On the main road, continue about one mile beyond the fork to Aquiles Serdán to another fork (at 26 mi/42 km). The right branch goes steeply up and then down a rough track to the right, which soon levels out on the cliff above the idyllic fishing cove of Tehualmixtle.
Here, a headland shelters a blue nook, where a few launches float, tethered and protected from the open sea. To one side, swells wash over a submerged wreck, while an ancient moss-stained warehouse crumbles above a rocky little beach. At the end of the road downhill, a pair of beachside palapas invites visitors with drinks and fresh-out-of-the-water oysters, lobster, dorado, and red snapper.
Candelario (“Cande”), owner/operator of the right-side palapa, is the moving force behind this pocket paradise. After your repast and a couple more bottles of beer for good measure, he might tell you his version of the history of this coast—stories of sunken galleons or of the days when the old warehouse stored cocaine for legal shipment to the United States, when Coca-Cola got its name from the cocaine that was added to produce “the pause that refreshes.”
Nowadays, however, Tehualmixtle serves as a resting point for occasional sailors, travelers, fisherfolk, and those who enjoy the rewards of clear-water snorkeling and scuba diving around the sunken shrimp trawler and the rocky shoreline nearby. Several level spots beside the cove invite camping or RV parking. Candelario and his wife and daughters will gladly supply you with your stomach’s delight of choice seafood and drinks.
Furthermore, Candelario and his family, led by friendly, outgoing English-speaking daughter Gaby (who heads the local tourism delegation), have built a small hotel ($25 s, $30 d, $35 t). They offer four clean, simply furnished rooms with shiny white bathrooms, view windows, and ceiling fans. Additionally, they rent out a comfortable view bungalow ($45/night) sleeping five, that’s fine for groups, with a kitchenette, good bathroom, and ceiling fans; discount for one-week stay. For reservations, leave a message with the local radio telephone operator (tel. 200/126-8990, 200/126-8991, or 200/126-8992).
For those who stay a few days, Candelario offers his services as a guide for turtle- watching (during summer–fall season), fishing trips, and for equipped snorkelers and scuba divers to investigate nearby sites, especially the submerged wreck right offshore. Farther afield, he can also lead parties inland a few miles, by foot or horseback, to hot spring Tlalpuyeque, where, years ago, a French company operated a logging concession.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Puerto Vallarta, 7th edition