I found this place when returning to Puerto Angel alone. The whole place looks similar to a consruction site, then a guesthouse. But I didn't care. The most important factro was price. And it was the cheapest I found in Puerto Angel - 80 pesos per night. I probably could bargain even lower.
The rooms was again more prison-like, bathrooms were common (looked dirty, but were quite clean). For one night it was OK.
They asked me, if I want to buy some marijuana too :-). Special Offer!
The owner of this place is son of the Anati guethouse owner, so when we expressed our wish to stay all 4 in one room, we were taken to this place. It's just short walk up the hill. Son wasn't there so we arranged everything with his mum.
Canta Ranas is still being built, but couple of rooms are finished. The place is nicer, rooms being lighter and larger. Hammocks are hanging in the yard and you can enjoy swinging. We payed 300 pesos for 4 of us (TV was taken out of our room though :-)).
But, it couldn't go without problems. Puerto Angel has no water supply and has to be brought with a truck, which was late those days.. Then, in one of the room water was leaking, so we run out of water. Had to use rainwater from the nearby basin.
Nice view from the terrace.
Checking our Mexico guide, my friends and I decided this place would be most appropriate. It turned out otherwise. They have only doubles, but 4 of us wanted to share one room. The rooms (150 pesos for double room) were very basic, dark. Kind of reminded me of a prison. We decided to look around some more and come back if we don't find anything better, which we did (with the help of the Anati owner).
Puerto Angel is a nice place to spend a day, but it isnt as quaint as Mazunte or Zipo. Well, it actually is a real town with a harbour and real fishermen and lots of vacationing Mexicans, often swimming in T-shirts and underwear, enjoying the two calm town beaches (I didnt visit the outlying beaches). I would rather stay in San Agustinillo but Puerto Angel may be a good option when other places have filled up.
There is actually quite a number of hotels here, not just the Mazunte style hammock or cabana place. Check out the website below for more recommendations.
I didnt stay in Hotel Soraya (or anyplace else in Puerto Angel) but I had taken a picture of it on my first visit in 2003 and had later read a recommendation of sorts on the below (recommendabel website), an extract of which reads as follows:
"The 5 rooms with air conditioning are larger and overlook the pier. The restaurant also has a nice view of the pier area and the food is okay. This is where I stay when I visit Puerto Angel. "
I found the building not very inviting from the outside, looked a bit off-putting, but judge for yourself and check out the photos on the website below.
Rancho Cerro Largo is featured both by Lonely Planet and Mexican trendy travel mags like Bleu Blanc, and for good reason.
It is located on a hilltop overlooking the best beach of the area, playa Aragon and consists of a beautiful main house where an excellent breakfast and a good (communal) dinner is served to the guests on the terrace, as well as a couple of secluded cabanas scattered over the hill, all of which offer nice views down to the beach without being open to view from below or the other cabins. Perfect for honeymooners and all who want some privacy. U fall asleep and wake up to the sound of the sea.
Nice decoration, palapa style roofs, mosquito netting and fans. Our cabin (see pic) didnt even have a front wall, while the others where more complete buildings, some even with an upper level and sleeping 4 people.
The baths and toilets are private and "eco-style", i.e. all goes into a ditch below and u throw some sawdust on top. Sounds weird but u get used to it and there is no unpleasantness about it. Showers are cold water (it is warm enough outside so the water temperature is fine) that u pour over u from a big container with a coconut shell. Rustic simplicity.
The owner, Mario Corella, a flamboyant host, runs the place together with a crew of Zapotec helpers who provide excellent and friendly service and a very hospitable atmosphere. Depending on the mix of guests, the evening togetherness can be a bit too much, but u can always excuse yourself if you like.
No phone up there. Tu reserve, send a fax (number below) or an email (see below) and they get back to you. Often booked out in high season (we went in Jan 2003, were turned down in Jan 2004 and got lucky again in Feb 2006 (already lower season with fewer Mexicans and more Canadians visiting)) so book ahead and check back later even if first turned down.
The beach below the hill, Playa Aragon is superb and clothing optional. The waves are a dream and I didnt find swimming there dangerous. You reach the beach through a private pathway meandering down the hill.
Located right next to playa San Agostinillo and separated from it just by a small rock outcrop, Playa Aragon, is virtually empty so you often have it to yourself. Playa San Agustinillo is already quite empty as well.
For the comparatively high price of about 800 Pesos for a double you get an excellent bf and a tasty, if somewhat small and cheap-on-the-ingredients dinner . If you add up what you spend in breakfast and dinner in the area, the half board deal Mario offers isnt so expensive after all. But of course it limits your flexibility to look elsewhere to lunch.
We stayed here for two nights only and then moved to San Agostinillo, mostly beause we preferred the beach there but also because we werent totally in love with the accomodation. I must say, though, that it is a matter of personal taste, so I am posting it here anyway. The place is actually OK, especially if you like the community feeling that it seems to embrace.
It is located on top of a hill overlooking Mazunte on Camino a Punta Cometa, right next to the beautiful and highly recommendable - but when we visited booked-out - Altamira Bungalows.
It features basic but nice enough looking cabanas with very simple beds (no real matrasses) and mosquito nets (no AC) as well as camping space, communal clean baths and showers, solar electricity supply and a comedor, and is run by an alternative minded laid-back young French couple.
We arrived very late (3 am) the first night (and had advised them of this) and we would have expected that they had left a note or a light on (it was pitch dark!) to show us the way to our hut, but no, too laid-back for that... and too sleepy to wake up despite their dog barking loudly when we did arrive. So the first nite was spent in the car. Hence a certain and maybe unjust disenchantment.
Price was 150 Pesos for a cabana for two people without bf.
They also offer language courses and various outdoor activities, and, uniquely, a temazcal (indigenous style sauna) as well as massages. Mmmmh, no idea how authentic Spanish courses and indigenous sauna sessions given by Frenchmen can get, but I didnt try either.
In an area where most accomodation is cabana and palapa style (huts with roofs of palm leaf), this is a basic but clean and solid inn-style option.
The large rooms come with a real bed without mosquito net, no AC (neither was needed due to the sea breeze), tiled floor, a private bathroom (!) and a private terrace. On the rooftop, under a palapa roof, u find hammocks to snooze through the midday heat. They have quite a number of rooms, the building being by far the largest accomodation in town. We got a room without reserving ahead in peak season where everything else was booked out.
And all that for 140 Pesos for a double (without bf) in high season (I was there in early January 2004). I find this a better option than many of the wannabe hippie hammock or cabana places.
No breakfast or other food is supplied but there are plenty of options in walking distance.
The location is perfect: the Posada is on the best (Southern) stretch of San Agostinillo beach which I found to be the best beach for swimming in the whole area (only surpassed by the beach right next to it on the left/South/direction of Zipolite which is clothing optional, while San Agostinillo's is not a nude beach). Mazunte beach is boring and Zipolite a bit too wild for swimming, at least for cautious people. San Agustinillo is just perfect in between....
A cheap hotel on the beach... 200 Pesos (20 euro) was the price for a 3 beds room (less than 7 euro every one)...
the hotel bedroom was very simple. It only had a little table with 2 chairs and the beds. The terrace communicated with all the others bedrooms. Very good also to know the other people. Each room had in the terrace 2 hammocks useful to rest and to relax! DE PUTA MADRE!
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