Our guidebook said Tenacatita was a cruiser’s dream come true. Turquoise waters, white, sandy beach and lots of fun beach activities. Well, it was a bust for us. The skies were overcast during our time there, the waters were murky, and with only a couple of other cruising boats hanging out, there weren’t ANY beach activities or really anything to do. We thought we’d be able to take a bus over to La Manzanilla across the bay, but apparently you need to either anchor your boat over there and endure a rolly anchorage or motor over with your dinghy, which was impossible with our dying motor. Tenacatita is simply a beach. Not even a town. Just a small patch of beach. And unless you have warm weather and nice water, there’s nothing fun to do.
We were there for Palm Sunday, thus, no church services available for me. Guess I didn’t plan that so well. Would have been nice to see how the Holy Days are celebrated by the locals. However, what we did see were dozens of local families camping on the beach for what we assumed was their equivalent of spring break. They were all just hanging out on the shoreline of the lagoon and in their tents – we kind of felt like spectacles when we were walking around the shoreline – obviously we were the only gringos in town.
The guidebook also recommends taking your dinghy into the lagoon and exploring the nearby estuary. We figured we could do this with our motor since you don’t have to go fast or deal with waves in the lagoon. We got through the sandbar into the lagoon during high tide, but we weren’t sure how long high tide was going to last, so we just kept our fingers crossed that we wouldn’t have to drag the dinghy back when we finished our little self tour. We ended up being fine and motored all the way back out.
Starting out on the estuary tour. Wide open and peaceful.
We spent a good couple of hours heading into the jungle, admiring birds and keeping a watch out for any cocodrilos! No crocs to be found, but no other people or pangas either. We kept going farther and farther and deeper and deeper and everything looked and seemed okay until the pathway REALLY narrowed. The guidebook said it would narrow towards the end, but that there should be enough space for one of the big pangas to get through…at one point, we crossed some low-hanging branches that would have seriously hindered a panga and I told Dave, “That’s it, we’re turning around.” Our little dinghy could barely fit into the space.
Birds in the jungle (top photos); and the pathway narrows (bottom).
We knew were hadn’t missed a turn-off or anything, but we couldn’t figure out where the estuary tour stopped. We were told it would empty out into a small lagoon where there would be pangas and a place to tie up your dinghy and go ashore to explore the small town of Punta Hermanos. We were looking forward to grabbing a few produce items before heading back towards Tenacatita. But it wasn’t meant to be. Dave wanted to press farther, but I just didn’t have a good feeling. About halfway back to Tenacatita we came across the first panga we’d seen in the estuary. It was a large boat with lots of Mexican tourists and a guide. We asked the guide if they were heading to the lagoon and he said “No. Closed.” Well, I guess that explains why we couldn’t find it and why everything was so overgrown heading in that direction! (The tours only go looking for birds and jungle animals now instead of going all the way to Punta Hermanos.)
Oh well. We must just have been too late in the season, because other boats we’ve talked to said they really enjoyed the relaxing and fun activities in Tenacatita while they were there earlier in the year.
The highlight of our Tenacatita experience was Dave climbing a palm tree (albeit, a short one) to get two coconuts. We took them and made a yummy coco rum drink for our daily happy hour and gin rummy game in Camanoe’s cockpit. Too bad no one else was around to enjoy it with us.
Capt with his cocos. The tree he climbed is directly behind him – he was so quick about it I didn’t have time to get my camera out!