In Chacala, the Gallery Town of the Riviera Nayarit, there is an atmosphere of kindness and community spirit. Families, friends, and couples enjoy the quiet atmosphere of this micro-destination located in the municipality of Compostela, Nayarit.
It has been listed as a true hidden treasure, framed by a perfect shell-shaped bay, almost virgin beaches, and surrounded by thick vegetation that will captivate your senses.
For others, it is a kind of paradise, given the great diversity of flora and fauna that can be observed there, mainly birds of all colors, such as magpies, pelicans, seagulls, and herons, characteristics that made it worthy of the nickname of Pueblo Galería in 2002. .
A port of legend
According to historical documents, the port of Chacala was discovered in 1524 by Captain Francisco de Cortés de San Buenaventura. The place keeps stories and various anecdotes, such as that Dutch pirates have come to its coast to Father Kino, an evangelizer who departed from there on several of his missions.
In this beautiful region of the Pacific Nayarit, there are numerous beaches that can be reached by accessible roads almost all year round. Las Cuevas, Chacalilla, and Caleta are the main ones, although the first is the most popular with almost a kilometer long and 40 meters wide; It has a moderate swell, golden sand, and fine texture. Here it is common to see visitors enjoy the sun or savor a delicious fish shaken in one of the palapas on the seashore.
Chacalilla is a beach with calm waters, ideal for diving and kayaking, and Caleta is ideal for surfing and well known among surfers from all over Mexico. Experts say that this beach offers waves that are the length of a soccer field! with enough height to accommodate any type of table. Another of the beaches for surfing is Colorine, 400 meters from Caleta, with fast waves on a shallow bottom.
Where to Stay
In Chacala you can stay in charming and ecological boutique hotels with spectacular views of the sea and spa services, or in one of the houses of the inhabitants that are rented to tourists since this town is a precursor of the Techos de México project, which consists of the construction of an additional room in the houses in order to host visitors. “It is a project that seeks self-sustainable local economic development,” says engineer José Enrique del Valle, project coordinator.
Techos de México, adds del Valle, encourages people to stay in town and make an additional profit with the tourist room. Owners receive hotel training to manage their rooms.
Likewise, very close to the town is Mar de Jade, a yoga, retreat, wellness, and relaxation center, which offers guests and groups an authentic atmosphere of peace and renewal.
What to do
The Chacala community is united and entrepreneurial. Its inhabitants are friendly and are always interested in sharing their culture and experiences.
Five years ago, a group of volunteers from different countries, professions, and origins came together to create the Music and Arts Festival, which takes place in the month of March. The festival has evolved year after year, both in the quality of the musical proposals and in the participation of the volunteers, to the extent that the Fundación Cultural Chacala (Chacala Cultural Foundation) was created to better organize it.
Beyond the festival, in turn, the foundation works throughout the year to provide workshops on drawing, engraving, film, photography, music, and more arts, both for children and adults.
Another attraction of Chacala is its Cultural Market that opens at the end of November and stays until March, every Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm Visitors can start the day by going to the market, which is installed in the town square and where you can find food, art, crafts, traditional sweets, organic products, and fresh vegetables. At noon it is worth visiting the town, which is generally very quiet; enjoy the beach, walk to La Caleta or practice some water activity such as kayaking, paddle boarding, surfing, or sport fishing.
Sports events have been added to the tourist and cultural offer in 2018, such as the Orilla Fishing Tournament, organized by the Orilla Surf Fishing Club of Tepic SC, which will attract fishermen from various states of Mexico and even from other countries.
How to get
If you come from the south you can get to Chacala using an exit to the left about 1,500 meters before the entrance to the town of Las Varas; Federal Highway 200 forks and there are signs indicating that Chacala is 9 kilometers to the west.
If you come from Tepic take Federal Highway 200 towards Compostela, once here continue towards the town of Las Varas, about 37 km away, and nine kilometers to the west, along a paved road you will find Chacala beach.
Chacala is located 77 kilometers south of San Blas and 32 kilometers north of Rincón de Guayabitos.
Information and images provided by the OVC of Riviera Nayarit for the tourist promotion of the destination.