San Pancho, sometimes called San Fransisco, is a quaint beach town 50 minutes North of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. You won’t find grand hotels or all-inclusive resorts there but you will find a long crescent beach, lively main street, a handful of creative restaurants, boutique lodging, and plenty of local charm. To me, San Pancho feels like Mexico was 20 years ago.
One of the best things that has happened during the Covid Pandemic shutdowns is the regeneration and healing of “touristic” places. Venice’s canals are now clean and clear, coral reefs are returning underwater, wild animals are creeping back into urban areas, wild flamingo populations have expanded, and majestic whales are less stressed and more communicative with reduced shipping noise and traffic. These restorations make me so happy!! On the flip side, traveling has come to a screeching halt. All the major trips I planned in 2020 got cancelled and my heart sank with each disappointment. Without travel, I can fall into a rut and feel depressed. I had to balance my own needs with the heavy restrictions so I planned a few jaunts to Mexico!
Costa Careyes captivated my interest years ago when browsing through drool worthy photos of a book called The Castles of Careyes. Impressive villas perched on cliffs above of the Pacific Ocean designed to blur the lines between land and sea. These beauties whose rounded walls mimic Caracol shells are surrounded by 180⁰ infinity pools so they appear to be floating on water. I was struck by the sheer splendor of these architectural masterpieces.
So, when our friends suggested a trip there, I instantly agreed!
When my husband and I first began dating, he treated me on a trip to Cabo San Lucas. I’d never been to Mexico and was instantly charmed by it’s perfect (dry) weather, gorgeous beaches, warm people, and vibrant colors. Mexicans have a way of making you feel “at home”, as well as making the best margaritas! We stayed at the original Sol y Mar, a simple hotel on the Pacific tucked against the terracotta rocks. I drank my first strawberry margarita at the swim-up bar which overlooked the beautiful beach. This is where I fell in love with Cabo!
Oaxaca is a vibrant colonial city recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site. It’s well known for it’s cuisine, fine restaurants, cultural arts, Pre-Colombian ruins and traditional crafts. I’ve wanted to go there for awhile but flying through Mexico City was an obstacle. So, when I found a new direct flight from Los Angeles, I snapped up tickets for a quick, two day trip.
The flight was smooth and uncrowded and we luxuriated in having a row all to ourselves (just like the old days).