Growing up in the USA and specifically, in Michigan, you become accustomed to riding in cars. The US is large and major cities are spread out much to the dismay of foreign visitors – making car travel the most viable option. Many people commute an hr or more for their jobs and travel across state lines to visit families or to travel for vacation. For my family road trips were synonymous with spring break, vacation, and often holiday events. Growing up road trips was such a big part of my life and I was initially shocked to find out that other people didn’t travel this way – like why would you take a plane when you could drive there? The drive could be well more than 24 hrs, but that was the fun of it. We would drive through the night, sharing the duties of the driver, co-pilot, and passenger.
I didn’t even step foot on a plane until I was 16 years old and while logistically taking a plane makes the most sense it is just not my preferred method of travel. There are so many missed travel opportunities and experiences when you are flying 35,000 feet above it all. So naturally, when we moved to Mexico we embraced the opportunity to embark on road trips as a way to explore this beautiful and diverse country.
Our drive from San Luis Potosí to our Air Bnb in Higuera Blanca, Nayarit was roughly 8 hrs. Our $105 a night Air bnb in Higuera Blanca was situated cozily right between Sayulita and Punta Mita and had its own private beach. We looked for Air Bnbs with our pupper in mind – wanting him to join is on our Mexican road trip adventure. This Air Bnb was one of the only in the area that allowed pets and turned out to be beyond perfect.
The views of the Pacific Ocean were outstanding and the location of the air bnb allowed us to have the beach practically to ourselves -sharing the space with a few disputing hermit crabs. (Notice the missing limb below.)
Oberon rarely gets a spot to run off-leash, let alone on the beach, both of which are pretty impossible in San Luis Potosí. We swam in the waves for the majority of the afternoon trying to get our little water pup used to the ocean.
After drinking from some fresh baby coconuts and watching the sunset from the patio of our air bnb we put Oberon to bed and Bobby and I headed to the 5-kilometer surf bar down the road – a recommendation from our hosts.
We were handed a menu in English and discovered that we had landed ourselves right on the gringo trail. Yes, I’m a gringa too, but as this is our first beach vacation we have yet to encounter so many tourists from the US, Europe, and Canada in one place. After sharing a vegetarian pizza and some drinks we headed home to rest for our adventures for the next day.
The next morning we woke up early and went for a walk as the sun steadily rose over the sea. Oberon ran in and out of the ocean avoiding being caught by the waves while we passed runners, stray dogs and the prizes that the ocean left behind when it crept back into low tide.
As the sun began to rise higher and higher and in the sky, our stomachs began to rumble and we changed our direction to return to our weekend home. Taking our hidden path worn between the rocks up to our little piece of heaven.
We decided to check out the Sayulita area and to drop off our deposit for the catamaran trip that we would take on Sunday. Sayulita is known to be a dog-friendly city, so naturally, we took Obe along with us. After about 30 minutes in Sayulita, we realized that booking our Air Bnb outside of town was a great decision. The magical town of Sayulita was full of tourists. It is hard to completely dismiss Sayulita simply because it has tourists – surely the tourists are there for a reason. It is hard to not be enchanted by this sleepy surf town with its rainbow-colored Papel Picado rippling in the soft winter breeze, the bright street art on every corner and the cute shops filled with artisan folk art (overpriced as it may be).
Some things we had to check off our Sayulita bucket list included trying the highly coveted choco-banana and believe that its status is rightly deserved – it was far better than expected. The perfect cool down treat to counter the humidity and Mexican sun. Another thing on our Sayulita bucket-list was to hunt down the street art and colorful buildings.
I had also read there was a “secret beach” just a few miles from town while I was researching Sayulita prior to the trip. Bobby and I decided to check it out finding it hard to believe that a beach just a 5-minute drive from town could possibly be a secret, but we were pleasantly surprised that this was more or less true.
These two beaches were both quite secluded with maybe only one or two other people on the entire stretch. I’m not sure if people just don’t know about the beaches or just don’t want to deal with the inconvenience of hiking the 15-20 minutes to get there. Either way, the seclusion of the beach far outweighs any inconvenience.
It was so secluded that a woman felt comfortable enough to engage in a topless photo shoot with her partner. (Notice the man on the boulder and the small human figure in the cave).
On Sunday we went on a catamaran ride with Allycat Tours. We had taken one of these before in the Dominican Republic and we were game to try it again as it included access to the Marietta Islands and stops for snorkeling.
The tour cost was $90 a person and included breakfast, lunch, unlimited drinks as well as access to Islas Marietas National Park and a snorkeling tour.
On Monday morning we woke up early to pack up and headed out for our drive back to San Luis Potosí. We were sad to wave goodbye to the Pacific Ocean and all the beautiful bugambilias. Oberon expressed his feelings of discontent through the rejection of his breakfast in the car – or possibly he was just carsick. I’d like to believe it was his newfound love for the beach.