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5280 magazine
A SUPPLEMENT
5280
MAGAZINE
TO
A SUPPLEMENT
5280
MAGAZINE
TO
'[email protected]!1!1~~1!1:!!!!11!!11!1i!l!lil!!II!l!l!I!!l!I!I!I!l!~
Traveler
m
Getaways
INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL
Wave Runner
Finding sand-and
surf-in
Sayulita, Mexico.
of the Pacific swells
below me. Frothy waves crash behind me, in front
of me-all around me. I breathe in deeply, my
stomach pressed against the smooth fiberglass
of a longboard. I'm waiting for the perfect wave
and the perfect chance to show myself that I can
do this.
Although I've lived in Boulder for 10 years, I
grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, a I5-minute
car ride from the beaches and cool waters of
Lake Michigan. Considering my upbringing, I'd
always fancied myself a water baby. Take me to
any lake on the planet and I'll be the first to dive
right in. Even living here in the mountains I've
found water to splash around in-creeks, reserVOil"S, and high alpine lakes. So you can imagine
my surprise when I discovered, recently, that I'm
absolutely terrified of the ocean. Waves send me
running for the sand like a small child.
And that's exactly the reason I've squeezed
myselfinto a wetsuit and am balancing, helplessly,
atop a surfboard in the waters off of Mexico. I
wish I could say this was all my idea-that I'd
planned this trip and signed myself up for a
three-hour surf lesson with the sole purpose of
overcoming my fear of waves. But I didn't. My
husband did. A born surfer, Tim has dreamt of
acclimating me to the salt water ever since our
Hawaiian honeymoon revealed my phobia. And
so he's chosen Sayulita, Mexico,as the setting for
my stand. This small surf break 21miles north
of Puerto Vallarta has been making waves as a
tourist destination for Americans-and especially
Coloradans-for the past few years. The theory
is that by the end of our three-day weekend I will
be comfortable in the ocean.
Lyingon this board, I have to admit I'm skeptical.
THE COOL, CHOPPY WATER
II
I
AS FAR AS BEGINNER surf breaks go, Sayulita is
hard to beat, particularly if you're looking for
something easily accessible from Denver. The
picturesque fishing village 45 minutes north of
high-gloss Puerto Vallarta became an interna-
~1jj1~~i~~j1fj~~~~~~~~~j11jj~j~ij1~~11~~1j~j~~j~j~j~j~l~j~~111~
26
I
5280
TRAVELER
I
2012
BY CHERYL MEYERS
'[email protected]!1!1~~1!1:!!!!11!!11!1i!l!lil!!II!l!l!I!!l!I!I!I!l!~
Traveler
m
Getaways
INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL
Wave Runner
Finding sand-and
surf-in
Sayulita, Mexico.
of the Pacific swells
below me. Frothy waves crash behind me, in front
of me-all around me. I breathe in deeply, my
stomach pressed against the smooth fiberglass
of a longboard. I'm waiting for the perfect wave
and the perfect chance to show myself that I can
do this.
Although I've lived in Boulder for 10 years, I
grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, a I5-minute
car ride from the beaches and cool waters of
Lake Michigan. Considering my upbringing, I'd
always fancied myself a water baby. Take me to
any lake on the planet and I'll be the first to dive
right in. Even living here in the mountains I've
found water to splash around in-creeks, reserVOil"S, and high alpine lakes. So you can imagine
my surprise when I discovered, recently, that I'm
absolutely terrified of the ocean. Waves send me
running for the sand like a small child.
And that's exactly the reason I've squeezed
myselfinto a wetsuit and am balancing, helplessly,
atop a surfboard in the waters off of Mexico. I
wish I could say this was all my idea-that I'd
planned this trip and signed myself up for a
three-hour surf lesson with the sole purpose of
overcoming my fear of waves. But I didn't. My
husband did. A born surfer, Tim has dreamt of
acclimating me to the salt water ever since our
Hawaiian honeymoon revealed my phobia. And
so he's chosen Sayulita, Mexico,as the setting for
my stand. This small surf break 21miles north
of Puerto Vallarta has been making waves as a
tourist destination for Americans-and especially
Coloradans-for the past few years. The theory
is that by the end of our three-day weekend I will
be comfortable in the ocean.
