Las Playas de Tampico
The Beaches of Tampico

These pages are optimized for a screen resolution of 1368 pixels wide.

5 meter Skiff sailing, experimental speed sailing

Interested in speed sailing?

I'll bet you can't catch me!!

Come fly with me.

Pelicans flying HD

Click Me!

For those of you that have been away from the beach for a while,
It certainly isn't a great movie, but if you have been away for awhile, it might remind you of just how it feels.

If you have problems viewing this or other videos on this site, try using VLC Player, it is FREE, it's open source, no spyware, no malware, and available here:

     I am doing this because I am looking for people. But not just anybody. I am looking for people who want to have some fun, who like to explore new things and places. People who like to challenge themselves, people who like to do things. People whose first inclination is 'I can!'.

    People that don't think of work as drudgery but as an enjoyable and satisfying past time, as well as a way to make real contributions to our society, and our bank accounts.

    There are some exciting things to do here. Of course it will cost something, but the main cost is the desire and willingness to do them. And the rewards are enormous - being able to say "I did it!!" - that sense of accomplishment will stay with you forever. The other things come after that, and go just as quickly.

     And quite frankly, I am really tired of people who can tell me all the reasons why things can't be done.

    For a long time Mexico was stuck in backwards. But a few years ago it got its wings. The last few years have been like taxiing down the runway and lifting off. The place is really starting to fly and there is some real power behind it.

    There are more than enough opportunities here. While part of the society here is up to date and modern, the largest part is waiting for the efficiencies of 1940. Imagine stepping back in time, with all you know now, what could you do? What you accept as common in the modern world is waiting to be done here. But this will not last forever. The time is now.

    This site is designed to show you what is here, and more importantly, what is not here and therefore the opportunities available. I am not going to tell you everything, I don't have all the answers. But hopefully I have enough to get you started. The people that can, know that the best part of the journey is discovery.

I have put some things up here for you to consider. Hopefully you will get back to me with your thoughts. My adventures in the Tampico area have covered the beaches from 25 miles north of Tampico to 70 miles south.

Explore with me.

Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico expolring the beaches

Yellow, Crowned Night Heron If you need more information about the happenings here, or have questions about the life style, people, or the way things are here in general, Contact me here:

     I am in Tampico, on the sunrise side of Mexico. Farther south than Miami. Farther south than Nassau and even Havana. I am south of the Tropic of Cancer!  250 miles south of Brownsville, Texas - an easy days drive. If you are coming north around the Yucatan, just head West and you will find me.

     Winter here is like Spring time in Ohio. You can wear a jacket here for a few weeks out of the year, just so you don't get too home sick, and even wear those long sleeved shirts and pants for a few months if you wish. Last winter it was below 50 degrees F. for 8 days.

Tampico location map

Tampico beaches map, overview, showing the crater that extends 90 miles from Tampico Tamaulipas to Tuxpan Veracruz.

An overview of the area showing Tampico, the various beaches, Cabo Rojo and the large Tamiahua Impact Site which stretches in a semi-circle from Tampico to Tuxpan, about 90 miles to the south.

Gold Beach, Playa Hermosa, Veracruz, Mexico

If you ever needed a place to get rid of the stress, this is the place. There are miles of long deserted beaches full of wonderful things to discover, and the fishing is fabulous.
The Undiscovered Sun Country
     When you look for sun time vacations or southern living, there are four basic options; Florida, Cancun, Tampico, and Mexico's West Coast.  Florida was built a long ago, is expensive, and is covered with east coast snow birds.  Cancun is laid back and friendly, but is built with luxury resorts and is expensive, perhaps more so than Florida, and you need to fly there. Mexico's West Coast - Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan are all built with expensive resorts, and are somewhat an extension of California. Also, they are on the other side of the Sierra Madre Oriental Mountains and the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains which are slow and two exhausting days to drive. And there is always that truck in front of you. It was built in about 1946, won't go more than 15 mph and will not stop or pull over. The road is a treacherous two lane with more hairpin turns than you thought were in the whole world, and there are numerous small memorials with crosses on them at the edge of the road, there where the base jumpers congregate.
     Tampico is in the middle. It is not built with expensive resorts, it is not covered with tourists, and the prices are very good, for now.  The geography allows for 2/3 of North America to funnel by car through South Texas to here. It is a short days drive once you cross the border. The roads are good with easy driving as you follow down the coastal plane.  It is one of those gemstones that is right in the middle of everything and it has not been discovered - yet.
     This area is the first logical step south of the United Stated for the coming retirement of the Baby Boomers. It is a natural wonderland with and all the services close by. 

