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    Mexico State #200L Highway Guide

    Miles Kms Item Summary
    Tepic (the capital city of the State of Nayarit)
    Tepic, at 3000 feet, sits in the shadows of three 7600 ft. volcanoes that make up part of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range that forms the backbone of the highlands. The city's name means 'land of corn' thusly it serves as the center for farming, manufacturing, and governmental services for the State of Nayarit. With over 200,000 people, the city offers mountain lakes, great architecture, ample accommodations, and beautiful vistas of the Mexican highlands. This is where our journey begins where south bound Highway 15 Libramiento passes through the back streets of Tepic before resurfacing to intersect with Boulevard Xalisco. To the right, look for the on ramp to Mex. Hwy 200 where it descends precipitously westward to the Pacific Ocean and the resort city of Puerto Vallarta. The highway snakes its way downhill through picturesque highland farm land skirting the small villages of Aquiles Serdan, Emiliano Zapata, Compostela and Las Varas.
    The Village of Chacala, Mexico
    Approximately four miles past the village of Las Varas is the turn off to the quaint fishing village of Chacala. It's a bumpy 6 mile secondary road to the village but worth the journey. Here you'll find a palm lined pristine bay ideal for swimming and boogie boarding. Beach side palapa restuarants provide fresh seafood and cold cervezas. Accommodations at the upscale Mar de Jade Holistic Center are available on the south end of the beach!
    Villages of La Penita and Rincon de Guayabitos!
    Thirteen miles south of the Chacala turnoff are the sister villages of La Penita and Rincon de Guayabitos snuggled up against Bahia de Jaltemba. La Penita is the working village for the locals with a beach front ideal for swimming and boogie boarding. The village of Rincon de Guayabitos serves as the tourist center for those travelers looking for something more culturally unique than the glitz of Puerto Vallarta. Ten to fifteen hotels rim this mellow-surfed high tide beach servicing the winter rush of adventurers from the north.
    Village of Lo de Marco!
    Eight miles south of Rincon de Guayabitos is the turnoff to Lo de Marco. Follow the mile long road through the village to the palapa restaurants on the beach. Tent, RV camping, and lodging available.
    Village of San Francisco!
    Next stop is the sleepy village of San Francisco (San Pancho)with a stretch of beach that has a strong undertow. Here you will find the Costa Azul Adventure resort which caters to the active traveler with an all-inclusive package of meals and outdoor activities.
    Village of Sayulita!
    South bound on Mex. Hwy. 200 our next stop is the idyllic fishing village of Sayulita. Mix it up with the locals and enjoy fishing, bodysurfing, and swimming in the clear ocean waters. Stay on south Mex. Hwy 200 to the next village of Bucerias. The turn off to Punta de Mita takes you out the the exclusive Four Seasons private resort.
    Village of Bucerias!
    This is where Mex. Hwy 200 brushes the shores of Bahia de Banderas (Bay of Flags) for the first time. One of the largest and deepest bays in all of Mexico's thousands of miles of shoreline. A bustling toursit city of 6,000+, Bucerias provides the traveler with a laid back area to vacation but in close proximity to the mega resort city of Puerto Vallarta, if one so chooses to visit. The city offers several beach villas to rent, ample restaurant choices, and a taste of Real Mexico!
    The Resort City of Puerto Vallarta!
    Bienvenidos to my favorite resort in all of Mexico, Puerto Vallarta! This city of 300,000+ offers all the amenities a traveler could need. The north end has the highrise mega resorts, the downtown area offers affordable vacation rentals, and south of the city higher priced hotels, condos, and private villas are available. Definitely cruise the zocalo, restaurants, and bars at night where the action is!
    South Bound to El Tuito!
