You won't find
Caleta de Campos on
most Mexican maps, so if we post a story about it and a rustic but dazzling beach town becomes famous by word of
mouth and then becomes overrun by tourists... did we really want this
to happen to 'Captivating Caleta'?
So, ok, this shot
isn't Caleta, but one of many unspoiled beaches along the Mexican coast.
we spent 73 Pesos each to get to Lazaro Cardenas on a first class
bus. In the Mexican way, the 7:30 a.m. bus didn’t leave until 8, and
when we did reach Lazaro, we were dropped off in the middle of a
no bus station in sight. Not to worry, we were able to find this 'Chicken Bus' which took us
up the spectacular western coast of Mexico towards Caleta de Campos,
our next destination.
Ed Note: This
piece was written from an earlier visit to Caleta. The information
is current. During our
105 Day Adventure
we traveled south from
San Juan de Lima paying 95 Pesos each for the bus.
Billy! Caught me with my mouth full once again, taking a quick
morning snack. Here I am trying to smile at the same time hoping I
don't show a mouth full of food! Glamorous shot, don't you think? We
try to use these down times to eat and organize our gear for the
coming journey. And as most of you know we always carry food and
As you can see, the travel
itinerary is written on the front window of our 'Chicken Bus'.
First class busses in Mexico have large seats that recline, are
air-conditioned, have bathrooms on board and they almost always show
movies. 'Chicken Busses' are usually more simple and less suited to
comfort, but very functional. It's always a good idea to check the
tires before boarding!
about these busses is that the driver will drop you off or pick you
up anywhere along the route. No one is in a rush and many people see
friends along the way as they climb aboard.
Adventurer's Guide to the Pacific Coast of Mexico
On a well paved
road with the beach only a stone's throw away, we continue on our
here were reminiscent of Highway 1 in California except more
tropical. Some areas looked just like Waddell Creek, Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz,
and even Big Sur all whizzing past us. If you've never traveled
Highway 1 through Oregon and California it's certainly worth the
drive. Or come south of the border and see the Mexican version of
the same coast line!
histories proudly displayed by the townsfolk, we stopped in
quaint towns along the route. You can see the ocean in the
we arrived in Caleta
de Campos two hours later,
and what a change from Zihua! More like a village, Caleta is basically a one street
beach town with friendly locals. This is certainly where everyone
knows everyone else. We were looking for John's
Place which we were told was near the lighthouse.
us to walk
down the road and to take a left at the white church. We didn't find
John's Place, but stumbled upon Hotel Los Arcos instead.
Impressed, we took a seaside room with spectacular 180 degree
views of the sea from a cliff for only 300 Pesos per night (up from
200 Pesos on our previous visit). Initially the new managers asked
us to pay 500 Pesos per night, so we were still doing well on our
Giving the feel of
a cottage, the room is bright and comes with TV, fan and a
But who needs
television when you have this to watch?
Billy shows the
view from our (small but lovely!) balcony. We watched the sun rise
and set over the ocean from this balcony during the days we stayed
All of our books lead
to adventure. Don't miss out on yours!
Sunrise from our
room. So peaceful, so sweet!
Sunset, with the
Lighthouse in the foreground.
Another sunset from our
balcony. Nature is captivating and this town is very tranquil.
we took a little
time up on the rooftop of
Los Arcos and enjoyed the spectacular scenery stretched out behind
us. How enchanting this little town of Caleta was! This is
the sort of place where one goes: "I wonder what property is for
It was here on
the roof that we discovered a beach nearby. There were many fishing
boats coming and going out of the bay but when we saw the beach we
knew we had to see it first hand, up close and personal.
center-left of the photo you can see a wide expanse of beach, and
what looks to be a harbor. Boats and harbor mean... fresh seafood! This
is a HUGE horseshoe bay.
So we take a walk
through the town and to the edge of the cliff. The beach far in the
background is where we plan to visit tomorrow.
Going back to our
became mesmerized by the sea's continuous action, passing time easily while the sun
sets. The Bufadero was spectacular with the constant gushes
of seawater blowing through its holes. We enjoyed watching migrating
whales and, in the starlit evenings, The Southern Cross.
You can see
the small fishing boat coming home with its fresh catch.
to the beach! A closer look reveals restaurant choices and fishing
boats at this end of the beach. Now we're talking, food, drink, sun
and sand. We were in our element.
And at the other
end is a loooong stretch of private beach which we intend to explore!
fishermen and restaurants are all a common theme when you travel the
coast. Homes dot the hillsides giving a wide view of the ocean below.
with each other discussing the day's catch or who needs their motor
fixed. It's a wide open, nature-filled life that goes on seven days a
Adventurer's Guide to Destination Choices
belongings are covered up with only a vinyl cloth for protection. In
such a small town, everyone knows everyone else, so thievery is not
Where the sea
meets the rock on the right is a small stretch of beach and when the
tide is down, you can easily cross over. When the tide is up... you
are swimming back to the other side! Watch your gear!
When we arrived, we didn't know whether the tide was coming in or going out, but the
water was already up to our knees.
The beach continues expansively.
We sort of
expected Bo Derek from the movie 10 to come running by in her
braids. As you can see, there is no one else here! Private,
beautiful, peaceful, massive... and all ours! What mischief could we
get into here, hmmmm??
are many types of beaches - those with vendors, water toys,
parasailing and tours - this is the style we most prefer. Secluded,
expansive and filled only with the sounds of nature.
The view looking
down to the other side. The 'pile of rocks' in the left of this photo
are the rocks where we posed in the previous photo. It gives you an
idea of how large this beach really is.
The mist rises
from the gently rolling waves. You can walk out a long while and the
ocean is still only to your thighs.
civilization! Another beach comber's towel and flip flops. Could
these be YOURS?
This photo is
taken from the restaurant where we had our lunch. In the background
is the large quiet beach that we visited earlier. Notice the name of the
boat is Libertad - meaning Liberty! Freedom! You betcha!
Mixing a little
work with a lot of pleasure, Billy takes notes on his Asus Eee PC. What a
view from his office!
We still had it
in our minds to find John's Place so we walked down from our
hotel to this cliff-side dwelling thinking this must be where John
lives. We knocked on the door but no one was home. We returned later
only to find it was Klaus, a German baker who lived here, not
John... and he invited us in to his balcony for a chat. Of course,
with the town being so small, Klaus knew John and took us there in
This is the view
Klaus enjoys daily from his porch and from his kitchen windows.
We went to the
beach each day we stayed in Caleta, and walked past this
active seashore scene on the way there.
After a hard day
of beach, sun and seafood, we came back to our hotel for a bit of a
rest in the shaded hammock. The sound of waves crashing on the rocks
below, a few birds chirping in the trees above, the rugged coast
line, expansive beaches and great food. Life is good.
information about this gorgeous beach town,
Our next stop on
this adventure is the well know town of
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.
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,