Last year, I swore that I would never again stay home during my children’s February break. So last March, we decided that this year we would travel to Troncones, a beach town about 45 minutes up the Pacific coast from Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa. Troncones is a destination for surfers, yogis, and travelers looking for the slow, unglamorous pace of Mexican beach life that is becoming more and more difficult to find. Troncones sits at the base of rainforest and fronts two beautiful bays ringed with wide golden beaches. While it has managed to avoid going the way of touristy Ixtapa, Troncones remains a small town with dirt roads, surf shops, beach side restaurants, and a one or two stray dogs. Accommodations consist of a few small condo developments, bed and breakfasts, and private homes. You will find no large hotels, fancy restaurants, nightlife, or package tours here. What you will discover is an empty beach, hot sun, warm water, and amazing Pacific sunsets. Travelers who come to Troncones do so deliberately; most in search of tranquility, relaxation, and a slower pace. If this sounds like your kind of place, read on….
Present Moment Retreat: Perfectly situated right on Troncones Bay, on the northern edge of town, Present Moment Retreat offers comfortable rooms and casitas oriented around a pool and yoga pavilion. In addition to week-long yoga retreats, and daily yoga and meditation classes, the hotel boasts a great juice bar and lovely restaurant. If you are looking for a full-service, hotel experience in Troncones, this is as close as you are going to get. $$
Hacienda Eden: Five minutes beyond Troncones’ town center, Hacienda Eden occupies a beautiful stretch of beach at the center of Manzanillo Bay. Rooms and bungalows are simple, yet tastefully decorated using artisanal Mexican design. All accommodations at Hacienda Eden are built to take in views of the ocean and are in close proximity to the hotel’s infinity pool, situated just steps from the beach. Even if you don’t stay at Hacienda Eden, be sure to check out the hotel’s restaurant, Jardin del Eden - but I would suggest going on an evening when the al a carte menu is offered (avoid featured buffet events). $
VRBO: In my opinion, the best accommodations in Troncones are the number of beautiful private residences that are listed for rent on VRBO or other comparable vacation rental sites. We rented Casa Teresa, an amazing four-bedroom home on the beach with an infinity pool, killer sunset views, and a fabulous staff that cooked, cleaned and even beat away an overly friendly squirrel who wanted a ride on my back. $$$
Food in Troncones is not fancy, but if you like a traditional Mexican meal and a mean margarita, you should be fine.
Roberto’s: On the south side of town, Roberto’s serves great Argentinian steaks and Mexican fare in a perfect beachside setting. On the weekends they have live music, and in season begin the evening by releasing baby sea turtles in front of the restaurant. Reservations on the weekend are recommended as Roberto’s draws both locals and visitors. $
Present Moment Resort: Present Moment offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner al fresco. Dishes are predominantly vegetarian and asian-inspired. Stop by in the morning for a fresh pressed juice or smoothie from their juice bar. $
La Costa Brava: Right where the main road dead-ends at the beach. Fish tacos, ceviche, beer, and margaritas on the beach. Keep it simple. $
Cafe Del Mar: Just across from Present Moment, Cafe del Mar is a great spot for fresh brewed coffee and espresso.
ON THE SIDE
You shouldn't feel compelled to do anything when you are in Troncones other than soak up sun, swim, and perhaps walk on the beach. But if you are looking to mix it up, here are a few thoughts.
Horseback Riding: Horses are readily available on Troncones Beach. The rate is typically $20 per horse, per hour.
Surfing: There are a number of great surf breaks in the area. You can body surf pretty much anywhere, just be careful of rocks that aren’t always visible. For bigger breaks, head just north to Manzanillo Bay or beyond to Playa Saladita. There are many unmarked beaches along the coast north of Troncones, just be prepared for limited facilities. If you are looking to explore and find good waves, stop at one of the local surf shops for tips and directions; they will also be happy to rent you a board.
Yoga: Present Moment Retreat offers yoga classes in its pavilion 4 times a day. Outsiders are welcome!
What to Pack: No reason to pack anything other than your swimsuit, beach clothes, flip flops and sunscreen. Thankfully, Troncones has yet to become a jet-set destination, so keep it casual and leave your hair dryer and socks at home.
Flights: All major airlines fly into Zihua, though many flights connect through Los Angeles or Dallas, making for a long travel day.
Transportation: Unless you are planning on exploring the coast, there really is no need to rent a car - everything is reachable by foot. Take a taxi from the Zihuatanejo airport to Troncones. Once in town, if you need transportation there are local taxis that are happy to shuttle you around.
If you do decide to rent a car, don't be surprised when the agency quotes you an amount that is twice the rate that you thought it would be. Mexico has mandatory insurance that isn't factored into the rates that American companies quote. There is no way around it, so best to be prepared and not waste an hour arguing over it in Spanglish.
Shopping: There are no large grocery stores in Troncones, so if you have particular sundries in mind, buy them in Zihuatanejo. Otherwise, there are several small bodegas in Troncones that have most everything you will need from beer and tequila, to tortillas and beach toys.
Whats to Come:
Amangiri, UTAH ★ 06.16
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W A N D E R L U S T