The whale watching trips out of Punta Mita generally run about three hours, so if you go out in the morning, you get back around 1 and are starving. And thirsty.
Fortunately, there are several nearby solutions to this problem. While there are no great surfing beaches in Punta Mita, there are several close by. Like El Faro and Buros. And wherever you have surfing beaches, you have surfers. And surf shops. And tattoo stores. And places to get street food that is cheap and full of beans and rice and cheese. This is true of Punta Mita as well.
If you’re feeling like something a little more classy, then you walk down to Tino’s and you get his justly famous pescado zarandeado, which is a whole red snapper, marinated in chiles and lime and soy sauce and then grilled so that the skin is charred (and delicious) and the meat is sweet and juicy.
I love this for dinner, when you can dress up a bit and take advantage of the sunset. But it always feels a bit extravagant for lunch (particularly when I’m in flip-flops and wet swim trunks). So I prefer to go next door to El Dorado, a typical Mexican beach restaurant where people sit on yellow sling chairs right on the sand and tend to spend two or three hours ordering pitchers of margaritas and bowls of thick guacamole while staring at the ocean and loosing track of time.
At least, that’s what I do.
And I don’t think I’m alone. When I went there earlier this week, there were three young hipsters zoned out in the sling chairs next to me and mid-way through my first margarita a young bearded dude who, no doubt, is the lead singer in one of those sensitivo male bands, like Bon Iver or Fleet Foxes, turned to me and said, “Señor”, (I love that–a gringo calling another gringo Señor), “¿Cuándo es?”
When I told him it was a little after two, he sat up straight in his sling chair (sort of) and said, “Shit! We’ve been here for four hours? I think I was supposed to get together with Dog for lunch.”
And then his two female companions (one of whom, I think, was sound asleep, though it was hard to tell for sure because of the dark sunglasses), giggled.
“We should get our tab and head back,” said Mr. Sensitivo.
There was a pause. And then the prettier of the two yawned and said, “Screw Dog. I say we order another pitcher of margaritas.”
A girl of my own tastes.