Riviera Nayarit Community Fun

Its the middle of January already and the Riviera Nayarit in beautiful Mexico is in full swing for the winter season. There have been many community functions and business attractions, and we want to share some of them with you! There is always a lot happening on the Riviera Nayarit, and you can check out the happenings on AllSayulita.com, AllSanPancho.com, AllLodeMarcos.com, AllGuayabitos.com, AllLaPentia.com and AllChacala.com.

The Third Annual Jaltemba Bay Rotary Fundraiser

The third annual Jaltemba Bay Rotary fundraiser was held this last Saturday on the 21st of January, 2012 at Tonita III in La Penita. The festivities included the beautiful Mexican Tepozcalli dancers from Las Varas and live music for some dancing with Manuel and Son. A lovely chicken dinner was served that included any beverage of your choice.
There was also three different auction fundraisers, the Chinese Auction, the Silent Auction and a Live Auction, which made for a really fun time! Every year the Rotary Club members give out awards to the outstanding citizens in Jaltemba Bay.
This year there were four volunteer groups that were recognized and honored for their services to the community.
If you are interested in becoming a Rotary Member, the Rotary meetings are held every Wednesday at Pina Coladas at 8:00am in Guayabitos. I am very proud to be a Rotary member here in Mexico and help bring in changes that help the peoples and the community without changing their wonderful culture.

Whats up on the Guayabitos Strip Mall

The Guayabitos Strip Mall is located behind the Oxxo in Rincon de Guayabitos, and has a lot to offer!
Starting out with Beauty by Aurora. She has a full staff and offers hair shampoo, cut and style, hair coloring, highlights and hair attachments. Manicure the hands and pedicure the feet, change your polish or add gel nails. Waxing for legs, bikini lines, lips, eyebrows, underarms and back. Aurora offers a complete line of hair and skin care services. Come and visit Aurora….you deserve it!

Next in line is the Espresso Internet Cafe, where you can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee or a tasty latte’ while you check your e-mail.

And, what is a day without a great workout? Come and work off ail of those extra holiday pounds at the Fitness Pad.  The Fitness Pad has 20 fitness machines including treadmill, stationary bikes, a full kickboxing bag, adjustable 6-setting ab/crunch bench and a pull-up tower! There is also a entire free weight system with a professional trainer on staff.  Dell also has some fun workout clothes as well as other fun things to wear out and about. She has some great specials as well.

Then its time to eat! One of the best places in Guayabitos to eat at is TeriYaki Time Restaurant. Yakisoba, chicken, beef or shrimp teriyaki, fried rice and a variety of pasta dishes are served daily made fresh to order. Try a large fresh salads for lunch or check out their daily breakfast specials. They also make a great Thai Iced Tea, and have a good selection of wine and beer.

Annual Amigos de Lo de Marcos Fundraiser

It s that time of year again, and the Amigos de Lo de Marcos is having their amazing annual fundraising event on the beautiful Riviera Nayarit in Lo de Marcos Mexico. It all starts on Friday, February 3rd, at 8:30am, with a town “Walkabout” with a guided tour of Lo de Marcos. The tour will visit sites where the Amigos of Lo de Marcos works with the town, and will also cover the water issues of Lo de Marcos. There is also the new town compost project which is a great success!

When the tour of Lo de Marcos is finished there will be breakfast served at the Lo de Marcos town square.
The following day on Saturday, Feb 4th the Silent Auction begins at 4:00pm, along with the huge  rummage sale that you will not want to miss as well as freshly baked goodies for purchase. And what would a celebration and fundraiser be without ice cold beer and tasty margaritas? They will be served later in the evening form 7:00 to 10:00 pm. along with dancing to the Latin reggae sounds of two local bands, Mal Bichos, as well as some fun Salsa music with Rhythm Eleison.    Come and support the town and peoples of Lo de Marcos!

