Photos -  Barra de Navidad, Jalisco, Mexico
Back to Photos 2008
Grand Bay Hotel - Barra de Navidad
City of Barra de Navidad from the Grand Bay hotel.
We skipped Melaque and went straight into Laguna de Navidad, aka Barra
de Navidad to the locals and cruising community. It's a lagoon so swimming
 wouldn't be recommended  However, access to the surf and clear water is
just a walk across the sandbar.   The anchorage is calm and large enough to
handle in excess of 40 boats. It's also very shallow and muddy.  When the
wind pipes up, boats have been known to drag their anchor. We have first
hand experience to share. It happened the day after we returned from
Colima. While down in the cabin we heard a  loud noise. Popping our
heads up through the companionway we discovered a boat was on our
bow. John went into the cockpit, identified the boat and started to lower the
dinghy. Meanwhile, I put out a VHF fleet call advising the owners of their
run-away boat, asked for assistance to fend off the vessel and jumped into
the dinghy to join John. Within moments several concerned cruisers were at
our aid. With their help they held the vessel in place while John boarded the
unoccupied boat and released it's stanchion hold from our bowsprit. A
quick assessment of the situation revealed that neither of our anchors or
chain had become entwined  Having rec'd no response from the owner to
our VHF calls (obviously on shore), we decided to hoist our anchor and
move Sailsoon while the other cruisers assisted in the effort. Shortly after
doing so, the run away vessels anchor re-set itself and their was no
immediate danger of a re-occurrence. We were so impressed by the
response of the fleet and want to thank everyone for their help!
Moving on....Entry into the lagoon can and does strike fear of going aground into the hearts of cruisers. They may not admit it but it's true. Being aware of the tides and keeping on a
direct course are key to success. We were fortunate. The good folks on s/v Capriccio had given us the GPS coordinates..they worked like a charm.  Other boats aren't as fortunate, as
you can see by the photos.

The town is larger than most we've been in, has water taxi service for 25 pesos r/t pp (if and when you opt not to use your own transport), nice restaurants and shopping. The buses run
every 10 minutes or so to Melaque and are inexpensive. (US $.40 each way for the 6 mile ride). The Sands Hotel has a place to tie your dinghy while you visit the town. They offer wi-fi
service, cold showers (outdoor) and a pool. They have live music from local musicians quite often. There is no charge; they only ask you patronize their bar, which is easy enough during
happy hour.

If you have lots of money OR if you just want to live out a fantasy that you do, tour the Grand Bay Hotel. It's a beautiful resort with lots of pools, beautifully landscaped grounds and
plush amenities. There's also a beautiful bar on the 10th floor that overlooks the bay. It was closed when we made the rounds...good thing as a beer is $4.50 US. We pay that for a 6
pack at the local market.

The small town of Colimilla is located at  the south east end of the lagoon. It  is easily accessible by dinghy with beach landings in front of the various palapa restaurants. There is a store
named Maria's that offers "gringo" foods she purchases from Costco and other warehouse stores during her weekly shopping trips to Guadalajara. You can also order bottled water in 5
gal "garafones" for delivery to your boat. She's also the local contact for propane refills. She works in conjunction with Fortino's, who owns a beach front palapa.

Let's not forget the French Baker! "El Horno Frances" is an Artisan Baker's shop in town. He offers fresh baked breads, baguettes croissants, pies, and  quiches. You can visit his
location or wait for him to come to you. Yes, he delivers to the boats in the marina and lagoon every morning. He starts his tour about 8 AM and makes the rounds. He carries an
assortment in the panga for immediate consumption and will also take orders for the next day. He's like clockwork, 7 days a week. The offerings are sumptuous. Call him on VHF 22 or
email him at  
The north side of Barra has 3 canals. Most of the homes
are quite lovely.
Want a good, cheap eat? Try Mexico Lindo's!
The Beaches of Barra de Navidad
Barra de Navidad Highlights
Barra de Navidad  Adventure
The Town of San Patricio-Melaque
Not only beautiful pools but they are connected by water slides
Let's pretend we're staying here. Rooms rates start at
$430.00/night in the off season (yup, USD's)
I'll take whatever is behind door one...or two......
Wouldn't this be a perfect setting for a picnic?
And we'll have dinner overlooking the bay
Or maybe we'll come back to earth and keep walking....
Ah, Fresh baked bread delivered to the boat daily!
A view of boats at anchor in the lagoon. We're way out
back.......see us?
Looking down at the Grand Bay Hotel Marina. These lucky
people have use of the hotel facilities.
On the left you'll see the lagoon side, the right side faces the
The water is calm and shallow on the lagoon side
The locals swim in it but we decided our health was more
The side that faces the Pacific is a whole other world
The local indigenous people teach their children to swim on the
sand.....we think that's what she's doing
Surf's up! It's not even easy lying on a boogie board, never
mind standing up.
Isn't the beer supposed to be on the ice? Let us help you with
that. I saw the help wanted sign and we can do this!
Monuments are everywhere and this place is no exception
There's nothing like spending their Sunday fishing  for these
local fishermen
Parrots have a good sense of what you should order off the
menu. They are very loud and vocal.
For long distance travel, try one of these buses. You deserve
pampering, right?
For a quick trip to Melaque, step right up. You'll be there in
no time!
Hark! It was worth the trip..look at the view!
Sometimes the trail narrowed and became "difficult" as we
reached the top
Not to mention the flowers in bloom
Cacti that appeared old and withered were flowering
We walked past the hotel in search of the land point.
Up, up, up a steep hill. No access. Darn! Then, as
we started back down we spotted a long set of
stairs that was overgrown with brush. John led the
way, knocking the pickers, cacti and bushes from
our path
English Mass is held on Saturday's.
We neglect to put in photos of the poverty in Mexico. This
was taken in Melaque but could easily represent many areas.
We agree..iguanas have the right idea..sunshine is a must when
lounging around
Almost daily a boat goes aground in the Barra lagoon. Most
are able to be pulled off with a fleet of dingies. Not this time.
She was aground for a full 24 hrs.