When I ask Mexicans what beach resort they would recommend, I personally think that more Mexicans would name Puerto Vallarta than the famous Cancun.
In the mountains behind Puerto Vallarta, there was a hot spring that even the locals knew little about.
Cancun on the Caribbean coast is a world-famous beach resort, but it is often expensive for Mexico.
Acapulco, also famous for its beaches, has been suffering from a drug war that has worsened security.
Meanwhile, increasingly popular is Puerto Vallarta, located on the west coast in the state of Jalisco.
It is not as close to famous ruins as Cancun, and the beaches are not as beautiful, but it is a great place to enjoy an inexpensive vacation.
A little adventure
Puerto Vallarta International Airport, which also offers direct flights from the United States and Canada, is bordered on the north by the Ameca River.
This river is the border between the states of Jalisco and Nayarit.
It was about an hour and a half drive each way into the state of Nayarit to the Nuevo Ixtlan.
The road was so bad that I was worried that bandits might appear.
Three times I had to drive across fords with no bridges.
I managed to drive through in a Nissan March, so unless it was raining, I don't think a special vehicle was necessary.
Nuevo Ixtlan is a little-known campground in a deep forest.
There is only a small store, so it is best to bring your own food.
I changed into my swimsuit in the primitive changing room.
There were a total of about 20 pools of not so large sizes.
Each group is assigned a pool, so you cannot enter any other pool, but you will not be in the same pool as others.
The visitors were all locals, and when Asians like me mixed in, I was talked to from all directions.
The adults were seen chatting lazily around the BBQ stove while letting the children play in the pool.
At only 40 Mexican Pesos per person per day, this was a reasonable way to spend a holiday.
The lukewarm water of about 95 degrees F was free-flowing.
It was tasteless, odorless, and appeared to be slightly cloudy.
It was an interesting spot close to Puerto Vallarta, which has few tourist attractions, although I asked around to the hotel staff and the cab driver, and they just said, "I don't know anything about that."