Jalisco's Cabo Corrientes poised for luxe influx

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T0614PLAYAMAYTO_C_HR [credit: Meagan Drillinger]
Mayto beach in the Cabo Corrientes region of Mexico's Jalisco state. Photo Credit: Meagan Drillinger
Meagan Drillinger
Meagan Drillinger

It's always bittersweet when I hear about new developments springing up in Mexico -- especially in the spots that I consider to be the secrets I keep for myself. I've known that Jalisco's wild, rugged Cabo Corrientes coast was always too beautiful and too special to stay secret for long. Over the years I've heard rumors and rumblings of the breadth of luxury slated to unfold in this part of the state. But for the longest time development has been kept relatively at bay -- until now. The time, it seems, has come for the next wave of luxury to sweep into Mexico, and it's homing in on the southern coast of the Bay of Banderas.

Cabo Corrientes is the rounded peninsula that makes up the southern tip of the Bay of Banderas. It's home to unspoiled beaches, thick forest, rocky cliffs, small villages and not a whole lot else. To give you a sense, for my 30th birthday we took a motorcycle trip out to a small beach community called Mayto. The motorcycle slipped and skidded along a sandy road that led to the stunning 7-mile beach. The beach had absolutely nothing save for one small hotel, a campground and a palapa-covered restaurant. It was probably the best birthday I've ever had.

But new developments, which include a highway, an airport and a boutique hotel, are going to create a new pocket of luxury that is sure to enthrall travelers looking for that next "it" spot in Mexico. I'm telling you: This is it.

According to state of Jalisco's tourism secretary, German Ralis, the anticipated highway connecting Puerto Vallarta with the Costalegre is about 9 miles from completion. 

"The way is about 200 kilometers," said Ralis. "Fourteen kilometers are left to be renewed. It connects Puerto Vallarta to the south of Costalegre. It will make the travel time faster to Cabo Corrientes."

To get to Cabo Corrientes from Puerto Vallarta at present is a long, snaking drive along the coastal Highway 200 and then a veer off at the town of El Tuito through the national forest toward the coast, where Mayto and other rugged beaches lay waiting. Beautiful it most certainly is. Time efficient, at present, it is not. But it will be. Ralis anticipates the highway, which is a federal project, to be part of the next federal budget.

But Mayto is also expecting a private tarmac as early as next year, which will cater to private jets. And on top of that, a boutique hotel is expected to open on the crescent of beach. This hotel will cater to the boho-chic crowd (think Tulum or Sayulita vibes). While not many details on the hotel have been announced, it will be themed around the zodiac signs. The lack of light pollution in the area means this is one of the best spots in Mexico to see the stars -- I can attest to that. The project should open next year.

Of course, further south along the coast, along the Costalegre, there have been pockets of luxury for decades, from the international artistic community at Careyes to the luxury accommodations at Cuixmala. But the Four Seasons will open its Tamarindo property in the fall of this year. And a bigger airport, which has been talked about for years, is finally set to open in this part of the state, likely at the end of 2021 or beginning of 2022, predicted Ralis.

When you have something as beautiful as this part of Mexico, it's tough to keep it a secret for long. And as much as I treasured keeping this spot for myself, it will be exciting to see what happens next.

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