As a child while living in Europe, my family used to go to the Brittany coast in France for many years for summer vacation. We would stay in little fishing towns, and daily treck to tiny hidden beaches bracketed by the craggy coast. I loved it. Now I have finally found an area of Mexico that replicates my childhood experiences. The coastline between Huatulco and Puerto Angel offers exactly what I enjoy. Hidden tiny beaches down bad roads. La Mina, La Bucilla, El Tembo to name just a few.
This year we booked accommodation in a small Mexican hotel in Puerto Angel primarily catering to Mexicans - Hotel La Cabana. Our stay was wonderful. The saffron coloured hotel itself sits just off one of the town beaches, and is covered in lush plantings throughout. Bouganvillia, and other flowering climbing plants cover the walls, and hang off the overhang, plus innumerable large tropicals down every connecting corridor and hidden in corners makes it very lush. This is my idea of what the "Hotel California" (the Eagles) were seeing, sans pretty dancing boys. There is a small swimming pool in the entry, used by the Mexican families with toddlers. Coffee and water available in the lobby all day long. Accommodation (single rooms with B/|R and either fan or a/c) or one fully equipped apartment, are scattered over 2 floors. All are bright and clean. As in most Mexican hotels, the beds are a bit harder than I like. The owner Maria-Eugenia and her staff were wonderful; friendly, accommodating and kind, but spoke no English - which was great. At night the hotel closes a wrought iron gate across the entry, but have a night-watchman is on duty.
The beach in front is perfectly safe for kids though no life-guard. There are restaurants all along the beach where, for the price of a beer or ?? you can use their chairs in the shade all day long. They don't seem to mind if you bring some of your own munchies as the Mexican families do, or you can buy food. The beach is small but not often crowded, with fishing pangas pulled up when not in use. But NEVER a smell of fish. Or you can walk around the point to the Playa Principal which runs along the front of the main shopping area. Once again, fishing pangas on the beach, but no crowds. Also a few good restaurants.
In twon, there is a good selection of places to buy fresh veges, BBQ chicken with rice and beans or salsa, a meal for 4 for $9 is hard to beat, street vendors of all descriptions and more formal restaurants. Also butchers, fish vendors and of course places to buy souvenirs. Often we would wait in the afternoon when a woman would walk the beach selling her fresh-baked goodies: wonderful cake, or flan or other sorts of local sweet pies. Value and quality are great, and that would be dessert for the evening.
I saw a recent comment about the town not being "well kept". I couldn't disagree more! Most towns in Mexico have a problem with crumbling sidewalks etc. but their economy just doest have the wherewithal to keep up with the work. This is NOT North America, for pete's sake. However, every morning the locals are out sweeping up in front of their stores and keeping
everything as clean as possible. I seldom saw garbage on the sidewalks. Lots of bins around marked "basuro" (garbage) showing they are aware that cleanliness is a positive attribute. Also, despite PA being a town that seems to survive off fishing, there is no smell of fish. There are seldom people standing around doing nothing. Everyone seems to have a job, or finds something to do to contribute to the well-being of the community. On the beach, when a fishing boat needs to be launched, 12 to 14 people along the beach help to push it out into the waves (I was pleased to see that often the non-locals pitched in, and their help was acknowledged.) Yes, there are dogs on the beach, seldom neutered unfortunately ,and often underfed, but they were friendly and only once in 2 weeks did I see a Mexican chuck something at one that he didn't want hanging around his restaurant. All appeared to have names and would wander off to their families at the end of the day. Every day to help the ones that were least fed, I would take a bowl(s) with dogfood to feed those most in need.
You can drive or take a taxi into Puchatla for a full range of shopping. There are two banks (Scotia Bank and HSBC) which have ATMS but only HSBC takes a decent selection of cards.
There are street vendors with vats of assorted juices - make sure you ask if it is made from Purified water (es feche de aqua purificado?) before drinking or you may suffer consquences.
Try the street vendors selling tortillas, they are wonderful and cheap. (look for vendors who have customers and trust their judgement).
So, if you are looking for a vacation in a place where you aren't surrounded by tourists, where you just might find the "real" Mexico, go to Puerto Angel. Sorry - no night life. We like to explore, so we rent a car in Huatulco which gives us freedom to move around. Locals travel by share-taxi (a pickup truck with benches in back and a cover), seems to be the cheapest and handiest way to get around. Zipolite (surfing beach) is 10 min. down the road,
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Es un pequeño alojamiento tradicional, familiar con muchas plantas que le dan un ambiente natural, muy cerca del mar, con terraza muy amplia y vista panorámica higiénico, confortable, con skay en sus tvs. wi-fi en habitaciones, su arquitectura con toques coloniales y artesanales , una piscina con agua muy relajante por su temperatura. Ubicado en la playa panteón con sus aguas muy cristalinas que los mismos habitantes cuidamos para conservar su trasparencia. Con playas aledañas y fácil localización para que usted pueda tener una estancia inolvidable. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- La Cabana De Puerto Angel Mexico - Oaxaca