The Aquiles Serdán villagers see so few outsiders that you’ll become their attraction of the week. Wave and say hola, buy a refresco, and stroll around town. After a while, the kids will stop crowding around and the adults will stop staring when they’ve found out that you, too, are human. By that time, someone may even have invited you into his or her tree branch-walled, clean, dirt-floored house for some hot fish-fillet tacos, fresh tomatoes, and beans. Accept, of course.
Aquiles Serdán basks above the lily-edged river lagoon, which during the June–October rainy season usually breaks through the beach-sandbar and drains directly into the surf half a mile below the town. During the dry season, the ocean plugs the hole in the sandbar, and the lagoon wanders lazily up the coast for a few miles. In any case, the white-sand beach is easily accessible only by boat, which you can borrow or hire at the village.
If you do, you’ll have miles of untouched white sand and surf all to yourself for days of camping, beachcombing, shell collecting, surf fishing, wildlife-watching, and, if the waves permit, swimming, surfing, boogie boarding, and snorkeling. The town’s two stores can provide your necessities.
Back at the fork (23 mi/37 km from the highway), continue along the left branch about two miles through Maito (pop. 100), which has two stores and a friendly auto mechanic. His name is Arias Gonzales, and his establishment is marked by a fence hung with dozens of eerie cow skulls.
A right fork just after Maito leads a quarter mile to Playa Maito, a surf-fishing and beachcombers’ haven, where you can either park your RV or tent on the beach or stay at the excellent family-friendly beachfront Hotel Maito (Guadalajara tel. 33/3177-2184, $55 d, kids $10). Amenities include eight simply furnished but clean and comfortable rooms, most with two beds, a big swimming pool, shady palm grove, green lawn, fishing tours, horses to ride, hammocks, and a restaurant.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Puerto Vallarta, 7th edition