Barra de Potosi. The bar in its name is not one that serves alcoholic beverages, but rather, refers to the sand bar that closes off the saltwater lagoon in the dry season. The lagoon ringed with mangrove trees houses a variety of tropical aquatic birds, crabs, tasty fish, and some crocodiles. The crocs stay WAY BACK in the lagoon far from human and boat activity, so, not to worry. The ecosystem this shallow lagoon provides invites bird watchers, kayakers, or just languishing in the refreshing shallow water near one of the many sand islands dotting the lagoon. The tranquil wild nature of the area invites peace. A strong current runs from the part of the lagoon that empties into the ocean, beckoning swimmers to just float effortlessly along. Even on the hottest days, the cool ocean breeze refreshes.
The lagoon forms one boundary of Barra de Potosi. From there, a wide swath of pristine beach runs for approximately 15 kilometers back towards Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Horseback riding on the beach or just a long leisurely stroll watching the pelicans and the hawks swoop down to the water for a snack represent the main activities. The warm azure water is usually calm and clear. During the whale’s winter migration season you can charter a small boat to go in search of these magnificent animals.
After a long walk on the beach, head back towards the lagoon and one of the many “Palapas” (beachfront restaurants with thatched roofs), for a cold beer or Guacamole. All of the Palapas serve a variety of tasty seafood or Mexican dishes. My personal favorite is the fish “a la talla”. This is a whole fish (usually red snapper) barbecued with a special sauce consisting of chili, mayonnaise, and other seasonings. Served with salad, rice, beans, tortillas and more sauce, one will usually serve two people and with beers run about $20.
Getting to Barra de Potosi is half the fun. From the fishing village of Zihuatanejo, Mexico, take a small bus that goes to “Petatlan”. Get off at a very small village called “Los Achotes”. The cost of this leg of the trip runs about one dollar and takes 40 minutes. At Los Achotes, walk about one block to where a pickup truck converted to carry passengers on benches for seats and a tarp covered roof awaits. The truck leaves every 20 minutes or when it has 7 or more passengers. Jostling through jungle like roads bordering mango and avocado orchards, you careen towards Barra de Potosi. Laughter and squeals of delight punctuate the ride. Hold on to your hat though or the breeze will have it flying off. From where the truck stops take only a short walk to the beach for a day of fun in the sun!
Once you go you will certainly want to return. There is a reason it’s listed as one of the 1000 places to see before you die!