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

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

  1. Stéphane Beck December 28, 2016 at 7:01 pm #

    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!

    • Shannon O'Donnell December 29, 2016 at 8:41 am #

      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!

  2. Shanon Dean January 18, 2016 at 3:23 pm #

    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!

    • Shannon O'Donnell January 18, 2016 at 4:12 pm #

      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, shannonrodonnell@gmail.com, or shoot me a link on the Facebook page. Did you guys coat yourselves in the mud?! :)

      • Shanon Dean January 18, 2016 at 4:21 pm #

        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!

  3. Nomad is Beautiful February 12, 2014 at 4:56 am #

    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!

    • Shannon O'Donnell February 12, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

      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 February 12, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

        Cool, Thank you very much, Shannon :)

  4. steve padilla December 15, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    Your such an inspiration Shannon.thank you.

  5. emptyowe May 9, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    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 May 9, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

      No worries! My friend Victoria from http://www.bridgesandballoons.com 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! :)

  6. Thomas Dembie May 3, 2013 at 11:42 pm #

    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 May 3, 2013 at 11:58 pm #

      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 :)

  7. Proteinsindia May 3, 2013 at 12:56 am #

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

  8. Kate May 1, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    omg. looks amazing!

  9. Annie Shustrin May 1, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    love the puppy shot! she kinda looks like mine!

    • ShannonOD May 1, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

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

  10. Andi Perullo de Ledesma April 30, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

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

    • ShannonOD May 1, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

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

  11. Janelle April 30, 2013 at 10:19 am #

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

    • ShannonOD May 1, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

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

  12. Lindsay Hogg April 30, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    Love your dog!

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