Friday, August 29, 2014


New Malecon in La Penita de Jaltemba

    La Peñita de Jaltemba is very much a Mexican town, including cobblestone roads, and my first impression of it from Highway Mex. 200 has never been very positive as we would zoom past on our way to prettier places south of here. But, we decided to stay for a few days this year and get to know it better. We discovered that the state of Nayarit has allocated funds to give the Malecón a face-lift, including the Nayarit logo, geometric patterns painted in the colors of the Mexican flag, green, red, and white, and the result is that the beachfront area is much more inviting. We found that La Peñita is a lively town with plenty to do. We also discovered that the locals here are very laid back and friendly. That’s probably why we have grown to love it.
     La Peñita, as it is known by the locals, is a beehive of activity at 6:30AM when it is waking up and the school kids are walking to school dressed in their uniforms, carrying backpacks.
Things are quiet during siesta from 2:00 to 4:00 PM, when everyone goes home for the main meal of the day and a rest period. Then things come alive again after sunset, around 6:00
Palapa & Beach at Little Rigs RV Park
when the downtown main street, the Malecón, and the Plaza are full of people watching people, couples strolling along, men sitting in groups talking, people eating ice cream cones, and some going to dinner.

     Our first impression of La Peñita was not a very positive one, mostly due to the narrow dirt roads, low hanging electrical wires, and piles of garbage on some corners. We decided we wanted to see if we could squeeze our 32 foot Class A motorhome, under the hanging electrical wires, down the narrow cobblestone streets, and around the tight turn into the gate of the Little Rigs RV Park. The first obstacle was a TV cable that hung between second story windows on opposite sides of the street. Jon got out of the motorhome to survey the situation. Several friendly locals came out of their homes and offered to lift the cable up so we could drive under it. Jon climbed up on the motorhome roof and eyed our air conditioning unit and decided it would barely clear the cable. 

Lovely Pool at Little Rigs RV Park
     When we got to the gate of the RV Park, I got out of the motorhome to direct while Jon drove around the corner and through the gate without hitting any walls or their gate. It is called Little Rigs RV Park for a good reason—our 32 foot motorhome was the largest that had ever entered that gate! We had quite a crowd of RVers and the owners watching as Jon expertly maneuvered into the small Park. We hoped that we would be able to fit into one of the few full hookup sites at Little Rigs RV Park. The owners of the RV Park, a Canadian couple, Brian and Carole Francoeur, were happy to accommodate us, and even pruned a tree back to give us the extra 2 feet of space we needed. That was when our opinion of La Penita began to change for the better.

     The Little Rigs RV Park was very enjoyable, situated on the beach, with a nice sea breeze. There was a sweet little swimming pool that the owners kept very clean and was naturally warmed to about 84 degrees, a great place for an afternoon dip and a chat with the other campers. Brian and Carole’s home is on the property, surrounded by pretty gardens and grass planted on the sand to keep the dust and dirt to a minimum.  The palapa next to the beach was the gathering place at happy hour to watch the sunset. Everyone we met there was very friendly, and we added this to our list of places to return to each winter.
Zumba with Nicole at El Studio
   ZUMBA WITH NICOLE IN LA PEÑITA: Nicole teaches an excellent Zumba class at El Studio in La Peñita and the music is great. I especially appreciated the tile floor in El Studio. After doing Zumba on concrete basketball courts in many Mexican towns, the smooth surface of this dance floor was a real treat. I also liked that Nicole led us in some floor exercises for toning and stretching near the end of class. The day after my first class with her, I felt some muscles that hadn't been exercised in a while! I really enjoyed Zumba with Nicole and look forward to going again!

     Nicole gives several classes daily, Monday through Friday.  No wonder she's in such great shape! The schedule changes periodically, so check for updates at or stop by El Studio on the main Avenida in La Penita. You can also check for information on the Jaltemba Jalapeno Forum at or call El Studio at (322)171-5810 or (322)137- 5721 or (327)978-8378.
     Jon and I had dinner our last night in town at El Rincón del Árabe. It is located at Avenida Emiliano Zapata #72, specializing in food from Arabia, France, Mexico, Italy, Spain and the Orient. This restaurant was a great place for us to have dinner when we needed a change from the usual Mexican dishes. I had the Chicken Curry and it was delicious! Jon had the Shrimp Alfredo and it was such a large portion, He ate until he was satisfied and took home enough for his lunch the next day. The salad served before the main course was exceptionally tasty and fresh. I highly recommend this restaurant in their new location near the Malecón. Contact owners Haitham and Lucy Dlensi at or (327)107-0388 or cell phone (322)111-8718.


     For more information on La Peñita de Jaltemba and other great places to visit or live in in Mexico, look for my book later in 2014: "Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico: A Search for Sunshine, Sassy Exercise, Savory Food, and a Simpler Life".

COPYRIGHT © 2014 by Terry L Turrell
No part of this publication May be Reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or Transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, scanning, photocopying, recording, or Otherwise, without prior written permission .


  1. Right here are multiple hints to maintain your trailer secure.
    You ought to never park in shady searching places due to the fact it is more likely that thieves will use it as shelter.

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    1. Anamul, have you ever been to La Penita or Mexico? Your comment does not seem to apply to any RV Parks we have been to in this town or any in Mexico.