Satelite overview of the Tampico Tamaulipas Mexico area
    Tampico is surrounded by water; the Gulf of Mexico, two major rivers, El Rio Panuco and El Rio Tamesí, and about 400 square miles of fresh water lakes. There are two international shipping ports here and an international airport. The main highways and railroads north, south and west connect here. There is an oil refinery here and two large electric generation plants. The area has about 820,000 people. The economy here is driven by the PEMEX oil refinery, and the ports. All the money flows downhill from there. The growing industrial area is primarily freight handling, petrochemicals and plastics.
There is a larger version of this image without all the letters if you click on the image
Wide panarama  of the North Wall of el Rio Panuco, Tampico, Mexico, and Playa Miramar
The north wall at the mouth of el Rio Panuco, the entrance to the Port of Tampico.                                    That is Playa Miramar.
It is a good walk where you can see the boats pass by, perhaps catch some fish, watch the surfers, and otherwise have a nice day out.
Playa is Spanish for beach.  It is the place to play, Ya!     

Playa Miramar and the surf from the north jetty of el Rio Panuco, Tampico, Madero, Tamaulipas, Mexico.
Playa Miramar and the surf from the north jetty of el Rio Panuco.

Costero Blvd,Playa Miramar,Madero,Tamaulipas,Mexico, the main beach drive

Costero Blvd.The main beach drive at Playa Miramar

    Playa Miramar has some enormous possibilities. This is the first metropolitan stop south of the United States. Thinking of retiring somewhere warm?  Perhaps opening up little art shop or water sports shop, something that will keep you busy but not run you ragged? This is it!

     Summers are hot and humid, like 95° F. But there is always a nice surface breeze from the southwest coming off the gulf. The primary weather patterns come from the southwest, in the Pacific. It dumps most of the rain on the west side of Mexico and brings clear blue skys here nearly all the time. While the place isn't completely immune to hurricanes, it is protected. Hurricanes usually come from the southeast through the Caribbean. But to get here they must cross over the Yucatan Peninsula, where they fizzle out. In winter you will probably need a jacket for a month or so.
     Living here is easy. Rents are generally low and food prices are, by my estimate, about 20 - 30% less that in the U.S. On a Social Security check, you can live well here, and still have enough left over for entertainment and a house keeper as needed. At the same time there are a number of top of the line resort hotels and luxury villas should your finances allow. If you are thinking of coming around Spring Break time - Semana Santa - You had better plan ahead as it usually gets very crowded here.

Fishing on Playa Miramar

      You want to have some fun? Watch this guy castnet fishing. Catch them a dozen at a time. This guy has it together!
See the movie -  CLICK HERE!   or on the picture!
Playa Miramar,Tampico,Madero, Tamaulipas,Mexico, leisure time at the beach

     These carts are all along the beach selling anything they think will sell. (As I said above about waiting for the efficiencies of the 40's, this is how many people survive here.) They are not just here on the beach, but all over town. Sometimes they push them by hand, sometimes they have a horse. Elotes are corn on the cob on a stick with various seasonings. These carts will carry a small charcoal pit to roast the corn. $10 MXN or about $0.80 US.  Try one with Mayo, hot sauce and crumbled cheese - excellent.
     This is a typical day at the beach during summer, except for Spring Break and a few weekend holidays where the beach does get crowded.

