Los Ayala on Mexico's Nayarit Riviera: so special it's magical
Los Ayala remains one of Mexico's best kept secrets. It's a "real Mexican" town that has kept its quaint ways, a paradisiacal beach town where smiles are abundant and freely passed around. This quaint Mexican town is commonly referred to as a "small town with a big heart," and a piece of paradise that one is compelled to share with others.
What is so special about Los Ayala? Clearly, it is the splendour of the palm fringed beach and the striking beauty of the lush jungle clad mountains as they struggle to embrace the sea. Is it the abundance and variety of the flora and fauna found in and around this tropical paradise?
Los Ayala is lush and green and adorned with soaring palm trees and an abundance of colossal banana trees.... Flocks of green Mexican parrotlets sing gloriously sweet as they soar overhead in the immense blue sky.
Is it the shy Mexican chachalacas that hang about in the uppermost portion of the trees where they are well hidden by the foliage and, on rare occasion, can be spotted strutting like peacocks down the street in front of my house? Is it the glorious black-throated magpie jays that are occasionally seen during the early morning hours; the grey hawks and frigate birds who seemingly own the sky or the gregarious brown pelicans that hang out at the beach?
Is it the endearing coatimundi that are frequently seen or the lone grey fox that is glimpsed on the rare occasion during the early morning hours? Could it be the common but equally captivating neighbourhood goats, who manage to escape their confines every few days to roam the town streets? Granted, not everyone finds the goats charming, but they serve to provide great weed control, and on occasion a "Keep Fit" program for me when they start straying from the weeds and chomping on the leaves of one of my plants; obliging me to chase them down the street.
Could it be Los Ayala's star filled sky dominated by a moon that is immense and surely larger than anywhere else in the universe? Or could it be the legend of the Ayala's — a group alleged of bandits with the surname "Ayala" who lived here during the early part of nineteenth century? Local folklore says that there is a great treasure waiting to be discovered, hidden in a cave behind a golden door, somewhere in Los Ayala. Did I mention that Los Ayala beach was once referred to as the "Beach of the Mermaids?"
It may be the proximity to an abundance of hiking trails and hidden beaches, coupled with Los Ayala's location at the south end of Jaltemba Bay just minutes from the neighbouring towns of Rincon de Guayabitos and La Peñita de Jaltemba where one can find most everything needed. If one tires of dining on fresh seafood and authentic Mexican fare at the beachside palapas in Los Ayala, there are several first class restaurants close by such as Vista Guayabitos and Xaltemba Restaurant and Galeria. Los Ayala offers small town living with all the conveniences.
The incredible allure of this paradise can be attributed to any of these attributes, but surely what makes Los Ayala truly special is that it is a small town, filled with good-hearted, friendly people with an immense community spirit, and with a strong, spirited mayor who cares!
It is the way the local people befriend their international neighbours and welcome them into the Mexican culture and festivities.
It is the strong community spirit shown in the many community fundraisers and the spontaneity and exuberance of the participants at these fiestas and fund-raising events.
This small town with a population of just 500 persons (including ~ 150 children) raised enough funds through a community fundraiser in 2009 to build a beautiful town plaza for the residents of Los Ayala.
Los Ayala is home for at least part of the year to an increasing number of Canadians, Americans and Mexicans who reside in other parts of Mexico who all have one thing in common, Los Ayala captured their hearts!
They speak of the gorgeous perfect, swimming beach, charming palapa restaurants on the beach and realizing the dream of living in small town Mexico, enjoying a peaceful lifestyle and sharing in the genuine happiness of the local people.
They all mention the breathtaking views, surrounding nature, abundant lush foliage. The tranquil environment and immense opportunity to participate in outdoor activities. The smiling and helpful locals, the excellent food and the warm, sunny climate.
Families say that Los Ayala represents simpler times where people helped people, family came first and foremost, and life was not governed by the clock.
Canadian and American expatriates always speak of the opportunity to experience beachside living in a Mexican town, close to all the conveniences of Jaltemba Bay and the Puerto Vallarta airport, and the idyllic, tropical beach setting and perfect climate, warm days and cool nights from November through April.
Los Ayala is a truly magical place to make new friends and be re-united with old friends. All just one hour north of Puerto Vallarta…. Here in Los Ayala, you truly get the feeling, as author Alex Kerekes writes, "We are all connected!"
We invite you to visit this "small town with a big heart" and decide for yourself what makes Los Ayala so special!