Nayarit is one of the states bordering the Pacific Ocean and therefore a well-known place for beach lovers and surfers. A lot of Americans and Canadians stay here often during the winter month because of the warm climate. The capital of Nayarit is Nuevo Vallarta, not to mix up with Puerto Vallarta, which is a harbor town in Jalisco – even at the Pacific. Here you also find the Bahía of Banderas. As you might now, I am not a beach goer, but I am really interested in to sea the small turtles, which will be born here, because the female turtles are entering the beach just here during the night and lay there eggs into the sand.
10th Nov 2018 (this day is about my trip throughout Jalisco)
I was coming by an economic bus from Manzanillo, Colima and our route was going throughout the very South of Jalisco. Actually the bus station for going further to Nayarit is Puerto Vallarte, Jalisco, where that bus should arrive at 10pm. Though I had booked a hostel for one night in the harbor town.
The road the bus was driving is the only one between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarte and very small. It is going near the sea-side, but it was not possible to see the sea. We were coming throughout the jungle instead, which was an amazing view and I was very happy, that I was on this bus and not the night bus. Unfortunately after around 7pm I could not see anymore, where we were coming through because of the darkness.
I used the GPS on my cell phone to see, when we arrive at my destination and found, that we were very close to the hostel I booked in the morning – after I had bought the bus ticket. It was not 10pm yet. Most of the passengers were leaving at this point, though I had time enough to leave as well. From there I took a taxi to the hostel and even it was very close, he took 60 MXN – I think it was because of it was a weekend night.
The hostel was very different to the hostels I had seen before. It was created with so much love to the details. Even the wash basin for the room, where I was sleeping and also the wash basins at the floor – there were two outside rooms, had a similar, beautiful design. Unfortunately I did not take any photos, but will do that soon, when I go there to pick up my sun hat ;-). The receptionist was nice and did find my booking easily. I had to pay 200 MXN for the night, breakfast and all taxes included, but also to leave a deposit of 200 MXN for the keys and the towel, which the receptionist put my name on. I think they have made bad experiences with other travelers. The owner was coming after 10pm, because usual the check-in time ends at 10pm, but by the statement on my ticket, that the bus will arrive at 10pm, I had asked for a late check-in between 10pm and 11pm, which I was allowed without extra costs.
I was very hungry now and I did not see any restaurant close to the hostel, before I entered it. At the hostel were no vending machine, but they sold biscuits and chips. I was first asking for the biscuits. They were for 20 MXN, but I only had 12 MXN in coins and 500 MXN-notes. Though I bought one of the very small bags of chips for 10 MXN. It actually helped me against heartburn and I also could sleep.
11th Nov 2018
I left the beautiful hostel in Puerto Vallarta after breakfast with the knowledge, which buses I had to take to go to Bucerías, where I had booked a bed at a hostel for my stay in Nayarit, because I did not find a host for Nayarit. Bucerías was my choice because of the price. There was a little cheaper one a bit away, but that was for surfers and I think I would feel too strange about the young surfers.
From Puerto Vallarta to Bucerías one has to change bus – close to the Walmart, coming from the Oasis hostel. The first bus was going to the Airport and stopping even close to the Walmart. The driver told me, where I had to change the bus. I actually did enter the next bus at the same stop like I left the first one. Entering one of the city buses is always a problem for me with my luggage, but not this day. A maybe 30-year-old Canadian guy from Toronto did follow me from the hostel to the very close bus stop and helped me to put my bag into the bus. There were no many people in the bus, when I entered, though I could put my luggage at the first seat and it was still space for me, as well.
The second bus was for my destination Bucerías. A man at the bus stop did help me on the bus with my luggage. I gave him 2 pesos, because I had the feeling, he was waiting for some pesos. Unfortunately I only had those coins. I used my gps (Google maps) to see, where I had to leave and was off the bus very close to the hostel. A Funny thing is the house before the hostel, it has a kind of Marilyn Monroe statue in front of the door.
For more photos of Bucería click here.
That makes it easy to find the hostel again. I checked-in directly, because I already had paid for the night before. While I planned the trip, I did neither know about the night-bus nor about the late bus I was arriving by in Puerto Vallarte.
