A Serene Escape to Playa Chacala Mexico: 2023 Travel Guide

Nestled along the Pacific coast of Mexico, Playa Chacala is a tranquil paradise waiting to be discovered. With its pristine beaches, lush jungles, and rich cultural experiences, this hidden gem offers a unique escape from the ordinary.

Why Playa Chacala Should Be Your Next Travel Destination

If you're seeking a serene retreat away from the bustling tourist crowds, Playa Chacala beckons with its untouched beauty and laid-back ambiance. So, If you're planning on visiting Nayarit, this destination should be at the top of your travel list.

In this travel guide will unveil the secrets of Playa Chacala, covering everything from transportation options and accommodations to exciting activities, what to do, where to eat, wellness retreats, and practical tips for a seamless journey.

Getting to Playa Chacala: Transportation Options

Playa Chacala's remote charm doesn't mean it's hard to reach. You can begin your journey by flying into the Puerto Vallarta International Airport, where adventure awaits just a scenic drive away. Whether you rent a car, grab an Uber or taxi, or choose to take the bus, you're looking at a 90 minute drive from the Airport to Chacala Beach.

If you're planning to grab the Bus, you will want to go to the Central Commercial which is about 10 minute taxi drive from the airport. Then you will go the Pacifico Line and ask for a ticket to Las Varas. Once in Las Varas, you'll get a 15 minute taxi ride to Chacala.

Where to Stay In Chacala

Whether you prefer the luxury of beachfront resorts, the charm of cozy boutique hotels, or the freedom of vacation rentals and Airbnb options, Playa Chacala offers a variety of accommodation choices to suit your preferences and budget.

There's the Mar de Jade which is an all-inclusive experience with wellness classes, spas, and massages that's on the beach.

You can use sites like Airbnb, but a quick tip if you want to help the locals and avoid paying extra fees, trying renting directly on their website. Find the property you're looking for and then do a quick google search for the name. 

If you're looking for a place that's only 20 minutes away, you can always check out our listings at Cerrito Encantado, nestled in the hills of Altavista, Nayarit and with a cool breeze and amazing views.

Exploring Playa Chacala

The Gorgeous Beaches of Playa Chacala

Playa Chacala is renowned for its stunning beaches. The main beach which can be filled by local travelers on the weekends and local holidays, but relatively quiet throughout the week.

Water Activities and Adventures

For water enthusiasts, there's no shortage of excitement. Embark on snorkeling adventures in Chacala Bay, paddle your way through crystal-clear waters on a kayak, or join fishing excursions for a chance to reel in a big catch. But an old-time favorite past time is definitely riding on the banana boats around the bay - just hold on tight!

If you like surfing, there's a nearby cove called La Caleta just 2 miles north that's supposed to be spectacular. 

Hiking and Nature Adventures

Immerse yourself in the untouched wilderness of the Chacala Jungle, where exotic flora and fauna await. Birdwatching in the estuary and hiking to the Mirador for breathtaking views are experiences that nature lovers won't want to miss.

There's an amazing Beach with a semi difficult walk that's nestled south of Chacala Beach, called Playa Las Cuevas. As Mexico continues to get developed these directions may be outdated. We do our best to update when possible.

Just a short drive away you can go to the Waterfalls in El Capomo or La Pila del rey, a historical site created 2000 years ago by the Tecoxquines people. It's currently a site often visited by the indegnous Huicholes.

Savoring Playa Chacala's Culinary Delights

Indulge in the freshest seafood right on the beach, savor traditional Mexican dishes prepared with love, and dine with a view at charming beachfront restaurants.

Must-Try Restaurants

Don't leave Playa Chacala without tasting the best ceviche, sipping on refreshing Agua de Jamaica, and trying local favorites like pescado Zarandeado.

Chicos Bar & Restaurant on the Beach

This is our favorite place to go and always recommend to our guests at Cerrito Encantado. We highly suggest getting Pescado Zarandeado. You can order one or order it by the pound if you're with a group of two or more. It's a grilled mahi mahi fish that is served with hard bean tacos, salsas, tortillas, and tostadas. While you're on the beach, you'll enjoy different forms of entertainment from bands and musicians to the locals offering their goods or services for sale.

Chac Mool Restaurant

Although some people find this a little bit more on the expensive side of things, this seems to be the spot to go for breakfast. 

Restaurant Acela

A great restaurant on the beach. Many people recommend the ceviche and the Pescado Zarandeado. 

Restaurante Antojitos Mexicanos Jade

If you're looking for traditional homemade Mexican food this is the place to go. You'll get all of your favorites from chicharrones and birria. 

Lalaxtli Bread & Restaurant

A place we've been desperate to try is Lalaxtli Bread & Restaurant. Although their closed for part of the summer, they reopen in November. Prices are great, and so are the reviews.

Practical Tips when Visiting Chacala

Best Time to Visit Playa Chacala

The best time to visit Chacala are in the high season, which starts November 1 - Mid May. If you want to save, and don't mind the hotter weather, you can visit after Mid May through October. This is also called the rainy/wet season and it's also when hurricanes are possible. That's why if you book during this time we highly recommend getting Travelers Insurance to make sure you are protected.

Packing Essentials for Your Trip

Pack smartly with our essential packing list, ensuring you have everything you need for your adventure. With the humidity we highly recommend you bring cooling clothing such as shorts, linens, t-shirts, tank-tops, sandals, hiking shoes, hats, sunglasses. Light sweaters and scarfs that can protect you from the sun.

Don't forget to buy sunscreen, bug repellant, anti-itch cream, aloe vera for sun burns.

Safety and Health Precautions

When planning a family vacation in the Nayarit tourism area, safety is a top concern. While Mexico has been in the news for border violence related to drug cartels, it's essential to note that many popular destinations, like Sayulita, are safe for travelers. Playa Chacala, is a charming small town, has a welcoming atmosphere and relies on tourism to thrive.

Our main recommendation is to Keep a Low Profile: Avoid wearing flashy jewelry and refrain from displaying large amounts of cash or expensive electronics like cameras, iPhones, or tablets. Blend in with the local atmosphere.

Currency, Language, and Local Etiquette

This far north, most of the town is effectivo, meaning cash only. Make sure to pull out cash on the way to Chacala or when you're in Las Varas. There are some restaurants and hotels in the area that accept credit card, but will charge an additional fee. If you want to save, cash is your best bet.

It's always customary to tip at local restaurants or when a service is done for you, like house cleaning or local guides. It's less customary to tip for Taxis, but we always do as we want to help support the local community. 

Embrace the Serenity of Playa Chacala, Nayarit, Mexico

Playa Chacala promises a serene escape from the hustle and bustle, inviting you to unwind, explore, and create lasting memories.

Now armed with this comprehensive guide, you're ready to plan your perfect getaway to Playa Chacala, where natural beauty and cultural richness converge to create a truly unforgettable experience.