Chamela Bay ’s beaches are variations on one continuous strip of sand, from Playa Rosadas in the south through Playa Chamela in the middle to Playas Fortuna and Perula at the north end.
Curving behind the sheltering headland, Playa Perula is the broadest and most tranquil beach of Chamela Bay. It is best for children and a snap for boat launching, swimming, and fishing from the rocks nearby. A dozen pangas usually line the water’s edge, ready to take visitors on fishing excursions (figure $15 per hour, after bargaining) and snorkeling around the offshore islets. A line of seafood palapas provides the food and drinks for the fisherfolk and mostly Mexican families who know and enjoy this scenic little village/cove.
Playas Fortuna, Chamela, and Rosada: As you head south, the beach gradually changes character. The surf roughens, the slope steepens, and the sand narrows from around 200 feet at Perula to perhaps 100 feet at the south end of the bay. Civilization also thins out. The dusty village of stores, small eateries, vacation homes, and beachfront palapa restaurants that line Playa Fortuna gives way to farmland and scattered houses at Playa Chamela. Two miles farther on, grassy dunes above trackless sand line Playa Rosada.
The gradually varying vigor of the waves and the isolation of the beach determine the place where you can indulge your own favorite pastimes. For bodysurfing and boogie boarding, Rosada and Chamela are best; and while sailboarding is usually possible anywhere on Chamela Bay, it will be best beyond the tranquil waves at La Fortuna. For surf-fishing, try casting beyond the vigorous, breaking billows of Rosada. And Rosada, being the most isolated, will be the place where you’ll most likely find that shell-collection treasure you’ve been wishing for.
The five-mile curving strand of Chamela Bay is perfect for a morning hike from Rosada Beach. To get there, ride a Transportes Cihuatlán second-class bus to around the Km 65 marker, where a dirt road heads a half-mile to the beach. With the sun comfortably at your back, you can walk all the way to Perula if you want, stopping for refreshments at any one of several palapas along the way. The firm sand of Chamela Bay beaches is likewise good for jogging, even for bicycling, provided you don’t mind cleaning the sand out of the gears afterwards.