Playa los Cocos
Playa los Cocos (about 8 miles, or 13 km, south of San Blas), and its venerable palm grove, stretches north past beachfront houses, a couple of very basic lodgings, and a sprinkling of beachside palapa restaurants.
Continuing northward, notice that the occasionally heavy surf is gradually eroding the beach, leaving a crumbling 10-foot embankment along a mostly rocky shore. Playa los Cocos is nevertheless balmy and beautiful enough to attract a winter RV colony to Trailer Park Playa Amor (Trailer Park Playa Amor, c/o gerente Javier López, Playa los Cocos, San Blas, Nayarit 63740, tel. 323/231-2200), which overlooks the waves right in the middle of Playa los Cocos.
Besides excellent fishing, boating, boogie boarding, swimming, and sailboarding, the park offers 30 grassy spaces for very reasonable prices. Rentals run about $12, $13, and $14 for small, medium, and large RVs respectively ($18 for a/c power), with all hookups, showers, and toilets; pets are okay. Tenters with no hookups pay $6. Although you can expect plenty of friendly company during the winter, reservations are not usually necessary.
Casa Mañana (P.O. Box 49, San Blas, Nayarit 63740, tel. 323/254-9080 or 323/254-9090, toll-free Mex. tel. 01-800/202-2079, www.casa-manana.com) perches at the south end of breezy Playa los Cocos. Owned and managed by an Austrian man, Reinhardt, and his Mexican wife, Lourdes, Casa Mañana’s two double-storied tiers of rooms rise over a homey, spic-and-span beachview restaurant and pool deck and garden. Very popular with Europeans and North Americans seeking South Seas tranquility on a budget, Casa Mañana offers fishing, beachcombing, hiking, and swimming right from its palm-adorned front yard.
The 26 rooms rent for about $60 d high season, $53 d low, with air-conditioning and ocean view, or $52 d high, $37 d low, with air-conditioning but no view. All rentals get one day free per week stay. Longer-stay discounts are negotiable, and winter reservations are strongly recommended.
If you’re staying at Casa Mañana, you might look into the services of Seven Sunsets Tours (www.sevensunsets.com) of photographer-guide John Stewart. His mission is to lead his clients to experience the “real” Mexico via nature-friendly strolls, hikes, and horseback rides to off-the-beaten-track local sites.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Puerto Vallarta, 7th edition