Chacala Beach, Mexico: A Relaxing Retreat in Nayarit

chacala mexico
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Chacala Beach, Mexico: A Relaxing Retreat in Nayarit

Nestled along the sun-kissed shores of Mexico’s Pacific Coast lies a hidden gem that has captured the hearts of travelers seeking tranquility, natural beauty, and a taste of authentic Mexican charm.

Chacala Beach, a serene coastal haven in the enchanting region of Nayarit, is a destination that beckons those in search of a peaceful retreat far from the bustling crowds of more popular tourist spots.

With its pristine beaches, lush tropical landscapes, and a relaxed ambiance that envelops you like a warm embrace, Chacala offers a delightful escape for those seeking to unwind and rejuvenate amidst the wonders of nature.

Join us as we explore the unspoiled paradise that is Chacala Beach, Mexico, and discover why this coastal sanctuary is a must-visit destination for anyone yearning for an authentic, laid-back Mexican experience.

Where is Chacala Beach, Mexico?

Chacala hides in the state of Nayarit, north of Guadalajara, in a small fishing village on the Pacific Ocean, between Puerto Vallarta and San Blas.

To get to Chacala Mexico, you’ll typically need to travel to Jalisco or Nayarit. Here are the steps to get to Chacala Beach:

  • Fly to Puerto Vallarta or Tepic: The most common airports to fly into are Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR) in Puerto Vallarta or Amado Nervo International Airport (TPQ) in Tepic, Nayarit. Puerto Vallarta is a larger airport with more flight options. From either of these airports, you’ll need to travel overland to Chacala.
  • Rent a Car or Arrange Transportation: After arriving at the airport, you can rent a car or arrange transportation to Chacala Beach. You can find rental car agencies at the airports, and there are often shuttle services available. Alternatively, you can hire a taxi or use a ride-sharing service if available.
  • Drive to Chacala: If you’re driving from Puerto Vallarta, you’ll need to take Highway 200 north along the coast towards Tepic. Chacala is approximately 2-3 hours (depending on traffic and road conditions) north of Puerto Vallarta. If you’re flying into Tepic, it’s a shorter drive to Chacala.
  • Public Transportation: If you prefer not to drive, you can also take a bus to Las Varas, which is the closest town to Chacala. From Las Varas, you can take a taxi to Chacala.

Please note that road conditions and transportation options may change, so it’s a good idea to check the latest information and make any necessary arrangements before your trip.

What is Playa Chacala like?

chacala mexico nayarit
Cruisers in Chacala Bay viewed from the road to the volcano

Chacala is one of the most beautiful and quiet beaches of the Riviera Nayarit.

Discovered in 1524 by Captain Francisco de Cortés de San Buenaventura, the beaches of Chacala were visited by Dutch pirates and Father Kino, a missionary who traveled the coast on several missions.

Its name means “where there are shrimps” in Nahuatl and is part of the treasures of the Mexican Pacific.

There is always a friendly and sociable atmosphere in Chacala. As you walk through its narrow streets, you will feel that all the inhabitants know each other.

You will find houses with typical facades, artisan workshops, and cozy restaurants where you can taste all kinds of traditional and international food.

In Chacala you can live in a relaxed atmosphere, and visit the beach, where you can usually meet with family groups, friends, and couples enjoying the peace of the place.

You can play in the sand, tasting delicious food or drinks in one of the palapas. The best thing is that it is a coastal community with interesting historical anecdotes.

Top things to do in Chacala Beach, Mexico

villa celeste chacala
Gorgeous ocean view from the Villa Celeste Hotel in Chacala, Mexico

As you stroll along Chacala beach, you will discover many curiosities.

For example, you will see a huge tree where a woman lived for a while to avoid being cut down.

Also, it is very common to see families hunting for “tiquiliches,” which are crustaceans similar to shrimp that wash up on the shore of the beach, dragged by the waves.

Enjoy the beach! Of course

chacala beach

Again, Playa Chacala in Mexico is a destination that stands out for its extraordinary landscapes of palm trees and lush vegetation which makes it one of the most picturesque corners of Mexico.

The beach is around 300 meters long by 40 wide, its waves are strong with golden sands and fine texture.

All beaches are excellent for snorkeling and the locals have a variety of beach gear available for rent, including snorkeling equipment, umbrellas, and beach chairs, among others.

Las Cuevas, Chacalilla, and La Caleta are the most important beaches in Chacala.

The first is distinguished by its rough surf, the second by its calm waters, and the last is especially recommended for surfers.

It is a short and straight coastline with turquoise water and golden sand, so you don’t need special footwear. The entrance to the water is very smooth.

This beach is suitable for different tastes: lone travelers, relaxing getaway lovers, families with children, seniors, etc. It is partially crowded in high season. There is a campsite located nearby.

The coast of Playa Chacala is free and offers lounge chairs and umbrellas, a beach bar, and toilets.

There’s also a lifeguard during the high season. In addition to swimming and sunbathing, you can also participate in other activities, stand-up paddle-surfing, and sea kayaking.

Visit Las Cuevas

las cuevas beach
Las Cuevas

South of Playa Chacala is Las Cuevas beach. Also known as the hidden beach, since a 4×4 vehicle is needed to reach it.

Las Cuevas is known for its semi-private beach. Most people walk or hire a local fisherman to take them back and forth in a panga boat.

Fishing in Chacala Mexico

Chacala Mexico has its own small marina where you will find many fishing boats available, which locals call “boat beach” since this is where ships disembark.

Playa Chacala is a popular stop for many, particularly after the start of the winter season.

Las Caletas

chacala beach mexico
Las Caletas Beach

North of Playa Chacala is Las Caletas, which is the main surfing beach.

You can walk or take a local panga boat to it. Here you will find boutique hotels with spectacular ocean views and spa services, or in one of the locals’ homes that are rented out to tourists.

Chacala Cultural Market

cultural market

Another popular attraction here is the Cultural Market, open from November to March every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

This place was installed in a small area of the town. You will find food, arts and crafts, traditional sweets, organic products, and fresh vegetables.

The Chacala community is headed by a group of volunteers from different countries, professions, and backgrounds.

They sometimes organize events including performances for children, local graphic artists, bands, soloists, dance groups, and even theatrical performances.

Chacala Beach, Mexico: Conclusion

In conclusion, Chacala Beach in Nayarit, Mexico, is nothing short of a hidden gem, a paradise waiting to be explored by those seeking a relaxing retreat.

With its pristine sands, serene atmosphere, and welcoming community, Chacala offers a truly immersive and rejuvenating experience.

Whether you’re lounging on the beach, exploring the lush jungle surroundings, or savoring the delectable local cuisine, this coastal haven has something for everyone.

So, if you’re yearning for an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, look no further than Chacala Beach.

Embrace the tranquility, unwind in the natural beauty, and allow the magic of Nayarit to wash over you.

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