The 2012 Pro Surfing Tournament

On January 12,13 and 14 the 2012 Pro Surfing Tournament in Arroyo Seco was amazing.  Felipe Hernandez (left), age 21 from Sayulita, Nayarit took the first place for the Men’s Pro Category, as well Adan Hernandez, age 24 from Sayulita, taking 5th.
Edgar Rodrigues, age 14 from San Pancho took 4th place in the Sub 18 Category and Adan Hernandez (right) from Sayulita was presented a trophy by Artemio Rosas for “Arroyo Seco Pro 2012 Surfer of the Year”, recognizing his involvement in a large number of important international tournaments and his support for the surfing industry. It was really an amazing time and I loved covering the event, as all of the people I met were really cool and well as the fact tht surfing is a big thing in Mexico and all over the planet! The entertainment with DJ PIN, Christian Reggae by Majhave, and Christian Rap by 12 Clan was awesome and they all rocked the house.
I posted about 450 pics on the RivieraNayaritFun Picture Gallery as well! Enjoy!
You can read more about it on our town sites AllSayulita.com and AllSanPancho.com.
Here is a list of all of the winners below:

Sub 18 Catagory:                                                                                                             

1st  Place     Mario Farias, age 17 from Play Azul, Michoacan
2nd Place    Marcos Hootman, age 16 from Tecoman, Colima
3rd Place     Victor Alarcon, age 11 from Manzanillo, Colima
4th Place     Edgar Rodrizues, age 14 from San Pancho, Nayarit
5th Place     Edgar Juan Camarena, age 15 from Manzanillo, Colima                              

Mens Pro Catagory:

1st  Place    Felipe Hernandez, age 21 from Sayulita, Nayarit
2nd Place   Martin Olea, age 23 from Barra de Navidad
3rd Place    Adrian Rodriquez, age 25 from Sayulita, Nayarit
4th Place    Raul Medina, age 30 from Playa Azul, Michoacan
5th Place    Adan Hernandez, age 24 from Sayulia, Nayarit

It was a terrific time, and I can’t wait for the next tournament. Congratulations to all of the contestants and winners.
There are so many different things to do here on the Riviera Nayarit. I really love living here all year long! Come enjoy the amazing flavors of the Riviera Nayarit in beautiful Mexico!

Come to the Riviera Nayarit for your Mexico Vacation and enjoy all of the diversity this region has to offer! 


Uncover the Treasures of Central Riviera Nayarit

This lesser known but not to be neglected section of the Riviera Nayarit has much to be discovered and is probably best geared to adventure travelers seeking to explore the Pacific Coast of rural, historic Mexico.  Some of these tourist attractions include archaeological sites of ancient Aztec ruins, such as the Altavista Petroglyphs near Chacala and other ruins in Las Varas.

While Central Riviera Nayarit is still a relatively undeveloped tourist area, some towns like Chacala and Platanitos are growing in popularity for their exotic nature and pristine beaches of all shapes, colors, and sizes that offer varying ocean conditions for different vacation activities.  A hidden natural attraction near Platanitos is the lovely Laguna La Mataiza Lagoon that flourishes within a supportive ecotourism environment.

Other towns in the area are slightly inland along the lush tropical hills and valleys of the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains and rainforests, such as Zacualpan and Las Varas.  Primarily agricultural towns with tropical fruit orchards, vegetable farms, and tobacco fields, they also feature some combined cultural and natural attractions like the caves of La Cueva de La Tigra containing ancient Indian cave drawings.

On your Mexico travels, explore the cultural treasures and natural wonders of Central Riviera Nayarit north of Bahia Jaltemba Bay along the Riviera Nayarit.


Play at Playa Las Tortugas

Protecting endangered sea turtles is an important part of Mexico’s various nature conservation programs.  In the township of Otates, southwest of San Blas and northwest of Chacala, lies a glistening gold beach in the Riviera Nayarit called Playa Las Tortugas (Beach of Turtles). Named for the sea turtles that nest here, this secluded beach extends across miles of pristine Pacific coastline bordered by hundreds of immense coconut palms on a working coconut plantation.

