Traditional Candy Treats in Puerto Vallarta

A "Day of the Dead" Candy Skull Coated in Amaranth

Candy stores in Puerto Vallarta can be luscious upscale confections like the shop Xocodiva, at Calle Rodolfo Gómez 111, specializing in truffles (lime or coconut anyone?) and molded chocolates (including Santas and Day of the Dead skulls at appropriate times of year).

But the Vallarta candy stores that you’ll probably find most fun are the traditional, neighborhood ones, which will usually be located on commercial streets like Constitución, and selling things you’ll have no clue what they are. The cartoony characters on some of the packaging is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

Pick out a few sweets that look interesting and then see what you’ve gotten yourself into! Chili pepper and sweet-and-sour are popular flavors. Cactus, tamarind, and things that are not in my Spanish dictionary are frequent ingredients. I really enjoy the coconut rolls, like the freshly made inside of a Mounds bar. You can get these in every size from tiny to clan-size. Continue reading “Traditional Candy Treats in Puerto Vallarta”

Fiestas in Puerto Vallarta

Dancing horsePuerto Vallarta is a destination where you will be able to discover colorful traditions that identify to historic celebrations.

The “Celebrations of Mayo” takes place between the 21 of May and the 5 of June.

The Festival of the Mariachi is celerated in September.

The celebrations of the 12 of December, dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe, accompanied by dances, parades, misas and processions, in an atmosphere solemn, but identified by the light and the color of the pyrotechnics. Continue reading “Fiestas in Puerto Vallarta”

Puerto Vallarta: The San Francisco of Mexico

Puerto Vallarta earns its nickname, “The San Francisco of Mexico,” not only because it is uncommonly friendly to gays and lesbians, but because PV is open-minded in most ways. Just as in San Francisco, though, open-minded doesn’t as a rule mean tasteless or offensive. Far from it!

As a city that has peacefully and graciously incorporated 50,000 expatriate Americans and Canadians into it over the past couple of decades, while hosting millions more for vacations, Puerto Vallarta has learned that its best interests are served by incorporating the best of what the newcomers want, instead of expecting them to adopt purely Mexican ways. Continue reading “Puerto Vallarta: The San Francisco of Mexico”

Puerto Vallarta: A Massage Primer

Spas abound in Puerto Vallarta, and an hour of massage with scented oils, hot stones, and a cold drink, on the beach or with an ocean view, can set you back a whole $50 USD. We’ll talk about these kinds of experiences again and again as I work my way through PV’s spas, on assignment as a spa tester/reviewer, at least in my dreams.

But in addition to the luxurious spas, you can find a good, reasonably priced massage ($35-$50 USD per hour) around just about any Puerto Vallarta corner. Continue reading “Puerto Vallarta: A Massage Primer”

Yelapa Day Trip Yields Pie

Just as we were heading back to the pier for a return water taxi, a local pie lady asked us if we wanted pie. We followed her to a modern bayfront kitchen…

We delayed going to Yelapa due to rare winds and heavy seas on Thursday, but the next morning we had a wonderful trip on calm waters. I bought tickets at one of the Yelapa water taxi booths at Los Muertos pier. Cost is 250 pesos (about $20) roundtrip for each person.

I recommend the larger water taxi boats for a more comfortable ride across the bay. Jack Water Taxi boats are comfortable enough and they appear very competent.

Sometimes a wet spray hits my face as we skip across the waves. It’s about 40 minutes with plenty of interesting views along the way. I’m told that “in season”, whales and dolphins often appear.

Yelapa Cove is Clear Water with Lots of Wildlife

The water taxi offered to drop us at either pier or on the beach. We walked through a rustic Mexican village, then explored the large beach.

The cove is excellent with sparkling clean water filled with an abundance of wildlife. From end to end, the Yelapa cove varies from exceptional beaches to rocky areas and two piers. There’s a lagoon just a few feet behind the long beach with lots of birds.

Waterfall Cafe

During the off-season, many restaurants only open for dinner or are closed. The small cafe at the waterfall is quite worthwhile. My partner had a very tasty shrimp empanadas with her piña colada, while I had a strong rum & coke with nachos.

Pie Ladies

I happened to read about the Pie Ladies back in P.V., and when we arrived a wonderful impromptu guide, Donaldo, advised us to watch for the Pie Ladies. I wasn’t sure what all the fuss was about.

Just as we were heading back to the Yelapa pier for a return water taxi, a local pie lady, Agostina, asked us if we wanted pie. We followed her to a modern bayfront kitchen. While she bakes, Agonstina has one of the best views in Yelapa.

Looking over her wares, I bought an entire pie of seven pieces for 200 pesos: two lemon meringue, two coconut, one cheese, one pecan, and one chocolate. The cheese pie is extra yummy! Mmmm.

Yelapa pie
7 slices of heavenly pie from Yelapa

The coconut pie is chock full of sweet, local shredded coconut, the kind that’s healthy for you. The lemon pie was over the top lemony (which is a mystery since we can’t seem to find lemons in Mexico and limes are called limons) and it stood 6 to 8 inches tall with meringue.

Our overall favorite ends up being the cheese pie. I usually pass on cheese pie but Agostina’s is scrumptious. The chocolate pie has more of a delicious cocoa flavor, than chocolate.

The pecan pie did not last long enough for me to taste as my partner is particularly fond of pecan pie. She told me it was exceptionally full of fresh pecans. I’ll have to take her word for it until my next visit to Yelapa.

List of Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta

After they settle in for a day or two, lots of visitors ask, “What is there to do?” Puerto Vallarta has an incredible choice of fun activities and events. Here is a list to get started:

  • Explore Gourmet Cuisine
  • Swim with Dolphins
  • Go Whale Watching
  • Discover Beaches
  • Fly above Treetops
  • Visit Local Villages
  • Tour Native Galleries
  • Learn Vallarta History
  • Participate in an Art Walk
  • Take a Canopy Tour
  • Shop the Giant Flea Market
  • Walk the Malecon
  • Snorkel Local Islands
  • Golf at the World’s #1 Courses
  • Tour a Tequila Plantation
  • ATV in a Jungle Buggy
  • Ride a Mexican Bus
  • Water Taxi to Yelapa
  • People-Watch at Los Muertos
  • Dance in a Discotheque
  • Discover Sea Turtles
  • Ride a Spanish Galleon
  • Sail or Fish the Bay
  • Drink and Dine on the Beach
  • Explore Nightlife
  • Oo and Ah at Huicholes
  • Surf, Dive, Parasail, Hike
  • There is something for everybody…
  • Beyond these, some vacationers might fancy a lucrative “Pirate” adventure. Contact for details.