I have got the bottom bed I asked for and the room was also on the bottom floor, which is very comfy. By the way, the first bus was for 10 MXN and the second one for 17 MXN – not a big deal! It is unusual for me, that all is going smooth. I did had not enough with cash with me for the hostel bed, but had checked before, that there is an HSBC ATM in Bucerías. Though I was walking there for cash. Unfortunately the ATM had run out of cash and I had to pay by card at the hostel, which charged me 3% for it. I could have paid 1000 MXN in cash and the rest by card. It would have been cheaper, but I need some cash for meals etc.
After installing myself in the tiny bedroom with six beds – there is not really space for luggage, I was looking for, what I should start with in Bucerías, but the only attraction is the beach. Though I decided to go to Nuevo Vallarta instead. Unfortunately there is not much more than the beach either and expensive restaurants. Luckily I found a cheaper one at the road to Puerto Vallarta. On the side of that road you can also find some really big supermarkets. The bus for Nuevo Vallarta was for 13 MXN. I was really hungry now, even it was around high noon and entered that Hamburger restaurant, having a late breakfast – no Hamburger!
For more photos of Nuevo Vallarta click here.
Afterwards I was walking down to the beach, which is called the Bahía Banderas. I took a seat in the shade – under two palm trees and was watching the surroundings. I got tired of it, because I had no backrest and started walking back in the direction of Bucerías. I had to walk back twice, because I was walking dead-end roads, but could not see that, before I reached the end. There are nice, artificial areas and it is good to walk as long as one can find some shade. Back at the main road between Nuevo Vallarta and Bucerías I found out, that walking is not recommended, because there were no file for pedestrians anymore. Before I took the bus I was to one of the supermarket buying some food for the upcoming days, though I do not need buy all the meals at restaurants. At least I was going back by collectivo, which was for 8 MXN. At the restaurant there was an information desk as well about tours in the surroundings, but unfortunately no tour for watching the turtles.
Back at the hostel I had a chat with a Mexican guy, who is volunteering at the hostel. He told me, that he has health problems and it is healthier for him at the coast. Therefore he is living here. He has a job as well, but lost his shared apartment, because the owner sold the house. Though he took this possibility to have a roof over his head and is now looking for another apartment.
The evening I was on the Internet, uploading my photos from the day and updating my blog. I was working until midnight and not succeeding all the way until yesterday. When I entered the room as quiet as usual and used the light of my cell phone to see, a girl in the next bed told me, that I was the only one – doing what I could not hear. I have my bag in my bed on the site to her. I think the light should not have disturbed her, neither the noise – I did none. After me were two more girls entering, noisier as me and one of them also used the light of the cell phone ;-).
I awoke during the night, because I was freezing. It was the AC, of course and I am now aware of, that I have to dress for the night. Furthermore I was afraid, I would crash my souvenirs in my bag, because the beds are really short. Usually I can have the bag down with my feet and do not reach them, in this bed I do.
12th Nov 2018
After the colonial breakfast, with the water for the instant coffee warmed in the microwave and not even fruit provided, I could neither make my dishes nor brush my teeth, but half an hour later, because the water was gone. Well done this I updated my blog with photos and links, both for the state of Colima and also starting with the report of my stay in Nayarit. I hope you will enjoy my update. – By the way, every new page I add needs links from almost three other pages as well as a photo for the site, to differentiate all of the states of Mexico. I try to find the views I think are typical for the state, other people may see it another way. The initial photos also help me to remember.
I thought to spend the rest of the day in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. I anyway had to pick up my hat at the hostel I had been. Because of the hot and sunny weather I decided to go first to the hostel for the hat. I had to change bus downtown in Puerto Vallarta and there the mess started. I asked a bus driver, if he is going to the colonia Benito Juarez, but he did not answer and told me to sit down. He answered neither, how much the ticket was. He let me out at a market place, where a tourist information was and did not ask for payment. At the tourist information I asked, how to go further and she explained, that I have to go through the tunnel, which I already did know. She told me, where I can find the buses, going through the tunnel and that all are going to colonia Benito Juarez. Therefore I caught a bus, which had a sign “tunel” and was looking for, where to go off. I could not see the place I had to, though I left after a while and tried by my GPS to find the way. The important thing was done: We were through the tunnel (which is not possible to walk through).
I was hungry as well and on my way back, because I realized, that we were too far, I was looking for a place to eat and found after a while a café, where I had a crepe. When I left, it was already getting dark and I realized it was better to take a taxi to the hostel. I also found one soon. Surprisingly the taxi was going back to the tunnel, but only for to use another one. Actually there are two different tunnels to two different areas and I was so unlucky, that I had taken a bus through the wrong tunnel. If the assistant at the tourist information had not told me, that all the buses throughout the tunnel are going to the hostel, I had asked the driver, if it was the correct bus for me. By the taxi I was soon at the hostel and got my hat back. To tack a bus back was not a problem, even it was really dark now. There is only a short phase of sunset in this area.
