Chasing Chacahua

Chasing Chacahua

It seems in the travel sphere these days, words like "under the radar" and "off the beaten path" are starting to lose their luster. They are the norm, as we search for untapped, untouched, uncharted, to the point where anything but that isn't even worth our time. And what that leads to is, quite frankly, tapped, touched, and charted places that are completely void of what it was we were looking for in the first place. And then there is Chacahua - a place so pristine, so remote, so, well, off the beaten path, that it's with bated breath we wait for the delicate tipping point when we lose what it was we were seeking to begin with. But for now, there is Chacahua.

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Located at the convergence of Lagunas de Chacahua National Park and the Pacific Ocean, the village of Chacahua is ideally placed between freshwater lake and open sea. Travelers can take the long, dusty, bumpy dirt road to reach the idealistic, sugary shores, but the more fun way is to get yourself to the village of Zapitolite, where a water taxi awaits to take passengers the hour-long boat ride across the national park lagoon, through the fields of mangroves past flocking egrets and the occasional cresting dolphin, and out to the sandy point that surfers call heaven. 

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You won't find much in Chacahua. But that is effectively the beauty of Chacahua. A long, broad stretch of sandy beach is lined with basic beach bars shielded from the aggressive sun by thatched palapa roofs. Basic to rugged accommodations include cement-floored shacks, where luxury items include mosquito nets and running water. Camping is a popular option here, as well. But all can agree that the main activity in Chacahua is surfing, and avid surfers can turn this one-horse town into an 11-day vacation at minimum chasing the perfect, rolling waves that are near flawless every time. 

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A must for dinner (or really, the only option for dinner) is Las Lunatics, a beach hangout/grocer with strong mezcal and a grill-heavy menu with an emphasis on fish and traditional Oaxacan tlayudas. Bars and restaurants rotate hours of operation so as to give everyone an ample opportunity to drum up business. When Las Lunatics is closed, check out Revolcan for afternoon and evening drinks. 

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When the sun goes down the beach turns pitch black and a glittering, velvety blanket of stars drapes itself across the sky. It's one of the most tranquil and, ugh, under the radar treasures you can come across in Mexico. 

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Mexico 175

Mexico 175