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”

NEW: Huge Portamar Penthouse in Fluvial Vallarta for $199,900!

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that I think Fluvial Vallarta — with its modern streets and utilities, great shopping, parks, library, jogging trails, etc., and only a few blocks from the beach — is one of the very best (and best value) neighborhoods in Puerto Vallarta.

And you know also that I think Fluvial Vallarta’s gated community Portamar (Door to the Sea) is the best deal in town.

Now, with the offer they’re making this week, I really really wish I needed a penthouse or two.

Portamar is offering your choice of two brand-new, big, very nice PENTHOUSE condominiums — 156 square meters (1681 square feet, not including three terraces) — for the equivalent of US $199,900. Wow. It’s a 3-bedroom with 2 baths — or it’s a 2-bedroom with 2 baths plus huge great-room or office or whatever kind of room you want to turn it into. Continue reading “NEW: Huge Portamar Penthouse in Fluvial Vallarta for $199,900!”

Fluvial Vallarta Neighborhood Including Portamar

If you visit Puerto Vallarta as a tourist, fall in love with the city, and want to stay — or want to return again and again and again — you’ll be joining a rather large group of happy people, including myself. Puerto Vallarta has about 50,000 Americans and Canadians living here.

Many of us buy a place in Vallarta. Great idea. But think about what you want in your day-to-day life before you sign any contracts! Continue reading “Fluvial Vallarta Neighborhood Including Portamar”

Do I Need an Agent? What is MLS Vallarta?

Purchasing real estate in Mexico can appear to be a daunting venture. To help you understand the process, this blog provides an overview of buying, selling, and renting real estate in the Puerto Vallarta area. Coming articles will include answers to a number of Frequently Asked Questions that repeatedly come up.Cluster of homes in Puerto Vallarta

Should I be working with a real estate agent?

Yes, you should. Whether you are buying or selling, you need a real estate agent who listens to you and understands this special marketplace.

Buying and selling real estate in Mexico is not as simple or straightforward as it is in the USA and Canada. There are potential obstacles that a real estate agent will help you navigate through. Continue reading “Do I Need an Agent? What is MLS Vallarta?”

Downtown Footbridge Leads to World-Class Flea Market

One of the best flea markets in the world is just outside Old Town across the footbridge at the end of Constitution street (click on Maps, then look at the Old Town and El Centro South maps).

Actually, I mention the footbridge because it’s a fun people-watching spot.

If you desire a more stable footing, the two main traffic bridges are just one block to the north and south.

The two-story flea market is big so plan to wander around for at least an hour or two. (Hint: We carry cell phones so we don’t have to worry about finding each other, but you can simply agree to meet at the footbridge in an hour or whenever works.)

Across the street and upstairs is Cafe Roma, a hangout for the local Americans most Fridays when they sell beers for 5 pesos if you order food. How many 39 cent Coronas can you drink?

Kiosks on Isla Rio CualeKiosks on Isla Rio Cuale

Across half of the footbridge, the island, Isla Rio Cuale, is full of kiosks. Wander down to the beach while you casually discover items you’ve never seen before.

At first Isla Rio Cuale appears to be just another conglomeration of tourist markets, but it is actually a place of local beauty and charm.

From the beach or Malecon, you can start at the market end of the island. Unless it’s your first time, keep walking because the best is yet to come. Continue reading “Downtown Footbridge Leads to World-Class Flea Market”

Iguanas at the Pool and Beach in Puerto Vallarta

Protected species of iguana live at resort swimming pools and beaches in the Puerto Vallarta area along with cats, peacocks, turtles, and fish (in their own pools). Iguana eating a tomato stolen at the Velas pool

It’s said iguana don’t eat meat, but sometimes when you slip into the pool for a moment, they’ve been known to steal the hamburger right off your plate.

Here’s some interesting facts:

Iguana possess a row of spines running down their back to their tail, and a third “eye” on their head. This eye is known as the parietal eye, visible as a pale scale on the top of the head.

