Surf and Sand in a Coastal Mexican Hideaway
Nestled between the Sierra Madre mountains and the Mexican Riviera lies Troncones, a seaside village where visitors find the easy pace and welcoming spirit of a classic Mexican hideaway. With a population hovering around a mere 500 permanent residents, the town has magically maintained a pleasant sense of isolation. Intrepid travelers are drawn to Troncones, seeking the unspoiled and barefoot beach vibe that has diminished elsewhere along Mexico's coast as towns here grow increasingly popular. While removed from the busy resort scene, it still has enough unassuming hotels, tasty local restaurants and interesting activities to keep visitors comfortable.
Troncones' beach is just 3 miles long, but it's gained international acclaim among surfers. Locally, surfers seek out the breaks at Troncones Point and Manzanillo Bay. Adventurers looking for a true surfing safari use Troncones as a base camp for exploring the killer waves at La Saladita, known as the "Wave Machine," which is 20 minutes away. El Rancho is another good choice but, if possible, opt for the 30-minute boat ride over the hour-long drive over bumpy back roads.
Beyond surfing, visitors head to the sea for eco-tours and adventures. There's horseback riding on the beach and hiking in the Sierra Madre mountains. Costa Nativa Ecotours has native guides that are eager to educate visitors about the area's rich ecological treasures. Settle into a kayak for a trip through Capire's Estuary where pelicans and other birds look for lunch in the gentle waters. Stroll the beach looking for endangered sea turtles that emerge from the water to lay their eggs in the sand or join a turtle-watching boat ride on a local fisherman's panga boat.
After you've had your fill of fun in the water, revel in Mexico's true spirit with a hammock, a cold cerveza, a plate of tamales and a sunset view over the sea.
Troncones is about 20 miles north of the Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo International airport. The airport is served by a number of major carriers including US Airways, Delta Airlines, Aeroméxico and Continental Airlines amongst others.
Check with the hotel for the best transportation options. If you don't take a hotel shuttle, the best options are to take a taxi or rent a car at the airport. The ride from the airport to Troncones takes about 40 minutes.
Troncones boasts an average of 300 days of sunshine each year. During the high season -- from November to April -- the average temperature is generally between 85 and 95 degrees F. The rainy season runs from late June to early October when the days are hot and humid and the hotels are generally less expensive.
Many visitors choose to rent private villas, like the one at Casa de Oro, that are equipped with the essential comforts and easy access to the beach. Those travelers who prefer the hotel scene will find plenty of choices along the beach. The Inn at Manzanillo Bay has quiet beachfront bungalows along the Pacific Coast. The Quinta d'Liz offers simple bungalows perfect for travelers on a budget.
You'll find all of the Mexican classics at area restaurants including fresh guacamole, tacos and, of course, plenty of tequila. The region is known for its great fresh seafood, in particular huachinango, or local red snapper, served whole and filleted tableside. Other popular seafood choices include grilled lobster or octopus. Tamales are a local staple filled with chicken, pork or poblano peppers. The state of Guerrero is also noted for its pozole, a pork stew made with hominy.
While you are there
Hang 10 with surfing pros during a 5-day surf camp with ISA Mexico. The camp starts with fundamentals and surf etiquette and builds progressively to guide beginners in the techniques necessary to catch a wave. If you're can't commit to a 5-day program, ISA Mexico also hosts 1-day camps and private lessons.
Say Namaste to beachside yoga at Present Moment where guests are pampered with healing massages and group and private yoga classes in the peaceful yoga pavilion.
To fake that you've been there
Make your tequila-loving friends swoon with tales of the margaritas at the Inn at Manzanillo Bay made with Big Boy tequila, 100% blue agave aged in charred American oak.
Linking for a better trip
Additional helpful information about lodging, dining and activities can be found on the Troncones tourism website.