Celebrate Twelve Days in December to Honor the Virgin of Guadalupe

The well known Church of our Lady of Guadalupe in Puerto Vallarta is a landmark that appears in many postcards, paintings and photos. At this time every year between December 1st and 12th the Church of our Lady of Guadalupe becomes the center of focus for many people who celebrate Mexico’s patron saint the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Starting around 5pm each night the street Hidalgo that leads to the church is blocked off to traffic and becomes a pedestrian only zone.

All of the local businesses, restaurants, hotels, bars, nightclubs, schools, associations and even different areas (colonials) of Puerto Vallarta are granted a specific time frame to march with their pilgrimage to the church.

You will find pre-Hispanic dancers and traditionally decorated floats in the street as they form a parade to march in this annual celebration from December 1st -12th to the Church of our Lady of Guadalupe.

It is a wonderful cultural experience to be here in the middle of all of the excitement, and if you are fortunate to be here at this time of year this is a celebration you do not want to miss!! Continue reading “Celebrate Twelve Days in December to Honor the Virgin of Guadalupe”

Shopping The Isla Rio Cuale in Puerto Vallarta

The famous Isla Rio Cuale market in Puerto Vallarta is a great place to practice your bartering skills while shopping.  

The Isla Cuale is located on a small piece of land on the Rio Cuale (river)that lies under the two bridges that join Centro Vallarta and Viejo Vallarta and most of the vendors in the market will barter with you and come down from their original asking price.

Here you will find many different vendors selling all kinds of art, jewelry, clothing and souvenirs. Even if you are not looking to buy anything Isla Rio Cuale is a landmark place to visit on your vacation to Puerto Vallarta.

Continue reading “Shopping The Isla Rio Cuale in Puerto Vallarta”

Fishing with Master Baiter’s

Established in 2000, Master Baiters Sportfishing and Tackle is now one of the oldest and most established Fishing Company in Puerto Vallarta. After years of operation Master Baiters stands alone and offers the fishing public (Beginner, Experienced or Pro) the most advanced and well equipped boats available in Puerto Vallarta.

PV Dorado

Specializing in Big Fish like Yellowfin Tuna Monsters, Black / Blue / Striped Marlin, Sailfish, Dog Tooth Pargo, Rainbow Runners, Amber Jacks, Rooster Fish and the list goes on. Kites, Down Riggers, Trolling, Casting, Drifting, Bottom fishing, they do it all. Even fly fishing amigo!

As a company started by fisherman and run by fisherman, you can rest assured that when you´re in Puerto Vallarta, on a Master Baiters Boat, you’re on a world class operation that is dedicated to you catching fish and having the time of your life!

They look out for you the client on all the little things that make a difference. A full spool, Fresh Line and an English Speaking Crew makes Master Baiters one of the most successful Sportfishing Businesses in Marina Vallarta.  They are an American operation with Mexican Associates, so they live up to their famous company slogan ¨We Won´t Jerk You Around¨!  Continue reading “Fishing with Master Baiter’s”

Puerto Vallarta Iguanas at Rio Cuale

Iguanas are native to Puerto Vallarta and can be seen in many places sunbathing throughout the city. Green and black Iguanas come in all shapes and sizes and do an incredible job of blending in with their surroundings. You will have to keep your eyes open to spot an iguana as their ability to camouflage into the scenery is amazing. The Iguanas of Puerto Vallarta can be seen on rooftops, in trees and hanging onto hot rocks close to the Ocean.

Puerto Vallarta Iguanas
Puerto Vallarta Sunbathing Iguanas

If you want to go looking for iguanas in their natural environment to take pictures, or show to your children there is one place in Puerto Vallarta where you can always find them.  The green Iguanas have favorited a big tree alongside of the bridge that crosses the famous Rio Cuale.