Although it’s not easy to find, it’s well worth the trip.  Heading northwest beyond the charming beach town of Chacala, Playa Las Tortugas is about a one-and-a-half hour drive from Bahia Jaltemba Bay which includes a 30-minute drive along a rocky dirt road that winds through the lush tropical countryside. There are only a few road signs spread wide apart, so just when uncertainty kicks in, “Ah ha!” Another sign points in the right direction.

Trusting the road and bouncing through rural Nayarit unveils this secluded beach, tucked away in a remote location – one of the reasons why it’s worth the visit.  There are virtually no people; the beach is empty and peaceful; and there are no vendor stands or shops.  If you plan to stay a while, bring plenty of drinks and snacks.  One thing you will find is a small community of brightly colored villas for vacation rentals or retirement homes surrounded by lush tropical gardens at the end of the road.

On the villa grounds at Playa Las Tortugas is a turtle rescue sanctuary for protecting the offspring of endangered sea turtles that nest on the golden sand.  Supported by donations and volunteers who scout the beaches looking for the turtles’ shallow nests, they save the eggs; bring them to the sanctuary for incubation; and then release ready young hatchlings into the ocean.  Visitors are welcome to observe and learn about sea turtles, and participate in turtle releases – a wonderful experience!

What else can you do at Playa Las Tortugas?  Plenty. Besides swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing, this beach happens to be a secret spot for surfing and boogie boarding for its long, intense waves.  Other popular vacation activities include kayaking along the beach and canoeing through the coconut palm-lined estuary.  Surrounding tropical rainforests, marshes, and mangroves are natural habitats for hundreds of native and migratory birds making this an ideal spot for birding and bird watching.

Enjoy a true escape to Playa Las Tortugas northwest of Chacala and southwest of San Blas in the Riviera Nayarit, Mexico.



The Journey to the Petroglyphs

Owen and I started our on our journey, not having a lot of directions other than knowing that the petroglyphs were in Alta Vista on the Riviera Nayarit in beautiful Mexico.  If you are heading north, the Alta Vista town sign is just past kilometer 82 on the Mexico Hwy 200. You will want to turn right there. After that you will want to make the first left, which takes you to Senior Gonzales place, where the trail head starts. He charges 20 pesos (about 2 bucks) per person.

The Town of Alta Vista

The dirt road was very well taken care of and seemed to be well traveled. We stayed on the main road and went all of the way into the small town of Alta Vista, which is literally carved out of the hillside, thinking that it was where the trail head to the petroglyphs were located, but it was not.

The town was very small, with only a couple of roads carved off of the main street. Chickens were running around, as I comically like to refer to the chickens of Mexico “free range chickens” and the roosters were hanging out together loving their free range lives as well, eating the bugs and whatever else free range chickens and roosters eat, leaving me to wonder where all of the eggs are laid, and how they find them.

Alta Vista is a huge farming community that grows mangoes, bananas, papayas and guanavano’s down below the village.  Guanavano’s are a really cool looking fruit with thick green skin with soft spikes all over it. I had not had the chance to see one yet, or taste one until that day. The flesh of a guanavano is white and fleshy and a little bit viscous, but it tastes incredibly delicious! The natives say that it has properties that cure cancer, but I have not checked that information out for myself yet.

It did not take long to discover the town, but we did not see any signs about petroglyphs. So we turned around. As we were turning around, a four wheeler was coming by, so we asked about the petroglyphs. He knew what we were talking about, and told us to follow him. And so we did. He went to find another man to help us and his name was Oscar. Oscar owns a lot of the farm land below. He spoke some English, which was good for us, (as we are still learning Spanish) so Oscar hopped into the jeep and off we went back down the road out of the town.

Finally on the Path to the Petroglyhps

Oscar directed us to turn where there was a gate leading into the orchards. We ended up going through 4 gates. All along the way there was an abundance of mango’s and papayas. It was incredibly beautiful. The dirt road was muddy in spots, and it was good that we had the 4 wheel drive jeep. We stopped and got out and walked about 10 minutes to the river, under a fence, across the river and onto the trail where the petroglyphs were located. The scenic tour indeed!

