Corral de Riscos
In the early 1990s, the Mexican government concluded a deal with private interests to build the Four Seasons resort development at Corral de Riscos, at the end of the Punta Mita highway. The idyllic Corral de Riscos inlet, however, was ejido (communally owned) land and base of operations for the local fishing and boating cooperative, Cooperativa Corral de Riscos.
In 1995 the government moved the people, under protest, into modern housing beside a new anchorage at nearby Playa Anclote. Now the ejido people seem to have grudgingly accepted their new housing and harbor (which they’ve even named “Nuevo Corral de Riscos”).
A private gate on the right leads to the super-exclusive 18-hole golf course and 100-room Four Seasons Hotel. I’m hopeful that someday, public access will be restored to the lovely sand crescent that borders the petite, gorgeous Corral de Riscos inlet.
When that happens, families will again be able to swim and picnic on the golden sand, in view of the two small bare-rock islands, Isla del Mono on the left and Isla de las Abandonadas on the right, that shelter the scenic lagoon. The name of the former comes from a mono (monkey) face people see in one of the outcroppings; the latter label springs from a legend of fishermen who went out to sea and never returned. Las Abandonadas were their wives, who waited on the islet for years, vainly searching the horizon for their lost husbands.
The Hotel Four Seasons was only the first step in government plans for Punta Mita development. Real estate offices show (with pride) a map of about five projected large hotels and several condominium complexes (some already built, others under construction). Although all of this ferment bodes well for the employment prospects of local people, the question of whether it will transform Punta Mita for the better or the worse will become more apparent after the dust of construction settles.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Puerto Vallarta, 7th edition