Punta Mita serves up authentic Mexico
Tiny seaside village alive with charm and luxury
Tiny seaside village alive with charm and luxury
After all, Patricia, the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Western hemisphere, was predicted to do “catastrophic” damage. While it brought lashing rains and winds, there were no fatalities or major damage as a result of the storm. Ultimately, it hit south of Puerto Vallarta much harder than the northern region, which was our destination: the charming beachfront village of Punta Mita, located on the north end of Banderas Bay in the Mexican state of Nayarit.
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It is that surf that calls so many foreigners to this tiny seaside spot. A stay at Cinco offers a resort alternative – a way to experience the sleepy town (at least during the October low season, when it felt like the entire hotel was ours) in a way that is about as authentic as a tourist can have. Stand-up paddle boarders and surfers can swiftly scoop up their boards when the waves hit and head out for a session. Then relax with a cerveza and freshly made guacamole and chips poolside at one of the resort’s two pools: an infinity pool on the roof, and a lower beachside pool.
Part of the beach at Cinco is rocky, but if you’re a surfer who wants to spend time in the water and not laying on a towel, it’s worth trekking over a few rocks to hit the reliable point break just off shore. Cinco is ideal for families with kids in their late teens, or a multiple family or couple’s getaway – especially if everyone digs the surf. But if you go, definitely rent a car, or hop on a bus, for the half-hour trip to the utterly charming seaside town of Sayulita.
Another tip, while in Punta Mita, visit Tacos y papas, which is supposed to be the best taqueria in town. Also worth noting, we felt completely safe throughout our stay and at ease in the seaside town, where locals were clearly happy to have the tourist business – especially during the slow season.
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The Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita delivers the ultimate luxury experience in Punta Mita, Mexico, with more offerings and adventures than one could imagine, but all the magic comes with a price tag. Check out Hotel Cinco for a thriftier option when it comes to staying in the charming seaside town, located on the north end of Banderas Bay.
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Luxury: Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita
Release baby turtles to the ocean, play a round on one of two Jack Nicklausdesigned golf courses, enjoy a freshly caught fish dish for lunch, frolic with the kids in one of the kids’-only pools, complete with a lazy river, or let the kids enjoy the day in a play centre with on-site childcare and an outside playground, while you hop on the SUP (stand-up paddle board).
For kids, let them have a break from the heat (and a break for yourself from them) as they play in the games rooms.
The Four Seasons is an ideal location for families, with an exhaustive list of activities, including horseback riding, snorkelling, tennis, and the world-class Apuane Spa. Go for the intoxicating tequila massage, which fuses indigenous sage and tequila for a ridiculously soothing experience.
One of the most intriguing elements of the resort is how it embraces the history and culture of the region. Enrique Alejos is the resort’s onsite cultural concierge, who has worked for more than two decades on biological conservation programs and preserving the country’s indigenous cultures. Alejos hosts tequila tastings, nature hikes, whale watching tours,, art walks and lectures all with a cultural edge.
The Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita doesn’t come cheap, with rates that fluctuate between approximately C $780 a night for the Casita room during the low seasons upwards of C $1,300 a night for the same room during high season (the rate goes up with suite bookings), but if you’re looking for the optimal luxury getaway – and are fortunate enough to be able to afford it, the resort is a magical option in one of the most breathtaking surf regions in the world.
Despite it being the low season for surf, I would suggest going during the fall, if you’re looking for a quiet vacation. Rates are lower, and there are no crowds to get in the way of your paradise getaway.
Must visit: #Sayulita
Bite into crispy fish tacos, enjoy chorizo torta on a soft ciabatta bun at El Metro Torteria, or buy an inexpensive (about $10) half chicken from the local woman grilling them on the street. This was the most delicious meal we ate in Mexico – she had a grill set up to cook the chicken, which she basted constantly, and sold them to-go with soft tortillas, a savory red sauce for dipping, and a crunchy coleslaw.
After lunch, relax on the beach with a $20 massage, or a fruity cocktail, shop in one of the many hip boutiques, or hit the waves to take in the town’s famous surf.
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