Fishing boats in the marina photo by Jasmine Hohenstein
Fishing boats in the marina photo by Jasmine Hohenstein

Explore Chacala, Nayarit, Mexico

This small fishing village has become a popular Mexican tourist beach, as well as a place more and more expats are discovering. Chacala – which means “where there are shrimp” in Náhuatl – has a lovely sandy beach and a few palapa restaurants where visitors and locals can spend the afternoon sipping cold beverages, playing cards, swimming or boogie boarding in the ocean.

The marina in Chacala is also home to the Port Captain for the coast of Nayarit.


Photo of Playa Chacala by Jasmine Honenstein.

Playa Chacala

The curve of the bay keeps the surf calm on most days, allowing for safe swimming and water sports. There are a row of palapa-covered restaurants under coconut palm trees where you can sit in the shade and enjoy a cold drink and fresh locally caught shrimp.

Time Zones

It is worth noting that when you arrive in Puerto Vallarta, you will be on Central Time. Once you head north, you will leave the state of Jalisco and enter the state of Nayarit. The time zone no longer changes at the state lines as it once did. The new time zone includes the towns of Mezcales, Bucerias, Sayulita, San Pancho and Lo de Marcos. So, once you pass Lo de Marcos (and head towards Los Ayala, Guayabitos and La Peñita), be sure to turn your watches back one hour as you will now be on Mountain Time.

Upon your return to the airport in Puerto Vallarta, remember that you will lose an hour as the time zone changes back to Central Time. Be sure to set your watches accordingly so you don’t miss your flight.

Location & Map

Chacala is situated in the municipality of Compostela in the state of Nayarit on the Pacific coast of Mexico. The nearest major cities are Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara, both of which are located in the state of Jalisco.

Driving Distances from Chacala:

  • Rincón de Guayabitos – 30 km / 19 miles  (30-40 minutes)
  • Puerto Vallarta Airport – 96 km / 60 miles  (1½-2 hours)
  • Guadalajara – 268 km / 166 miles  (3½-4 hours)

If you live in Chacala and have additional information about the town, beaches or attractions, please contact us.

Beaches & Attractions

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