I changed bus to come back to the hostel in Bucerías, like I had done before, even I changed this time at the Walmart and had to ask for, at which place the bus I needed is going, but Mexicans are always eager to help. I was disappointed, of course, I had not even walked the Malecon (beach promenade) in Puerto Vallarta.
13th Nov 2018
After breakfast I was looking for a hair dresser, because I found some days ago, that my hair had grown long. I was happy to find one close to the hostel. She made a good work and asked for 150 MXN, what I happily paid. I had seen cheaper ones in another town, but I think even the hair dresser needs a good life.
I had planned to be in Nayarit at this time of the year, because I would like to see sea turtles. The turtles are laying eggs at the coast (beaches) in Nayarit and in November the newborn turtles are crawling into the water. There are turtle camps close to some towns in Nayarit, one is in Bucerías. It was not very easy to find out, where the camp is at the beach, but over the Internet I had found a phone number, where I could call – at noon. Therefore I stayed at the hostel until noon. I was interested in a calm surrounding, though I could here the answering person, when I called. I then asked, if the person speaks English, because at the phone it is still easier for me as Spanish. I have got to know, that they were not sure, if they will release baby turtles this day and I had to call at 4pm again. Though I did, waiting all the time at the hostel. Luckily they had decided to release turtles this day and I was told to be at the beach at 6pm. I asked for the price in peso – because on the Internet the price was only stated in US Dollars and that also may be not actualized. The answer was 35 pesos. At least I asked for, where to come (at the beach) and was told at the Bahía del Sol.
The Bahía del Sol actually is in Nuevo Vallarta and not in Bucerías. Therefore I took a bus and asked to let me out there. At a place I was told, that I had to leave the bus and had to take a collectivo for the rest of the trip. There were lots of collectivos, but as told you earlier as long as you find a Mexican at such a place, there is no problem. I was told here, that I had to take a “green collectivo” and one was coming soon. I told the driver, where I will go and asked for, to announce it. He did and all was well, but the Bahía del sol is a hotel and the way to the beach private. I was in good time and walked around a little to find another possibility to go down to the beach, but did not find any, though I asked at the hotel, if they know that project and how to go there. The receptionist was very kind and told me, that she know the project and that I was allowed to use the private path to reach it. She also told me, that I have to go to the left, when I had reached the beach. There were some signs, not stating, that there is a turtle camp, but that one has to be careful and not to disturb the turtles. I was waiting at this signs and it was the right place.
At 6pm there were around 30 people, interested in to see the turtle release. When we were welcomed into the camp, we had to put the entrance fee in a plastic box. I did not have 35 pesos in change, though I did not see any other possibility then to leave a 50 MXN-note, which I did and got an extra thanks for it. Sea turtles come in the dark for laying their eggs, though it was not possible to see them, but the workers on the camp had picked the newborn turtles from the day and put them in a plastic box without lid. They showed them to us, explaining about the process of the regeneration of the turtles. The female turtles are laying around 100 eggs at a time and return afterwards to the sea. They are not coming back to see, if and/or the eggs will become newborn turtles. The turtles are always coming to the same place (area), where they once did lay their eggs respectively were born. The risk for the newborn turtles are other animals. Birds are eating them, if they are not able to come into the deep water fast enough and even at sea, they have enemies. Therefore the camp tries to help the turtles to come into the water without becoming a meal of the birds. For the rest of the enemies, they cannot save them. Unfortunately one of the reasons, why there are turtle camps is, that the number of turtles is decreasing, even for all the plastic, which is thrown into the sea.
We were neither allowed to hold them nor to touch them for turtle safety reasons. After a while, we were following the camp workers to the beach. When the birds were not close, they did release the baby turtles, but the birds were soon coming back to this part of the beach again and the workers saved the turtles, which were still at the beach. For the others, who already were in the sea, we hoped, that the birds could not take them. It seemed, like one was taken and two girls around 12 years old were crying heartily. Fortunately we could not see other turtles have been taken and after a long while the rest of the turtles were released as well, because the birds were far away again. The release is done in the evening hours, because the birds are not so active any more and going to sleep somewhere. This evening, the turtles were released a little to early, but all seemed to went well anyway. By the way, the baby turtles have an instinct to reach the sea. Already in the box, most of them were crawling in the direction of the sea and finally at the beach, they were just walking into the sea, without the workers had to direct them, but one.
