Day Trips

From La Barrita, Petatlan is approximately a 20 minute drive. The ‘combie’ (a Mexican micro bus) comes by every 15 minutes or so picking up passengers along the way. There is a bench for waiting, but the drivers watch for pickups anywhere along the stretch of road. Most everyone that rides the combie is friendly, and greet all with a cheery salutation when they get on and off. From La Barrita to Petatlan, the fare for the combie (as of 2016) is 16 pesos.

The first town that you drive through is Las Salinas, famous for its salt making. During the dry months, plots are farmed and salt is heaped up in piles ready to be harvested and packaged. Once the rainy season comes, in June or July, the plots are flooded, and the process is put on hold until the dry season comes around again.

Another town that you go through on the way to Petatlan is Julachuca. This town is famous for two things: its pigs and coconut plantation. I was once told there are more pigs than people in Julachuca (an exaggeration I’m sure), but it is not uncommon to see them snorting along in random places in the town. There are many vendors along the highway selling coconut everything and anything. I have discovered coconut hearts; served fresh and cold they are delicious. I also like to buy coconut oil in Julachuca, such an amazing oil for so many different remedies. And of course, the most popular sale is the assortment of coconut candies.

The small city of Petatlan was founded in 1550, and is pretty much known for 3 things: its typical Mexican street scene, the church, and the gold vendors. One of the largest buildings in the city is the Catholic Church, called ‘Church of the Father of Jesus de Petatlán’. The story of ‘The holy patron of Petatlan’ goes back to the 1500’s, when a statue was found in the river of Jesus complete with cross. The locals took this as a miracle, and built the church to house it. Later in years the town suffered an earthquake, and the church was rebuilt in a more modern classic style. Outside the church are many vendors selling religious paraphernalia, as well as goldsmiths selling jewelry. I like that I can walk down the street of the gold merchants and look at the jewelry and not feel pressured to buy, unlike a more touristy destinations. Also in Petatlan is a pharmacy, clinic, hospital, hardware store, grocery store, market, vehicles maintenance shops, clothing, and bus depot; pretty much anything that you would expect from a city its size.

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