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El Anclote, Punta de Mita, Mexico

An Overview of El Anclote; Surf, Beach, Restaurants and Fun
(The Break at El Anclote is in the center and El Faro is off the Far Point)

Ahhh, El Anclote. El Anclote is actually made up of two villages, Emiliano Zapata and Corral del Risco. The main beach in El Anclote is directly in front of the El Anclote Condominiums and is connected by a sky bridge that leads from the bluff to the beach. El Anclote Beach is simply awesome.

Some of El Anclote’s Beach Front Restaurants

There are numerous beach-front palapa restaurants that serve excellent cuisine. Typically, folks arrive to spend the day on the beach and take up residence in one of the many beach front restaurants that open in the morning for the purpose of serving their patrons for the day. Many Americans are used to being rushed through their lunch when dining in an ocean front restaurant because the tables are in such demand. This is not true in Punta Mita where one can spend the entire day eating, drinking and enjoying the sun.

After a wonderful lunch and a few “mui frio cervezas” (ice-cold beers) you will find the custom addicting. One can sit in the sun, jump into the tropical water for a swim, enjoy a snack, have a beverage, get some more sun, go snorkeling or surfing, take a swim and simply relax the entire day. That is what El Anclote is all about.

When the day is over, you can stay for dinner at one of the beach front restaurants that serve very sophisticated menus. Many folks from the Four Seasons Hotel and the surrounding homes and condos enjoy dining here and the menus at the restaurants are gourmet and excellent. Here are our favorites for dinner.

El Anclote Restaurant Row

With the new Malecon in El Anclote, the term “El Anclote Restaurant Row” has taken on a whole new meaning. Many of Puerto Vallatra’s top restaurants have built high quality goumet restaurants on the beach. It is truly a wonderful dining experience.There are currently at least two more beachfront restaurants under construction (one looks fabulous) and the flavor of the beach is getting better and better. There are also several wonderful restaurants in town that I am not including here for the sake of space. These restaurants will insure that you have a wonderful dining experience if you choose to go out for dinner. I have listed them in no specific order other than as I think of them.

El Anclote Beach Restaurants


El Dorado Restaurant

El Dorado Restaurant

El Dorado Restaurant: El Dorado is one of our favorite restaurants in El Anclote. First of all, it is located right at the foot of the sky bridge and is a large restaurant with a huge dining area under an impressive palapa roof. It offers an extensive menu of seafood and other treats and a complete wine list to boot.

The Main Dinning Area at El Dorado Restaurant

There are two upstairs dining areas that over look the beach and ocean that are excellent places to enjoy the sunsets

One of The Balconies at El Dorado

My favorite dishes here are the El Dorado special that includes both lobster and shrimp and also the Kahlua shrimp. It is to die for if you like Kahlua.. Note that El Dorado offers free wi-fi Internet access to all patrons, so if you bring your notebook computer that is wi-fi enabled, you can use their access here absolutely free.

El Dorado Entrance

The entrance to the El Dorado Restaurant is not at all impressive. You walk over a small bridge that goes over a turtle pond. But, the food and service more than make up for the entrance.

El Dorado’s Beach Dining

Dining at El Dorado can offer you a number of different experiences. You can choose to dine on one of the balconies, in the main restaurant or on the beach itself. No matter what you choose, you will have fun and a great meal. El Dorado is open for breakfast (try the Punta Mita omelet made with lobster) lunch and dinner.

El Coral Restaurant

El Coral Restaurant

El Coral Restaurant: Swimmers Restaurant was completely refurbished in 2008 and promptly closed its doors. El Coral Restaurant took over the restaurant and introduced a new menu and level of serivce.

One of El Coral’s Bars

The restaurant overlooks the break at El Anclote, so you can watch the surf as it evolves all day long. The beach staff is attentive and the food is excellent. Most important, the beers are ice cold when they are served.

The Entrance to El Coral

El Coral is open noon and night for lunch and dinner. There is an ATM machine at the entrance to the restaurant and plenty of lounge chairs to relax in on the beach. All in all, El Coral is a great spot. Try the Lobster Burrito for a great dish.

Acuario Restaurant

The Acuario Restaurant

The Acuario Restaurant is my favorite place to have breakfast. Finding the restaurant from the street is somewhat tough because the entrance is very innocuous.

The Interior of Acuario Restaurant

Once you find your way into the restaurant you will see two staircases leading up to the second level.

The View From Acuario Restaurant

Once you are on the second level of the restaurant, you see that it has the very best view of the El Anclote surf break. Not only is the food excellent (I get ham and eggs with avocado slices and tortillas) but it is a great way to check out the surf.

The Beach Front at Acuario Restaurant

Before Swimmers opened, this was our favorite beach to hang out at. The lunches are great and you can spend all day at the beach here enjoying Acuario Restaurant. Acuario is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Cafe des Artistes

Hotel des Artistes

Well, I was sure wrong about this one. When it opened it was unbelievably pricy and I thought no one would patronize this restaurant. Joanie and I went for a glass of wine on evening and it set us back almost $30.00. I just didn’t see how it was going to make it. During our visit in January and February of 2009, this was by far the most popular restaurant on the strip. It was packed nearly every single night and we vowed to save up enough money to have dinner there during our trip.

The Patio Dining at Cafe des Artistes

So after we dine there, I will report back as to its value proposition. Cafe des Artistes is open for lunch and dinner.

El Anclote Restaurant

Right next to the Cafe de Artistes is the El Anclote Restaurant. This is another great place to spend the day. They serve an excellent breakfast and lunch is also excellent. I always get the breaded fish or fresh red snapper if they have it. Dinner is also good here.

The Bar at El Anclote Restaurant

When it is high season, look for this bar to be populated all day and into the evning. It is a great bar to meet people and have afew cocktails.

Rocio Restaurant and Bar

Rocio Restaurant and Bar

Rocio Restaurant and Bar is right next to the El Anclote Restaurant and they share the same beach. You can enjoy the entire day at Rocio.

The Interior of Rocio Restaurant and Bar

Rocio offers seafood and Mexican cuisine with a local flavor. If you like shrimp cocktails, don’t miss Rocio’s…it is to die for. Also, they offer excellent fish and seafood and a very friendly staff.

The Beach In Front of Rocio and El Anclote Restaurants

Rocio and El Anclote restaurants share the same beach and it is a great place to spend the day. You have a clear view of the El Anclote surf spot from the lounge chairs. Rocio is open for lunch only.

4 Vientos Restaurant and Bar

Look for This Sign to Find the Restaurant

4 Vientos is a wonderful little restaurant buried behind some commercial buildings. Its entrance is obscure, so be sure to look for this sign and then make your way into the restaurant.

The Interior of 4 Vientos Restaurant

Complete with a sand floor, this palapa restaurant is a favorite with locals who bring the entire family for the day.

Dining and Lounging on the Beach at 4 Vientos Restaurant

4 Vientos Restaurant is a good choice if you have children with you. The beach in front of the restaurant offers calm water that kids love.

Sunset at El Anclote