Best Little Beach Town in Mexico

Updated: Mar 11

The first week in Barra de Navidad brings a mixture of the causal culture and snowbirds hailing from northern latitudes. Although this “time-less” culture promises a relaxing environment, it also induces anxiety for me brought on by a shift from a time starved culture to one in which time either proves Einstein’s theory of Relativity or quantum “M” theory’s two-dimensional lack of time.

As with most quaint beach or fishing communities turned vacation spots this one has its difficulty between unhappily adapting and it’s love of procrastination labeled as “manana.”

This was evident when the internet in our apartment died, and the owner said will fix it “soon.” Yet, four days and a holiday go by before the cable strung between trees was almost fixed.

Here is another observation: I don’t know if it’s design or lack of body consciousness, but everything here is hard. Furniture, beds, and the time between ordering food and being served is literally hard or feels hard.

Speaking of which, the hammocks are truly the only comfortable furniture.

Here is the beginning of the story.

We had heard from friends about this quaint village near Puerto Vallarta where there was a more authentic Mexican lifestyle than the tourist havens, we’ve all read about. No disrespect for those bustling, loud, fascinating escapist type paradises, mind you.

So, a four-hour trip to change planes in Houston, a two hour wait for the flight to Puerto Vallarta should have warned us that age, uncomfortable seats and no cocktails are a bitch.

Landing in Puerto Vallarta was welcomed as we felt we would finally find some comfortable. Well racing, ok, standing and intermittently moving through immigration and customs took two hours, followed by a mad race to get through thousands, ok hundreds, of cab drivers and agents prompting you to take their ride. Yes, it was standing and not sitting but two hours?

Now, we needed to exchanged currency. We hadn’t exchanged much in the US as we heard it was cheaper in Mexico using an ATM. So, in the middle of all the drivers, tour operators, agents and luggage handlers we found an ATM, or rather five of them.

Lines of travelers behind each 1970s old-style computer screens exposing information to travelers and drivers alike was annoying enough. Then there was the sun creeping over the screens making it impossible to view the transactions. Fifteen minutes later we were done, with that exchange.

Now we struggled through the horde of barkers yelling “cab? Cab? Cab? All the time searching for a sign with our name on it. Dang, reading all the hundreds of signs from the hired drivers, tour operators, and hotels was to overwhelming. The pure frustration on the face of the guy handling our heavy bags let us know he was done.

A couple calls and, yes, there he was two feet away holding the sign with our name and talking on the phone - to us!

The four-hour ride to the town south of PV was beautifully painful after seven hours scrunched into airport, airplane and now SUV seats. Although, the SUV was much better, the roads shifted us back and forth shifting the pain from side to side. Where is the tequila?

We stopped for a break along the way and bought water and beer at a price so cheap it confused us.

Although we had been to Mexico before it had been over twenty years ago. Well, except for Rosarita Beach, Baja but our accommodation was more upscale. Finally, we pulled into the apartment building and unloaded it became apartment this trip would be a challenge.

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