|In the 1800's the entire area from La Barra to Montepio, including Balzapote was owned by a French family The area was
almost unoccupied until the land give aways of the 1960's which attracted settlers from the northern reaches of San Andrés
The village, population 505, is so called "godforsaken" and few tourists make the effort to visit its pristine beaches and forlorn
remnants of a major enterprise in Los Tuxtlas
. There are no usual tourism facilities aside from tiny grocery stores. Several of the homes near the shore offer camp sites and
some convert their kitchens to restaurants. At times palapas are constructed to serve fresh seafood.
Update Nov 2011 - there is now a permanent restaurant that also rents rooms.
When you enter the town, you notice some abandoned structures along the beach. They are not Olmec, but date to days when
gravel was mined here. The dilapidated pier is right in front and good for a stroll and casting a fishing line. The harbor is a great
place to swim because it is somewhat protected from the waves.
Frequently campers discover the southern beach accessible via wading a shallow river which turns into a nightmare during
heavy rains, as evidenced by the washout of its bridge. An abandoned road leads up the neighboring hill and provides some
great views. Below is the rocky beach of the ghosts. You can apparently see them when you camp there.
The north beach can be driven if you have a truck you don´t like because access is across a pile of rocks. The beach is about a
mile long and ends at a small hill and a series of offshore rocks which make for great snorkeling. If you climb across the hill or
walk around it during low tide, you will find a completely isolated beach, and you get to play Robinson Crusoe.
Surfing is allegedly good, according to some survivors of the offshore waters.
|Last visit Nov 2011
This is the only port in Los Tuxtlas and attracts shrimpers and other fishermen in inclement weather. Balzapote is my favorite
accessible beach in Los Tuxtlas, and my preferred place to swim and frolic.
Its existence as a port arose from Veracruz City's need to enlarge its own port, and the consequent dismantling of a Los Tuxtlas
hill to provide gravel. The port of Veracruz is now expanding and has been trying to get permission to excavate again.
Mel Gibson used the southern end of Balzapote beach which was not affected by gravel mining to film the Spanish arrival
scenes for his movie Apocalypto.
|slideshow - click photo to enlarge
|Pirata Taxis to Balzapote
|Filming of Apocalypto
|Leave Catemaco by the north exit, called "La Cruz", towards the coast, passing Sontecomapan. Most of the carretera is paved and
decorated with speedbumps. You can also drive in from the Gulf Coast highway via El Tropico and Montepio.
Piratas (communal taxis) serve the town for 27 pesos several times a day, (1 hour), A bus from San Andres via El Tropico runs
twice a day, (2 1/ 2 hours).
|attractions along the coast: The Coast of San Andrés Tuxtla
towns and villages: Pueblos of San Andrés Tuxtla
hotel and restaurant information: San Andres Hotels
in depth general information: Municipio of San Andrés Tuxtla
|Port of Balzapote
San Andrés Tuxtla, Veracruz