To get there head South past the Church of Guadalupe walking on the left hand side of the road (you should be following the vehicle traffic.) After walking about two blocks you will come to the famous Rio Cuale (river).  Continue reading “Puerto Vallarta Iguanas at Rio Cuale”

Getting to Yelapa in a Water Taxi

The first time I took a water taxi to Yelapa I had imagined that it would be similar to taking a Ferry. I was mistaken! A water taxi actually resembles more of a fishing boat with extra seating than anything.  It is much smaller than a Ferry! The water taxis are manned by two pros Who have mastered the art of  getting you safely from the beaches of Puerto Vallarta to Yelapa beach with ease.

Water Taxi Ride Through Los Arcos
Water Taxi Ride Through Los Arcos

After all of the passengers are on board the water taxi takes off and as you get further away.  From the shore you get a breathtaking view of Puerto Vallarta  from the water.

If your lucky your Captain might take you on a bit of a tour along the way stopping at Los Arcos for all to get a close up and personal view.

If  you come upon dolphins, whales or sea turtles on your trip to Yelapa, nine times out of ten the Captain will slow or stop the boat for all the passengers to marvel and take pictures of the sea life in their natural habitat. So sit back and enjoy the ride!


Water Taxi's at Yelapa Beach
Water Taxi's at Yelapa Beach

 

Water Taxi Tips

– Pack your electronics in an airtight zip lock bag. Better to be safe than sorry!

– The further you sit towards the back of boat the less bumpy the ride

– Bring something to cover up with, zipping through the ocean can get chilly.

– The ocean is always calmer in the morning, so taking an earlier water taxi can be more enjoyable for those who might be nervous.

 

Spectacular Sunsets in Puerto Vallarta!

Old Town pier sunset
Old,Old Town pier at sunset.

Sunsets in Puerto Vallarta are a spectacular sight — not to be missed. A front row seat on the beach is the best place to watch the sunset.

With your bare feet in the beach sand, and a cocktail in hand, sit back and enjoy the view. Puerto Vallarta is a magical place where you get an unobstructed view of the big, red ball of fire as it sinks into the ocean.

There are no freight or cargo ships blocking your view, only pleasure crafts. The occasional sailboat, yacht, kayak, or even surfboard paddlers may take the stage, and this makes for the perfect sunset photo.

It is an amazing experience to witness a sunset in Puerto Vallarta and if you are only visiting for a short time I would put this at the top of your beach to-do list.

Personally, I watch it every chance I get!

Three of World’s 8 Sea Turtle Species Live in Banderas Bay

Banderas Bay has three of the world’s eight sea turtle species living in and around it.

Some of the oldest creatures in the world are sea turtles having existed on this planet for over 220 million years, making turtles one of the oldest reptile groups.

Turtles have been around longer than lizards, snakes or crocodiles.

Sea turtles have survived through the disappearance of innumerable species of creatures, including at least two great extinctions Continue reading “Three of World’s 8 Sea Turtle Species Live in Banderas Bay”

Botanical Gardens Is a “Must-See”

One of the best places to visit is the beautiful Botanical Gardens in the Sierra Madre Mountains, about 12 miles south of Puerto Vallarta on Hwy 200.

Located on 20 acres in a unique tropical dry forest ecosystem about 1,300 feet above sea level, the botanical collections display more than 3,000 different species of plants.

Against the breathtaking backdrop of soaring mountain peaks, there is much to see: Palm Gardens, Rose Garden, Tree Fern Grotto, Orchid House, Jungle Trails, Tropical Bird Watching, Agave Gardens, displays of Mexican Wildflowers and, my favorite, the Carnivorous Plant Collection.

