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Costalegre, the happy coast


I’ve been exploring a beautiful part of the state of Jalisco the past couple of weeks. South of Puerto Vallarta is the area know as Costalegre, meaning ‘happy coast’.

It’s a coastline made up of small fishing villages, coves, bays and long stretches of beach. On a trip last week to Tehuamixtle, over cold cervezas and a late lunch of local langostinas, prawns and oysters, we marveled at the laid back scene before us…kids, dogs, boats bouncing on the waves and pelicans fishing.

Tehua 2

This area has also long been the favorite of the private jet set, but it’s about to become a bit more accessible. A new Costalegre airport is being built. The runway is complete and work is beginning on the buildings. Roads are being widened and paved. From Puerto Vallarta, all but about 12 kilometers is complete. Water for the area will be increased through new infrastructure from a 7000 square foot reservoir at Cajon de Pena.

What’s already established on the Costalegre coast is noteworthy. Cuixmala is an expansive resort in the middle of the Costalegre Coast that was once the home of British tycoon Sir James Goldsmith. It attracts a distinct crowd. “Exotic, bohemian, remote, off the beaten path. Cuixmala is truly the brainchild of a rather eccentric billionaire unconstrained by budget or the need to generate money. Where else can you go in Mexico and see free roaming zebras,” says Journey Mexico Director Zach Rabinor.

The estate itself is more than 25,000 acres. Much of that is a remote jungle habitat to jaguars and pumas, accessed only by biologists. Guest habitat is an area of about 3,000 acres, including three miles of beach.


Other developments include the Hotelito Escondido and Las Alamandas, a resort set on a vast coastal property owned by one of Goldsmith’s daughters, Isabel Goldsmith-Patino.



New Developments

New developments that have been announced include One&Only’s Santa Maria de Xala. The resort will have a hacienda like feel on five miles of beach. Plans include 75 luxury villas and suites with private pools.

The added airlift will bring certainly bring more visitors, but it won’t change the feel of Costalegre. According to planners in El Tuito, the municipal seat, the master plan for the Costalegre area calls for low density eco-oriented tourism.

Next time you’re in Puerto Vallarta, we’d be happy to show you around.

Image credits: Hotelito Escondido, Cuixmala




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