Somehow Pijijiapán (pronounced pee-hee-hee-a-PAN) got the reputation for being the Pacific coast’s most charming town, a quiet and whimsical place with crayon-colored homes topped by red tile roofs. In reality, this small city is rather less enchanting than that; while not unpleasant, it’s a bustling knot of homes and businesses with architecture that owes more to the ’50s and ’70s than the colonial era.
The town’s primary church and plaza have been nicely renovated, but are strangely isolated in a corner of town at the top of a hill—few people, tourists or otherwise, hang out there, and the core of Pijijiapán lacks an open common area.
What Pijijiapán does have is proximity to a scenic and little-visited beach known as Riberas de la Costa Azul . The 19-kilometer access road is now paved, but you’re still likely to have the place virtually to yourself anytime other than holidays. With an excellent hotel a short distance from the highway, Pijijiapán is a decent option if you need a place to stop for the night.
By Bus: Pijijiapán’s bus station (tel. 918/645-0207) is just off the eastbound lane on Highway 200, at the top of the main road into town. First-class service on OCC (an affiliate of ADO) includes Tapachula , Tonalá , and Tuxtla Gutiérrez .
By Combi: Combis and collective taxis park across the street from the bus terminal in Pijijiapán, with service as far as Tonalá (US$2.50, 50 mins) and Tapachula (US$7, 2 hrs).
Combis to Costa Azul  (sometimes marked Chocohuital, for the town near there) make the trip from downtown Pijijiapán, leaving every hour 5 a.m.–6 p.m. from a stop at 1 Avenida Norte Poniente between 1 and 2 Calles Poniente Norte (US$1.50, 30 mins).
By Boat: Like many places along this coast, Costa Azul occupies a long narrow spit that’s separated from the mainland (and main village area) by an equally long and narrow inlet. Boats zip beachgoers across the inlet for just US$0.60 per person; to return, agree on a pickup time with the boatman, or simply stand on the pier and wave until someone at the embarcadero sees you.
By Car: Highway 200 splits just outside of Pijijiapán, with town on the southern (ocean) side. Getting on and off the eastbound lanes is easy enough, but getting from town to the westbound side requires crossing a hard-to-find bridge in the corner of town; ask for directions.
There’s a well-marked exit for Riberas de la Costa Azul  off Highway 200 a short distance west of Pijijiapán. From there, it’s 19 kilometers to the coast along a paved access road.