Out of Office:
WORDS BY: ARI TAYMOR | PHOTOS BY: ARI TAYMOR + ANDY NOEL
The west coast of Mexico has always been a land of outlaws. From pirates and cowboys to runaway expats, narcos, and corrupt politicians, this long, winding coastline provides all sorts of hiding places for those who don’t want to be found. The landscape is a seemingly infinite array of coves and bays blanketed with such lush vegetation that makes it feel like the jungle swallows anything that stands still.
I traveled down to Zihuatanejo looking for some land to build a little dream project (and more importantly to surf). We were hosted by Andres and Tara—legends of Zihua—who run a beautiful shop and bed & breakfast called Loot, which was our headquarters for the trip.
The first thing you’ll need to explore the coastlines of states like Guerrero, Michoacán, and Oaxaca is a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Andres and Tara lent us their rugged Jeep Rubicon, which we put through the paces by driving it through rivers, down what we assumed were once roads, and cobblestone beaches. With a little local knowledge, we found empty beaches with pounding overhead waves that we had all to ourselves. We started early, surfing the entire morning until the sun got too strong and the winds switched onshore. From there we would eat and wander, find a little time to siesta, and prepare for the night. The seafood here is insane—the tuna, mani, and grouper are always fresh, pulled out of the ocean the night before. In the evenings, we would head into town and spend late nights eating ceviche and drinking mezcal, while waiting for the midnight thunderstorms that offered a momentary break from the sweltering tropical heat.
This is a place that devours your imagination. Spend enough time here and it becomes a part of you—the people, the hills sloping into pristine water, and the jungles covered in butterflies and wildflowers. It’s primal—and next to impossible not to fall in love with.