For watching a video about the turtle release click here.
On my way back from the turtle release I was to a Chedraui supermarket to buy some food and a new toothbrush. I have had some toothbrushes with me, but unfortunately they did not last longer than this day. Here at the supermarket they were also selling sun hats and I saw, that I could have bought a new one for the money I spent to pick my hat up at the hostel in Puerto Vallarta. I bought some wedges and was happy, that I could eat something else, but tortillas or rice.
14th Nov 2018
I was up to explore Sayulita. The receptionist at the hostel had recommended me, to go there. It is a Pueblo Magico and would be a beautiful place, she told me. It was easy to reach it. There are buses and also collectivos right in front of the door of the hostel respectively from the other side of the street. Not all buses are going there, but soon I caught a right one and was on my way to that little town. The ride is for around an hour and we arrived at the bus station, because even the town is small it has a real bus station. The ride was for 22 MXN in both directions.
It was also easy to find the town center and also the beach and not far away from the bus station for the little size of this town. Sayulita is very touristic. The main attraction is the beach and there are many surfers using the waves. The town is really nice to look at, but there are lots of shops selling items to tourists. Anyway I have seen a lot of Mexicans using these souvenirs as well. I took a seat in the shade, but the first row at a beach side restaurant. The prices were OK, but there were all the times ambulant sellers offering their items. The offered all from jewellery over bags, clothes etc to sweet bread. The tables were not all occupied, though I was sitting there for a long while. I had a big drink (without alcohol) and I took good time to empty the glass.
Walking back I tried to go to another place, called Punta MIta. I walked to the end of Sayulita in the direction, where we were coming from. There was a sign, that the other road was going to Punta Mita. I hoped there will be a collectivo, but asking at a taco place, I was answered, that there is no service on that road. Though I had to go all the way back to Bucería and take a collectivo from there to reach Punta Mita. Well back, I decided, not to go there. I thought, it will become too late getting there. I would not have time to enjoy it before sunset, even the sunset could be nice to watch.
For more photos of Sayulita click here.
I had to go to the ATM in Bucería and hoped, it would be working. It did, but it was announced, that there is a fee, when I require money. I was very surprised, because it was the first time, that was announced. All the time it had been for free. Maybe it is only in Nayarit I have to pay or the business agreement has changed. There is so much text in the agreements, that I never read them ;-). I did interrupt my transaction and was going to another bank, checking the fee for requiring money there. The amount was a little higher, than at my own bank, though I went back there and did use my own bank’s ATM. I thought I will take a little more money, though I do not need to pay fees so often, but put the wrong button. Maybe it was good to do so – if the fee only is taken in Nayarit.
Before returning to the hostel, I had an ice cream, but I did not find an ice cream shop, though I bought one at an Oxxo – out of the freezer. It was a Cornetto, like I know it from Europe.
15th Nov 2018
It was time to go further. My new destination was still in Nayarit, but not at the seaside. I took a collectivo after breakfast and was happy, that there were no many people going with that one, though it was space for my backpack and my big bag as well without any problem. I told the driver, that I will go to the bus station, but he did not tell me, where it is and I could not see it either, because in Bucería is no real bus station, it is more a bus stop, but with a kind of shop, where they sell tickets. This place is among all other shops in the city center of Bucería (this center is also following the road and do not really look like a city center). When I asked the bus driver, if it was a long way left to the bus station or not, he told me, we had passed it. He told me to stay in the collectivo and at the end of the route he managed to get me on a collectivo going back into town and told the driver to tell me, when we are at the bus station. I was disappointed for the time I had to spend on this trip and a passenger did understand it, even I did neither tell him nor the driver. The passenger told the driver, that it was not good, that he missed to tell me, because the time I lost by it. I did not need to pay for this first trip and therefore I paid the other driver, who was surprised about it.
At the bus station, there were an employee asking me, where I will go and when I told him my destination, he told me, that I am at the wrong bus station. There is an other bus (a Pacifico) going to my destination and not that one, where I was standing. He first told me, that I had to go further, but changed his mind and explained, that I could stop the Pacifico bus at that place as well. I was waiting for a while, when the correct bus arrived and it was stopping anyway at that bus station I was to let some passengers out. I entered the bus there, paid 220 MXN for the trip and all went well.
