Puerto Arista

puerto arista

After traveling most of the night by bus and arriving ahead of schedule we spent the remaining part of the early morning in the Tonalá bus station,  finally arriving in Puerto Arista around 7 a.m.  

An infinite expanse of beach that stretches as far as the eye can see, Puerto Arista is a small, sleepy beach town and the perfect place to end our first tour of the coast.  Other than the beach itself, the primary tourist attraction is the Campamento Tortuguero.  Here volunteers work to protect the sea turtle population and visitors are welcome to tour the facilities as well as to assist with the releasing of hatchlings into the ocean and to return as volunteers themselves if they so desire. 

We were fortunatesea turtle enough to arrive when a new batch of hatchlings had just been born, despite the fact that we were completely out of normal nesting season.  Once hatched, the babies are entirely independent and ready to be released into the sea within 24 hours, sometimes sooner.  Sadly, out of the hundreds of hatchlings born at any given time only one or two will survive into adulthood.  Once grown however, these giant creatures can live to be up to 80 years old.

Puerto Arista has also served as our first introduction to Mexico’s southern-most state of Chiapas.  Sharing a border with Guatemala, the state of Chiapas is Mexico’s poorest and home to many of the countries indigenous communities.  Like many border regions, this area of Mexico struggles with illegal migration issues.  However, the small population of Central Americans currently calling Puerto Arista and other parts of Chiapas home may not be hanging around for long as many are simply passing through on their way north to find work in the United States.

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