Chacala: A Hidden Gem in Mexico

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March 15, 2021

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In a land far, far away, lies a magical little town with friendly locals, the most deliciously fresh food, and dreamy Mexican beaches. This land is known as Chacala.

For the past two years, I have heard stories of Chacala and how vibrant, peaceful, and carefree the town is. After years of hearing about it, I finally got to visit myself. As we all know, traveling is limited right now, so it’s very important to be careful about where you go. Chacala was the perfect choice for us because 1) it’s not a heavily populated tourist area and 2) we have access to a private home where we wouldn’t come across other guests and staff like we would at a hotel. So it was an easy decision.

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best hidden gems in mexico, chacala marina mexico, surf towns in mexico, best zarandeado in mexico

best hidden gems in mexico, chacala marina mexico, surf towns in mexico, best zarandeado in mexico

Chacala is a little surf town about two hours north of Puerto Vallarta, which is where we flew into. We stayed in a development called Marina Chacala with gorgeous homes and a private beach club. It was heaven! But what I loved even more was the local restaurants in town.

Chac Mool
This restaurant has the cutest bar area and has seating right on the beach. This was my favorite place in Chacala for breakfast. So good!! And we did order mango margaritas here on more days than I care to admit.

Chico’s
As someone who does not like seafood at all, take my word when I tell you that the zarandeado here is the best smoke-grilled fish on earth. It’s seasoned and cooked so perfectly that we enjoyed it on several occasions. I literally do. not. like. seafood and I think about this zarandeado on a regular basis.

Surfer’s Pizza
I have to confess, I have tried pizza in almost every country I’ve been to. At this point, it’s kind of like a little tradition I have. Here’s a little piece of advice: don’t get pizza in Thailand. Anyway, the pizza here is actually really good and definitely the best option around when a pizza craving comes along!

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Majahua
We finally went to Majahua on our last night in town. This high-end restaurant is ideal for watching the sunset. We saved it for last for that reason and it was such a nice sendoff. You actually have to order your dinner 24 hours ahead of time via whatsapp and we were not disappointed. The food was delicious, and so was the wine. I’ll definitely be going back!

There was so much we didn’t even get a chance to do due to seasonal closures and limited time. I will definitely have to go back and I promise to share more when I do!

Where in the world is your favorite hidden gem?

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Photos by Ryan Carpenter and Jake Meyer.