Lyingon this board, I have to admit I'm skeptical.
THE COOL, CHOPPY WATER
II
I
AS FAR AS BEGINNER surf breaks go, Sayulita is
hard to beat, particularly if you're looking for
something easily accessible from Denver. The
picturesque fishing village 45 minutes north of
high-gloss Puerto Vallarta became an interna-
~1jj1~~i~~j1fj~~~~~~~~~j11jj~j~ij1~~11~~1j~j~~j~j~j~j~l~j~~111~
26
I
5280
TRAVELER
I
2012
BY CHERYL MEYERS
IF YOU GO
=,
•
r: er Airlines runs direct flights from Denver
;:> erto Vallarta. Sayulita is 36 miles north of
- e Puerto Vallarta Airport. along Highway 200
a 45-minute drive). You can catch a taxi or bus
om the airport (fares range from $20 to $70.
.Jepending on the number of people). or rent a
car (try Europcar). Villa Amor (www.villaamor.
com features 42 beachfront villas with room rates
a g'ing from $78 to $1.200 during the winter
season. Book a surf lesson or mountain bike trip
• th Javier Chavez's Wildmex Sayulita Adventures
ww.wildmex.com). Surf lessons cost around $40
per person.
historictrinidad.
tional surf destination in the last 10yearsafter the Mexican government paved a
highway through the thick jungle, making
the town's pristine bay accessible to anyone
adventurous enough to rent a car and make
the mountainous trek.
But there's more to the town than just the
waves; its romantic hillside casitas, beautiful sand beaches, and inventive Mexican
restaurants offer plenty of diversions for the
nonsurfer set. Which is precisely why we've
chosen this place. If I chicken out on the surf
lesson (a very real possibility), at least we'll
still be in a beachy paradise.
Nearly everything in town rests within
walking distance of the beach. Quickservice taquerias, surf shops, fruit markets,
and the occasional tourist boutique dot the
bustling main quare. And while the town
maintains a relatively authentic vibe-locals
still gather in the square after dark to chitchat-the tourist presence is obvious. Internet cafes, luxury spas, and espresso bars
have popped up to erve American tastes.
The line at the Choco Banana coffee shop is
always 10deep, but the muffins are worth the
wait. What you won't find here, however,is a
Canctin-style party scene. Sayulita's sleepy
nightlife wears a decidedly casual ambience.
Tourists are too tired (in a good way) from
their daytime exploits to muster up more
than a night out for fajitas and a Corona at
the Sayulita Cafe before retiring to their
seaside villas.
Sayulita's tiny town leaves little to be
desired, but people here come mostly for
the beach: a secluded bay with clear-blue
water and colorful fishing boats tied up
along the shore. It's busy, but rarely what
you'd call crowded. During high-sun hours,
kids splash in the water, couple lather each
other with sunscreen, and the occasional
retiree holes up on a towel devouring a Tom
Clancy novel. But people-watching comes
as a secondary distraction here in Sayulita.
The waves-beautiful,
endless, one- and
com
Palisade is always in ~
It's always the perfect time to visit Palisade, Colorado, the quaint small town that
just happens to be the capital of Colorado's wine industry. Because whether you
enjoywine tasting, fine art, or fresh farm grown fruits and vegetables, there's
something fun to do here every single day of the year.
C01..0R
p~
.•• DO
J!.if 1:M1Ju
r~'
www.PalisadeTourisin.com
ScutJiure artwol1<cour\e:sy
cl May Monsfiekl
5280 TRAVELER
I 5280.COM I 27
IF YOU GO
=,
•
r: er Airlines runs direct flights from Denver
;:> erto Vallarta. Sayulita is 36 miles north of
- e Puerto Vallarta Airport. along Highway 200
a 45-minute drive). You can catch a taxi or bus
om the airport (fares range from $20 to $70.
