Marina Chiapas is a lovely, secluded and well-protected marina just south of the notorious Tehuanapec winds, conveniently located near the border of Guatemala and Mexico. It is a perfect stop for clearing in and out of Mexico. It is a popular stop among the cruising community, and part of the reason is Miguel.
Miguel met our group of about 15 boaters at Marina Chiapas with two nicely air-conditioned vans to transport us to the hills surrounding the coast. We headed up from the flat farmlands surrounding the marina to river cut valleys where the farmlands quickly melted into the jungle of the mountains. Everything changed in a moment with new trees, flowers, vines forming a tunnel of green through which we drove. Miguel showed us teak trees planted as a canopy above the coffee plots, giant blue butterflies, rare and sacred trees, focusing our untrained eyes on special treats.
We arrived at Finca Argovia, a coffee plantation, and a place of past and present. We were greeted by the sounds of channeled water sluicing towards the coffee-processing works, serving as a soothing garden water feature while powering much of the machinery used to turn coffee fruit to beans - a reminder of the self-sufficiency of the Swiss and German founders.
Nestled within the jungle plantation, a lovely pool, secluded yoga platform and small cottages connected by stonework garden paths create the ingredients for a wonderful modern resort. Argovia seamlessly blends history and nature with sustainable revenue streams of coffee production, tourism and lumber. We enjoyed a tour, a tasting, a meal and a gorgeous garden walk, all facilitated by our gracious guide Miguel and his assistant.
On the ride back, we learned that Miguel knows seemingly everyone in the extended cruising community who has ever stopped in Chiapas (and there are a lot). Miguel has guided many of the YouTube celebrity sailors and been a part of their episodes. In an act of kindness, Miguel took us to a grocery shopping / pizza stop without complaint even though he had two darling children waiting for him at home.
The next day Miguel showed up at the marina bringing each of the cruisers on the tour a lovely gift. Miguel is special. He is a fixture of the Marina Chiapas cruising scene and is building a legacy of relationships, service and kindness, which helps makes the marina a cruiser’s must-stop on the Pacific coast of southern Mexico.