The Petroglyphs

All I can say is wow! I have seen many petroglyphs, and these are some of the most amazing petroglyphs I that have seen, as well as there were so many of them. There were spirals, which I believe were the sun, people, aboriginal dots and there were also two flat large beds that seemed to be where they had sacrificial killings for the gods.  The trail was well worn and  easy to hike, and it was fun with the river flowing down on the right. We were hiking in the middle of the jungle! We took about 130 pictures. It was truly amazing. It took about 45 minutes to walk the trail and check out the petroglyphs, ending at a large pool and a small waterfall where the native Indians held their ceremonies, and still do to this day. This picture to the left looks like rain coming down on a person to me.

Finding a Guide

It was really great to have Oscar as our guide, but you won’t need one. Here is Oscar and I reading one of the many posted informational signs, which by the way are in English and Spanish. But, if you do, just about any tour guide outfitter will be able to help you, and there are many tour guide companies to choose from that will be happy to bring you to the petroglyphs.

Or if you have a car and are looking for more adventure,  you may choose to go on up to Alta Vista after 2:00 pm and look for the first big white house on the left as you come into the town. Or, just ask around for Oscar and you can get the same scenic tour like we did…but you better have a 4 wheel drive for that excursion!

Another really great thing about visiting the petroglyphs is the fact that it doesn’t have to take up your entire day. Plan for about three to four hours for the trip. And, you will still have plenty of time to get in some snorkeling, or get a massage in the afternoon. And, its great for the entire family!

So, when you come to the Riviera Nayarit, remember to visit the petroglyphs, which are only about 15 minutes away from Chacala.



Surprising Chacala, Mexico

Charming Chacala

You may not have heard of it yet, but the quaint beach town of Chacala is starting to catch on as an enjoyable vacation spot in the Riviera Nayarit on the Pacific Coast of Mexico.  Just a 45-minute drive north of Sayulita, Chacala is growing in popularity. This is largely due to the construction of a paved road in 1998, which made the town much easier to find.

Before the road was built, Chacala was just a sleepy fishing village, where fishing and selling fish were the locals’ only livelihood.  The town was especially known for the large shrimp caught to the north of town in Chacalilla Bay, although it has been suggested these were actually lobsters which were once abundant here.  In fact, the word ‘Chacala’ derives from the Náhuatl (pronounced “now what”) language, meaning “place of the shrimp” or “large shrimp.”

After the road was built, it attracted the growth of new tourism businesses, increasing work opportunities for its residents.  Now the town includes a few hotels, shops, restaurants and popular beach activities, such as sport fishing, snorkeling in Las Cuevas cove’s underwater volcanic caves, expert surfing on Caleta Bay, turtle watching year round, and Humpback whale watching between December and March.

Cultural Attractions

View of Chacala Beach

With 52 indigenous languages, Mexican culture is equally diverse.  Náhuatl, the language of a dominant ethnic group, the Nahuan, includes the Aztecs, Toltecs, and other indigenous cultures.  The nearby town of Altavista was inhabited by the Tecoxquin (Tequectequi) group, which includes the Cora and Huichol indians who still inhabit Nayarit. Containing 800 petroglyphs (rock engravings) dating back to 2300 BCE, this small archaeological site is still considered sacred by the Huicholes.

An interesting cultural and language twist is on the terms Chac Mool, Chac, and Chacala. The words sound similar but are not even related.  Chac Mool (meaning “thundering paw”) is a statue of Toltec origin, a Mesoamerican civilization who invaded the Maya, and the statue only received its Mayan name from the archaeologist who excavated it.  Chac (also Chaak or Chaahk) is the Mayan god of thunder, lightening, and rain.  Interestingly, the Maya were an empire in southern Mexico and Central America far from Nayarit.

Appropriately, Chacala is a native Náhuatl word of Aztec origin and is befitting of the delightful fishing village that carries its name.

Delight in the Chacala Surprise of Chacala, Mexico in the Riviera Nayarit.

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