Costalegre: A Jewel on Mexico's Pacific Shores

Luis René Figueroa

CostalegreCostalegre is a stretch of coastline approximately 93 miles long, located on the southern coast of Jalisco, bordering the state of Colima. This beautiful area is one of the most significant ecosystems in the country due to its incredible biodiversity and degree of preservation.

In the 90's, Costalegre was declared as a ''tourist corridor'' by the Mexican government because of the great diversity of flora and fauna that lives and grows here (a lot of the species are endemic to Mexico and are protected by the Chamela Cuixmala Biosphere Reserve). Other factors in their decision were the extremely beautiful geographical layout and the attractiveness of the emerald Pacific Ocean that bathes the shoreline.

CostalegreThere are lots of gorgeous places just waiting to be discovered in Costalegre. The area is divided into six zones: Christmas Bay (Bahia de Navidad), Tenacatita Bay, Costa Careyes, Chamela Bay, Costa Majahuas and Cabo Corrientes. All of these areas offer the visitor truly spectacular coastal and mountain landscapes to explore, featuring a succession of magnificent inlets, bays, capes, estuaries, golden beaches, and islets.

CostalegreThroughout Costalegre you'll find an excellent variety of restaurants, bars, and recreational water and land activities. In addition there is an outstanding hotel infrastructure for all types of travelers, along with a tropical climate and sunshine almost all the year round.

Costalegre, with its mountains, prairies and stunning coastline, features a spectacular array of culinary delicacies waiting to be enjoyed by vacationers to the land of tequila. Among the most delectable traditional dishes are pozole (corn and pork stew), birria (shredded goat meat stew), and fresh seafood and fish. Costalegre, in a similar vein to the rest of the state of Jalisco, boasts a delicious selection of traditional candies, such as cocadas (made of coconut, egg, sugar, milk, pineapple, and jicama) and others made of milk, guava, and quince.

CostalegreChristmas Bay (Bahia de Navidad) is an area located in the southern part of Costalegre. It is made up of three small towns that have very typical Mexican architecture, and many of the buildings feature quaint red-tile roofs. The well known beach areas of Barra de Navidad and Melaque are the most important commercial areas in the whole region. And, there's also another small town close by called Cuastecomate that has a charming beach and very gentle waves. Christmas Bay plays host to important international fishing tournaments, and the area is also perfect for water activities such as surfing, snorkeling, and diving. The bay area features a charming seaside promenade and also Laguna de Navidad (Christmas Lake), which is a great spot to relax.

One of the most attractive hotels in Christmas Bay is the El Tamarindo Beach and Golf Resort with its luxurious casitas (little houses) and amazing views. The property also has its own golf course constructed beside the majestic Pacific Ocean.

CostalegreTwo beautiful inlets combine to form Tenacatita Bay, with its long, wide beaches and exuberant vegetation. The first inlet consists of the beaches Boca de Iguanas and La Manzanilla, which both have impressive cliffs and an abundance of sea life; a real gift from nature. The second smaller inlet is called Tenacatita, beside which there are several traditional palapa roof restaurants where you can enjoy the ''catch of the day''. In the north of the area, located on the same stretch of beach, you will find the two exotic resorts of Punta Serena by BlueBay and BlueBay Los Angeles Locos with their remarkable facilities and world class service.

CostalegreCosta Careyes is home to the seductive beach refuge El Careyes Beach Resort, a Mediterranean style villa nestled in the abundant vegetation. A splendid area and a real gem of the Pacific, here you can explore the golden sand and the gentle waves of the fabulous beaches at Playa Blanca, Playa Rosa, Playa Careritos, and Playa Paraiso.

CostalegreChamela Bay is an excellent place for diving, while Pajarera, Cocinas, San Andres, Novilla, and Esfinge are just some of the areas small islands that can be easily reached by boat. The coastline is home to a wide variety of sea life and it's a true aquatic paradise for divers. El Negrito is one of the most popular beaches in this bay, and Las Alamandas, an exclusive, isolated resort that has its own runaway, is located close to here. This extraordinary resort has been the vacation gateway of choice for celebrities, such as Will Smith, Nicolas Cage, and Brad Pitt, just to name a few.

CostalegreIn the northern part of Costalegre you'll find Costa Majahuas, offering beautiful, tranquil beaches, such as Majahuas, Chalacatepec, and Punta las Penitas. Majahuas beach is particularly magnificent and has an estuary along with an area of lush mangrove. In Costa Mahauas, there is another outstanding place known as Cruz de Loreto, home to Hotelito Desconocido. This quaint beach resort, where time seems to have stood still, is located in a glorious area bordered by a stunning ecological reserve that's full of marine turtles and wild birds. The hotel is an eco-resort, where candlelight and solar energy are used instead of electricity.

CostalegreIn the southern region of Costalegre you'll find the virgin area of Cabo Corrientes, located just to the south of Puerto Vallarta. Here you'll find a great selection of beaches suitable for all kinds of water activities, whether you want to snorkel in the calm waters or feel the excitement of surfing a big wave. There is a sea turtle camp here that is well worth visiting, and also a stroll around town, to admire the traditional Mexican houses with their orange clay facades, comes highly recommended. Cabo Corrientes, like the rest of the zones of Costalegre, features wonderfully picturesque landscapes.

Come and discoverCostalegre and the stunning Pacific Ocean!