     There seems to be an attitude here that 'If you build it, they will come. So they build it and sit back and wait, and wait, and wait for mañana. Hundreds of small shops operate this way.  No advertising, strictly dependent on people walking by to find them. In contrast the OXXO stores, which is a chain of  7-11 type convenience stores, are opening up everywhere with no competition and grabbing the entire market.

     If you have some experience in business development, marketing, promotions or advertising you should consider this place. As you can see in the photo above, they are waiting for someone to bring them the business. To see what needs to be done, check out Mazatlan, or Puerto Vallarta, or other top line resort towns. Check their schedule of events and hotel prices. Then do the same with Tampico. I think you will see the difference.

     Surfing here is not the greatest and but sailboarding can be very good.  But nobody sells the equipment to promote these activities here. A beach business, selling the equipment people need to be active when they go to the beach would be a blessing for people here. Those that have some toys, got them from some other city or country making them more expensive than usual due to cost in time and shipping charges.

Fruit cups being sold by a cart vendor.
    These fruit cups sell for $10 MXN - about $0.80 U.S. They are pretty good. There are many kinds of vendors like this, generally offering some pretty good bargains.  
Playa Miramar,Tampico,Madero, Tamaulipas,Mexico, south Beach business locations
     A little paint, a little imagination, and some business sense would make these buildings into authentic, modern beach businesses. These places are at the best locations on the beach. This area should be the center of a thriving artistic community. Many of the people in Mexico are very artistic and produce many different goods quite worthy of display and a handsome price.  However, they have no outlets for them and end up selling them on the streets or on tables they set up in the mall leading to Walmart. Those are not the places to be selling art work.
     A fix-up of these buildings, and bringing together the artworks that are available around the city, and Mexico to sell to beach goers, would be a win-win-win situation, not to mention a very satisfying endeavor.
     Want to continue with this idea?  e-mail me - we should talk!
The interior of a resort at Playa Miramar, Tampico, Mexico
Want to stay here? Do you think you could sell a pool side room here?
          To be completely honest, during the summer months there are some activities here. But there are not enough of them, or sufficient promotion to do the job.(Notice all the guests around the pool??)
Any travel agents interested? e-mail me.
Club Maeva, Playa Miramar, Madero, Tampico, Mexico
This is Club Maeva (Mă-ābă). It sets the standard at the beach.
     Just to get you started, on a beach with fabulous resorts like this, there are opportunities in every direction. While Club Maeva and a few others are modern businesses operating in the world of today, most of the other businesses are completely out dated.  The place is wide open for some enterprising people to walk right in and set up shop. Nobody is selling or renting windsurfers or even boogey boards here. There are no fishing shops. While a few vendors are selling cheap swimsuits and cover-ups - I mean the kind that probably will last all day - but no one is selling the good swim wear or beach attire.  There are no fishing charters or excursion boats. No volleyball tournaments. There are no sailboats here, which means no sailboat races. Somebody was renting ATVs, but they disappeared.  Some of the vendors are selling seashells and things made from them, but there are no gift shops, no souvenir shops, no art shops.While there are numerous bars up and down the beach,  if someone knew how to run a good bar, they could make a fortune here.

      There is no reason that this place should not be on a par with Cancun, Acapulco or Puerto Vallerta, or any port in the Mediterranean - except that nobody has done it yet. But with an upturn in the U.S. economy, and all the baby boomers retiring, you had better get in now, or pay the high prices later.

     Imagine getting away from the stress, the winters, the problems and retiring with a nice little business on the beach.  This place will not run you ragged. Your first year here and 80% of the stress, tension and pressure of the US will vanish. It's like 500 pounds lifting off your shoulders. Road Rage is in the US. Driving here is easy. 25 to 35 mph is normal all over town. 45 in just a few places is really big time. Once you get used to the fact that not everything is regulated, and there are not police watching your every move, then you start to control of your life. And that is a really nice feeling.

