I have been visiting La Playa Tenacatita for more than two years now. I suggest you know some Mexican to have a good time visiting here. Not many people around this area speak much English. I've made friends and brought them all Spanish-English electronic dictionaries. They teach me Mexican; I teach them English. You will be forever cherished if you bring electronic dictionaries. When on sale online, they are CHEAP for the return you get in the way of "special" treatment by the Mexican people.
I am about to depart for at least another three months and will be looking for a place to live either at Tenacatita or nearby. Up until now, I camp on the beach like most of the people do who visit this lovely and YET UNBLEMISHED BY FOREIGNERS spot on La Costalegre. After you get to know the people, the "pescadors" (fisherman) will bring you fresh fish. An interesting tidbit: You can watch the sun come up on one side of the double crescent beach and watch the sun go down on the other side. Try it sometime. It's great! And, when the moon is full, it's wonderful!
Tenacatita, up until last October, has not been a spot for Americans and Canadians to pull in their HUGE RVs and act like ugly Americans and Canadians. I was sad to see that it's been DISCOVERED by the "rich" foreigners.
My experience there has been wonderful. The people who come there are mostly Mexican Nationals with their tents and beach toys (4 wheel trucks, jet skis, Mariachi bands and lots of jovial festivities) during the winter holidays. There are lots of restaurants and at least 3 convenience stores. They do roll up the sidewalks early. But, after you get to know the people, there is lots to do after dark - watch movies on a laptop, go to El Rebalisito for "cena", go for a walk in the moonlight, just sit and chill. Mexicans are very social and love to kick back and chat for hours. However, see the paragraph below about the mosquitos.
It is not true that there is no hotel at Tenacatita. Mardi and Felix run Hotel and Restaurante Paraiso right on the beach. The rate is 250 pesos per night. The rooms are clean and sparse. No TV, radio, clocks, kitchens. Mardi cooks up some great Mexican food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant closes around 9 PM. There is also a swimming pool and a place where hammocks are hung and you can take a siesta in la sombra (shade).
There is also another hotel in Tenacatita. I can't remember the name. It sits back off the beach. I understand it is more expensive than Hotel Paraiso and does have TV. I never paid much attention to it.
Between El Rebalisito (where they have a Mexican Rodeo in February) and Tenacatita, a new hotel has been built. I don't know much about this hotel. I can't remember the name but have seen it when I google "hotels at Tenacatita."
El Rebalisito has 2 wonderful "mom and pop" restaurants just off the main paved street that runs through the town. They are only open in the evenings, and the food is good. I found the people to be most "simpatico y amable." The restaurants are typical Mexican style. Since the nights usually don't get below 65 degrees F, most people like to sit outside. There is usually a man and woman selling "choco milk" outside one of the restaurants. When you see the "choco milk" stand, you know you are at the better of the two restaurants.
In La Rosa, there is a grocery store where you can buy just about anything you need in the way of simple food and produce and also ice (don't eat the ice or use it in drinks!). There is no meat market. In El Rebalisito, if you get up early enough, you can get carnitas from Pedro just off the main paved road.
I usually make a trip into Melaque once a week for supplies I can't get locally. Although Tenacatita, El Rebalisito and La Rosa all have stores, the prices are a little higher than Melaque. But, you have to figure in the price of gas to get to Melaque and back (about 30-45 minutes each way)and figure whether it is worth it.
One thing to watch out for at Tenacatita is the mosquitos. I haven't found a repellent yet that works - I won't use DEET. Someone told me the other day to buy a box of cheap dryer sheets and stick them all over you in your clothing near dusk. The mosquitos in Tenacatita are fierce. Caladryl (I buy the clear one) lotion works well after the fact. If you get an infection at any of the bite sites, use a Mexican product called Barmicil. You can get it at a "farmacia" in Melaque. It clears up the infection with one application.
Hope this helps you decide to try an "out of the way" and beautiful beach on the Costalegre. Who knows I might see you there.