Discover travel destinations of travelers writing a travel journal on FindPenguins.
Travelers at this place
    • Day 110

      Playa Chacala

      December 17, 2022 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      On our way to our next camp spot, we stopped in Playa Chacala for Pescado zarandeado. It's a cute little beach and the restaurant was doing some work on it. I liked that they were using a lot of natural materials to build more shelter.

      Pescado Zarandeado is a local dish that's popular, we heard we had to try it. It was a whole dish, butterflied and grilled in some kind of bbq sauce.

      On the way back to the truck I saw a police car, some flashing lights and two officers behind our truck. I rushed back. Turns out there was no problem, but they were taking the number plate off of the car parked behind me. We swiftly left.
      Read more

    • Day 32

      Friday Brewery & Saturday Organic Market

      January 11, 2020 in Mexico ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

      We have been in Chacala for a week, and one month in Mexico. How the time has flown!

      Every Friday and Saturday evenings , a little craft brew pub called Onda Brewing opens at 6 p.m. It is family friendly and features a changing list of brews from local and sourced ingredients. The brewers and staff live in Chacala and made our a visit feel like we were dropping in to a gathering of friends and family. The group were mostly, if not all gringos.

      Besides beer, they also made a wonderful ginger/rum drink called the Gengiberator. (Gengibre is ginger).
      Delicious. We shared a meat and cheese platter and then moved on to Las Brisas restaurant for a tasty shrimp taco dinner before returning home.

      Chacala is a tiny town and everything is so close by. The laundromat lady, Mary, is steps away. Today she washed and folded our clothes for 40 pesos, or $2.78 Cdn. The vegetable stand is a 5 minute walk away.

      The beach is also only 5 minutes away. Very good beach restaurants and taco stands are just a few minutes away too. What makes things interesting are the little places that just open on certain days, like the pub, a Sunday brunch place, the Pozole soup stands, and weekend roast chicken stands. Always something special to look forward too.

      This morning, we all did our own thing for an hour or two early in the day when it was cool. Chris hiked up the volcano, Pat boogie boarded as the waves were high, Gail played pickle ball and I walked to the muelle (dock) where the fishermen were.

      On Saturdays, an organic market comes to town. We fill our fridge with the fresh veggies that we get there - lettuce, bok choy, spinach, kale, mushrooms, radishes, and our freezer with homemade buns. Other stands set up too with jewellery, clothes, sarongs, rugs and art, but it is on a small scale.

      The photos show Gail as she shops for veggies and bread at the organic market.
      Read more

    • Day 238

      Tschüss Westküste

      February 28, 2023 in Mexico

      Ein kurzer Halt in Chacala. Das letzte mal im Meer Baden gehen und dann verlassen wir die Westküste Mexikos. Jetzt wird es für uns erstmal einige Kilometer durchs Landesinnere gehen, bevor wir das nächste mal Wasser sehen. 🙋Read more

    • Day 32

      The Muelle (Dock) and Making Ceviche

      January 11, 2020 in Mexico ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

      In 1524, 32 years after Columbus’ trip, Hernán Cortés' nephew Spaniard Francisco Cortés de Buena Ventura arrived in the Chacala bay. A long time before that, it was inhabitated by the Tecoxquin (sometimes referred to as the Throat cutters) from approximately 2000 to 2300 BC. They left petroglyphs in nearby places.

      The indigenous who lived here when Cortés came, were mainly fishermen and farmers . They also traded salt and cotton and coaco.

      Chacala was a small commercial port in the 1800s (coffee) but didn’t become a big port like San Blas or Puerto Vallarta did. The old port is still used by local fisherman who go out early in the morning to catch shrimp and all sorts of other fish.

      The muelle is at the end of the street and so we went down in the morning to see what was being brought in. The shrimp boats had come in because we had heard the vendors over loud speakers announcing that we could buy shrimp off the truck going around town.

      The whole area is very picturesque with boats bobbing in the water, pelicans and other seabirds flying from one perch to another and fisherman doing their thing.

