This photo shows the sand bar that gives Barra de Navidad its name,  The town center and main street follows the line of the beach.  The water taxi docks are shown at the center right of the photo.

This photo of Barra de Navidad shows Bahia de Navidad (Pacific Ocean) to the left, the Grand Bay hotel and marina in the foreground, the Barra Lagoon to the right, and the entrance to the canal system in the upper right.  The duplex is located just below the red arrow.  A water taxi ride into the town center takes less than a minute.

For those of you who have no idea where Barra de Navidad is located, here's a map showing us between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo on the west coast of Mexico.

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BARRA DE NAVIDAD OVERVIEW

Barra de Navidad is a small town on the beautiful Costalegre section of Mexico's west coast, situated about four hours south of Puerto Vallarta by car or bus, and just half an hour taxi ride from the Manzanillo airport.  Barra is sustained by fishing and tourism.  Although there is a small year round gringo population, which naturally swells during the tourist season, Barra is truly a Mexican town where Mexican nationals bring their families for vacation.  There are many excellent restaurants, and some fun night life in Barra, but it's a much quieter, less commercial, and much less expensive town than the large Mexican resort cities.  

Barra is home to a multinational gringo population, the majority of whom come down for the December through April season, although as mentioned, there is a small year round gringo population as well.  Unlike other areas in Mexico, such as Lake Chapala or San Carlos, the gringos don't overwhelm the population here, we are only a small, but welcome, percentage of the total.  Barra is a safe place to live or vacation.  The population is a little over 4000 people.  There are many beautiful homes in Barra, especially in the canal areas.  Temperatures average 75 to 85 degrees Farenheit (24 to 30 degrees Celcius) during the tourist season and 75 to 93 degrees Farenheit (24 to 35 degrees Celcius) during the summer and rainy season - from June through October.  There are cooling ocean breezes that come up most afternoons all year round.

It is also a destination for cruising sailors, large yachts, and fishing boats during the season.  The lagoon will have up to 35 or 40 sailboats anchored out, and the Grand Bay marina is filled with yachts up to 100 feet or more.  Sport fishing is also a big draw, with several annual fishing tourneys and many fishing captains available to take you out any time.  The Grand Bay Hotel, across the lagoon on Isla Navidad, also boasts a truly awesome 18 hole golf course.  

There are many places to explore.  Melaque, at the other end of Bahia Navidad, Cuastecomates, La Manzanilla, and Tenacatita - all to the north of Barra offer a change of pace and some unique sights.  Be sure to visit the crocodiles in La Manzanilla, about a 20 minute bus or taxi ride north of Barra.  Barra is the perfect destination for those looking for a quiet, relaxing time in an authentic Mexican town on a beautiful stretch of coast line with near perfect weather during the season.

From a practical perspective, the port city of Manzanillo is about a 40 minute drive south of Barra.  Manzanillo airport can accommodate 737-size jets and caters to Alaska Air, Continental, American, and charters from Canada, some only during the season of December through May, but Alaska Air flies into Manzanillo year round.  And, if you need them, Manzanillo also has Walmart, Sam's Club, Home Depot, Office Max, and other large brand name stores.

For more information about Barra de Navidad and the surrounding areas, go to
www.tomzap.com.