are for rent. Get into one of those for a week when there is a good south swell, book a boat every day at dawn, and you just might get some of the best waves of your life.

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