The outer bay at Tenacatita was once quite a bit more popular, with an impressive spread of family-run palapa restaurants and thriving beach community. That changed in 2010, when a shady land deal resulted in the families, and their palapas, getting wiped off the beach. After quite a few years of stalemate and nothing going on here, there has been some kind of resolution it seems, as a few beach cafes are open again (2020), and you see locals on the beach just about every day. It’s a great spot to hang for a day or two to explore the beach and snorkel at the “Aquarium.” What most cruisers refer to when they say “Tenacatita” is actually the inner bay.
Open from the S. If coming from the NW, you only need to clear the obvious rocks at Punta Hermanos, and round up into the bay. There are sometimes fish traps in this area, and the surge near the rocks can be substantial, so best to be conservative on your distance off.
This anchorage is often affected by swell and surge coming around/through the rocks on the point, even in a NW swell. Quite a bit of room in here though, with the smoother area typically tucked in toward the W or SW side, nearer the rocks. Anchoring is typically clear in a sandy bottom at 15-25 feet.
A scattering of charming, but small umbrella cafes, access to the small lagoon on the interior of the beach (with river access to the inner Tenacatita anchorage). A couple of restaurants and the El Tabernero Raicilla Demonstration Distillery are on the short road up to Rebalsito, a tiny hamlet with a hotel and a few other eateries. Most people are here for the beach.
Grab your gear and go snorkeling, in particular if the surge isn’t too strong. While the “Aquarium” moniker was probably applied to this place years ago, and there has been some degradation to corals and fish life from storms and fishing, it’s still pretty excellent if visibility is good. The small interior cove has a massive coral garden, and the various pinnacles and rocky nooks further out are fun to explore. Certainly some of the best snorkeling on the mainland coast.