From top, left to right: Cabo Corrientes; Costa Majahuas; Bahía de Chamela; Costa Careyes; Bahía de Tenacatita and Tamarindo Beach
|Nickname(s): The Virgin Coast, Joy Coast|
|• Municipality||1,300.7 km2 (502.19 sq mi)|
|Elevation||7 m (23 ft)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
Costalegre is a series of different beaches, capes and bays of all sizes and extensions distributed alongside the Pacific Ocean on the western coast-line of the Mexican state of Jalisco, in an area located between two other major and very well known tourist centers, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco and Manzanillo, Colima. In recent years, the Jalisco state government has promoted this zone as a tourist attraction grouping all these beaches under the common name of "Costalegre", which literally translates as "Coast of Joy", but the area has been known as "The Virgin Coast" of Mexico for long time. Each bay or beach is almost next to the other one, separated only by large rock formations, cliffs and few unhabited terrains, so you can move from one to another one in question of minutes, mostly using local boats or taxi (pangas). Most of these beaches are small size bays, and a couple of them have no real population on their surface, but are placed near little fishermen towns which provides hotel commodities and food. One of the largest bays, Barra de Navidad also has a large lagoon and a first class international hotel, considered one of the best of its category in Mexico, and Costa Careyes it is considered as one of the top resorts and VIP communities in the world, usually visited by famous actors, singers and artists, so due to the variety and extension of the coast, you can find any kind of entertaining and natural attractions, which ranges from Ecotourism in wild and partially virgin and isolated beaches, to high class Spa's, Golf courses, Polo fields and international convention centers.
The General history of the Costalegre area dates back to the mid-16th century when the Spanish used Bahía de Navidad for ship building, repairs and a jumping off point to the Philippines. A monument has been erected as a memory to these journeys at the end of the jetty of Barra de Navidad. Ruy López de Villalobos (1500–1544) fleet of six galleon ships, the Santiago, Jorge, San Antonio, San Cristobal, San Martin, and San Juan, left Barra de Navidad, Jalisco, Mexico with 370 to 400 men on November 1, 1542. Perhaps, On the early morning of November 21, 1564, armed with five ships and 500 soldiers, Miguel López de Legazpi and his sail-captain Andrés de Urdaneta sailed from the port of Barra de Navidad, New Spain, in what is now Jalisco state, Mexico.
- 1 Costalegre Bays and Beaches
- 2 Culture
- 3 Gastronomy
- 4 Notes
- 5 External links
Costalegre Bays and Beaches
Bahía de Banderas (Flag's Bay)
Officially, not a part of Costalegre itself, but separates Puerto Vallarta from the rest of the coast, and marks the top most northern point of Costalegre.
Cabo Corrientes (Cape of Currents)
Founded on 1944, Cabo Corrientes is a Municipality itself, with over 80 kilometers of scenic highways and 200.106 hectares with almost virgin forests surrounded by rivers and cascades. Some of its beaches are already very well known due to its proximity with Puerto Vallarta, like Las Ánimas, Quimixto and Yelapa, often considered as part of Vallarta by the tourists, but which are in fact just a minor part of the large Cabo Corrientes's coast. The Tuito is the municipal head of Cabo Corrientes and the oldest population of the municipality. It is located 40 kilometers at south of Puerto Vallarta. The colors of the houses distinguish so much in the towns as in the middle of the field. The ruins of the Ex-Hacienda San José are another attractiveness that dates from 1875; as well as the ancient petroglyphs in Las Juntas and Los Veranos.
In Boca de Tomatlán, pangas (taxi boats) that take the tourists to the beach they wishes to visit, where there are several restaurants and beach houses for rent.
Las Ánimas — is a sand beach smooth in a zone apt for the diving, by the formation coralline and the associated marine fauna.
Quimixto — Known by its horse's rides and long walks, very recommendable to arrive at the cascade of ten meters of height that lowers of mountains; has a large restaurant zone. In the passage between Quimixto and Yelapa small beaches exist, like Caletas, Majahuitas and Colimilla. They are not lived, but they have local fishermen restaurants and beach houses for rent. In its deep waters it is possible to dive thanks to the coralline reef zone, populated with all kinds of fish and invertebrates.
Yelapa — A creek of large dimensions where the Tuito river ends. Has a small and traditional town, with a calm beach to swim and for different aquatic activities.
Mayto — More than 15 kilometers of a beach in almost virgin state. Here's located one of the largest Mexico's protected sea turtles reproduction fields, part of the international Sea Turtle Restoration Project where guided routes are offered to know a little more on the species that arrive at this beach. On scheduled times, it is possible to participate of the release of newborn turtle babies to the sea. The place has a colorful hotel, but Mayto is more dedicated to the turtle's preservation than tourism.
Tehuamixtle — Place known by its rich oysters of unusual large size, has a small beach of about 200 meters in length, inside a protected creek that offers safe refuge to spend the night if it is necessary when sailing. It has become an obligated intermediate scale between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo for Californian and Mexican sailboats and yachts.
Is a large coast with several beaches distributed along its extension, Punta Las Peñitas, Hotelito Desconocido, Majahuas, Peñitas y Chalacatepec.
Chalacatepec — is a beach located only 25 minutes of the municipal head of Tomatlán. On its shore there's an antique pirate ship that shipwrecked long ago and now forms part of the traditional legends of the place.
La Peñita Pintada — (Painted Lil'Rock) gained its name due to a natural granodiorite cavity, whose walls, bottom and ceiling has several ancient painting on it. Due to the large amount of visitors, there are visitor periods scheduled only on specific times of the year.
