I consider myself very fortunate to be following my dreams and traveling the world full-time. However, that’s not to say that the nomadic lifestyle will always be for me. One day I do hope to have a house, a kitchen-aid, pets and other various possessions that don’t stow away in a backpack so easily.
In fact, I often consider my travels an extended search for the perfect place to eventually ‘settle down’ in. There are a couple of contenders for first place from around the globe, but right now I can easily give the award to San Pancho, Mexico. This sleepy beach town stole my heart from the moment I arrived, and though I only spent six weeks there, they were six weeks that left a lasting impression.
Here are just 6 things about San Pancho that I’ll never forget:
1. The Community Arts Center
EntreAmigos is the town’s non-profit community center in a re-purposed warehouse. In addition to the regular classes and workshops it offers, there’s a library, café, equipment from Cirque de Soleil, a recycling center, and a re-sale shop! The center is in many ways the core of the town, a place where people volunteer, meet, play and discover.
2. The Baby Sea Turtles
The journey from the sand to the sea is a long one for turtles, especially with all the light pollution in towns and cities to confuse their sense of direction. Luckily, a local ecological group in San Pancho works to ensure that the turtles make it to the sea. Tourists and locals alike can take part in releasing Olive Ridley turtles on the beach at sunset.
3. The Local Food
I have a bit of a guilty obsession with Mexican food. But with delectable menu choices like fresh margaritas, fish tacos, huevos rancheros, and guacamole…how could I possibly resist? San Pancho might be small, but it boasts a number of great restaurants serving delicious food. There’s also a fruits and veggie truck that comes around town on a daily basis, delivering inexpensive local produce to your doorstep!
4. The Yoga
I practice yoga regularly, but often on my own in a hotel room. The opportunity to slow down and get involved at a community yoga studio did my soul and body a lot of good. The El Estar yoga studio is located in the center of town, and offers a variety of classes each day. There are numerous yoga classes offered in the nearby town of Sayulita as well.
5. The Dogs
The dogs in San Pancho are perhaps the happiest dogs I have ever seen. Though most of them have owners, they are treated like they belong to the community. It was quite a surprise the first time I came downstairs to find a canine snooping in my kitchen, but as I came to know their names and personalities, it was soon like having any other visitor stop by to say hello.
6. The Noise
In my opinion, Mexico is never quiet. There are the vendors that drive around town, shouting out what they are selling from a loud speaker. There are the car horns and the dogs barking and the kids screaming. And in my case, there were free zumba classes in the plaza behind my house. The zumba teacher insisted on playing her music loud enough to shake the walls around me—twice a day, every day. The noise pollution drove me insane at first, but ultimately I learned to see it as an endearing characteristic, and a testament to the fun-loving, spirited Mexican culture.
San Pancho is located just a few minutes from the popular destination of Sayulita, in the Riviera Nayarit. The closest international airport is in Puerto Vallarta.
Have you ever heard of San Pancho, Mexico? Does this sound like a place you would like to visit?