.Jepending on the number of people). or rent a
car (try Europcar). Villa Amor (www.villaamor.
com features 42 beachfront villas with room rates
a g'ing from $78 to $1.200 during the winter
season. Book a surf lesson or mountain bike trip
• th Javier Chavez's Wildmex Sayulita Adventures
ww.wildmex.com). Surf lessons cost around $40
per person.
historictrinidad.
tional surf destination in the last 10yearsafter the Mexican government paved a
highway through the thick jungle, making
the town's pristine bay accessible to anyone
adventurous enough to rent a car and make
the mountainous trek.
But there's more to the town than just the
waves; its romantic hillside casitas, beautiful sand beaches, and inventive Mexican
restaurants offer plenty of diversions for the
nonsurfer set. Which is precisely why we've
chosen this place. If I chicken out on the surf
lesson (a very real possibility), at least we'll
still be in a beachy paradise.
Nearly everything in town rests within
walking distance of the beach. Quickservice taquerias, surf shops, fruit markets,
and the occasional tourist boutique dot the
bustling main quare. And while the town
maintains a relatively authentic vibe-locals
still gather in the square after dark to chitchat-the tourist presence is obvious. Internet cafes, luxury spas, and espresso bars
have popped up to erve American tastes.
The line at the Choco Banana coffee shop is
always 10deep, but the muffins are worth the
wait. What you won't find here, however,is a
Canctin-style party scene. Sayulita's sleepy
nightlife wears a decidedly casual ambience.
Tourists are too tired (in a good way) from
their daytime exploits to muster up more
than a night out for fajitas and a Corona at
the Sayulita Cafe before retiring to their
seaside villas.
Sayulita's tiny town leaves little to be
desired, but people here come mostly for
the beach: a secluded bay with clear-blue
water and colorful fishing boats tied up
along the shore. It's busy, but rarely what
you'd call crowded. During high-sun hours,
kids splash in the water, couple lather each
other with sunscreen, and the occasional
retiree holes up on a towel devouring a Tom
Clancy novel. But people-watching comes
as a secondary distraction here in Sayulita.
The waves-beautiful,
endless, one- and
com
Palisade is always in ~
It's always the perfect time to visit Palisade, Colorado, the quaint small town that
just happens to be the capital of Colorado's wine industry. Because whether you
enjoywine tasting, fine art, or fresh farm grown fruits and vegetables, there's
something fun to do here every single day of the year.
C01..0R
p~
.•• DO
J!.if 1:M1Ju
r~'
www.PalisadeTourisin.com
ScutJiure artwol1<cour\e:sy
cl May Monsfiekl
5280 TRAVELER
I 5280.COM I 27
two-foot rollers-grab your attention and
rarely let it go.
Before the highway, Sayulita used to be
a secret spot for American surfers. Now
it's been discovered. On a busy winter
weekend, the bay evokes something out
of a 1960s surf movie: countless bikiniclad beginners wobbling on their longboards, sporting big-toothed grins. It's
not the least bit intimidating, not in the
way that Hawaii or Costa Rica can be.
This is where the people come to learn.
BECAUSE OF SAYUlITA'S RELAXED personality, the
The fun warms up this summer at
Vail Cascade Resort. Escape to a
quiet corner of Vail, surrounded by a
mountain of outdoor activities that
make summertime the best time of all.
It's the ultimate summer getaway for
you, your family and friends.
30% off room rates, plus a $30 resort cred it with
our 30th anniversary offer. Some restrictions apply.
Promo code: VC5280
HIKING
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BOAT RACES AT THE POOL
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Vail Cascade Resort 11300 Westhaven Drive I Vail, CO 181657
I
800.282.4183 I VailCascadeSummer.com
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nem.
I
I
i1"---------------
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i~
I•
5280
AVAILABLE
ANYTIME,
ANYWHERE.
28 I
5280 TRAVELER
I
2012
fishing-village-turned-beach-town doesn't
attract the fancy SoCal clientele. Sayulita's
target demographic is twenty- and thirtysomething American adventure travelers
looking for an off-the-beaten-path escapade.
