You can get to the coast with or without your own wheels. If you’re driving, it should be a strong, high-clearance vehicle (pickup, jeep, very maneuverable RV, or VW van) filled with gas; if you’re not driving, trucks and VW taxi-vans (combis or colectivos) make daily trips from the El Tuito  town plaza (at this writing around 2 p.m.; returning from Tehualmixtle at 9 a.m.).
Their destinations include the coastal hamlet of Aquiles Serdán , the storied fishing cove of Tehualmixtle , and the farming village of Ipala beside the wide Bahía de Tehualmixtle. Fare runs several dollars per person; inquire at the west end of the El Tuito central plaza.
Getting there along the bumpy, rutted, sometimes steep 23-mile (37-km) dirt track is half the fun of Aquiles Serdán (pop. 200). If you’re driving, mark your odometer where the road takes off from the southwest corner of the El Tuito town plaza. About eight miles (13 km) from the plaza, you’ll pass through the lands of the Cicatán mescal cooperative, marked only by a crumbling thatch house on the right.
On the left, you’ll soon glimpse a field of maguey in the distance. A few dozen families (who live in the hills past the far side of the field) quietly go about their business of tending their maguey plants and extracting, fermenting, and distilling the precious sap into their renowned raicilla.
The road dips up and down the rest of the way, over sylvan hillsides dotted with oak (robles), through intimate stream valleys perfect for parking an RV or setting up a tent, and past the hardscrabble rancho-hamlets of Llano Grande (Broad Plain, 14 mi/22 km), with stores, comedores (places to eat), and a Centro de Salud; and Los Conejos (The Rabbits, 19 mi/30 km). At Los Conejos, a signed road forks left five miles (8 km) to Tlalpuyeque hot spring and sacred site. Obey local custom and refrain from nude bathing.
You can’t get lost, because there’s only one route until a few miles past Los Conejos, where a fork (23 mi/37 km) marks your approach to Aquiles Serdán. The left branch continues south a few miles to Maito and Tehualmixtle. A mile and a half to the north along the right branch you’ll arrive at the Río Tecolotlán.
Aquiles Serdán stands on the far bank, across 100 yards of watery sand. Fortunately the riverbed road is concrete-bottomed, and, if it’s in good repair, you can drive right across the streambed any time other than after a storm. If you can’t drive across, roll up your pants legs and walk across, like most of the local folks do.