Majahua Hotel Selva in Chacala was featured in a recent article on MéxicoDesconocido.com. The article, entitled “Vive la Riviera Nayarita. Sus playas, sus escenarios… su paz,” was written by Lorenzo and describes the 160 miles of amazing shoreline in Riviera Nayarit. Sr. Armendaris begins his journey at this lovely little hotel nestled into the jungle on the sound end of Chacala…
Carmen and Jose welcomed us to their home. Majahua is more than a hotel, it is a life project. We left Guadalajara very early, and three hours later we found ourselves in Chacala, the closest beach to the city. We decided to stay in the town of Chacala because it is in the middle of the Riviera Nayarit and Majahua Hotel Selva (jungle hotel) was the hotel that appealed to us most.
A Town Gallery
Majahua is a place to be at one with nature, to meditate, to relax the body, mind and spirit, and to enjoy art and good food. The hotel is built on a hillside of lush vegetation overlooking the Chacala Bay. Its architecture blends harmoniously into the surrounding environment and uneven terrain.
To get to the reception area, we took a trail from the parking lot through the jungle. After five minutes, we were with our hosts. Jose Enrique is an engineer. He arrived in Chacala in 1984 in search of a calm place to live near the sea where he could make his hotel concept a reality and develop social work. In 1995 he started building Majahua, and at the same time began “Techos de Mexico” (“Roofs of Mexico” www.techosdemexico.com) a community project to help local families find donations to build a second floor on their homes that can be rented for tourism.
Carmen is a cultural promoter and that is why Chacala has sometimes become a pueblo galeria (town gallery). On the beach, some restaurants, public places and especially in the hotel gardens you will find photo exhibits displayed on large canvas tarps. The current exhibit is called “Vuelo” (or flight), which consists of 21 photos of Mexican birds in flight taken by Fulvio Eccardi. Photos of the quetzal, the osprey, the Jaribu stork and the blue-footed booby, as well as other species, native to the Chacala jungle. This theme is not a coincidence for the exhibit, as the bay is a birdwatchers paradise.
In the Comfort of the Jungle
We decided to spend all morning enjoying the hotel. Despite having only five rooms, Majahua sits on a stunning 2.5 acres of land. The suites are spacious and all of them have their own terrace, most with a hammock. There are several gardens and peaceful places to rest and enjoy nature throughout the entire property.
At that moment, it was difficult to decide which location was our favorite place – the restaurant terrace with a delightful view of the sea, the yoga and meditation area or the spa with its ponds and waterfalls, which you reach by crossing two small suspension bridges. During the day, we enjoyed each one of them. We also toured the “forest gallery” with its sidewalks and terraces facing the sea.
The Heavenly Bay
After lunch, we visited the tapas beach bar to get to know the bay. Chacala has a population of approximately 500 people, most of them dedicated to fishing; however for the past 12 years, many of them have also worked in the tourism business. The bay was discovered in 1524 by Francisco Cortés de Buenaventura, nephew of Hernan Cortés (the conqueror of Mexico). We walked barefoot along the entire beach enjoying its fine, golden sand until we reached the rocks and lighthouse at the end. Chacala is one of only 18 certified beaches in all of Mexico.
Further down we discovered Chacalilla, a beautiful gated development set on a small private beach accessible by boat. The emerald green water is ideal for diving and kayaking.
Walking back, we were sheltered from the strong sun under the shades of coconut palms and banana trees. We spent the rest of the afternoon lying on the sand watching the sun slowly sink into the sea behind the fishing boats. When we returned to Majahua, we enjoyed shrimp skewers marinated in oyster sauce.
To learn more, visit the Majahua Hotel Selva webpage.
Getting to Chacala and Majahua
From the airport in Puerto Vallarta: You can drive, rent a car, take a taxi or a bus from Puerto Vallarta to Las Varas, where you can catch a local taxi to Chacala. Buses run every ten minutes between Puerto Vallarta and Las Varas.
Majaha is located at the sound end of Chacala Bay. Take a left on the first street, at the guarded gate (tell the guards you are going to Majahua). After 600 meters of dirt road, you will arrive at our parking lot. Call us from your cell phone and we will escort you up and help with your luggage. If you do not have a phone, leave your luggage in your car and walk out to the beach and follow the path to the left (for about 5 minutes).
To read the entire article by Lorenzo Armend (in Spanish), go to original on México Desconocido.
Translated into English by José Enrique del Valle Pignataro
Photos by Jaltemba Bay Life