Bahía de Chamela
A large, undeveloped bay surrounded by several islands. Home to marine and terrestrial birds, it has more than ten kilometers of varied marine and fluvial scenes. It has an assembly of small islands like La Colorada, Cocinas, San Andrés, Pajarera (reserve of exotic birds and ideal place for diving), Novilla, Esfinge, San Pedro, San Agustín, and La Negrita, all of them accessible in boat.
This large coast has several little bays of white sand among cliffs and small size islands, main reason why it is currently being promoted as a VIP destination, not only to visit, but also to live in. Careyes promotes itself "as a combination of beautiful Mediterranean-like landscapes with the hospitality and craftsmanship of Mexico" and has large sections of Villas, beach houses and ocean view lots available for purchase. Contrary to the rest of the Costalegre Beaches, who are mainly traditional fishermen towns, Careyes has become a luxury and expensive urban development dedicated to Spa's, aquatic sports and all kind of modern commodities. Has 2 regulation Bermuda grass fields and a 150 horses stabling for Polo. Careyes was the 2007 host of the World Federation of Polo play-offs.
Cuixmala — is located 10 minutes of the south Careyes, set in the lush vegetation of a 3 km beach. It was the legendary private state of James Goldsmith, and was originally conceived as a private home for his family and friends. It has a 25,000 acres (100 km2) of land, lagoon and beaches. Originally designed by Robert Couturier, it is now an eco-resort based on green culture and is still used by the elite. Its name means "the soul's resting place" in Spanish.
Bahía de Tenacatita
Some kilometers ahead of Tamarindo Beach, it is located Bahía de Tenacatita, one of largest bays of the Mexican Coast. This zone is known for being the ideal site of crab, snail, clam, lobster and squid fishing, following the time of the year. Due to its geography, it is one of the very few places where you can watch the sun's dawn and set on the sea during winter. It is actually composed of seven different beaches: Manzanilla, Boca de Iguanas, Los Ángeles Locos, Punta Serena, Tenacatita and Tecuán.
This is the most urban developed bay, located at the south of Costalegre series of beaches. Has a traditional town named Barra de Navidad with a population of 7000+, a small farming and fishing community located on the east end of the Bahía de Navidad, 60 km north of Manzanillo. The beachfront fronting the sandbar arks toward San Patricio, Jalisco 4.5 kilometers to the west.
The large lagoon behind Barra de Navidad is criss-crossed by small fishing boats gathering scallops and transporting visitors and locals from Barra to Isla Navidad and the Grand Bay Hotel, recently voted the Number One hotel/resort in Mexico by the Travel Channel. Taxi boats also carry passengers to and from the small community of Colimilla where restaurants line the shore.
Melaque — Towards the northwest of Bahía de Navidad, is the extensive beach of Melaque, of smooth surge, regular slope and sand of texture average gilded gray color. Melaque is conformed by the towns of San Patricio and Villa Obregón, this last one also has its own series of small beaches known as "Beaches of the Sun". The locality of San Patricio takes its name from the Irish Saint Patrick, and celebrates him on Saint Patrick's Day, 17 March.
Cuastecomate — A Sand beach of fine gray color that extends throughout 250 meters. This zone is protected by the bay, presents a smooth surge and a moderate slope, ideal to have the children at sight and for aquatic sports like the sailing, swimming, diving and fishing.
Tamarindo is a peninsula in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Its most notorious characteristic is not the beach, but a professional golf course of 18 holes that divide to their area between forest and landscapes in front of the sea, which is right south of Tenacatitla. A 150-hectares ecological reserve where they coexist an extensive variety of animal like: armadillos, iguanas, deers, raccoons and a great diversity of exotic birds.
There are many hypotheses about where this lively music originated from, but most people agree that Cocula, Jalisco was its birthplace. Today, Mariachis are seen as a symbol of the Mexican Revolution and as the Mexican pride. Mariachi groups are usually hired for festive occasions, such as birthday parties, quinceañera (traditional parties for girls who are turning 15 years of age), and weddings.
In the north of Jalisco, the indigenous Huichol people live in towns that are difficult to access due to their relative isolation in mountainous areas. They call themselves wixarica, "The People," in their own language. The name "Huichol" is derived from the name that was given to them by Nahuatl speakers. Along Constalegre it is possible to find Huichol handmade crafts, drapes and traditional toys.
Jalisco is the center of the Mexican tequila industry. The volcanic soil covering much of the state of Jalisco is particularly well suited for the cultivation of the blue agave plant, which is used as the base for tequila.
Aguamiel and Pulque are also easily found on this area, since both are made from the same plants used to produce Tequila, and both are considered traditional alcoholic drinks reserved for people who likes the traditional, handmade non-commercial liquors.
Along the streets of the towns, you can find street vendors selling Tejuino, a cold beverage made from fermented corn. Tepache is also found on these places, a drink made out of the flesh and rind of the pineapple, sweetened with brown sugar and cinnamon. Both are slightly fermented, but their alcohol content is minimal, so they are often consumed by all the family members as companion for food or just as refreshment.
Some of the most representative dishes of Jalisco are Birria (a spicy meat stew, made of lamb or iguana meat), red or white pozole, sopes, guacamole, frijoles charros, Menudo (stew made of hominy and tripe with a red chili base), torta ahogada (a Mexican sandwich submerged in a spicy sauce), Carne en su jugo, Enchiladas rojas y verdes, Cuachala (a chicken or pork stew), tamales, Lamb al pastor. On Yelapa beach you can find the Yelapa Pie, that has a familiar tradition and cannot be found anywhere else. Being a large coastal region, you can find all kinds of seafood and fishes along Costalgre.