    As one departs the masses of Puerto Vallarta along the southern arm of Banderas Bay, you quickly melt into the thick jungle surroundings. Be sure to stop at Mismaloya Beach for a quick dip in this picture perfect mini bay just 4 miles south of downtown. Next is the fishing village of Boca de Tomatlan then on to Chico's restaurant. Stop here for an enjoyable lunch while viewing the local kids diving off the adjacent rocks into the Tomatlan River. From here the next village is El Tuito which has a bus stop right on Mex. Hwy. 200 and the adjoining village of (5,000) a mile off the highway. This is the gateway to the back roads to Cabo Corrientes, the southern tip of Banderas bay. This is four wheeling country of isolated beaches and rough roads for the strong at heart!
    Playa Chalacatepec and Las Alamandas Resort!
    From Tuito we head south for 50+ miles through the villages of Jose Pino Suarez, La Cumbre, Campo Acosta, and Jose Maria Morelos. Here is where one turns off to the right for the 6 mile journey to Playa Chalacatepec! This is an off-the-beaten-trail beach, so pack your food and water for the adventure. The beach offers all categories of surf so choose carefully where you decide to jump in! After getting back on Mex. Hwy. 200, just a few miles down the road is the exclusive resort of Las Alamandas. After passing through the guarded gate ( by reservation only), your enter the 1500 acre complex with luxurously simple rooms to complete villas! Rates run from $250 to $2000 a day! Ouch!
    Bahia de Chamela!
    South bound on Mexico Hwy. 200 is the turn off (El Super/Km 72) to the five mile long Chamela Bay with its protective islands and various accommodations. The bay north to south is broken up into Playa Perula, Playa Fortuna, Playa Chamela, and Playa Rosadas. The surf gets bigger as you head south, so choose what you can handle. There are three bunglow rentals, two trailer parks, and the Villa Polinesian Camping Club. A great area to spend a few days before heading further south on your exploration of the 'Costalegre'(Happy Coast). Just to the south of Bahia de Chamela is the private and secluded, hilltop, Villa Vista Hermosa with it's 270 degree territorial view of the Pacific ocean, the Bay of Chamela, and the foothills to the East. A respite from the heated valley below. The professional staff caters to your every need! This all-inclusive villa is situated on five manicured, mountaintop acres, with water fountains, swimming pool, large dining area, accommodations for large groups, and probably the most spectacular views I have every experienced in my travels along Hwy. 200. Check it out for yourself at the link below!
    Bahia de Careyes!
    Next stop is the Bay of Careyes with its upscale accommodations. Hotel Careyes is a pristine beach nestled between rising cliffs on the crystal blue waters of the Pacific ocean. On the north side of the bay is Club Med with its plethora of indoor and outdoor activities. Definitely worth a stop to at least take a look at the bay.
    Hotel El Tecuan!
    Next stop is the once stylish, upscale Hotel El Tecuan (now abandoned). Its located six miles off Hwy. 200 at Km 33 where you can see a windmill at the road entrance. You can explore the now vacant site and imagine what it once was like to stay at this grand hotel overlooking Playa Tecuan. This beach has some of the most dangerous surf along the 'Costa Alegre'! You can drop down to the beach and take a surface road from north to south.
    Playa Tenacatita!
    Next up is the turn off to the villages of El Rebalsito and Tenacatita on a newly blacktopped road 6 miles to the northern tip of Bahia De Tenacatita. You can pick up snacks and drinks in El Rebalsito or just eat at one of the 10+ palapa restaurants on the beach at Tenacatita. This beach is protected to the West so the waves are ideal for beginner/intermediate boogie boarders. This is my personal favorite place to relax and ride the waves. Just as you enter Tenacatita stay to the right and head up over the hill to the best snorkeling in all of Tenacatita Bay at Playa Mora! This beach faces inward to the bay while on the other side of the isthmus is wild and wooley Playa la Boca, with ankle deep chocolate sand, for the strong at heart. There are two hotels on the beach to the East if you decide to overnight. Beware though, the bugs are deadly right at sunset due to a lagoon running parallel with the beach right behind the village. Definitely worth the jaunt off of Hwy. 200. Just do it!!
