After our whale-watching and outdoor adventure days, plus a weekend jungle hike to see some beaches on the coast, it was time for the third trip we had booked with Vallarta Adventures, and our final relaxation day before a few days of hard work ahead.
I know, what a tough life.
#3 – Las Caletas
Our third of three tours booked with Vallarta Adventures took us to a private, secluded beach, just north of Yelapa. ‘Las Caletas’ was once the home of Hollywood director John Huston who apparently fell in love with the area after visiting in the 1960’s while filming ‘The Night of the Iguana’. The story goes that although he loved Puerto Vallarta, he wanted a place even more isolated and away from the daily toil. Las Caletas was his choice for a home so he leased it in the 1970’s from the Chacala Indians and lived there for almost two decades, until his health forced him back to the USA. His daughter, the famous Oscar-winning actress, Anjelica Huston, said:
“He found great happiness there in his last years … in the jungle, beside the sea, lit by the stars.”
Since Vallarta Adventures has exclusive access to Las Caletas, we figured it’d be nice way to spend a day and to get some time on a beach without too many people, or too many ‘hawkers’ offering jewellery, ceramics, snacks, cigars, kitchen sinks etc.
Another early morning, and once more we arrived about an hour earlier than we needed to – the woman we booked with appears to have got all her timings earlier than they actually were. After some much-needed caffeine, we got onto a boat with around 80 other people and headed on over. The boat we went on this time was bigger than the ones we’d been on previously, and we were given some breakfast – the catch being we had to put up with the loud music and dancing from the staff…
Once we arrived, the masses piled off and went over to the restaurants for breakfast, whilst we stayed behind on a small beach area with hammocks and just sunbathed for about half hour in peace. Once the crowds had dissipated, we got some hot drinks and stumbled across some parrots! There were military macaws, cockatoos and some of the smaller orange fronted parakeets, ubiquitous to this part of Mexico. These little ones were my personal favourite. After the parrots we saw some flamingos under the little bridge area and got some more photos before we searched for a place to soak up the rays for a while, whilst everyone jumped on all the kayaks, snorkels and paddle boards.
Once these areas got a bit less crowded, we decided we wanted to try paddle boarding for the first time; it’s harder than it looks! Anthea was first to manage to stand up, whereas on my first try I didn’t even get off my knees before falling into the water. My second attempt was more successful, and I successfully stood for a whole 5 seconds, before falling off and losing my sunglasses into the water. I asked a nearby snorkeler, who had a magnificent moustache, if he was able to see them, and he very kindly dived down and retrieved them. What a guy, and what a moustache! We both finally were able to successfully stand and navigate around with a reasonable degree of efficiency, and although there weren’t many fish in the area (it was netted off around 150 yards out to sea) we did see some incredibly colourful fish shooting around.
After our reasonably successful exertion into the world of paddle-boarding, it was time to take advantage of the open bar. I started speaking Spanish with one of the waiters who I’d asked about getting some food, and before I knew it, he’d put three different types of alcoholic drinks into my hand and sent me on my way. Side note: Kahlua with cold milk and ice is incredible. Anyway, we stopped for some pictures with a random tiny parrot that was hanging around the clay sculpting stand, and on our way to find a place for lunch, I saw the flamingos out from their enclosure and being fed! I squealed a little (a lot) and hurriedly called Anthea over, who made a similar noise in reaction. We got to hand feed the flamingos, get pictures, and Anthea even got given a souvenir feather that was being shed by one of the birds.
Some more parrot play ensued, including my arm being ‘attacked’ by my two little friends; one of them got to trust me and started to happily clamber on and off me, until we got asked not to put them on my shoulder by one of the handlers that turned up. I think she thought we were picking them up and putting them on our shoulders, but I was just holding my arm a little distance away and after a while he was just jumping on – he was loving it!
We had some lunch (and more kahlua crema), then got to hold a spider monkey for a photo before being signalled back on to the boat to head back to shore. Overall, a good day, but although we were at the beach for around 4-5 hours, it didn’t seem long enough to relax on the beach after eating and trying the activities. The definite highlights were the birds and the paddle boarding. A good day all around!