Careyes, Mexico - located in the state of Jalisco - was an undiscovered, uninhabited jungle of vegetation offset by the rugged Sierra Madre Mountain ranges until Gian Franco Brignone, an Italian who made his fortune in oil, searched the world to find the optimum environment in which he could live opulently amidst untouched nature, discovered the Pacific coast town during the mid-‘60s. Seventeen years later, he built the first of several multi-million dollar mansions, a penchant that soon caught on with the rich and famous all over the world. Careyes has slowly become a sophisticated Eden for the privileged and elite whose appetites are indulged without limits.
But move over Brignone and your cultured friends. The beauty and opulence of Careyes is getting around. How could it not? Careyes is located on a scenic 93-mile expanse of crystalline Pacific coast shoreline, interspersed with rugged cliffs and jungle, between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta. That sweeping vista is called the Jalisco Costa Alegre or, for we gringos, the “happy coast.” No kidding.
This ecologically protected region of Jalisco is becoming a popular tourist destination due to its multitude of gorgeous, often secluded, white-sand beaches, 75°F average temperatures, and 345 days of sunshine.
In Careyes, there is plenty of sailing, scuba diving, snorkeling, horseback riding, golf and tennis year-round. December – April is the very busy “social season” around Careyes, when a virtual “Who’s Who” in renowned Polo players and fans of the sport come from around the world for Polo season. Careyes’ two Polo fields are the main attraction with galas to follow.
Most visitors will fly into either the Puerto Vallarta or the Manzanillo Airport. At either airport, visitors can get to Careyes by renting a car, requesting hotel pick up (some hotels will do this with prior reservation), or rent a Bell 222 helicopter with 7-passenger seating (requires prior reservation).
From Puerto Vallarta, it’s a 2-hour drive south on U.S. Highway 200
From Manzanillo, it’s a 1-hour drive north on US Highway 200.
Take heart travelers, there is room for everyone at Careyes. Careyes may be dripping in luxury, but a surprising number of affordable restaurants and hotel accommodations are available. I’m sure the owners will be delighted to share the Jalisco Costa Alegre with you.