    Hotel Blue Bay Village & Sun Resorts Retreat!
    Next is the another entrance road to the northern side of Bahia de Tenacatita. Here you'll fnd the Hotel Blue Bay Village which offers an all-inclusive vacation package. A nice 3+ star offering with food, beach toys and the complete package. To the right of the entrance to Blue Bay is the service road to Sun Resorts, a vacation retreat offering yoga, massages, exercise programs, and lots of peace & quiet. An excellent facility with lots to offer and fantastic views to the south of the Bay of Tenacatita! I recommend both places for an out-of-the-way vacation destination.
    Playa Boca de Iguana!
    The next entrance road into Bahia de Tenacatita deadends at the Boca de Iguana campground and RV location, 2 miles off of Mex. Hwy. 200. A great place to park the rig for the winter or do some tent camping under the shade of swaying palm trees. The surf can be a bit dangerous so watch yourself. Supplies can be bought in the neighboring village of La Manzanilla, Mexico!
    Playa La Manzanilla!
    Next stop is home away from home for me, the quaint fishing village of La Manzanilla, Mexico on the bottom of the horseshoe-shaped Bay of Tenacatita! Just 2 miles off the main highway, this working fishing ejido of 1500 locals also has a high tide, Caiman-filled lagoon adjacent to the village. Several mom & pop palapa roofed, sand floored restaurants dot the beach. The surf is mellow and the isolated beach stretches unabated to the north for 3+ miles to Boca de Iguana campground. There are a few budget hotels in town and several vacation, ocean view villas above the village. It's Real Mexico with nothing to do but, fish, swim, snorkel, beach hike, kayak, horeseback ride, boat, or just plain relax in this sleepy village that time has forgotten. I highly recommend spending several days here soaking up the sun and cultural ambiance of this sleepy village on the pristine Bay of Tenacatita!
    San Patricio-Melaque, Mexico on Bahia de Navidad!
    Our next stop, where Mex. Hwy 200 intersects Hwy 80 out of Guadalajara, is the busting village of San Patricio Melaque on Bahia de Navidad! This village has numerous mid range priced hotels, great eateries, and anything else one can imagine. It has hardware stores, pharmacies, laundries, internet cafes etc. A great place to hang out for the whole winter. The shore is steep and pounded by shore break surf so beware!
    Barra de Navidad, Mexico!
    Adjacent to San Patricio Melaque is Barra de Navidad. With a population of 7000+, this town draws the most tourists with its hotel base and numerous restaurants. Located on a sandy spit with a lagoon behind, Barra de Navidad offers great sport fishing, bird watching and one of the premier golf courses in all of Mexico at Isla de Navidad, just across the lagoon and next door. A great party town in the middle of Real Mexico!
    Manzanillo Playa de Oro International Airport!
    South of Barra de Navidad you'll pass through the working village of Cihuatlan enroute to the turn off to the two mile entrance road to the Manzanillo international airport. This the airport you fly into to access this part of Mexico. The airport is 28 miles from the center of downtown Manzanillo!
    Manzanillo, Mexico
    Manzanillo, with a population of 125,000+ triples as a vacation destination, a naval base, and the largest containerization port on the West coast of Mexico! This metropolitan city has it all; hotels, night clubs, restaurants, and great fishing. The two main resort areas are the twin bays to the north of the city; Bahia de Santiago and Bahia de Manzanillo. This is where you'll find the majority of tourists and places to stay. A fun city with lots of action and only 1 1/2 hrs from the volcanoe rimmed capital city Colima in the State of Colima! A little bit of everything for everyone! If you're headed further south, Zihuatanejo is 238 miles to the south on Mex. Hwy. 200 and Guadalajara is 190 miles to the East on the Guadalajara-Colima autopista( Hwys. 15-54-110). Enjoy traveling in Mexico and always; ' Expect the Unexpected in Adventure Travel!'.