Trailer Parks and Campgrounds
Barra-Melaque’s best trailer park is La Playa (Av. Gómez Farías 250, tel. 315/355-5065), right on the beach in downtown Melaque. Although the park is a bit cramped and mostly shadeless, longtimers nevertheless get their winter reservations in early for the choice beach spaces. The better-than-average facilities include a small store, fish-cleaning sinks, showers, toilets, and all hookups. The water is brackish—drink bottled. Boat launching is usually easy on the sheltered beach nearby. The Trailer Park La Playa’s 45 spaces rent for about $19/day, $100/week or $350/month.
Scores of winter returnees enjoy Melaque’s north-end shoreline informal RV park–campground with room for about 50 rigs and tents, operated by the Ejido Emiliano Zapata community. The cliff-bottom lot spreads above a calm rocky cove, ripe for swimming, snorkeling, and sailboarding. Other extras include super fishing and a sweeping view of the entire Bay of Navidad. All spaces are usually filled by Christmas and remain that way until March. The people are friendly, the price ($3 per tent or $5 per RV per day, $15/wk, $70/mo, small garbage collection fee, collected by the ejido folks) is certainly right, and the beer and water trucks arrive regularly throughout the winter season. Please dump your waste in sanitary facilities while staying here; continued pollution of the cove by irresponsible occupants in the past has led to complaints. Get there by the dirt road that co continues from Avenida del Palmar, at the northwest end of Melaque.
Wilderness campers will enjoy Playa los Cocos, the miles-long golden sand beach south of Barra de Navidad that borders the ocean side of the Isla Navidad golf course. Playa los Cocos has an intimate hidden north-end sandy cove, perfect for an overnight or a few barefoot days of bird-watching, shell collecting, beachcombing, and dreaming around your driftwood campfire. The restaurants at the village of Colimilla or the stores (by launch across the lagoon) in Barra are available for food and water. Mosquitoes come out around sunset. Bring plenty of good repellent and a mosquito-proof tent.
The easiest way to get to Playa los Cocos is by hiring a launch at the Barra de Navidad lagoonfront that will drop you off right on the Playa los Cocos beach. You can also go by hiring a taxi from Barra de Navidad, or by your own car from Highway 200. From Barra de Navidad, head south on Highway 200 a few miles to the signed Isla Navidad right turnoff. Continue through the golf course, bearing left, toward the ocean, to the golf course’s northwest corner and an oceanfront parking lot at the beach.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Puerto Vallarta, 7th edition