The motel-style Hotel Carmona (Av. Porfirio Díaz 127, tel. 954/543-2322, $25 s, $30 d in one or two beds, $35 t with fan, $35 s, $45 d, $50 t with a/c), about three blocks west of the plaza, offers three stories of clean, not fancy but comfortable basic rooms and a big backyard garden with pool and sundeck. For festival dates, make reservations. The 50 rooms come with TV and parking.
If the Carmona is full or too pricey for you, check the two high-profile newer hotels, Pepe’s and Las Gaviotas, on the north side of the highway on the west side of town. Of the two, Pepe’s (Carretera Pinotepa Nacional–Acapulco Km 1, tel. 954/543-4347, fax 954/543-3602, $20 s, $25 d with fan, $26 s, $34 d with a/c) is the much better choice. It offers 35 spacious semi-deluxe rooms, with good TV, hot water, restaurant, and parking. A few doors farther west, the rooms at Hotel Las Gaviotas (tel./fax 954/543-2838, fax 954/543-2056, $20 d with fan, $30 d with a/c) come with TV and parking.
Third choice goes to clean Hotel Marisa (Av. Juárez 134, tel. 954/543-2101 or 954/543-3190, $18 s or d in one bed, $24 d or t in two beds with fan, $33 s or d in two beds, $35 t with a/c), downtown on the highway, north side of the street, all with TV and parking.
Campers enjoy a tranquil spot (best during the dry, calm, clear-water late fall–winter–spring season) on the Río Arena about two miles east of Pinotepa. Eastbound, turn left just after the big river bridge. Continue a few hundred yards, past a pumphouse on the left, to a track that forks down to the riverbank. Notice the waterfall cascading down the rocky cliff across the river. You will sometimes find neighbors in RVs or tents. Beneath the abandoned Restaurant La Roca (now just a rock-wall ruin), poor but friendly sand gatherers sift through sand on the riverside, planning to sell it to construction sites. A few hundred yards up, the smooth stream is excellent for kayaking (if you have some way of returning back upstream). Note: Lately the sand gatherers have pre-empted much of the east bank space. You might find more room to spread out on the opposite riverbank. Get there just west of the bridge, by following the dirt track downhill along the southwest riverbank.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Oaxaca, 5th edition