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Many miles of long established coconut plantation spread for miles behind the town of Cuyutlan and separate it visually and metaphorically from the bustling port of Manzanillo just thirty miles up the coast. The large Cuyutlan lagoon further isolates the town to the north and the estuary from the agricultural activity to the east. The Sierra rise behind it all.
Getting to Cuyutlan is moderately adventurous for most North American leisure travelers. The nearest airport with international service is to the north of Manzanillo, an hour and a half by car. Guadalajara, a three hour drive away, offers more flights and more competitive pricing. Local bus service is from the nearby farming town of Armeria. Access by car is from Mexico 200.
Accommodations are numerous and mostly at the lower and middle end of the price scale. There are no resort type hotels. The traveler is likely to find a small hotel without air conditioning or television, but with friendly and attentive service. Back from the beach are low end hotels that primarily cater to surfboard carrying youth. Several old hotels offer quiet and quaint rooms and great conversation with the staff and other guests. A couple of hotels offer packages of rooms and meals with modest evening entertainment.
Cuyutlan is not a fishing village. Salt production from the lagoon is the traditional business here, originally developed for silver smelting. Tourism took root in the early twentieth century, accommodating affluent Mexicans from D.F and Guadalajara. A couple of those original hotels and the origin of most visitors remain today. The town is recumbent most of the year, broken only by an influx of beach goers on some weekends and major holidays.
The beach stretches endlessly both up and down the coast, south-east to north-west. Large swells from the open Pacific curl and break repeatedly well off shore. The nearly level slope provides little undertow and a unique opportunity to play safely in large waves. The sand is dark and fine, becoming hot in the mid-day sun. Shells are abundant and only lightly picked over. The malecon stretches for several blocks along the beach in the center of Cuyutlan. Food and drink vendors are well established in the sand. A number of these establishments rent chairs and umbrellas as well.
In addition to the beach, El Tortugario is located near by. This sanctuary/ecological preserve is worth a full day visit, to picnic, learn about sea turtles and the local nesting habits, ride a small boat through the estuary and lagoon viewing wildlife. El Museo Del Sal is located near the railroad, with displays illuminating the laborious salt making process. Attached wooden warehouses hold great mounds of salt. Smaller bags of the salt are available for purchase at a number of shops in town.
Cuyutlan is a place to slow down and linger for a time, to allow the tropical heat to suffuse the body, to wait for the sunset to dazzle the most jaded, to mingle with a friendly and down to earth populace, comfortable with the esoteric need to escape of their generations of visitors.