It was the very first place I visited in Mexico and I have never publicly mentioned its name ever since. I tried to keep it distanced from the masses. But things had changed. A lot.
It was love at first sight. My Mexican friends showed me this place on my first visit. We traveled from Ciudad de México for almost a full day before we got there. First, an all-night bus ride, only to hop on a local minibus in the morning, where we were squeezed in for the next eight hours. Then a brief refreshment in a small town by the ocean, another minibus, a taxi through the jungle, a boat across the lagoon, and finally an hour-long jeep ride to our destination.
But then came the reward: a beautiful virgin beach where the Pacific meets a fabulous inland lagoon. A tropical paradise. No signal, just a sky full of stars and a few settlers in simple houses.
So far, I'd only known this from travel documentaries. Here, they've become a lived reality. A place where you lose track of time because it doesn't do you any good. Everything is guided by the sunrise and sunset. A place where you're in no hurry, because why would you be? A place where you don't need a phone or a computer, because why would you? Your only duty was to get up in the morning so you wouldn't miss the most spectacular sunrise, swim in the warm waters of the Pacific, recharge with fresh fruit and shrimp, and then lie in a hammock in the shade of a palm tree and cool off with an ice cold beer.
I probably don't need to explain more why that beach has since become my holy land. That's also why I decided to keep it a secret and never disclose its name and location. It wasn't some godforsaken spot hiding from the world, but even many of my Mexican friends didn't know about it at the time.
The very next year I managed to get to the beach again, this time alone. But it was almost the same delight. Then I went back the next year. They already knew me there, and the lady who rented me the cabin gave me the Wi-Fi password when I arrived. This time I wasn't the only western visitor, there were considerably more tourists. But it still worked.
Next time I brought my girlfriend along to share this secret with her. She was as excited as I was the first time. By this time I could see things changing before my eyes - there were more foreigners, more restaurants, more flickering bars, and more accommodations, including fancy two-story cottages with terraces and air conditioning. A year later, mass tourism was lurking from all corners - even when I chatted with a Canadian tourist at the airport on the way somewhere, he asked me about this place. He said he had heard nothing but compliments about it. It was clear that more and more people were falling in love with this beach. Our relationship became polyamory and the holy land became a harem.
Still, I came again. In one of the beach huts, I went to breakfast the next morning. They routinely served simple meals on wooden tables perched in the sand. I liked the place because it was quiet and you could enjoy breakfast overlooking the ocean waves. This time, however, there was a lively discussion coming out of the hut. Some dude with a bun of hair and lots of profound symbols tattooed all over his body was trying to argue in English for his right to the internet with the owner of the cabin. She asked him in tentative English if he wanted coffee, and he lashed out at her saying: I'll have coffee when the internet is working! And he pointed to a computer that was sitting abandoned on one of the tables overlooking the ocean.
The waitress tried to indicate to him in a servile tone that she would solve the problem somehow, and she picked up the phone to call someone and ask for help. Then she repeated the question, asking if the guy would like coffee. He asked her what kind of coffee and what kind of milk they served in this hut in the middle of nowhere. He finally settled for her offering him coconut milk with his black coffee. He went back to his computer and after a while, he cheered with satisfaction in his voice that the internet was up and running. The joyous day could finally begin.