Behind their neck are small scales which resemble spikes, known as tuberculate scales. These scales may be a variety of colors and are not always visible from close distances. The large round scale on their cheek is known as a subtympanic shield.

Iguanas have excellent vision and are able to see shapes, shadows, colors, and movement at long distances. Iguanas use their eyes to navigate through crowded forests, as well as for finding food. They use visual signals to communicate with other members of the same species.

Kristin with her new iguana friend
Photos courtesy of Kristin Lewis

An iguana’s ear is known as the tympanum. It is the iguana’s ear drum, and is located right above the subtympanic shield and behind the eye.

Iguanas are often hard to spot, as they tend to blend into their surroundings. The color green helps as a mode of hiding from larger predators.Iguana eating from human hand at the pool

Part 2: English to Spanglish in Puerto Vallarta

50,000 Americans and Canadians live in Puerto Vallarta and, of course, speak native English.

In addition, there are half a million English-speaking visitors each year to Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta.

Around all these native English speakers has grown a sizeable group of local Mexicans who speak English (at least half speak “pocito” or Spanglish, enough to get by, enough to answer your question). So, speaking the language is easier around here than almost anywhere. Pardon My Spanglish

Similarities in Languages

Did you know that thousands of words are the same in English and Spanish? Sounds are pronounced differently and words may be used a bit differently, but spelled almost the same. That makes it a lot easier to learn and to find your way. In fact, 30% to 40% of all words in English have a related word in Spanish with similar sound, appearance, and meaning.

Also, except for a couple of word order exceptions (adjective before noun in English and noun before adjective in Spanish), sentences in both languages have the same basic structures.

Some of The Differences

Perhaps the greatest difference between English and Spanish is that Spanish has only five vowel sounds while English has more than 14, depending on regional dialects. This is the reason Spanish speakers have difficulty differentiating between vowel sounds in words like seat and sit. Continue reading “Part 2: English to Spanglish in Puerto Vallarta”

Florida a Bust?

People who usually travel to Florida are being prodded to step outside their comfort zone.

This year, the oil spill disaster along with a predicted big hurricane season has made Florida a mess-in-the-making. Vacationers and travelers are already canceling plans and looking elsewhere.

Destinations with thousands of American residents, like Puerto Vallarta, suddenly seem less foreign to the typical Florida lover.

Vallarta is Less Foreign — Most People Speak English

In my experience, in any place relevant to a visitor, more than half the people speak enough English to helpfully answer a simple question. Even outside tourist areas, it’s easy to find your way. People are friendly, signs abound, and the bay or mountains are always in view.

Crime is non-existent. In any place relevant to a visitor, you’ll see white-clad cops. They are there for helping visitors like you. Also, drug wars are hundreds of miles away. As a result of these and other things, there are no criminals for you to worry about. You’re safer here than any Florida city.

Instead of putting all of Mexico into the same pot, this year Americans are looking at how good certain destinations truly are.

Puerto Vallarta is always near the top of every “best-place-to-visit” list.

Instead of putting all of Mexico into the same pot, this year Americans are looking at how good certain destinations truly are. Vallarta has it all.Nuevo Vallarta Pool at the Beach

  • Every activity except snow is here. Whatever you want to do, it’s done here.
  • People are clean and vibrant. Food, music, drink, play, relax.
  • This is a fun, friendly city located in the perfect tropical beach, jungle, and mountain setting.
  • The climate here is much better than Florida’s heavy mugginess. This time of year (off-season) it’s more humid, but still much cooler than Florida.
  • Health care is abundant. Doctors, dentists, clinics, hospitals are cheap and state-of-the-art.
  • Costs are low. Flights are cheap. Dollars buy a lot. Americans live better for less money than they can in the States.

Very often, I run into deals that will reimburse flights, give you a luxurious room for 3 nights, along with gourmet meals, liquor, tickets to events and activities, and more. But not every deal is for everybody so I try to hook up visitors to the best for their desires.