     Remember, this is the first real stop south of Texas. It is an easy days drive once you cross the border. Baby Boomers are retiring. Florida is built and you have been there anyway. Cancun is built and you need to fly there. The west coast is Californians and expensive. 2/3rds of the U.S. can funnel down to here by car to get away from those winters. This is the last place to go, and it is right in the middle of them all. The bargains are here now, but not for long!

About the people
     I have found the people here to be very friendly, non-prejudicial, and helpful. My Spanish is limited, but I have never had any problems. Many of the schools teach English, and many of the people want to use me to practice with. This is somewhat detrimental to me as it keeps me dependent on English. Other times, when a person has no English, someone invariably steps up to translate.    
     In society, people here simple move a little to the side rather that becoming 'road ragers', and everyone gets down the street of life with minimum stress. People here are personally responsible for their actions, as they use both their mother's and father's family names. They are proud of their heritage, and disgracing the family names brings consequences far worse than than any law can.
    There are two wage scales here. The one for the educated and/or wealthy will provide a living equal to or in many cases much better than in the U.S. With the other, according to a recent newspaper article, the daily labor rate is about $5.75 in U.S. dollars. From personal experience offering $100 MXN ($8.35 U.S.) per day got me 30 to 35 phone calls in English.

Getting Around Town

     Public transportation here is easy and plentiful.  There are three types.
1. Buses.  Anything from pretty old to new with A/C. They run a route, stop almost anywhere, on or off. Just raise your hand. $8 MXN (about $0.65 US)
2. The Cars.  They look just like taxis, but do not have 'TAXI' written on them. They operate just like a bus, same price. Four people max. The etiquette of the back seat - you only get in or out from the right side of the car. That means that if you get in and there are two other people in the back seat, they move over. When one of them wants out, the car stops, you get out to allow the other person to exit, then get back in again, same order.  When someone else wants a ride, you move over, and when you want out, they get out to allow you to exit, then they get back in again. It is a bit of back seat shuffling, and the cars are small, but there are lots of them so you rarely have to wait.
3. Taxis. Door to door anywhere. Cost is $30.00 MXN ($2.25 US) for about the first 2 km, $10 MXN for each km after. Longer distances are negotiable.  It is a good idea to ask the price before you get in the car. The fares at night will be higher.
Racoons living well on the North Wall.
A number of Raccoons make the North Wall home and are making a good living off the crustaceans that live down in the spaces between the rocks. These coons are fat, healthy and have a beautiful thick fur coat.

Spear fishing off the North Wall of el Rio Panuco
Fishing is a sport that you can't go wrong with here. On the seawall people fish every way you can think of, and many of them sell the freshest fish at the beach where the seawall starts. This fellow used a spear gun and has caught an excellent dinner to go home to.

Panga boats ferrying people across el Rio Panuco

These are the boats of Tampico. Some of them are bigger, some smaller, but they all have the same basic design. They are called pangas. They are a heavy workhorse type boat. With all the various waters around here, (two rivers, many lakes, and the Gulf) there are only a couple of people building boats. They build these pangas one at a time by hand. Any other boat here, has been imported from the U.S.

Take a ride on one CLICK HERE.

Palapas $80 7AM to sunset Playa Miramar Madero Tamaulipas
      They can't understand why people don't come here. But don't get too excited, this is in Mexican Pesos. So in U.S. Dollars this would only be about $6.50 for the two chairs and umbrella from 7 AM to sunset. The 6 PM to sunset is really a special deal, only about $4 US, except that the sun sets behind you.
This is Playa Miramar. Click the picture for more info.