You can hike trails and enjoy a refreshing swim in the crystal clear water of the Rio Los Horcones. There’s free parking and a free guided tour daily at 1:00 December through Easter. An open-sided restaurant serves a wide selection of Mexican dishes, as well as pizza and salads. You can catch a taxi to the Botanical Gardens for Continue reading “Botanical Gardens Is a “Must-See””

Abedul Stairs Make Interesting Shortcut, Especially When It Rains

There are some very nice hotels and condos up in the foothills above Puerto Vallarta’s Old Town, along the Mismaloya Highway. Various sets of stairs lead up and down the hills — saving a ton of walking time as compared to sticking to the streets. Each stairway has its own personality, charms, and weirdnesses. I’m only getting to know these myself, so I’ll let you know what I find out as I learn it.

Last week, I discovered what I call the Abedul Stairs — because they begin where the Abedul Street dead-ends, go down (or up) the cliff, and then Abedul Street resumes. Continue reading “Abedul Stairs Make Interesting Shortcut, Especially When It Rains”

Rock Balancing Satisfies the Soul in Puerto Vallarta

I was walking home from the Cheeky Monkey, along the Malecon a couple of nights ago right at sunset — when I came across this scene.

I stood entranced. This small, wiry man wrapped his arms around the huge beach rocks and deftly balanced them atop other rocks, again and again. It was like magic.

I dropped a tip in the “propinas” box, thinking that I’ve seen more art that stirred my soul in Puerto Vallarta than anywhere I’ve ever been. And with the sunset as canvas, and ocean breezes in my hair, I once again fell hopelessly in love with Puerto Vallarta… Continue reading “Rock Balancing Satisfies the Soul in Puerto Vallarta”

What Are Those Prehistoric-Looking Birds?

Pretty much the first thing I noticed when I arrived in Puerto Vallarta were the huge, graceful, prehistoric-looking birds gliding above the Bay of Banderas. With their sharply forked tails and their seven-foot wingspans, I’d never seen anything like them.

I discovered they’re called Frigatebirds — frigate meaning a light, fast boat or warship. They’re also known as Man of War or Pirate birds. Since they’re well known for getting some of their food from robbing other seabirds, they come by the names honestly.

In fairness, their food options are limited, since their feathers have little oil and so they cannot swim and don’t land on the ocean. They have the largest body weight to wingspan ratio of any bird, and so they are built for flying, not landing or taking off. They also can’t walk worth a hoot. Continue reading “What Are Those Prehistoric-Looking Birds?”

Old Town, Puerto Vallarta, and México

Voted the friendliest place on earth, Puerto Vallarta is surrounded by incredible beaches and jungles loaded with wildlife. The area, like much of Mexico, is both quaint and vibrant with cobblestone streets, charm, and local fiestas. We try it all, from people- to whale-watching, from local authentic Mexican dishes to world renowned gourmet, from shopping to ziplines. Then we pass on our experiences to you.

Adventure Tours in Vallarta, Even for the Laid Back

I always thought of Puerto Vallarta as a place to walk on the beach, get a massage, eat gourmet food — that’s my idea of a vacation.

So I was surprised to discover that Vallarta is a huge adventure-tour mecca, immensely attractive to people whose idea of fun is rappeling up waterfalls and zooming through jungle tree-tops on zip lines.

But there are also adventure tours that consist of sitting on the boat with a piña colada or three while the captain shows you ecological wonders — you don’t have to jump in the water with fins and snorkel unless it’s starting to look like fun by that point…. Continue reading “Adventure Tours in Vallarta, Even for the Laid Back”

Shopping Heaven in Puerto Vallarta

Due to the US media reports that incorrectly suggest vacationing in Mexico is dangerous, Vallarta has somewhat fewer tourists this season than usual — which translates into less congestion for you, and merchants more eager for your business.

There are half a dozen malls on the airport road north from Old Vallarta, and they have plenty to recommend them, if you have the time and don’t mind paying list price (often high).

The Galleria, for instance, is situated right on the Marina, so even if you just want to munch something inexpensive and delicious on the food court terrace, you’ll be enjoying fresh ocean breezes and a million-dollar view. Continue reading “Shopping Heaven in Puerto Vallarta”