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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

San Juan de Lima, Mexico
(Pronounced: Sawn-whawn-day-LEE-mah, MAY-hee-coh)
Currency Conversion Site 

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Visiting as many of the tiny beach towns along the rugged Pacific Coast of Mexico was our intention on this 3+ month adventure. Coming from the black sand beaches of Cuyutlan, we once more had to pass through the transportation hub of Armeria in order to continue on down the coast. Once in Armeria, our 10 Peso tickets got us into Tecoman at 11:30 a.m., allowing us time to eat our sandwiches before the noon bus to San Juan de Lima was to arrive.

 

Riding some of the busses in Mexico, you do what you can to be comfortable. Here's Billy in the back of the bus bracing himself against the swerves the bus takes, holding his GPS to mark anything of interest along the way.

 

No doubt, we're in the tropics here, and banana plantations are everywhere. If you look closely at the banana palms you will see that the bananas themselves are bagged with white or blue plastic bags to keep insects and birds from eating the fruit.

 

Over bridges and rivers, and around the coast, the scenery is tranquil and soothing.

 

This is the bus we took from Tecoman to San Juan de Lima (32 Pesos each), much better than the little klunker previously. As you can see from the itinerary on the windshield, this bus continues onto and through other beach towns we will see later.

We dropped the boys off with our luggage at an ocean view restaurant/bar/hotel while my girlfriend and I checked out hotels.

 

After viewing half-a-dozen hotels, most of them broken down, in need of repair and charging anywhere from 150 Pesos to 450 Pesos per night we came back to the boys with our somewhat disappointing news. However, while we had been gone, Billy negotiated with the owners of Bella Vista to get us a second floor room with a view and air conditioning for only 250 Pesos a night!

We had this swimming pool and and the ocean was only meters away. This photo was taken from the upstairs restaurant, and there is a seaside restaurant under the palapas you see on the right.

 

Bella Vista was a sweet little place with this view down at the beach. Waves were considerably calmer than the pounding surf at Cuyutlan, but not large enough to give one the waa-HOO of body surfing.

The restaurant we frequented is just to the left of this palm tree in the photo. They serve excellent Sopa de Mariscos (seafood soup) and Filete de Pescado con Salsa de Chipotles both too large for one person to finish. With beverage, the price came to 200 Pesos, more than we had spent on a meal in a while. Most definitely worth it, however.

We can also recommend the ceviche for 50 Pesos a serving - it, too, will feed two people.

 

Here's another view of the beach itself. Wide open with creamy waves continuously lapping the shore.

These boys wanted us to rent their horses by the hour or half-day. A great place to ride along the beach!

 

This small town currently has a population of 3,500 and has not been built up much. In fact, there is no cell phone connection here at all, and no internet. If you want to check your email you must go to Placita, a 15 minute, 14 Peso bus ride away.

Gringos have only discovered San Juan about 15 years ago and you can count the number living here on one hand.

The beach is welcoming and wide.

 

This is looking in the other direction. Stunning, isn't it?

Because this area is not developed, there is no governmental agency which comes by and sprays the beach for sand fleas, mosquitoes or flies. Due to the rain this season, the little critters were particularly annoying - nothing that assertive bug repellant couldn't help you with, but you get the idea.

If you decide to visit San Juan, bring enough cash to get you through a number of days here. The closest ATM (only two) is in La Placita, south east down the coast. To take the bus, simply walk up to the highway and flag down the first bus going in your direction. They run about every half an hour.

 

One day while my girlfriend and I lazed around the veranda, the boys went out scouting around. Javier, the owner of the hotel, took them up the coast to a private residence to discuss property values, squatter's rights, the community in general and the future development of San Juan de Lima. Most intriguing topics.

 

This is the view from the private residence.

The coastline is rugged and reminds us of the familiar seaside of California, U.S.A. The difference is that so much of this surf and sand is still undeveloped.

Can you imagine the cost of your house with this same view in California or Oregon?

After a few days in San Juan de Lima, it was time to move on.

 

After discussing our options for getting elsewhere down the beaches of Mexico and to our next destination, we settled on a deal with the owners to take us and in return, we would put gas into his SUV. It was a good agreement for everyone.

We wanted to stop at a couple of beaches before we got to Caleta de Campos, but lodging was a question. Having a private driver solved this issue for us completely. If we liked what we saw and found decent lodging, we would stay. If not, Javier would take us on down the road until we could catch a bus to Caleta.

 

Here's more of what could be Highway 1 in California on the way to Half Moon Bay. Only thing is, we're 1,000's of miles to the south!

 

Banana palms and rivers, on through the Mexican state of Michoacan we go!

 

Finally we arrive at a beach town we enjoy, Caleta de Campos, and Hotel de los Arcos.

How would you like to rest here in this hammock?

 

Nah....Billy prefers this one.

If you want to go through San Juan de Lima (often marked on maps as San Juan de Alima) and on to Caleta, be sure to bring enough cash with you for lodging, transport and food. If you reach Caleta and are looking for an ATM you will need to go to Lazaro Cardenas, a large port town south east down the coast.

 

Traveling south down the Pacific coast of Mexico is a must adventure for any traveler. Our style is to go slow and if we like a place, we stay longer, ‘getting local’ as soon as possible. This means we scout out where the neighbors shop, the restaurants they frequent and we make friends along the way with store owners, the maids, and anyone who lives in town. These people know where the best prices and value can be found – it’s certainly not where the tourists shop.

The Adventurer's Guide to the Pacific Coast of Mexico details our route, the places we stayed, prices we paid along this adventure and history and culture of these locations. We also give you names of hotels in each area, the transportation available, useful information and the pros and cons of each place as we viewed it. To learn more, Click here

About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their popular website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.

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