So, way behind on getting these up, but better late than never. Over Memorial Day weekend, we headed back to the beach with some friends, this time back to the coast north of Puerto Vallarta, an area we had not visited since shortly after we first arrived at post.
We rented a house at Playa San Pancho in the quiet little beach town of San Francisco. This was a great location as it meant an hour less driving than if we had gone all the way to Puerto Vallarta. And with more of the toll road completed, this meant a less than four hour drive, a big plus for returning to the area in the future.
When it came time to head to the beach, we headed down the highway about another 15 minutes to the town of Sayulita, which has become quite the hipster surfing location for many American tourists. We needed a quiet and calm beach and a co-worker had recommended Playa de los Muertos, whose name became apparent as we finally managed to find our way through the narrow streets and then noticed the cemetery as we were looking for a place to park.
We enjoyed a late lunch in Sayulita and enjoyed exploring the town a bit. We definitely look forward to a return visit.
The Piedrotas are a large rock formation outside of Tapalpa. They are right off of the road and make for a fun time exploring. The kids had a blast, especially DiploGirl, who was eager to stay well after we had had our fill.
We enjoyed our January trip to Tapalpa so much that we headed back in the middle of February for another visit, this time staying for a night in a house outside of town. It was a beautiful and very big house, but what we actually rented was just the bottom level, which had two bedrooms, a dining/living room and a kitchen.
The house had beautiful views, a trampoline for the kids (and possibly me) and plenty of pine cones to gather.
While walking around town, we came upon the start of a procession that would eventually make its way into the central plaza and to the cathedral.
We really enjoyed wondering around Tapalpa and its central plaza. I particularly liked how many of the buildings around this area all had second story balconies. It definitely felt like a mountain town. We were pretty stuffed from lunch so we eventually ended up on one of the balconies for a light and super cheap dinner of quesadillas and some tequila.
Tapalpa is a mountain town about 2 hours south of Guadalajara that we, in our over two years here at post, still had not managed to see. The town sits at around 6,800 feet, which is 1,300 feet higher in elevation that Guadalajara. As a bit of a belated anniversary get-a-way, we finally managed an overnight trip, sans the kiddos.
Some friends had told us about staying at the San Bernardo Hotel & Spa. We checked it out and the rooms were quite expensive and had a two-night minimum, but DiploMom had the great idea about booking a two-hour spa package and then having lunch there afterwards. Since we would just be in Tapalpa for one night this gave us something to do once we arrived to town, but before we would be able to check into our hotel.
We cut things a little tight for the drive and a nine-car fender bender on the way out of town managed to delay our arrival by about 30 minutes, but thankfully it did not make us too late for the spa and we still had time for our massages and a cycle through the various jet stations in the hot pool.
The hotel has some beautiful views of a lake and the surrounding mountains.
After a nice leisurely lunch, we drove back into town to check into the La Casona hotel, a fun little boutique hotel located about a 10 minute walk from the center of town. The hotel has lots of character and decorations and the rooms each have a fire place for the colder mountain nights.