We arrived mid-afternoon in Caleta. We came for the first time last year and we met again good people: Mexicans, very few Canadians and Americans. Caleta is not at all touristy. It is a very small fishing village built on a point. The bay on one side is absolutely gorgeous and because of the brakewater the waves are not too big (usually). I love swimming in the ocean but get scared by big waves. I am a bit of a chicken but I'd rather be an alive chicken than a drowned one. The small fleet of fishing boats rests on the beach in front of the seafood restaurants. It took us a while last year to discover we could eat something else than tortillas with meat and cheese 3 times a day, the staple and only food in every restaurant in the village along the main street. On the other side of the point, the ocean is wild and we can see whales from the top of the cliff.
This little village has a violent and bloody history. We were told that some nasty gang driven by greed terrified the population, extorted money and did kill in the street the people who refused to pay the "fees". They call that murder, " killing" is a job they have to do. A group of "vigilantes" from another state came to help the population to get rid of the criminals. It worked. The village is now peaceful. Actually, most of the Michoacán coast is now peaceful.
We stayed the first 2 days in an inexpensive and very well maintained little hotel off the main street then, for the last 6 days of our stay, we decided to have a bit more luxury and moved to a stunning house perched on the top of the cliff overlooking the wild ocean, "Casa de la Rosa". Then, I cannot say enough about our lovely host, Cynthia, who made us feel at home. We used her kitchen, her swimming pool and the love of her two adorable scottish terriers. We became friends in that short time. If you like calm, beauty and a real feel for Mexican ocean life or just need a rest, it is a place to stay for a while. Casa de la Rosa (for reservation : tel 753-114-9981. firstname.lastname@example.org)is reasonably priced. There are 4 rooms well ventilated, spacious with the view of the ocean and 3 of them have a private balcony. We slept with the sound of the surf, calming and also burying the snore of my husband and sometimes mine (just to be honest even if I hate to admit it). The world could shatter, collapse we would not notice it. There are few stores in Caleta: groceries where you can buy vegetables and fruits and also a good pharmacy and a doctor who can do even ultra sounds if needed. One of the guests got sick and just had to pay 600 pesos for a consultation, an ultra sound and medications. An amazing price for an amazing service.
Nexpa is the next town 7kms North of Caleta. It is not really a town nor a village, just a place for surfing with a few restaurants, a few modest houses and little huts for sleeping. We left Casa de la Rosa a bit sad knowing we will never find such a place on this trip in Mexico. Most of the Mexicans we met are very generous and welcoming people. I feel always more comfortable in Mexican towns even if my spanish is still a bit primitive, than in a more touristy place. I am a kind of a hermit at home but in Mexico I am a lot more social and with a nice smile and a "hola" or "buenos dias" we can meet people and understand a bit more of their lifestyle and their hardship.
Our next and our last stop on the coast of Michoacán was San Juan de Alima, again a small ocean place along a 5kms deserted beach. Our hotel was cheap enough, very clean and quiet with a big balcony on the 1srt floor and at 15 meters from the water's edge. The sound of the surf was so loud that I was sure a tsunami was coming and we had to close the patio door. There, it was a lot more hot than at Casa de la Rosa where the temperature was always perfect.
Again we left Michoacán a bit sad but thinking that it is safe for the tourists we are. The problems in Michoacán and many other states are the conflicts between cartels, sometimes the police, the government and all the corruption. The Mexicans are at their mercy especially if they speak up but mostly safe for tourists, especially if acting intelligently, not showing wealth and not being in some dark and deserted areas in cities at night. I certainly feel more in danger in Paris.