The second in an occasional series examining the most unusual accommodations on WWF tours.
Less than 20 years ago, the Mexican beachside village of La Ventanilla consisted of little more than a trio of families running a coconut plantation. An undeveloped beach stretched, unbroken, from the Pacific Ocean to the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains. Electricity was non-existent.
Little has changed about the small community in the Costa Chica section of Oaxaca. Sure, there are a few more families—25 total, at last count—and the area finally got electricity a little over a decade ago. But the residents remains dedicated to preserving the ecology of the beach and protecting its sea turtle residents, thus La Ventanilla still feels like a place no one has discovered.
Rancho Cerro Largo is one of the best-kept secrets on the coast.
Nestled on a verdant hilltop overlooking a beach and the sea, the main house of the inn is set apart from the individual cabana scattered nearby. Cooled by ocean breezes and ceiling fans, each traditionally crafted cabana has its own detached private bathroom. Like their surroundings, the bathrooms are extremely ecologically sound, with dry/cedar chip toilets, bucket showers and lovely ocean views. While there’s no running water, each cabana has an ample supply, which you can scoop out of a container with a carved-out gourd.
At night, there are no city lights to keep you awake—just the stars. No traffic noises—just the crash of ocean waves. If you want to walk to the beach you can—tote along a flashlight and be prepared for a very steep descent.