Mexican Pyrotechnics: From Gunpowder to the Marigalante
: Spend enough evenings around downtown Puerto Vallarta and you'll find you no longer need a watch, especially around 9 pm, when the daily Marigalante pirate ship fireworks light up the night sky. Here in Mexico we need practically no excuse to set off fireworks.
Behind the Scenes at a Talavera Factory
: As you discover Puerto Vallarta, it is difficult to miss the ubiquitous oval-shaped ceramic door signs outside many of its buildings, or the square hand-painted tiles that adorn their different rooms, or the ornate plant holders, picture frames, plates, mugs and even bathroom sinks available for sale in many of our gift shops. This is talavera.
Hot Spot: The Marina Vallarta Malecon
: Peaceful and pretty and a world apart from the hurly-burly of town, yet just 15 minutes away, this is the perfect place for those who dare to dream.
And Such a Bargain!
: Haggling over price is generally expected in Mexico, but keep in mind that to bargain is not to argue; rather, it is a courteous discussion of price. For a good deal, it’s not necessary to be aggressive or obnoxious, just knowledgeable and determined.
Day in Sayulita
: Sayulita is a day-tripper’s dream come true. It’s just what the quixotic traveler yearns for: a picturesque fishing village on a palm-fringed curve of sand with clean waters, lush jungles and incredible beaches to explore.
: Like many others before him, Francisco Haghenbeck moved to Puerto Vallarta three years ago looking to get away from Mexico City’s increasing hustle and bustle.
: Growing up beside the Cuale River with its constant flow toward the sea, Alfonso Bernal Romero gained a perspective on life that keeps his feet on the ground.
: Kirstie Kaiser says the minute she entered the ocean for her first dive, she knew she “had made the wrong choice.”
Discover Banderas Bay’s South Shore
: You could spend weeks, if not months, discovering all the wonders that Vallarta has to offer; however, with more than 40 miles of coastline, it is quite tempting to see what lies beyond the city. From snorkeling and kayaking to peaceful sunbathing in secluded beaches, Vallarta’s South Shore features a number of destinations reachable by boat, suitable for day trips or overnight stays.
Enrique Barrios Limón
: If to dance is to move among angels, then to choreograph and lead a dance troupe is to orchestrate heaven on earth.
: Sailing around the world a decade ago with his wife, Anneke, on their 41-foot Unicorn, the couple instantly fell under the spell of Banderas Bay. “It was so beautiful — the whales, the dolphins, the mountains, the clean water, everything about it.”
VirtualVallarta.com Reader's Choice Results 2006
: The wait is over! This year’s winners were selected by Puerto Vallarta visitors and residents alike, who filled out our online voting form here at virtualvallarta.com between February 1 and June 15. Are your favorites among the winners?
Best Commercial Makeover: Plaza Caracol
: You’re in for a big surprise on your next visit to this popular 17-year-old plaza in Puerto Vallarta’s northern Hotel Zone, an incredible number of exciting recent changes and additions making it Banderas Bay’s most comprehensive plaza by far.
Best La Cruz Connection: Philo’s
: On a typical Thursday evening at Philo’s Music Bar on Calle Delfin in the heart of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, the musicians are tuning up while, in one corner of the palapa-covered space, a group of grinning Mexican children are playing “Simon Says” – in English.
Best Yelapa Connection: Brad Wollman
: After 15 years of visiting and ultimately living full-time in Yelapa, Brad Wollman decided to share his considerable expertise with would-be visitors to this pristine village 15 miles southwest of Vallarta.
Best Beach: That Depends on What You Have in Mind
: With some 26 beaches on Banderas Bay’s 34 miles of coastline, there really is no such thing as “the best beach” here. Besides, whatever floats your boat, right? We can, however, give you a heads-up about the best ones for enjoying various pursuits.
El Centro Hot Spot
: Just one block up from the Malecon, where folks stop to interact with the eclectic Colunga sculptures in front of Las Palomas restaurant, are some of this town’s best browsing, shopping and dining opportunities.
Silvia Álvarez Bustos
: A dedicated wife and mother, Silvia is tirelessly committed to protecting not only her family but the environment and all creatures sharing this planet with us, her modus operandi combining the heart’s wisdom with rolled up shirtsleeves.
: It is difficult to have a conversation in Puerto Vallarta about the local jazz and blues scene without Tom Colvin’s name being mentioned. A gifted harmonica player, writer and photographer, Tom’s relationship with Puerto Vallarta began as love at first sight, and quite possibly, as is often the case with musicians, first sound. Having accepted an invitation to visit a friend, he found the condo of his dreams during his first trip and took ownership within a year.
: Chances are, those of you who have been around for a few years recognize this mountain of a man, a larger-than-life entertainer and promoter of this town he so loved.