: I didn't think any grown woman could be so cute and perky, but Renée is like a ray of sunshine, bursting with enthusiasm about her family, her work and the world around her. And I guess that's part of why she brings out the best in each and every one of her theater students at the American School.
: For more than 20 years Vallarta was fortunate to have Patrick Denoun as a resident artist. Originally from France but more a citizen of the world, Patrick provided us with art that was continually evolving and fascinating, for Patrick was not one to be complacent and just paint what he knew would sell.
Mary Sue Morris
: A fearless visionary with a can-do attitude, boundless energy and an unparalleled sense of fun, adventure and style, Mary Sue Morris was perhaps the most dynamite business woman Puerto Vallarta has ever seen, her ultra-glamorous Viva jewelry store and Viva Girls the talk of the town.
Vallarta on Canvas
: For centuries, artists around the world have been inspired by their surroundings, producing memorable cityscapes, the urban equivalent of a landscape.
Vallarta’s Evolving Art Scene
: Globally, the art world has exploded, with each season bringing new record prices for paintings, such as Gustav Klimt’s “Adele BlochBauer I,” which sold for $135 million USD this past June. A multi-billion dollar industry, art has precipitated a frenzy of interest that goes beyond investment potential.
La Cruz de Huanacaxtle
: It may be a hard name to pronounce, but it’s a joy to visit! La Cruz de Huanacaxtle (“La Cruz”), a mere half hour north of the bustle of Puerto Vallarta, offers a restful alternative to the glitz of Vallarta and a glimpse of a typical fishing village, along with good restaurants, fun shopping and a vibrant music scene.
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.
: Symbols of freedom, grace and serenity, dolphins have a universal appeal. Admired for centuries, these sea mammals were once seen as saviors of the seas, reputed to rescue drowning sailors. Today we celebrate their intelligence and extraordinary qualities, and those fortunate enough to swim or play with these intriguing creatures find it a fascinating experience.
Rio Cuale Island: Our Verdant Downtown Oasis
: In the very heart of town, connecting the mountains to the sea, lies Puerto Vallarta's own emerald necklace, the Rio Cuale Island. Barely six blocks long by one wide, the island is not the result of careful city planning and development, as is the case with its much revered counterparts.
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.
: 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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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?