|Nearby is complex of small waterfalls that is best visited by renting a horse and guide available on the beach. Cerro Borrego
(Sheep Hill) locks the beach to the south and can be climbed to get some great photos of the surrounding beaches and hills.
If you are adventurous, you can rent a lancha (boat) to explore the rocky shore south and explore some caves. You can
also hop onto a floating banana with a half dozen other people and be towed through the surf.
The rocky southern shore is a good place for snorkeling or diving, if you bring your own gear. If you brought along a kayak,
a chainsaw and some wire cutters, you can head uphill a few miles and kayak down the Rio Maquina. I did.
Good places to eat, year round are the Montepio restaurant near the church, and La Casita in Dos de Abril, currently being
remodeled (May 2010).
During Semana Santa or summer vacation weekends, hundreds of food stalls litter the beaches, and the inhabitants rent any
space available to the thousands of visitors, and it then becomes difficult to see the sand between the SUV's occupying the
strand. The beaches become a pigsty, dozens of vendors haunt you, and palapa owners will try to rip you off. A few
weeks ago I revisited with a friend, sat at a table, had 2 cokes and was charged 80 pesos just for the rent of the table.
It seems like every year several people drown here. There are no lifeguards and strong rip currents often endanger
swimmers. The rivers are the safest places to frolic.
|Although various sources claim that the Montepio valley has pre-hispanic artifacts, I have yet to see any proof. The valley was
occupied by a French family in the early 1850's who imported Mayan laborers to establish a sugarcane plantation, a remnant of
which is the dilapidated structure on the Gulf shore, built in 1857. In the early 1900's a US rubber baron attempted to establish
another plantation in the area, but mysteriously left soon after, allegedly after having found the treasure of the pirate Lorencillo,
known to have haunted these gulf waters.
After the Mexican revolution, much of Montepio was donated to retired Mexican military, who never occupied the zone. Land
squabbles involving descendants of these soldiers have inhibited the village from realizing its potential as a very attractive gulf
coast resort. Dozens of unfinished and abandoned buildings litter the community and no outside communication except via
satellite is available.
|Montepio´s access has improved lately. The road from Catemaco (25
miles, about 1 hour+ drive) is now paved except for a 1 mile stretch in
front of the Estacíon Biologica.
The paved road from Veracruz-El Tropico, north of Santiago Tuxtla is also
Public transport from Catememo is via pirata communal taxis available at
the northeast Catemaco station (28 pesos 2010), about 1 1/2 to 2 hours,
depending on stops. As of May 2010 there is no bus service from
There is a direct, twice daily, second class bus from Veracruz City, and a
twice daily bus from San Andrés (2 1/2 hours).
|a slideshow and some videos
|Montepio with a population of 158 in 2005, is the "premier" beach resort of Los Tuxtlas.
The village is 25 miles north of Catemaco, at the confluence of two small rivers, on the Gulf of Mexico.
A narrow bridge, off a side road before entering Montepio, connects the village with Dos de Abril and beaches further north.
During the off season, this beach pueblo is heaven for those seeking godforsaken beaches. A few small hotels and
restaurants cater to tourists.
The name Montepio means pawnshop in Spanish. Don't ask me why! I've been asking for 8 years and no one knows.
|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
San Andrés Tuxtla, Veracruz