Surfing Punta Mita

Anclote Afternoons –

Surfing in Punta Mita can be world class, and Anclote’s Beach located in the heart of the quiet beach side town has two different breaks right in front of the restaurants. The view from the restaurants, particularly when catching the evening light, is stunning.

OK, so let’s get the bad part done first. In the 1970s, the residents of a quiet little fishing village on the tip of Punta Mita–formerly known as Punta di Mitlan, a sacred burial ground for the original inhabitants, it is said–were forced to pack up their lives and move under threat. They didn’t have deeds to the land they’d lived on for generations, and where the heck was this so-called graveyard anyway?

In place of that village and whatever sacred burial site may have existed, we now have multi-million dollar homes, a fabulous golf course, two ultra-pricey luxury hotels the St. Regis and the Four Seasons Hotel, and a lot of really well-manicured terrain, all of this pricey stuff available to the gilded few who have paid for the right to get through the guarded gates.

And the rest of us have Anclote.  The villagers were moved down the beach a few miles and set up in a new village just outside the gates of the gated and guarded new Punta Mita resort development. This scruffy new town was a dusty little playground for skinny chickens and mangy dogs for a decade or two, and then in the 1990s the easy money showed up, and ANCLOTE BOOMED. Now that the easy money is gone, Anclote is no longer booming but it remains a lively, colorful little beachside community in spite of the overbuilt beachfront and the bankrupt condo projects.

Anclote is where many of us Sayuleros go to the beach when we went to get out of Sayulita. There are a number of restaurants on the beach, where you can eat seafood or even cheeseburgers (the one farthest west, closest to the surfing area, is the best and most reliable), drink beer or margaritas, and watch the waves.

When the waves get big it’s a fabulous longboarding ride; and when they’re small, it’s a great place to teach and learn surfing and stand-up paddleboarding. Off in the distance, accessible by renta-panga, lies the renowned barrelly point of El Faro, the Lighthouse, a world-class wave when the tide and swell are right. Off on the horizon lies the marine and bird preserve of the Marieta Islands, also accessible by boat and great for snorkeling and birdwatching—and whale-watching, in season.

Meanwhile, at Anclote, we gather to eat and drink and teach our kids to ride the waves. These recently-shot pics are from a couple of different days at Anclote. It’s 20 minutes from Sayulita, about an hour from Puerto Vallarta—you can rent a car, take a taxi, or best deal of all, take a bus from Puerto Vallarta or Bucerias.

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