Pick for the week of April 30th
Here's what I said then:
Jim and I took our second annual vacation in Mexico and instead of getting easy on the beach with our man King and naked dutch women, we were spying with binoculars on people with Jim's grandmother's friends and recalling world war two stories in the jungle. Jim's grandmother, Nonny Peg, spends much of the year on one of the most transcendently beautiful beach coves on earth.
Mismaloya is located about 18 miles from the bustle of Puerto Vallarta proper; a rickety bus on a winding road littered with huge abandoned condominiums and luxury hotels takes you there. The town of Mismaloya is figuratively, not literally, a one horse town because several horses do graze there and provide many villagers with a living. We went to a lovely outdoor restaurant where we fed iguanas, had fresh fish, and heard the emotional outpour of our talented waiter/singer/guitar player. We ventured past the town with a very great lady named Helen on a mountain hike up to Chino's Paradise, a hidden restaurant and wonder to behold, before trekking further up the trail that ultimately leads to the site where Predator was shot. It was another two hour walk to get there, so we didn't go any further than the bullet ridden signs. The ladies informed us it was a tourist trap with bad food and only a hulking helicopter to take your picture with.
As semi-locals they always knew the deal, which was a great help in our travels. If you can ever see a place with the people that know and love it, I highly recommend it. And to look at the view from her condo, no wonder Nonny Peg is in love with Mismaloya.
The beach itself is well known (or maybe less and less well known as the years go by) for being the location of the excellent (and brix pick) Night of the Iguana. The set still stands but, unfortunately, you can no longer go inside–but we did meet an actual iguana guarding the gate.
Many activities await you on the beach including kayaking (which I did for the first time) and snorkeling to the famous Los Arcos rock formations off the coast. If you're looking for a relaxing vacation where you can do as much or as little as you please in an exquisite setting with beaches and jungle, Mismaloya is muy perfecto!