Boat lines plan. These are the blue prints for boat building

This is called a 'lines plan'. Boat builders use these to design new boats. If part of your dream has to do with building that boat you have been thinking about for a long time, think about building it here. The place is surrounded by water - two large rivers, many, many lakes and the Gulf of Mexico. And, labor can be had here for $10 US per day.
Boat Building

6 meter fishing boat
          A boat like this would be a good bet to replace the panga boats that are being used now. Click on the picture to see the boats of Tampico. It could be produced economically and has a look that is modernized, but not too far advanced from what the fishermen are used to. There is a low cost work force here that is skilled in fiberglass and the mechanical issues involved. And perhaps most importantly, aside from a few of the primitive panga boats, no one is building boats here. Interested in enjoying what you do for a change? How about building boats? See my boat design page!
e-mail me if you think 'Maybe, just Maybe.'

Around the Area
Laguna las Marismas and las Dunas Dorado, Tampico, Mexico
     Laguna las Marismas with the Dunas Dorado beyond. Playa Caracol is the other side of the dunes. The area has incredible natural beauty and is a bird lovers paradise. The natural geography funnels the North American bird migration routes south to the Gulf of Mexico and then farther south along the eastern coastal planes of Mexico, through here. Every time I go out I find a couple new birds that I have never seen before. Click on the picture to see it full sized, and see how many birds and species you can find. Then check out my BIRD PAGE to see what I have so far. Maybe you can help me identify some of them.

Playa Caracol, Madero, Altamira, Tamaulipas, Mexico
      Playa Caracol is a long, pristine beach with only minimal development just north of Playa Miramar. Looking to get rid of some of the stress in your life? Considering the surrounding area, this area has some very fine real estate opportunities.

      There are a few builders putting up buildings like a Walmart store, a strip shopping center, a 10 story hospital, all that look pretty good. The new housing developments are mainly of the 'row house' concept used in the 1940s, primarily for low income people. There are no RV parks here but there needs to be at least one. There is ample space along the coast for the finest developments. Considering that this is the first real stop south of the U.S., retirees are retiring, and people otherwise are looking for a quality life style for less money, less hassle, fewer problems - - - maybe you should click on the picture above and e-mail me if you have some ideas or questions.
  Crested Caracara strutting
  This is a Caracara, Mexico's magnificent crested eagle. If I can take this kind of pictures just cruising around one afternoon, what could you do if you put some time into it? This place is like the Serengeti of birds in a country full of interesting places that no body ever heard of. If you enjoy nature and wildlife, with the cameras easily available today you can fill up a half hour or hours TV programming every week and get paid for it. This week "The Life and Times of the Caracara". Next week it is "The Flamingos!". The week after "A Visit to the Cenotes" (underground rivers and caverns)  One man here goes fishing every week and has someone taking videos. He has had his own TV program now for 8 to 10 years - "Viva la Pesca".
Click on the picture to see more. Or check out my BIRDS page.
Buying pinaples from a street vendor
     This is the way a lot of business is done here.  Every day vendors pass my house selling oranges, sweet breads, elotes, knife sharpening, mops and brooms, and a variety of other things. (But I have yet to see a push broom anywhere in this town.) The distribution channels here are weak. This leaves people to market their goods in any way they can. Setting up those distribution channels would be some short term work with long term benefits. For someone with some basic knowledge of this, doing business here would be a cake walk.

     Now, agricultural and other goods come into town through the Municipal Mercado. It is near the Panuco River in the oldest part of town. The buildings are very old and the businesses operate as you would imagine 100 years ago. You can buy retail there for half what you pay in the super markets. But it is poorly accessible by car and worse for trucks. The corridors between the shops are narrow and have been walked over for 100 years. Visitors see sanitation and security as major problems.

      Renewing this marketing area would benefit a lot of people. And, who ever does it would have political support, and end up controlling many of the goods coming into the city.

    e-mail me for more info.

