If you hanker for a little sea breeze and the murmur of the waves, spend a day or a week at Playa Corralero, about 18 miles (28 km) south by a paved but potholed, finally sandy but smooth road.
The beach itself is of coarse yellowish sand, rather steep, with the consequent undertow. Waves, which don’t appear good for surfing, break strongly and quickly close to shore. The same conditions, however, make the beach perfect for surf fishing. If you prefer solitude and don’t mind a few cows for company, you can set up camp along the wide, grassy dune and camp most anywhere for four miles (6.4 km) before the ramadas.
(Note: On the sand, use four-wheel drive with caution; if not, be very careful to avoid getting stuck, which might happen even with four-wheel drive.)
On the other hand, if you prefer company, park or tent near the road’s-end ramadas. The ramada Guelaguetza, nearest the beach, run by the friendly López Herrera family, will provide you with plenty of economical fish dinners and refrescos, plus shade for your vehicle and/or tent.
Get there by car or the camionetas (passenger trucks) that head south on the street one block west from the Hotel Carmona. Along the way, in the beginning, you’ll pass rolling tropical forest country, partially tamed to corn and cattle.
About 12 miles (19 km) from Pinotepa Nacional , the road forks. The left, paved branch continues to Laguna Corralero village, a pleasant small town (pop. 2,000) of fisherfolk on the tidal estuary lagoon. Hikers could probably bargain with a boatman at the village to ferry them across the lagoon to the open ocean channel and beach (say “Ramada Guelaguetza, por el mar”).
Otherwise, hikers should get off the truck at the fork and walk or hitchhike the right-fork road the additional six miles (9.6 km) to the beach ramadas. Drivers should likewise turn right at the fork. Along the way, you pass through a thick prickly pear cactus mini- forest along the beach. Finally, you arrive at the beachfront ramada restaurants beside a jetty and broad channel, which a dredge keeps open for fishing boats.