Jalisco - Michoacan coast in December - January
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Oct 8, 2012 9:41 PM Last Post By: chris0daniel
Sep 9, 2012 9:31 PM
Jalisco - Michoacan coast in December - JanuaryMy husband and I are in the process of planning a trip to the Pacific Coast of Mexico, specifically flying in to Manzanillo, during his winter break from grad school. We have experience traveling south of the border, most recently Nicaragua, but find ourselves somewhat overwhelmed with planning for a trip to Mexico during the peak season. In the past we have typically done minimal planning as far as hostel/hotel reservations go.
1. I'm wondering how to plan for traveling this area during peak season. We are on a somewhat low budget and would like to stay for 3-4 weeks.
2. We enjoy quaint places, would it be recommended to go to the Michoacan coast?
Sep 10, 2012 8:26 AM
1Much of the Michoacán coast is minimally developed. Ither than Playa Azul it is a surfers primitive Paradise.
A bit farther South is the State of Guerrero with some lovely small villages such as Troncones, Barra de Potosi & Even the larger but still very quaint Zihuatanejo. You can rent a nice secure apartment w/A/C, Cable, WiFI for under $300 a month in a decent Blue collar area near the central business district.
E-mail me if you wish.
Sep 10, 2012 8:35 AM
2A little more information would be most useful. Are you traveling by bus? Forget credit cards for payment. Many pueblitos do not have anything but cellular telephone service and credit card POS machines are not usable. Take cash.
Despite what you may have read or heard quite a surprising number of hotels along the stretch from Cerro de Ortega to Las Peñas. Some are one and two star basics. The surfer hangouts have the most selection.
A backpack with tent, lightweight sleeping sack, mattress, would work wonders. You could sleep virtually for the cost of food at any of the enramada restaurants on the beaches. I would however do this at the tiniest of settlements and check with the owner of the restaurant about advisability of doing so. Las Peñas comes to mind, and Enramada Bety the very furthest one, especially. Ask for Jesús or Brenda. You may never want to go home again :)
Sep 10, 2012 8:53 AM
Sep 11, 2012 2:13 PM
4Chris0daniel, I don't know just how safe it is to travel down the Michoacán coast these days, I have a friend who went to la Llorona beach near Faro de Bucerias in the past but she and her boyfriend decided against it because of highway robberies south of Tecomán Colima. I too would love to go down there, and if anybody has any updates, such as yourself, about either driving or taking a bus from Tecomán down to Faro, I would love to hear about it. I was thinking about going down there this October or early November, when things should still be green, largely tourist free, and with little chance of any rain.
Sep 11, 2012 5:30 PM
5What highway robberies? There was an off-highway balacera (shootout) between sicarios in Cerro de Ortega a couple months ago but that sure is a long way from being a robbery. and The "X" villages just to the south sometimes have indigenous demonstrations that pour out onto Mex 200, but they saw my license plate and waved me through. No use raving at someone that doesn't look like they speak Spanish. To the south of the X villages is Caballeros Templarios turf and they don't rob motorists and do not allow freelancers. Around seven years ago a flatbed loaded with rebar (varilla) from the Lazaro Cardenas steelmill encountered an early AM ambush, but the driver floorboarded the throttle, blew out three vehicles and killed two gunmen. That seemed to take the bloom out of the rose for aspiring highwaymen.
By the way, there is a 24/7 puesto de control de las marinas (Marine highway checkpoint) 25 miles south of Tecoman that has been there for several years. Sand bags, dogs, machine guns, armored personnel carrier, trailers for living quarters. Mex 200 here is not an intelligent place to do a robbery. Maybe in the good-old-days but not any more.
Southbound on Mex 200, after the intersection with off-ramp from the autopista to Colima, watch for a huge overhead pedestrian bridge. After this is a middle of the highway monument with a sign saying CERRO de ORTEGA pointing left. Make a left and follow the bypass around Tecoman. Watch for potholes. Can't get lost and it saves a half hour and lots of traffic.
Hope this helps
Sep 11, 2012 6:02 PM
6I have made the Manzanillo to Cardenas route 200 a number of times via autobus with never a problem.
Sep 12, 2012 3:57 AM
7the Michoacan coast south of Tecoman is absolutely stunning...check out Caleta de Campos...for an excellent beach town...it is usually very quiet but will be busy Xmas to New Years...there is a small hostel/hotelito www.lasdiosasdelmar.com...call Carmen Garcia the owner (if you speak Spanish) 052 753 531 5260 for more info....Happy Trails
Sep 12, 2012 10:04 AM
8Not criticism, but perhaps a helpful amplification...
Caleta sits on a bluff like many towns along this coast. To access the beach, walk or drive south on the main highway 400 meters or so, and there will be an international blue & white sign with arrow pointing the way down to the beach. SCT erected lots of huge overhead across the highway signs to help tourism along the coast.
The indigenous in the "X" villages (three or four just look for a highway sign showing the village name to start with an X) make nearby beaches not recommended for camping. The people are merely cranky but when young men start drinking they can get pretty loco.
It is my opinion that heading inland from Mex 200 is not recommended. My friends and neighbors told me repeatedly to not venture too far off of the highway in that direction. I go with friends to rio Chuta to have sunday picnics and swim but avoid going further down those inviting looking dirt roads. I don't care to test the theory.
Oct 8, 2012 4:49 PM
9I'm going to be in this area during Semana Santa--travelling by car from Zihua to Manzanillo. Do folks think we'll have trouble finding decent camping or budget accomodations while on the road? Should we try to pre-book something?
Oct 8, 2012 8:18 PM
10Budget/Pre-Book don't like each other.
Semana Santa comes in meek and roars out in a frenzy in this area. Camping Las Peñas, 166 Km WEST of Zihuatanejo on Mex 200..
Turn at the large overhead sign on the highway. Drive down to the concrete parking area. Walk down the concrete ramp to the beach. Walk to the furthest "enramada" palm frond restaurant. Ask for "Brenda" or "Jesús". Just say "camping?" They'll set you right up on the outboard side of the enramada. Flush toilet, shower, great food and I'll eat my sombrero if you can find a value as good as this. Say "Hola" to my grandkids, Pilar and Dalia. This area is utterly safe, but during la semana watch your stuff. Uñados will see you're associated with "Enramada Bety" so you're a lot better off than you would be alone (against petty theft). Semana Santa? I hope you like musica ranchera, and corridos. And fireworks. Avoid stopping at the "X" villages north of Maruata. Names begin with an X. Very cranky indigenas, and la semana is frequently a drunken "borrachera". Not dangerous just very uncomfortable. Gas up in one of the two gasolineras on the highway near Caleta de Campos. They're the last ones until Cerro de Ortega, around two hundred and high change Km further toward Manzanillo.
Oct 8, 2012 9:41 PM
11"Do folks think we'll have trouble finding decent camping or budget accomodations while on the road? Should we try to pre-book something?"
I agree with Michoacan that "Budget/Pre-Book don't like each other"
Fortunately, even when all beach area hotel rooms are full during holidays, another form of accommodation, space where tents can be pitched, can be expanded, perhaps in some places endlessly. In 2007, even at the peak of Christmas tourism, empty, extensive lower priority tent space remained unoccupied at Faro de Bucerias. Presumably those bare patches of ground were awaiting the arrival several months later of Semana Santa's crowds.
Obviously , the size of campgrounds' shared shower facilities is fixed. It cannot expand along with the growing number of holiday campers. So, to avoid waiting in lines, consider giving up cleanliness for Lent, or showering at less popular times of day.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$89.00 per night
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From US$85.34 per night