May 27, 2010

Catemaco Piratas

Piratas are 4 door Nissan pickups with a  long truck bed equipped with seats, a tonneau cover and seating up to 16 people,. They are almost the only public transportation around uptown Catemaco.

Sometimes I come across a post about something I have been hesitant to say. Here is a young woman who pulls no punches:

It was definitely transportation as I've never experienced it, something that would be illegal (and cold) in Scandinavia, but here in Mexico, everyone is driving around in pick-up trucks with a bunch of people on the back. The police nod to the drivers as we pass, they don't mind us risking our lives on the back of a truck in 70 km/h. That being said, Jenny and I are not the bravest ones, we are perfectly happy sitting inside the trunk, and not on the edge of it like any mexican would do. Perfectly happy may be an overstatement though. The road is bumpy, and after two days of that trip, my butt hurts. I bet it's blue, but I haven't dared to check. And I'm sure I'll get really strong arms from holding on to the edge of the trunk, and strong legs from trying to dampen the worst bumps and not hurt my behind any more than necessary. And of course, there's all the dust. The truck whirls up a massive amount of dust as we drive on the dirt road, and I get dust in my eyes, in my nose and my mouth, not to mention all over my body. The first thing I do when I get home is jump in the shower and get clean, I look like I've been rolling in mud all day long. But it's worth it, so worth it.

You can read more from her here

PS I only published this because I know the Tepetapan gringo resort is filled for the summer and will not have to worry about impressing more renters for the immediate future.

May 24, 2010

Rancho Los Amigos, Catemaco

Rancho Los Amigos is an eco friendly working farm on the edge of Laguna Sontecomapan near its exit to the Gulf of Mexico in southern Veracruz.  Only accessible by boat, the rancho is about one hour north of Catemaco.

In 2002 the ranch began offering tourist accommodations, and a new son in law is asserting fresh influence on operating the ranch at an ecological maximum, promoting recycling, sustainability and Indian mysticism.

May 22, 2010

Montepio, again

Montepio Beach, about an hour north of beautiful downtown Catemaco is the most visited beach in Los Tuxtlas and southern Veracruz.
The village of  Montepio sits at the edge of a valley surrounded by low hills on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico and is edged by two cold running streams. 
290 days of the year the resort is godforsaken and an idyll for beachcombers, the rest of the year you would have to pay me to go there.

I recently revisited and updated the beach's webpage with some new photos and comments.

May 19, 2010

Catemaco GPS

Occasionally an intrepid traveler asks me for GPS points in the Sierra de Los Tuxtlas and around beautiful downtown Catemaco. I unfortunately have to respond that I have no idea.

Apparently an outfit named BICIMAPAS publishes a Mexico GPS atlas, which in 2010 supposedly covers the state of Veracruz, and costs $104 US.

Can anyone verify if the atlas actually covers the mountains and coast around Catemaco?

May 17, 2010

Balzapote, near Catemaco

Balzapote is the only port in Los Tuxtlas and my favorite accessible beach and swimming hole. Located about an hour away from beautiful downtown Catemaco, I sometimes get the feeling that I am the only visitor that knows how to get there. I added some words and new photos to the website:

May 9, 2010

Poza Reyna, Catemaco

Locals in beautiful downtown Catemaco consider the swimming holes and waterfalls of Poza Reyna some of their hidden jewels, because very few tourists have trashed them.