      A big table is set up in the shade where fishermen can clean their catch. They throw the carcasses back into the water for the other fish and the pelicans to eat. I asked what kind of fish they were cleaning and was told Toro (Bullfish) and Truche del Arrife (Reef Trout). I asked what kind of fish is good for making ceviche and was told that a fish called Cochito Bota (Triggerfish) was the one to use.

      They didn’t have a fresh fish but they did have a kilogram frozen package. It was the perfect size so we bought it, thawed it in cold water and made a delicious ceviche.

      Basic Ceviche Recipe

      1 pound whitefish, cut into bite-size pieces
      6-8 squeezed limes
      Couple of tomatoes, seeded and diced
      1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
      1/3 cup diced green or red bell pepper (optional)
      chopped onion
      1 jalapeno pepper, chopped, or to taste
      4 cloves garlic, minced
      salt and ground black pepper to taste
      Place fish into a flat dish; cover with lime juice. Chill fish in refrigerator until tender and opaque, at least 3 hours. Drain lime juice.
      Mix tomato, cilantro, green bell pepper, onion, jalapeno pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl; add fish and stir. Chill in refrigerator until flavors blend, about 1 hour.
      Read more

    • Day 28

      Up the Volcano for Beautiful Views

      January 7, 2020 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

      We are in ‘relax mode’. What can I say? So what have we been doing?

      The day before yesterday we just did relaxing things. Nothing strenuous.

      Pat and Gail have returned to their pickle ball games on a rough basketball court with several other gringos. It gets hot here during the day so 7 a.m. is a good time to play. I watched a few games and everyone was having fun. A few falls mentioned, the court is rough.

      Chris went with PnG to a ukulele practice with about 8 people. That was fun.

      We have gone swimming on this beautiful beach several times. The sand is lovely and the town prides itself in keeping the beach clean. Yesterday was the last day of Christmas holidays, so today the beach was very quiet.

      Oh, we have eaten several times in the beachfront palapas. Inexpensive and delicious, especially the vegetarian omelets and green smoothies.

      This morning, we decided to walk to the rim of a nearby ancient volcano. We set out at around 7 a.m., after watching a beautiful sunrise, and drinking a coffee on our rooftop patio.

      It was a pleasant walk with lots of birds to look at. At the top, we discovered a tiny ‘offering’ on the trail.

      Once we left the shade of the jungly trail, it started to get pretty hot and we were hungry. So, we stopped at a beachside palapa restaurant and ordered their famous vegetarian omelet with beans, a coffee and a green juice. Delicious and the added bonus of watching the waves in the ocean. We enjoyed the slow service. Nothing moves very fast here!

      The walk through the jungle to the top of the rim of the volcano was very pleasant. We saw lots of birds and interesting plants. The views at the top were lovely. At times, the crater fills up with water and a lake appears.
      Read more

    • Day 24

      Leaving the Mountains for a Beach Town

      January 3, 2020 in Mexico ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

      Today is a travel day, but the bus didn’t leave until 1:45 p.m., so we had the morning to have breakfast at La Abuela and then do a final round of the town.

      The bus to Puerto Vallarta was right on time, but packed to the gills. Some people stood for the full three hours of the trip. We bought our tickets a day earlier so we were fine. Someone suggested that we get off at Los Juntos as it would save us an extra hour on the bus and would cost less to get to the airport. Great advice.

      Pat and Gail’s airplane arrived at 5:15, so we waited for them at the Tacon de Marlin, the same burrito restaurant that we had eaten in 3 weeks earlier. Their first place from Bellingham to Seattle had been cancelled a few hours before they were supposed to leave so their grandson, Patrick, drove them to Seattle and they were able to continue on with their flight from there.

      As always, our meetings are great and then eating a big shrimp burrito and drinking a Victoria beer before heading to Chacala, was great. Domingo, the cab driver waited for us and did a great job driving on the busy highway north. The traffic was unbelievable. It was like being on a major highway at rush hour. It is Friday night and the last weekend of Christmas holidays so that explains why there was so much traffic.