And that means it's an alluring vacation
destination for outdoor adventure-loving
Coloradans, and lots of them flock there.
By chance, we saw three people we knew
from Boulder during our three-day trip.
"People call this town Boulder by the Sea,"
says Javier Chavez, a 27-year-old surf guide
from Guadalajara and our go-to guy for the
weekend. "This town is really outdoorsy,just
like Colorado."
Chavez runs a company called Wildmex,
an adventure-tourism business that offers
surf lessons and camps, plus fishing and
kayaking outings, yoga classes, and even
mountain bike trips in and around Sayulita.
He has set me up with Michelle Richards,
a Canadian longboarder who's been tasked
with acclimating me to the ocean. When
she's not traveling the world to compete in
surf competitions, she works for Wildmex,
teaching beginners like me. Over the years
Chavez and his team of teacher-guides have
shown my husband several surf breaks in
the area: windswept beaches with names
like Burros and Punta Mita. "There are
other breaks I like to surf, too," Chavez
explains to me as we sit on beach chairs in
front of Villa Amor, our beachfront hotel.
"But I'm not going to tell you about those,"
he laughs. "There are a few places we Mexicans have to keep secret."
I'm secretly hoping that Day One of our
vacation-filled mostly with beach time and
margaritas-never ends, because Day Two
is surfing day.
But Richards, my surf instructor, arrives
at the hotel the next morning as scheduled,
surfboards stacked high atop her van. She
leans out the window and yells in a Canadian
accent, "I hear someone here wants to learn
how to surf!" Yep,that's me...I guess.
~~~~~1~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~1~~~~~~~l ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~j ~~~~~~~~~~~ UnL
Before we begin the lesson, I confess my
"aye phobia. Richards doesn't seem surpri ed-she's clearly run into this before
with her students-but
she doesn't seem
the least bit empathetic. She taught herself
ro urf in the freezing-cold waters of Nova
Scotia, She's not the kind of person to let a
Jule fear get in her way-or mille.
We start our lesson by standing on the
beach and watching the waves. She talks to
me, pointing things out. Here's how a wave
breaks. That's when you'll want to paddle.
ee, a wave won't hurt you ...unless you let it.
Then, lying on the beach, next to our boards,
we practice popping up-an all-important
move when you go from lying on your board
[Q standing and riding the wave. Then, she
decides I'm ready for the water.
A few meters offshore, I lie on the board
letting waves pass underneath me. The
waves are tiny; they're so small, in fact,
that Richards is able to stand in the water
next to me and hold my board in position.
The hardest element for me is the paddlegetting my scrawny arms around the board
and into the water takes Herculean effort.
But with enough coaxing and practice, I'm
mastering it.
"You're ready," Michelle says. "Let's
catch this wave." I spin the board around
and watch the approaching wave over my
shoulder. Somehow, the formerly tiny waves
now look colossaL "Not yet," she cautions.
"I'll tell you when to go. OK now! Paddle,
paddle, paddle!" I'm paddling like a madwoman. "Now stand up," she screams. And I
do-before immediately falling over into the
churning, frothing wave. The lesson goes on
like this for hours: me standing up on the
board for mere seconds before crashing
into the water. But.i.it's OK.After every fall
I realize that I'm not dead in the water. I'm
actually just fine. In fact, I'm having a great
time. I'm a terrible surfer, but I'm enjoying
it too much to be afraid.
THAT NIGHT WE head back to the SayuIita Cafe
[Q celebrate my accomplishment. With sunkissed cheeks and at least a gallon of water
in my ears, I wolf down a plate of hardearned fajitas. "So?" Tim baits me with a
smile. "Alright," I admit, "waves aren't that
cary" Surfing, it seems, is a sport that even
this landlocked Midwestern girl with a fear
ofthe ocean can conquer. I willcertainly surf
again. But, if given my choice, I'd still choose
calmer waters. ~
CHERYL MEYERS is a contributing
her at [email protected]
800.665.9757
j
g,305
GCBPackages.com
':Na5ial'f1 ~rlJ
Vidari!:JIl
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