Well in Tepic, which was my new destination, I took a taxi to the hotel, I had booked for two nights. I had first planned to stay there for five nights, but I had not found a host and the hotels were quite expensive and I decided to go to Mazatlan, Sinaloa instead for the other three nights. There were two other reasons, why I chose to go to Mazatlan. The first was, that I could cut the hours of being on a bus to my further destination and the other reason was, that I from the beginning had planned to go to Mazatlan, but was told of my first host, that it is not worth it, to go there, why I thought to skip it, but now I changed my mind.
Tepic is a town of more than 300.000 inhabitants, but I could not imagine that, when I was there. The city center is not very big. The hotel is situated very close to the city center, but I was walking on the side of the city center, because I did not know that. When I came to a little park, I actually thought, that I was very close to the city center and continued walking back to the bus station, where I was asking for the price to Mazatlan and how often the buses were going, because my host in Mazatlan was interested in, when I will arrive. Close to the bus station I also found a Soriana supermarket, where i bought body shampoo and sweets. In the shop there were advertising for Christmas items – like we have at home, but also sweets were on show to get people to buy of them. Sweets are actually expensive here in Mexico, but I did buy a little amount of them.
I took a bus back to the hotel. The fee was for 7 MXN. The bus driver let me out a little too early, also depending on the route. On my way to the hotel I was crossing the real city center. It was already dark now and I just made my way home, looking for a restaurant. At the corner of the street of the hotel I found a café, where I had a crepe and a drink.
I had Internet at the room and had planned to update my blog, but the socket was not fitting my contact. The problem here is, that the contact of my notebook is a secure one, while a lot of sockets are not made for these secure contacts. I always can charge my cellular phone, but not my notebook. Though I was on twitter instead before going to sleep. Unfortunately I fell, when I came from the bathroom and did really hurt me (I wrote about it in a blog post the 17th Nov 2018 called “Shit happens”). I could only sleep on the side, which was difficult, because of my heartburn.
16th Nov 2018
I had this whole day to spend in Tepic. I did not see the receptionist, when I left the hotel, though I could not complain about the water on the tiles. I was looking for a restaurant for breakfast, because the hotel did not provide any. I was walking downtown and it did take a while until I found one serving breakfast. I then walked further to the cathedral, the main square etc. I also were coming to the market places and just could not avoid to buy a souvenir again, but I decided to give that as a thank you to my landlady at home, when I am back from my travel, because she is caring about my apartment and the letters I get – there are not many, but can be important.
Later I had an ice cream, eating it, while sitting on a bench at the main square. On the way back to the hotel I also bought papaya ready to eat. It was a big mug, though I only ate half of it and saved the other half for the upcoming day. While back at the hotel I saw the receptionist and told her about my misfortune as well, that I had not showered before it happened, though the water on the floor, why I slipped, was not by me. I was asked, if I want to see a doctor, but told them, that I think it is not necessary. Her husband later came to me and gave me a liniment against the pain and the bruises. I was to bed early, but was reading about pain of the tailbone and it was stated, that a broken tailbone is treated by resting and pain killers as well as it will hurt for a very long while. If the tailbone is not broken, it will take around a week, that the pain will release. Though I decided to rest a little more than usual and hope, that the pain will release soon.
For more photos of Tepic click here.
17th Nov 2018
I checked out, but left my bags at the hotel to have a breakfast. Luckily I found a restaurant at another corner of the street and it has not very high prices either. After the breakfast I was picking up my luggage and the receptionist did call a taxi for me – which was cheaper than the one I had to the hotel. When I bought the bus ticket for Mazatlan, I was asked about my age and I showed them my passport. The sells assistant did give me a ticket for the half price, which was 222 MXN only, but I have got change only for 230 MXN. I did not ask, what that belonged to, because I was happy about the discount.
I had to wait around an hour for the bus. Well on our way, we were driving throughout a fairy tale landscape. It was going close to the shore, but anyway a bit away from it and because of it was throughout the jungle, we could not see the shore at all. The road had only two files, one in each direction and the files were not wide, just fitting buses. Unfortunately it was getting dark during the last part of the trip, though I could not enjoy all the views.
To read about my few days in Mazatlan, please follow the link to Sinaloa and scroll down to the 17th Nov 2018.