From Guadalajara to Huasteca Potosina, Xilitla, Pacific coast and Tequila
12.11.2017 - 22.11.2017
The next day we got our car and started navigating in the crazy traffic. We quickly found out the downside of renting a car in Mexico: If you wanna go fast, you have to pay tolls, and the costs add up quickly. So after the first day of paying tolls we mostly stuck to the smaller non toll highways, which take longer, but they also take you past a lot of small towns. The small towns come with a second downside: There are soooooo many speedbumps here, it’s crazy. Half of the time you don’t see them, and you fly in the air and go like oh fuck, you didn’t see that! If the roads have one lane in each direction, it means there are at least 3-4 lanes in practice. There are the slow cars driving in the shoulders of the road, and the middle (half of each lane) is for overtaking. And finally, nobody seems to care about the speedlimits, if you even know how much they are. So the speed is kind of up to you, and it’s kind of responsible freewheeling. Oh, and nobody cares about the fact that you can’t overtake. Full line or not, corner or not, if it goes slow, it should be passed!
Besides that, driving is fine in Mexico. There isn’t much traffic except in the towns, and it’s not extremely hard to find your way. The first days of our trip we spent in the Huasteca Potosina, which is a high-altitude rainforest area, with rivers of clear green/turquoise water and lots of waterfalls. There are a lot of places to visit, of which many are commercialised. We found two awesome magical waterfall spots though, where we were the only ones, and could swim in the pools and see the waterfalls without anyone around. (El Salto waterfall and the top of Tamul waterfall) Those two places where definitely the ones we loved the most.
From the Huasteca Potosina we drove to Xilitla. This was one of the disappointments. This place is so hyped up by Lonely Planet and a lot of people tell you that you should go there. For us this was just some unfinished and half broken concrete structures in the rainforest. Wouldn’t recommend this.
From Xilitla we drove 2 full days towards the Pacific Ocean. First night we stayed at Maruata beach. It was packed with people as it was a long weekend here. The beach wasn’t that great for swimming and we managed to rent a cabaña there, but it got so busy with mosquitoes that it was almost unbearable.
The next day we drove by the coast. First stop was to see the sea turtles in Ixtapilla. We thought this would be a nice experience as this was their nesting season as well. We found the Nature reserve and walked into their viewing point. We saw quite many turtles walk on the beach. We stopped to observe one that had just climbed out of the sea and started to dig a hole for its eggs. This took quite a while, but we stood there patiently and tried not to disturb it. Suddenly a family walked into the beach, totally ignoring the signs that you shouldn’t approach and disturb the wildlife. Christophe gave them signs not to do that and they kept walking, but it was too late. They scared the turtle and it stopped digging its hole. Later on we saw the family further away touching and pushing another turtle. HOW DISCUSTING HUMANS CAN BE ☹ There were a couple of dead turtles on the beach. First I thought it’s probably normal (natural causes), but after seeing that family treat the turtles like that, I wonder if all those turtles were killed by ignorant humans. These kind of experiences really make you sad.
We drove on to San Juan de Alima. This place was also full of tourists (it was all Mexican tourists though) and the town was full of hotels. We managed to find a cheapish one by the beach and relaxed for 2 days drinking coconuts and eating fish. The swimming was not great due to the breaking waves and strong current, but at least the water was very nice and clear.
From the coast, we drove back to Tequila for a night. We did a horrible jungle walk to a waterfall where Christophe had a swim. We also did some lookouts over the agave fields and valleys, which were really pretty.