The following legends and folklore of Los Ayala were translated from the book “Playa Los Ayala: Memorias de mi Pueblo” written by J. Jesús Carranza Diaz. This little gem of a book is filled with history and charming stories about Los Ayala.

Sr. Carranza is a lawyer, a professor at the Instituto de Estudios del Rey Nayar in the city of Tepic, Nayarit and a writer who has three published works to his credit. On occasion, he shares his stories about the rich Mexican cultures and traditions in a column entitled “Viva Nayarit” on Jaltemba Bay Life.

A great big thank you to Leo and family of Restaurant Las Ranas in Los Ayala for helping me with the translation!

The Goblins of The Old Fig Tree

It has always been commented that where a fig tree is born, there is water, and where there is water, there is life, but… what kind of life? It is said that small goblins exist, good or bad, but they exist and the small town of Los Ayala could not be without a fig tree when it is surrounded by so much water, the sea, the estuary, the underground rivers and all the springs. Below, I will narrate an anecdote by Don Jesus Rodriguez.

Many folks say that they could hear music playing in Los Ayala. The music seemed to come from somewhere in the area of the hill in Los Ayala; the hill that is adjacent to Guayabitos. The sound of drums was often heard at sunset, usually just before nightfall.

And somewhere around there, by a sidewalk that was there then, on the skirts of the hill, an enormous fig tree was located. It was this very same tree that Don Jesus Rodriguez told us about.

One day, when I was walking in the area of the fig tree, I heard very joyful music playing that seemed to come from within the tree! It was then that I decided to get closer to the tree; little by little, for there is only tall grass on one side of the tree. When I was close enough to peer into the hole of the fig tree, I saw a crowd of people, of no more than 15 centimeters tall; small bearded men and tiny women, dancing to the rhythm of the music. They were wearing very curious clothing and did not show their faces after being surprised by me. The crowd of tiny people disappeared into the root of the tree, restoring peace and calm to the area surrounding the fig tree. To this day, I remain very surprised of what I had seen.

The Woman of The Highway

Every night when I took passengers to Los Ayala, I had to entrust myself to God and his angels on the way back, for it was common to see a woman in white sitting on a rock. One could never see the lady’s face, just the silhouette of a woman that although ghostly, emanated elegance.

She never said anything. She just made the stop sign when wanting to board and then she would vanish in a mysterious manner, hiding somewhere behind the large rock which lies at the entrance to Los Ayala. Many taxi drivers noticed that when she did not hide, she’d disappear and hitch a ride on board their taxi. On occasion, the taxi drivers would spot her in their rear-view mirror, sitting on the back seat and then, she would vanish yet again.

This comment was made by Don Jerimia, one of the first taxi drivers in Jaltemba Bay of the Los Ayala-La Peñita route. This sighting was talked about by many drivers, they each shared anecdotes that matched up with Don Jerimias’. Is it true? Or just a myth so that the townspeople do not walk from Los Ayala to Guayabitos or La Peñita, and instead pay the taxi fare?

The Pirate and The Black Dog

On the shore of Los Ayala beach, very close to some boulders where today a palm tree is located, it was said by the locals that it was rather common to see at around 12 o’clock, a tall man of clothing from “other times” who sported an patch on his left eye. In his right hand, he held a leash tied to the neck of a precious black dog with the very delicate and shiny coat of hair seen in the Doberman race.

The pirate and his black dog both walked the beach, 200 meters from north to south and from south to north. Witnesses of this event claimed this man said nothing to them, the bare look of his only eye was very intense, to the point of stirring a terrible fear. The man and his dog were frequently seen to disappear amongst the boulders at the far end of Los Ayala beach.

The Headless Woman

The next anecdote happened to Doña Toña, who now lives in La Peñita de Jaltemba. She used to live in Los Ayala, near the beach, on the northern end.

Doña Teña had a beautiful nursery garden. It was unique and it was incredible to view the vast variety of plants located on the outside of the house on the small porch, which was furnished with a hammock. When she had visitors, they often slept on the hammock on the porch, under the soft light of the moon.

Many of Doña’s visitors commented that around 4am, they used to watch a woman that came from within her garden, walking towards where the “Ayala Brothers’” treasure could be hidden… they say…

The Treasure of The Ayala Brothers

It is said on the times of the conquest, that Chacala beach served as a small port from where ships loaded with jewels, gold, gem stones and very fine pearls departed. The ships were also loaded with very colorful ceramics.

However, there existed brothers with the Ayala surname Mobdro who always waited near the ‘Cuevitas’ (small caves) beach, which is located very close the Chacala beach.

The Ayala brothers were two strong and intelligent men, who planned their strategies well, and had great success assaulting the ships that carried the most valuable treasure. The Ayala brothers obtained a handsome loot which they then hid on a lone beach somewhere in Los Ayala in the dense jungle, in small holes or in hidden caves.

Time passed. The Ayala Brothers passed away, and to this day no one has ever found the treasure of Los Ayala. Some locals say they have witnessed other folks dig holes up to 3 meters deep all over Los Ayala, without ever finding the treasure.

Could it be possible that big premises have been built over the fortune, hiding it forever? Will the day come when the treasure of the Los Ayala brothers is found? What do you think?

“Playa Los Ayala: Memorias de mi Pueblo,” includes history, photos, myths and legends, recipes and more. The book costs $100 pesos and we currently have 20 copies available for sale. If anyone is interested in purchasing a copy, please email us at or leave a comment below.

To read more articles by either Christina Stobbs or J. Jesús Carranza Diaz, click on the “Stories by our Regular Contributors” category link.

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