Can’t Go to Florida? Take Advantage of the Off-Season in Vallarta

This is the best time to visit Puerto Vallarta. During the off season, rooms are empty and prices are low. Natives are cutting deals.

If you like it quiet and relaxing, or you like it active and healthy, you’ll enjoy the best vacation of your life without too much foreign-ness. Or delve into native life on a pirate adventure.

Click on Contact for more details about how you enjoy the perfect vacation for you! And learn more about incredible deals.

My First Time Here and I Stayed

I came to Puerto Vallarta on vacation and after only one day, I decided to stay. This is one of the most fun and interesting cities in the world.

I was very lucky to choose the very best area of Vallarta by first coming to Old Town.

Signs with Viejo Vallarta Map are found throughout Old Town.
Click to enlarge.

Also called the Romantic Zone and Viejo Vallarta, this part of the city has old-time charm with cobblestone streets overlooking Banderas Bay.

The beaches are the best in town and Los Muertos pier is great for people watching. People from all over the world mix with Mexican families to enjoy this wonderful, fun area of Old Vallarta.

By the way, muertos means dead so it’s the pier of the dead and the beach of the dead. You can ride a galleon and hear the 150-year old story that pirates were killed and laid out on Los Muertos beach.

How Tourists Earn $2,000 a Week Touring 5-Star Resorts

In a news article, Rick Slatton, founder of OldVallarta.com, points out there is a Mayan vacation adventure where tourists get paid just to eat and listen. “Check out resort tours that pay you hundreds in cash at the end of a gourmet meal and 90 minutes,” he says.

Puerto Vallarta Veranda View
Click to enlarge.

More travelers are getting savvy to resort tours, according to Slatton, and he claims to know the Vallarta insiders who can guide you to the most profitable ones every day. Slatton says tourists are making thousands of dollars, along with huge discounts on some of the best accommodations in the world.

“It’s not magic,” says Slatton, “top resorts want your attention for about 90 minutes and they’ll pay you for it. I know certain resorts will pay you very well.”

Slatton says that savvy travelers get handed lots of cash for attending resort previews. How does it work? He gives this example:

One morning, you and your spouse might get picked up from your hotel in a taxi by your friendly guide, and taken to a gorgeous oceanfront Puerto Vallarta resort (such as the Mayan and Velas resorts); you’ll likely be treated to an amazing breakfast buffet in an oceanview dining room; you’ll be shown some luxuriously appointed vacation suites, maybe taken to the penthouse with its panoramic ocean and jungle view and private swimming pool and jacuzzi. You’ll tour the facilities, the beach, the pools, the gardens, the spa, the gym, and you’ll be told about the varieties of recreation from surfing to golf. You’ll then be subjected to a sales pitch. If you say no enough times, eventually your 90 minutes will be up. Then you can take your cash and your free taxi ride back to your hotel, and enjoy a fabulous afternoon and evening in paradise, richer by perhaps $300.

And then you could do it again the next day. And the next. For quite a while. Tourists are known to be earning $2,000 a week touring 5-star resorts.

(Who knows, maybe you’d even find a timeshare or vacation club you’d want to buy! Some of these are tempting.)

Slatton says that there are some qualifications in order to be accepted for “resort previews,” but they vary. “Married couples with at least one credit card between them are very popular. Married couples who already own a timeshare get the best deals. At least one member of a couple should, generally speaking, be between 30 and 70 years old. Singles with a credit card can do well, also, especially gay men. You can make some money with just a debit card.”

According to Slatton, “Don’t worry, the sales folks will never swipe your card, especially since you’re never going to let it out of your grasp.” He suggests [in the news article] that if this way of making money on Mayan vacation in Puerto Vallarta sounds interesting, you should visit his website http://www.oldvallarta.com  to learn more.

Of course, here on the web site you can simple click Contact to learn more.