Visit Lagunas de Chacahua from Puerto Escondido
There is a place where time is different and where spending the day lying in the hammock is fine.
Very close to Puerto Escondido, just 54 kilometers to the west, near a town called Zapotalito, is the access to the Lagunas de Chacahua National Park.
The park was the first decreed protected area in Mexico with tropical ecosystems. This happened in 1937, and in February 2008 it was declared a Ramsar site because it was on the list of Wetlands of national importance.
How to get to Lagunas de Chacahua from Puerto Escondido
Although in distance, Lagunas de Chacahua is not far from Puerto Escondido, the transfer can take several hours since access is not so easy. The entrance to the town is done by water only and there are several ways to get to this tropical paradise.
The first and fastest way but also the most expensive is to take a private taxi that will take you directly to the port of Zapotalito, to take a private boat there that will cross you to the entrance of the town inside the Laguna. In total it will take approximately 2 hours.
Another cheaper option is to combine public transport with private transport. Leaving from the center of Puerto Escondido you must go to the TUR bus station and take the bus that goes to Río Grande, indicating that you want to go to Chacahua. You must get off at the stop to go to Zapotalito (the coastal town, from which you must take the boat to reach your destination). This first journey takes approximately 2 hours. The bus will not drop you off in town but at the road junction. From there, you must take a taxi that takes you to the town. It will only be 5 minutes. Once you arrive in Zapotalito, you ask for the private boat service that will cross you directly to the town of Lagunas de Chacahua. The duration of the boat is 15 minutes. This option takes about 2.5 hours.
Finally, a last option the most economical, is to carry out the entire transfer by public transport. You have to follow the previous indications until you reach Zapotalito. In this case, you will have to wait for the collective boat that has fixed schedules. You may have to wait until it is filled with passengers. Once you take the boat it will be 20 minutes to the other coast. There another bus will wait for you to complete the journey by land and reach the center of town. This option takes about 3 hours in total.
Things to do in Chacahua
Once you arrive at your destination you will be able to blend in with the surroundings and surrender to the times of this tropical paradise. At the beginning of this article I told you that in Chacahua time is different. And it is literal since the local inhabitants do not adopt the change of daylight saving time. They prefer to keep the normal hours. Therefore, you must be careful when you want to agree schedules with the locals.
You will see that there are activities that you can do from the town but that a large part of visiting this place is dedicating yourself to rest, relax and spend the day in the hammock looking at the sea.
Another peculiarity is that all the food places that are on the beach also offer camping services. For a small sum of money you can bring your own tent and spend the night on the sand, under the stars to wake up with the sunrise. In addition, these same places are the ones that offer different tourist activities.
Among the main tours that you can take, the following stand out: the bioluminescence tour, the tour through the canals, the tour to see crocodiles and surf lessons.
There are also activities that you can do on your own such as long walks along the desert beaches, a walk to the lighthouse to watch the sunset or simply get lost in the streets of this magical place.
What to eat in Chacahua
If you are a lover of fresh fish, this is your place. Being a coastal site, most of its gastronomic offer is fish, seafood, etc. Of very good quality, fresh and at affordable prices, you can enjoy a good seafood dish, having a few chelas, watching the waves go by.
There are also vegetarian and foreign food options. You can find delicious burgers, abundant pizzas and all kinds of local food.
Lagoon and sea
Something very striking that occurs in the Park and that is what also makes it so attractive for visitors is that in Chacahua, the lagoon meets the sea. At one end of the town, next to a breakwater, you will be able to see how the fresh water from the lagoon channels flows into the sea, colliding with the salt water. This allows two ecosystems in the same place: freshwater and saltwater; lagoon and sea; wetland and beach.
This phenomenon makes Chacahua a special place since you can decide in the morning to relax with the calm water of the lagoon, reading a book in the shade of a mangrove and in the afternoon enjoy the intensity of the sea with a completely different landscape.
There is a very close-knit community made up of local inhabitants who will be the ones to welcome you. They are very friendly, helpful and will always give you a smile. Of course, you must respect their times which, as we have said, are different. Being a destination that has not yet been exploited for tourism, it still preserves the freshness and authenticity of its people and local culture. In addition, they are the main ones in charge of caring for and conserving their ecosystems.
Live to tell
It is very difficult to describe the magic that is perceived in Laguna de Chacahua only with words. It is one of those places where you have to go with all your senses open to live a complete experience.
It is the perfect place to rest from the intense Puerto Escondido, to do nothing but look at the sea and to learn about other cultures on the coast of the state of Oaxaca.
If you plan to visit Puerto Escondido and you can allow yourself to know its surroundings, be sure to visit Lagunas de Chacahua, a tropical paradise.