TENACATITA (The Snorkelers Paradise)
The once small village of Tenacatita use to be located on the beach 9 km from the junction on a nice paved road. The well marked junction turnoff to Playa Tenacatita is near mile marker MM30 on Carretaria 200. When driving toward the beach you pass through Pueblo Rebalcito about 6km in, where there is a hotel, small stores and an gas station. Playa Mora in Tenacatita is known locally as one of the best snorkeling areas in the Costalegre. Playa Tenacatita use to be popular with campers and RV'ers who would camp economically along the beach.
Tenacatita is a beach on the north side of the Bahía de Tenacatita. This area was once known for wilderness camping spots along the beach. There is currently a dispute over who owns this pristine area. Swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing are great here. There was once 23 restaurants and 4 hotels which have all been demolished by the current owner.
THINGS TO DO
Snorkeling, diving and boogie boarding are very popular here. One of the best spots to snorkel is "The Aquarium" at Playa Mora, located West over the hill. Hike up the hills at Punta Herman's (brothers point). From here you can see La Manzanilla across Bahía Tenacatita and wide vistas out to sea. Watch the surf pound the coarse ankle deep chocolate sand at Playa Boca, just over the isthmus from Playa Mora. Sunsets from this vantage point are spectacular. You may decide to rent a "panga" at La Manzanilla for a tour of the mangrove marsh or try sports fishing on the bay with a guide. Many just relax under the shade of a beach umbrella, savoring a few cervesas and enjoying the ocean view.
HOW TO GET HERE
There is no local bus service to Tenacatita, but taxis will take you here from Barra/Melaque. Backpackers may take a regional bus to the junction, then hitch a ride to the beach. In winter there is some local traffic to pick you up. The 9 km is too far to walk comfortably in the heat of the day. If you hitch in, don't stay too late, as most people leave just after sunset.
This pristine area was recently taken over by private interests. Road and water access to Playa Tenacatita is currently controlled by federal police guards blocking unrestricted access to the beach. All restaurants and accommodation listing are now invalid, as most have been demolished. Ownership of this once public property is now in legal dispute. Snorkeling is still available on Playa Mora by water taxis from La Manzanilla and Barra de Navidad.
Update: The road to Playa Tenacatita is now open for vehicle access to the beachfront.