Quesadillas de Jamaica Recipe

Quesadillas de Jamaica ready to eat

You have probably tried the common and refreshing  Mexican drink Agua de Jamaica on your visit to Puerto Vallarta.

It is a natural drink made from Hibiscus Flowers!  It can be distinguished by its rich dark red color and has a bit of a tarty flavor that is sweetened with sugar or honey.

Continue reading “Quesadillas de Jamaica Recipe”

Holiday Crowds in PV

Holiday Crowds in Puerto Vallarta
            Holiday Crowds in Puerto Vallarta

We are fast approaching Christmas and New Years –  one of the busiest times of the year for Puerto Vallarta – and I thought I’d offer some advice on how to deal with the crowds.

Due to the population increase during the holidays in Puerto Vallarta, everything we do takes longer.

Planning ahead and taking more time to do things, with an extra side of patience is needed to get through the holidays with your sanity. Continue reading “Holiday Crowds in PV”

Graffiti In A Concrete Jungle

Graffiti In Puerto Vallarta
Graffiti In Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is visually stunning in many different ways! From the lush jungle vegetation, to the colorful flowers that bloom year round, to the white washed buildings and red tiled roofs, the magnificent sunsets and the varying colors of blue between the ocean and sky to the growing and prominently displayed art of graffiti throughout Puerto Vallarta.

Graffiti has come a long way from unsightly tagging to beautiful pieces of street art. You will notice murals and graffiti placed in prominent areas around Puerto Vallarta blending in with the natural surroundings and bringing life to other areas with less color like school yards and concrete bearing public places.

These talented artists who add to the beauty of Puerto Vallarta are often sponsored by businesses or are part of a fundraising event to visually brighten different areas in the city. Continue reading “Graffiti In A Concrete Jungle”

Eat, Sleep and Play in Marina Vallarta

Marina Vallarta is a charming area that is located just 2 minutes from the international airport and 15 minutes from down town Puerto Vallarta.

The marina hosts many luxury yachts and sailboats in its 450 slips. Some of the boats are here year round, while others are here for a season, or just a day or two to rest before continuing on their journey.

The marina has a beautiful boardwalk lined with many shops, spas, and restaurants which makes it a great place for window shopping, people watching and enjoying a good meal. It is also the place where you can book a fishing trip with one of the many fishing charter companies in Puerto Vallarta.

Here in the marina you will find restaurants in every price range to suit all budgets. There are a couple of places that specialize in breakfast, while other restaurants only open in the evenings.

You will find Seafood, Italian, Chinese, and Mexican restaurant options to choose from, as well as a couple of sports bars, where you can keep up on Hockey, Football, Soccer, UFC etc. Continue reading “Eat, Sleep and Play in Marina Vallarta”

Making and Receiving Telephone Calls In Puerto Vallarta

It never ceases to amaze me how difficult such a simple thing like making or receiving a phone call in Puerto Vallarta and Mexico can be. 

I have found myself in frustrating situations on more than one occasion trying to place a phone call and not being able to.

Once you figure out the basics it will become a little easier, just a little!

If you are planning to bring your smart-phone to Puerto Vallarta on your vacation make sure to change your settings, turn off your package included Internet, and manually connect to the available Internet from your Hotel.

I have heard too many horror stories of friends returning home from their vacation and getting their next phone bill with hundreds of dollars incurred while they were using their phone in Puerto Vallarta and Mexico. Continue reading “Making and Receiving Telephone Calls In Puerto Vallarta”

Changing Dollars to Pesos in Puerto Vallarta

The best exchange rate for your dollar in Puerto Vallarta can be obtained using your Bank card. You will get the best rate by withdrawing money (pesos) from an ATM machine that is found in a bank as you will get the current exchange rate without inflation. If you happen to find a bank in Puerto Vallarta that you deal with back home than you won’t have to pay any fees.  If you don’t find a bank you deal with back home than the typical fee is around 5.00 dollars for your transaction. Even considering this fee, it is still your best option.

ATM in Puerto Vallarta
ATM in Puerto Vallarta

Not every ATM is created equal in Puerto Vallarta. There are more and more ATM Machines popping up in Hotel Lobbies, Corner Stores and even free standing on the street like this one in the picture I came across. I had to laugh at this machine “Cashola, Say hello to your money”. First of all the name and slogan are pretty amusing, and second it is written in English while sitting on a street in Mexico. I didn’t check the fee’s that this particular machine charges, but since it is catering to tourists I bet they are ridiculous! Be aware of the fees as they can range from 5.00 to 11.00 dollars per transaction.

