A Little Oasis … Fun, Mud, and Friends on Beach in Mexico

I found a slice of paradise last week. I rarely use terms like “paradise” because it feels overdone to claim each new place is better than the next. But in terms of where I was personally, this place was a slice of perfection for what I needed at that moment. From my town, the hike to this secluded mud beach is two hours; we cheated and a friend drove us to the top of the trail leading down to the beach, which meant we had to hike for about 45 minutes through the jungle before sighting patch of beach we would call home for the day.

a mud beach in near San Pancho, Mexico

We erupted onto the beach (or at least I did since I slid and tripped on the trail more times than I’d like to cop to) as the trail’s steep slope abruptly ended on a quarter-mile stretch of sand bracketed on both ends by rocky outcroppings. The beach’s one drawback is a lack of shade, but beach-goers before us constructed a sturdy lean-to (a juxtaposition of terms but apt) from palm fronds and twine. With shade and a fire-pit we had the makings for a full day on our isolated beach, which we nicknamed Pandora since we were about to act out scenes from Avatar.

The beach’s strongest selling point is the blue therapeutic mud hidden in the walls lining the beach. Our ragtag group of eight embraced the prospect of slathering ourselves in mud with thorough enthusiasm and over the course of an hour we each became a unified shade of pale milky blue.

a mud beach in near San Pancho, Mexico

a mud beach in near San Pancho, Mexico

And once coated, it was playtime while the clay soaked its healthful benefits into our skin.

a mud beach in near San Pancho, Mexico

a mud beach in near San Pancho, Mexico

What day is complete without a jumping shot!

And when the mud so dry and caked into our skin that we could no longer move, we rinsed off in the ocean.

The rocks bracketing the beach were my favorite part of the day. These were rocks the universe planted at just the right height for me to crawl all over them to explore the nooks and crannies of life living in the pools of water. My friend’s puppy, Loki, joined me for the exploration and we hunted crabs, snails, and fish in the tiny tidal pools created from the force of the water cresting against the rocks.

a mud beach in near San Pancho, Mexico

The boys in our group caught these (I am not fast enough and am always afraid I will squish them when I am trying to capture them!):


hermit crab


She looks all cute, but she’s a scaredy-cat and made me climb up on the high rocks to rescue her!


a mud beach in near San Pancho, Mexico

a mud beach in near San Pancho, Mexicoa mud beach in near San Pancho, Mexico

It was a day of laughter, play, and friends in a setting most would call idyllic. :)

a mud beach in near San Pancho, Mexico

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  • Love your dog!

  • Your photos are gorgeous. Now I want to go to Mexico!

    • ShannonOD

      It’s sunny and warm down here if you need a quick break! ;-)

  • These photos are magnificent! If I hadn’t already visited Mexico a hundred times, I’d be booking a flight tonight!!!

    • ShannonOD

      Thanks Andi! The biggest selling factor for me is the sunshine :)

  • love the puppy shot! she kinda looks like mine!

    • ShannonOD

      Then yours is seriously cute! All the expats here have dogs and I love it! :)

  • Kate

    omg. looks amazing!

  • Proteinsindia

    When I read this post about mexico I kin to go there in this summer superb Post i Love this!

  • Thomas Dembie

    Looks like so much fun! Our summer home on a lake has clay in some areas, so we end up with some fun pictures like yours every once in a while! Love the hermit crab photos too!

    • ShannonOD

      It was so fun Thomas! Besides an afternoon at the Dead Sea, I had never really just relaxed and enjoyed a beach with the mud. I can only imagine having full access to it all summer — oh the wacky photos you could think up with ample time :)

  • How did you pick this town to live in? (forgive me if it’s answered in another post – I haven’t dug around yet)

    • ShannonOD

      No worries! My friend Victoria from did a yoga teacher training here and when I was looking for a place to go, she suggested I come here. Then I got hooked on the energy and the mix of locals and expats and stayed! :)

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  • steve padilla

    Your such an inspiration Shannon.thank you.

  • Nomad is Beautiful

    Indeed a marvelous place to bookmark :) I do love it a lot! And if you can do a mud therapy outdoor, what else can one need? Wonderful!

    • It can be tricky to find it, but if you make it there, just ask around with the locals and they are usually pretty good about helping you navigate — it’s just a perfect daytrip! :)

      • Nomad is Beautiful

        Cool, Thank you very much, Shannon :)

  • Shanon Dean

    We went yesterday and it was amazing! So so so incredible! My momma and I are staying San Pancho for 3 weeks and love it here. Sayulita is lovely too. Thank you so much for your post. Definitely a bucket list item. Wish I could send you pictures!

    • Oh yay! I am so glad that you found it! And that you had a great time. So wonderful, and you are just going to love your weeks in SP — I wish I could go back asap. You can totes send a photo if you have some,, or shoot me a link on the Facebook page. Did you guys coat yourselves in the mud?! :)

      • Shanon Dean

        We sure did! It was awesome! Already been here a week and have 2 more in San Pancho and then 4 nights in Puerto vallarta. I add some pictures to the facebook page!

  • Stéphane Beck

    Hi Shanon, it’s probably been a while since you left the area, but if you remember any other details on how (from where?) to access the beach it’d be so appreciated! Is it near Las Lomas, north of San Pancho? Thanks!

    • Good question. One of my readers accessed it through Lo De Marcos beach. The mud isn’t there, but with a scramble along the rocks south of the beach, you come to the enclave where the blue mud resides along some of the edges. Perhaps ask around in town? I didn’t access it from Lo De Marcos, we hiked through a friend’s forested property, but an ALA reader sent me a pick of her and said she found it from Lo De Marcos. Hope that helps!