     The News programs here, in my opinion, are doing a top notch job of broadcasting. They are local, they are lively, and the Newscasters set the pace for taste, fashion and style.
     However the TV stations are really hurting for other programming. There are couple of comedy shows and a lot of Soaps.  There is cable TV, mostly from the US and dubbed in Spanish.
    Nature shows, travel logs, detective, mystery - It is all wide open.
     If you have ever had some thoughts that you might like to do some story telling in TV, film or print media, e-mail me. Let's talk.

The waterfront in Tamiahua, Veracruz.
Tamiahua,Veracruz,Mexico waterfront
Tamiahua is a pretty little town about 90 miles south of Tampico, at the south end of Cabo Rojo. The economy is mainly fishing. This is easy living at its' finest. This would be an excellent small resort town if someone had the inclination.  The waterway is called la Boca Corazones, the mouth of the heart, because Laguna de Tamiahua is a huge tidal estuary, a coastal lagoon of 88,000 hectares. (1,000 hectares per square kilometer). This is the only natural entry to Laguna de Tamiahua, and the tides pump water in and out of here every day, just like a heart.  The fishing is fabulous. It also has a new bridge across la Boca Corazones, providing the only entry by car to Cabo Rojo. It is also the jump off point for Isla de Lobos and two other coral reefs there, as well as three coral reefs to the south towards Tuxpan. If you think that is interesting, you had better click on the picture to see more
Tamiahua Resort Operators, Inc.  is waiting to be formed. 

Isla de Lobos, Cabo Rojo, Veracruz, Mexico
Isla de Lobos.   The light house and the Pemex House
     Off the point of Cabo Rojo lie three coral reefs, the largest of which is Isla de Lobos. You must have a boat or charter one to get here. The waters are crystal clear and the beach is deserted. There are a couple of dive boats that cruise around here, a couple of ship wrecks and dolphins that play nearby.  Fish are jumping and flying everywhere.  Click the picture to explore the reefs.

    You know, there is a whole lot of things a person could do with their life that would be worse than having a charter boat to take tourists out here for a day cruise to fish or dive or just snorkel around the coral reefs looking at things.  Think about that as you scrape the ice off of your windshield this winter, and when you write the checks out to the gas company to keep you warm.   

This is Success!   
Ecotourism. Success is finding one of these. 
Explorations Galore
Ship Wreck, Arrecife Blanquilla,Cabo Rojo, Veracruz
A ship wreck at Arrecife Blanquilla , off the tip of Cabo Rojo in Veracruz State.

    Eco tourism is a field that is completely wide open here. The people that live here, have been here all their lives and the uniqueness and beauty of the area just becomes common place to them. Doing adventures like this and others, then lining things up to take other people on those adventures, could be a very rewarding life style. With a basic knowledge of the natural sciences, and a little help from your friends, people will be coming in by the bus loads to go on your adventures.
    If you ever thought of being a real live adventure guide, this is ground floor opportunity. 

Geographers, Geologers  (They hate it when I call them that. :-) )
Dinimita Crater.North West of Gómez Palacio, in North Eastern Durango State, Mexico.
Dinimita Crater. 10 miles North West of Gómez Palacio, in North Eastern Durango State, Mexico. 
There is a new way of looking at the Earth, and with it a new way of looking for minerals. Looking for Gold? Well this one isn't gold, but that white circle is all marble mines and it is about 6.65 miles in diameter.

There are vast quantities of undiscovered minerals here. This is one. Tell me what it is. This is far too big for me to do alone and I am looking for partners.

Sailboat Design
Perhaps a little inspiration is all you need

Big ones, like you have never seen before.

Playa Tesoro

The far North Beach, Altamira's beach

Playa Caracol
The North Beach, A Playland with developments to come
Playa Miramar
The Main Beach, Hotels, Restaurants, Fun

Playa Hermosa

South of Rio Panuco, in Veracruz State

Cabo Rojo

The Red Cape complete with coral reefs

  The Birds
Photos and movies of some of the birds of Tampico
The Shells
Some good photos of some of the shells found around Tampico.

Contact me:

 Tom Weston 2010 all rights reserved