This week, I’m in Punta Mita, a small beachfront village an hour outside Puerto Vallarta in Mexico. Have you been here? Leave your suggestions below.
  1. Surf.
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    I’m really just here to surf. It’s a pretty selfish vacation. Punta Mita has a buffet of world-class breaks and some of the best are accessible by boat. In the mornings, my guide Tomás has been taking me out to La Lancha, a generous, shoulder-high wave that cracks outside for longboarders, and reforms inside for shortboarders.
  2. Sweat.
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    It’s terribly hot and humid here in the summers. In the dead of the day, it’s almost unbearable if you’re not in the water. It’s low season right now, so the resorts and beaches are virtually empty. High season is Christmastime; the weather is more tolerable and the surf is more consistent.
  3. Sayulita.
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    About half an hour up the road is Sayulita, a quaint and colorful artist town that caters to freethinking ex-pats and the international surf community with its long right facing the village. Of course, I arrive the week the swell is dropping. That’s okay, that means more elbow room. Plus, Sayulita can boast of the tastiest fish tacos off this cart right here:
  4. Read.
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    I finished Etgar Keret’s memoir (not as good as his short stories) and chewed right into “Finders Keepers.” Vintage Stephen King storytelling. Aziz’s book next.
  5. Eat.
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    The cuisine is first-rate. And I hope you like fresh seafood. If you’re down in the village, there’s a row of 10 restaurants or so, and all are noteworthy. I’d suggest Si Señor (for seafood and Central Mexican), Rosa Mexicana (more traditional Mexican), and Tuna Blanca (formerly decided on French, but now Mexican). Every catch of the day is snagged 50 yards ahead of you, the lobster’s still moving, the shrimp are the size of baseballs.
  6. Seriously. Eat.
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    I’ve been eating so much. Tonight: the lobster molcajete with chorizo, fresh cheese, and cactus in a savory stew at Rosa…
  7. Drink. Seriously. Drink.
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  8. Discuss poetry with your waiter.
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    It’s past midnight at Tuna Blanca, and a few glasses of Macallan in, Gabino shares his poetry with our table. We talk Neruda, my favorite Mexican poet Octavio Paz, and then he walks us through his poem. He gifts it to me upon leaving.
  9. Swim under the moon.
    The ocean has so many personalities. In the morning, mild and agreeable like a newborn. At mid-day, bold as a teenager. By dusk, wise and learned like an old man. But I love the water most on a clear night, where the moon melts all over the crests of the waves. A powerful contrast - the blackness of the sea and the pure white foam that dances in the light’s wake. The water temperature holds hands with the air, so it’s like bathing, weightlessly, in an abyss. Is it the afterlife or the preface?
  10. Nothing.
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    And the greatest of these.