safe to say that the Tulum we once knew is no more. A sleepy hideaway tucked in
the shadows of Cancun and the Riviera Maya, Tulum was a haven for artists,
bohemians and tree-huggers alike looking for a slice of laid-back paradise far
from the megaresorts of towns to the north.
But like so many “off the beaten
path” destinations before it, Tulum’s secret is out, as is bound to happen with
secret destinations, especially when said spot is named the No. 1 one
destination on the rise by TripAdvisor. Now tourists flock from far and wide to
see what is so “secretly” special about Tulum, thus undoing its reputation in
the process. Which begs the question, what’s next? What remains for the
hippies, artists and boho chic? According to Journey Mexico’s Zachary Rabinor,
Costa Careyes on the Costalegre is a solid bet.
put my money on Costa Careyes,” says Journey Mexico’s Zachary Rabinor. Costa Careyes is located on the Costalegre, which runs along
Mexico’s Pacific coast Highway 200 from Careyes to Punta Dorada (between Puerto
Vallarta and Manzanillo). It is a stretch of Mexican coastline that is a far
cry from the crowded bars or massive chain hotels you’d expect to find in more
popularized Mexican resort towns. Small, boutique, ecotourism hotels thrive
here alongside luxury villas and smaller properties.
the highway and airport are done, Costalegre will receive international
flights,” Rabinor pointed out. Currently the best way to access Mexico’s
Costalegre is to fly into Manzanillo, rent a car and head north. But a new
Costalegre airport is in the works, which will make it much easier to access
the destination. The new airport is optimistically slated for completion within
the next two years, and simultaneously the local government will be working on
widening the highway in both directions.
Careyes is the Costa Careyes Resort (www.careyes.com), an exclusive, luxury, private resort that consists
of ocean castles, villas, casitas and bungalows on the south coast of Jalisco.
The complex, popular among Europeans and the jet set elite, was built in 1968
with obvious Mediterranean undertones, giving a slice of Med life to Mexico’s
Pacific coast. The ultrachic will opt for the Ocean Castles, each of which is
perched on small, pedestal-like cliffs with 360-degree views. Each of the three
castles is fully staffed with a live-in butler, chef and maids.
more modest than the Ocean Castles, the Private Villas in Costa Careyes are no
less impressive. Each has its own infinity pool, rooftop terrace and access to
the sea via foot or funicular. The villas are also staffed with butlers, chefs
then there are the three private bungalows in Playa Rosa, the smallest beach
resort hotel in Jalisco. Each of the fuchsia-colored bungalows sits directly on
the sand overlooking Careyes Bay, just behind the Playa Rosa Beach Club. It
operates as a hotel, unlike the Ocean Castles and Villas.
the relatively pristine vistas and privacy, Careyes calls lovers of nature and
is a hotbed of activity for water sports like diving, snorkeling, swimming,
kayaking and windsurfing. Golfers can visit the golf course in El Tamarindo, 45
minutes away. There is also a chic Polo Club in Careyes that opens its doors on
weekends. Take a trip to beaches like Tenacatita, Chamela and Perula, where the
only activity you’ll want to do is kick back in a beach chair and tuck into
freshly caught fish.
remains to be seen if Costa Careyes will fall to the same fate as Tulum. The
addition of an airport will certainly bring the tourists, but due to government
controls on gentrification and advertising campaigns, 150 miles of beaches
between Manzanillo, Colima and Puerto Vallarta (including the Costalegre)
remain hidden and untapped. For now, at least, the secret is still safe.