Accommodations and Food
Prices fluctuate considerably between weekend and midweek, and rainy and dry season, and especially during holidays. The prices listed below are weekend rates during the dry season; midweek and rainy season rates are around 40 percent lower, while peak periods, especially Semana Santa and around Christmas, can be considerably higher.
By far the best value in Puerto Arista is Hotel Lucero (El Boulevard, tel. 994/600-9042, www.hotel-lucero.com, US$40 s/d with a/c), located about 800 meters east of the main intersection. Straddling the boulevard, the hotel’s guest rooms, reception, and two gleaming swimming pools are on the inland side, while the sand-floor restaurant and two more pools—that’s four in all!—face the beach. Rooms are a bit plain, but spacious and extremely clean, with TV and air-conditioning; upstairs units have partial ocean views. The hotel offers friendly service and secure parking.
Hotel Arista Bugambilias (El Boulevard, tel. 994/600-9044, US$60 d with a/c) is Puerto Arista’s best known and most upscale hotel, but with some peculiar flaws, like tiny rooms and foam pads on the beds instead of regular mattresses. Air-conditioning and TVs are pluses, and the grounds are lovely, with a small appealing pool and a restaurant overlooking the ocean. Then again, you expect those things—and a bit more—for this price.
Run by a friendly Canadian ex-pat, José’s Camping y Cabañas (El Boulevard, left of main intersection, tel. 994/600-9048, US$3 pp camping, US$7 pp dorm, US$20 s/d with shared bath, US$29 s/d with private bath) has a mellow atmosphere and Puerto Arista’s cheapest digs, including camping, a dorm-style cabaña, and simple private cabins with shared bathroom. (Units with private bathroom are also available, but aren’t much cheaper than staying on the beach in town.) Cabañas are tidy, though a bit dark, all with fan, screened windows, and a palapa-covered sitting area. There’s a small pool, and good fresh meals are prepared on request. The large leafy grounds are a block inland from the beach and about one kilometer from the center of town. To reach José’s Camping y Cabañas from the main intersection, turn left at the Hotel Lucero.
Hotel Aguamarina (El Boulevard at 2 Calle Pte, right of the main intersection, tel. 994/600-9018, US$25–50 s/d with fan, US$35–58 s/d with a/c) is one of numerous look-alike two-star hotels facing the beach along Puerto Arista’s main drag. While far from deluxe, the Aguamarina is marginally better than the others, with reasonably clean rooms, reliable fans, and air-conditioning. There’s also a small pool and a restaurant serving decent meals under a beachfront palapa. Parking is available, though the hotel’s location—just a block west of the main intersection—makes it convenient for those arriving by combi as well.
For eats, walk down the main drag and see what looks appealing—fresh seafood is the specialty everywhere.
© Liza Prado and Gary Chandler from Moon Chiapas, 1st Edition