If you are a Canadian and deal with the Scotia bank than there are a few locations where you can withdraw money from an ATM and not be charged any fee. In the old town area just off of Olas Altas and right in front of the Pier is a Scotia Bank ATM, my personal favorite. There is also a Scotia Bank located close to the Plaza in front of the church of Guadalupe, just down the street from Burger King.  Continue reading “Changing Dollars to Pesos in Puerto Vallarta”

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”

How Mexican Music Got the Polka

The Mexican style music you hear had its origins when a few immigrants established the first German settlement in central Texas around 1830 in what would become known as the German Belt.

The Río Grande marked a political and geographical divide along with a cultural one, and the musical styles of the immigrants became popular among those of Mexican heritage. One of the most important musical instruments of the Germans’ musical style, the accordion Continue reading “How Mexican Music Got the Polka”

My Different Life in Puerto Vallarta – Bus Rides Around Town

I did not foresee it but my life is much better for having given up driving. I sold my truck before I came to PV. It’s been much better for me and I feel more relaxed since I don’t have to drive and hassle with a vehicle.

Now I take buses everywhere (and occasionally a taxi). In Mexico, buses will take you just about everywhere.

It’s always interesting on a bus in Mexico. Every day is a new story… Continue reading “My Different Life in Puerto Vallarta – Bus Rides Around Town”

Why Live In Mexico?

Mexico remains the favorite expat haven for U.S. and Canadian citizens despite earthquakes, economic collapses and border drug battles.

Mexico is colorful and vibrant, whether you’re looking at flora and fauna or architecture, furnishings or textiles. It has a rich history, and according to financial figures, a promising future.

Mexico is culturally a long way from the U.S. or Canada. Mexicans are friendly but very private and even secretive. They are trustworthy but not trusting. Continue reading “Why Live In Mexico?”

Friendliest City in the World and #1 for Retirement

Puerto Vallarta was named as La Ciudad Mas Amigable en el Mundo (The Friendliest City in the World) by Condé Nast magazine.

Condé Nast quotes, ” Friendliest of all, however, is Puerto Vallarta (92.5 out of 100 points). The Mexican resort city marked its debut on the list in 2001, in part because of the remarkable amiability of the local folk.

Puerto Vallarta also scores high on ambiance (over 90.0) and is rated number eight Continue reading “Friendliest City in the World and #1 for Retirement”

What Makes Puerto Vallarta Such a Popular Destination?

Puerto Vallarta is one of the most popular spots in the world, attracting 2.2 million tourists a year and about 50,000 expats.

PV offers a lot to those looking for more than just a beautiful beach. Pto. Vallarta offers many attractions in a friendly, colonial coastal setting.

Puerto Vallarta is located on Mexico’s beautiful Pacific coast. From the moment you arrive Continue reading “What Makes Puerto Vallarta Such a Popular Destination?”

Crime Comparisons by Country: U.S. and Mexico

Painting by Karen Knapp

The U.S. is 8th in the world in total crimes at 80.0645 per 1000 residents, giving you an 8% chance of being a victim in the U.S.

But here is the real clunker – Mexico — the country the U.S. government tells you not to visit, and the U.S. media has a field day reporting any crime, be it significant or not, to further put the fear of God into staying away from, well, Mexico ranks 39th in total crime in the world [Source] with a per capita of slightly less than 13 crimes per 1000 residents… That is a 1.3% chance of being a victim of crime in Mexico.  Continue reading “Crime Comparisons by Country: U.S. and Mexico”

When to Go to Puerto Vallarta

High season is the dry season with resorts being busy November through the end of April with visitors from the U.S. and Canada. The most crowded and busy during Christmas Week from December 24 through January 2 or 3, and again at Easter Week.

If you don’t mind late afternoon or evening rain, temperatures in the 80s and 90s, and high humidity, late June through October is a great time to visit. Hotel and condo rates drop by as much as half and there are no crowds. Continue reading “When to Go to Puerto Vallarta”

Top Five Reasons to Go to Puerto Vallarta — Plus My Top Reason

Here are the top reasons to go to Puerto Vallarta, one of the great cities of the world. And it’s very close to cities in the Americas. About 50,000 Americans and Canadians have made PV their home.