Everything You Need to Know About Boca Del Cielo: Heaven’s Mouth
Would you believe me if I told you there was a beach where iguanas roamed free among coconut trees, fresh seafood was at your disposal for 12 hours a day, and you’d have an entire beach to yourself — all to the soundtrack of Steel Pulse?
Ya’ll, this is paradise personified. Mexico did it again.
The best part? This weekend getaway only cost me about $200. And that included everything — transportation, private cabana stay — even food. And you thought it couldn’t get any better. (Scroll to the bottom of the article for the price breakdown!)
Getting to Boca del Cielo
Boca del Cielo (which translates to Heaven’s Mouth) lives up to its name. This secret slice of the Pacific lies just 3 1/2 hours south of my (current) home in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico and is part lagoon, part beach and all idyll . It still remains widely unknown, partially due to the face that it was exclusively a fisherman’s village until the late 90s when it became a beach destination.
Getting there was easy enough, but required a lot of transfers: a bus, a taxi, a second taxi and a boat. I felt like I was in a Dr. Seuss book.
We started off our trip by taking an ADO bus (GL, baby!) from Tuxtla Gutiérrez to Tonalá. From there, we expected to take a taxi directly from the station to the coast, but the taxi driver informed us that it was an hour-long ride and that we’d have to take a collectivo (shared taxi).
Once we made it to the collectivo station, there was no one else waiting to go to Boca del Cielo, so we ended up having that taxi to ourselves as well. After loading our bags into the trunk, we set off on the ride to the coast. It was very scenic and very (very, very) hot. Most of the older cars in Mexico don’t have AC (including the one that we were riding in) and the temperature hovered somewhere around 98 degrees. Like I said though, it was scenic, so that helped.
After about 45 minutes, we arrived at Estacionamiento de Don Lupe in the tiny town of Boca del Cielo. Our hosts had already arranged for a boat to come pick us up from the port, so once again, we loaded up our bags and went on our way.
I’m somewhat dramatic, because the boat ride across the lagoon was a whopping 3 minutes, but it felt like such a long journey when all was said and done.
Finally, we’d arrived.
Where to Stay: La Luna
At the time of this writing, there are only three properties available for rent in Boca de Cielo: La Luna, Turtle House and Tachinaste. All three are available to book through AirBnb.
I opted to stay at La Luna, a paradisaical property owned by a sweet Italian couple and the oldest (and most reputable) on the beach, and I’m so glad that we did. We visited the other 2 properties mentioned above during our stay and, eh… Turtle House was to hostel-y for my taste (although their fish tacos were the best I’ve ever had) and Tachinaste (who charged $160/NIGHT for their rooms) had some real Fyre fest shit going on.
La Luna came exactly as advertised: “A rustic place, clean and without luxuries.” Externally, the cabanas were exactly what you picture when you think of huts on an island: small, wooden, a thatched roof made from dried palm leaves and mosquito nets serving as windows. On the inside, they’re just as simple: a bed with a mosquito net, small table, hammock, fan, shelves and a basic bathroom (with no hot water). Solar energy powers the two light bulbs and fan in the cabana. They’re not fancy by any means, but they accompany the laid-back beach experience perfectly.
The property doesn’t allow pets (which was great, it was nice to not have to worry about stepping in animal waste on the beach) or outside food and drinks (this also was no problem, as this is how the owners make the bulk of their money and there are some amazing chefs on site).
There’s no AC, so expect to sweat quite a bit (the sea breeze does make the heat more bearable though, especially at night). In fact, there are no outlets at all in the cabanas. There’s no wifi either. So don’t expect to come to Boca del Cielo to get any work done. This town, and this resort, is strictly relaxation only.
What to Do
If you’re a wuss like me, you won’t get much sleep at La Luna. I fall asleep to Netflix pretty much every night after gorging myself on almond milk and fresh-baked cookies (okay, not every night, but you get the picture).
The nighttime experience that La Luna provides is the polar opposite of my normal routine. It’s pitch black. There are bugs (lots of them), unidentified noises from unidentified creatures (is it a cow, is it an anteater, who knows?) and heat (lots of heat). On the first night, I woke up drenched in sweat every hour on the hour, terrified of the darkness until I remembered where I was. The second night wasn’t as bad, but hut-life is something serious.
These are such first world problems, I know. BUT, all that being said, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be searching for things to do to fill up the day. I wanted to make sure that I was exhausted as possible so that I’d have some chance of falling asleep by nightfall.
The truth is that there isn’t much to do in Boca del Cielo, but that’s kind of the point. It’s all about simple pleasures:
Enjoy the isolation and privacy that the beach provides. While it’s technically not a nude beach, there are so few people around that no one blinks an eye at a pair of boobs on the beach. It’s the perfect place to get that glow that we all desire, at any time of year. Get some writing done, or finally finish that book that you’ve been meaning to wrap up. Meditate. Whatever’s on your to-do list, get it done. I’m embarrassed to say that it was incredibly difficult for me to completely unplug, even for a weekend. But I’m glad that I did it!
Take it all in. We spent hours laying in hammocks talking, enjoying each other’s company and watching iguanas scurry up the surrounding coconut trees. We chased ghost crabs and sea snails across the beach like little kids and loved every minute of it. We witnessed wild cows roaming the beach in search of grass after they were chased off of La Luna’s property. Because there weren’t many “activities” available, every little experience became that much more special and memorable.
Eat. It goes without saying that the seafood on the island is all fresh and all delicious. I don’t normally eat ceviche, but the ceviche here was incredible. The grilled fish was amazing. Even the pomodoro pasta was bomb (our hosts were Italian, remember?). We ate most of our meals at La Luna, but the one afternoon that we ventured off of the property to Turtle House, I had the best fish tacos of my life.
Drink. I’m not a big drinker, but I had a pina colada with every meal at La Luna and I don’t regret it in the slightest. If you are a drinker, well, this is truly your paradise — liquor is cheap and abundant (really, the average drink was about $2). Bonus: in an effort to keep the beach as clean as it is, La Luna will give you a free beer for every bag of trash that you collect from the shore and bring to them. It’s a win-win.
Stargaze. Oh man. I’ve never seen the stars as clearly as I saw them here. There were clusters upon clusters of stars that just aren’t visible with the light pollution in most cities. It’s mesmerizing and humbling at the same time. I tried to photograph them, but of course the images didn’t do the scene justice. Like I said, when you get to this place, be prepared to fully unplug.
Hatch baby turtles! Unfortunately, we weren’t able to do this, as most turtles are born during the rainy season (August-January) but this is definitely something to look into if you’re there during that time frame.
Ah, my favorite topic. Ya’ll know I’m a bargainer at heart, so this trip’s price tag made me very happy. Here’s the breakdown (in USD, and remember that this is the total for 2 people):
Bus rides (round-trip from Tuxtla): $50.52
Taxi rides (round-trip from Tonala): $24.47
Lodging (2 nights at La Luna): $53
All food and drinks: $77.36
For an entire beach to yourself and all the food you can eat? You can’t beat that.
If all of the above isn’t enough to convince you to visit, I hope that this video will:
This tiny town could use your tourist bucks, and every dollar that you spend will be more than worth it.
Is Boca del Cielo now on your list of places that you never knew you wanted to visit? Let me know below!