Editors Note: Road tripping south

Last week I headed south to Barra de Navidad to do some research for a guidebook I’m writing.  I’ve spent a fair bit of time in La Manzanilla where my stepfather ‘snowbirds’, but I hadn’t made a trek over to explore Melaque and Barra. The highway was mostly smooth sailing once we got past Boca de Tomates and all the potholes on the Mismaloya to Boca stretch.  Watch for about a km of construction on the south side of El Tuito.

Barra, as those in the know like to call it, is about four hours south of Vallarta, just before the border of Colima and 30 minutes from Manzanillo. It shares its bay with Melaque, another popular snowbird destination.  The town is pretty quiet this time of year, but there were still lots of restaurants open and things to do – such as beach activities, fishing, and golf.

If you are looking for an easy road trip over the summer, I recommend exploring the villages and beaches to the south of Vallarta. There are dozens of bays in the 200 km Costalegre stretch, some with towns, others just remote hotels and others completely pristine.

Another gorgeous and increasingly popular spot is Punta Perula, which is only about two hours south of PV. We stopped for lunch, but badly behaving dogs (ours) cut our stay short. One day, when I have a free week, I’m going to stay genuinely soak in all the lazing about on the beach that I can, until then it’s an excellent place for a few hours and a beachfront lunch of the freshest catch of the day. Send me an email if you’d like some specific recommendations.

This Saturday in Vallarta we have the fundraiser for R.I.S.E. children’s shelter being held at Warique (Aquiles Serdan 280 Emiliano Zapata).  R.I.S.E. like most orphanages needs volunteers and financial support. They house over 50 children under the age of 15. If you’re in town, this is a great event to support, plus if you get to eat the Chilean chocolate cake at Warique, it’s a double win.

Last week Pam Thompson misidentified La Sirena Reina (Juarez 174, Centro) swimwear store by its old name. Apologies for not catching this! If you don’t know, La Sirena Reina carries the highest quality swimsuits in sizes up to 24w, and right now they’re having a huge blowout sale – with tons of suits marked down to 500-600 pesos.  If you’re in the market for a new suit, check out the selection at La Sirena Reina. (See their ad on the center map page for hours and location.)

The Resort Daypass Guide is a huge hit! Tons of shares and downloads all over the internet. I hope you’ve had a chance to get your copy – if not you can find it at www.vallartatribune.com/daypass. If we’re missing your favorite resort – let me know, and I’ll update the list.

That’s it for me this week. Please help keep the plastic out of the bay by picking up any trash you see on the beaches and saying no to single-use plastic straws. Turtles are coming ashore laying clutches. Please don’t disturb them and if you find a nest notify the authorities.

Safe travels,


Madeline Milne on EmailMadeline Milne on Instagram
Living in Mexico full time since 2011, Madeline is a graphic designer, writer, iPhone photographer and road tripper.