Tenacatita Bay may not be what it used to be, but it’s still a wonderful place.
The Curry family spent a week in this same anchorage over 15 years ago and Will remembers many other cruising boats, exploring the movie set from McHale’s Navy, and going up the estuary to a dingy landing with access to Playa Tenacatita where lots of palapa restaurants catered to the cruisers. As of last year, all of the palapas on Tenacatita are gone – rumor has it they were bulldozed down – and no one is allowed on that beach above the high tide line thanks to the land owner reclaiming rights to his property. Men with guns are the deterrent.
Regardless of these changes, the anchorage behind Punta Chubasco is a beautiful spot and is well protected from the swell and the northern winds. Also, no guns. The beach is lovely and flat, perfect for morning jogs, and the entrance to the estuary is always busy with Mexican families enjoying the sunshine and water. There is only one palapa restaurant – La Vena – where the food is basic, but good, and the beers are cold.
The small town of La Manzanilla across the bay is well worth a visit. We decided to ignore the warnings to go and come back in the morning before the wind comes up. We scooted over there in the dingy around 11am and it only took us 10 minutes. We wondered was all the fuss was about… An hour later the wind came up and the swell and the waves in the bay increased tenfold. It would have been a long, wet, and bouncy dingy ride back had the only other cruising boat in the bay not kindly offered us a ride and a dingy tow back to the anchorage!
Before leaving La Manzanilla, we devoured the best fish and shrimp tacos EVER at the taco stand next to the Cocodrilario. Our excellent lunch cost 75 pesos and our purchases at one of the small tiendas (tomatoes, onions, bananas and avocado) cost 18 pesos. Not bad!!