      It was a lot warmer on the coast and we enjoyed seeing the beautiful red sunset as we travelled.
      Chacala is tiny, not far from the bigger town of Las Varas. It doesn’t have an ATM machine, a pharmacy or a bread store, but it does have a beautiful beach and restaurants galore. We can buy almost anything that we need here which is great. Combis (vans) go to Las Varas all the time, if we need special items.

      Our apartment is at the edge of town so it is quiet, being a little ways from the action. At the same time, it is a very short walk to the beach and the dock.

      We are sharing a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment on the 2nd floor with a very large patio and access to a small swimmming pool on the main level. There are lots of birds and butterflies and we can see the ocean. Thank you P and G for finding this comfy place for us to share. Leonor, the landlady, keeps the place very clean and well equipped.

      We are looking forward to a relaxing 3 week stay here, with our old friends, before our 2 month road trip in New Zealand.

      Note: I forgot to publish this earlier. But here it is - almost 2 weeks late!
      Read more

    • Day 40

      Ladies’ Art Show

      January 19, 2020 in Mexico ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

      From 2 - 5 p.m., some lady artists had an art show of their work in the Chacala Cultural Centre. They sold their art and profits went to supporting the centre. We forgot our phone so Gail took some photos for this footprint. We especially liked the photography on flowy nylon material.Read more

    • Day 26

      Lazy days...

      January 5, 2020 in Mexico ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

      Believe it or not, Chris and I have never stayed for an extended time in a beach town. This was going to be a new experience for us.

      Pat and Gail have been here before and since Pat grew up in a beach town in California, he loves the ocean, surfing, swimming and snorkelling. Chacala is the perfect place for this. Gail loves the calm areas of the beach for swimming and Chacala has that too. We are fortunate that they found this wonderful little place and we can share it with them.

      There are lots of Americans and Canadians here, mostly from the west coast. They know each other so there is always someone who will arrange pickle ball games in the early morning, ukulele group meets in the late morning, dinner parties or meetups at restaurants, little group driving or hiking trips, seeing the sunsets while drinking margaritas at a nearby restaurant, etc. Always something going on, if you want to be busy.

      Pat and Gail know us well enough, so we don’t always have to do things together but it is fun to
      have options.

      On Sundays, a terrific brunch is offered in a little shaded and secluded area at the end of the
      beach. We all went there for the first time and loved it! Gourmet food and mimosas on the beach. Ahhhh. As added entertainment we watched a whale breaching in the distance. Pretty exciting!

      A group decision was made. We have all agreed to go there every Sunday.
      Read more

    • Day 38

      Opening of a New Bakery

      January 17, 2020 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

      We met a wonderful couple who sell bread at the Saturday organic market in Chacala. Their bread is delicious. They mentioned that they will be opening a tiny bakery very close to our apartment and next door to the laundromat. It is an exciting time for them.

      Today, the bakery opened its doors and we went to visit it.
      Read more

    • Day 36

      A Weekly ‘Hole in the Wall’ Restaurant

      January 15, 2020 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

      Chabela, a lady who lives across the street from us, opens up her home every Wednesday to serve a Mexican meal for 10 - 20 people. She posts the time and the menu and puts a sign-up sheet on her door.

      Last week, we ate a chicken mole dish and this week, we had either a shrimp or beef Chile Relleno dish with beans, rice and salad. Jugs of guayabana juice are set on the table, and serviettes and cutlery handed out. Then we get real Mexican home-cooked food that she prepares in her kitchen. The grill is on for warming up tortillas.

      Three long tables with chairs are set up in her patio. Her dog and a cat walk under the tables freely. And everyone talks. It’s like a big family gathering.

      This week, we took a few photos of the experience.
      Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Chacala, Q5066049

    Join us:

    FindPenguins for iOSFindPenguins for Android