Cravings: Sopes & Huaraches
: As clay is transformed into amazing artifacts in the hands of a ceramist, the dough used to make corn tortillas, known as masa, can also result in these delicious traditional treats commonly found in mercados and other casual eateries throughout Mexico.
Macadamia-encrusted Chilean Sea Bass
: Macadamia-encrusted Chilean Sea Bass courtesy of Tikul.
Jazz in Puerto Vallarta
: A number of professional jazz musicians have found their way to our destination, some as tourists, others to work for a season or two, and then there are those who have chosen Puerto Vallarta as their permanent residence.
Homemade Ice Cream
: While most of us have been succumbing to this sublime favorite for eons, producing ice cream at home or in small quantities has been a labor-intensive task until recently. Smaller, electric ice cream makers that rely on small canisters that can be placed in the freezer ahead of time to facilitate production have taken the place of old-fashioned hand-cranked machines that required ice chunks and salt for cooling.
: First-time visitors to Mexico often marvel at our country’s vast heritage. It is no wonder that so many tourists from the United States and Canada head south and often choose to relocate here. But unless we pay close attention, we frequently fail to realize the extent to which Mexico has permeated the world. Read on and you’ll realize that, even if you haven’t been to Mexico before, Mexico’s been closer to you than you think.
Neighborhood Profile: Emiliano Zapata
: Let’s face it: The phrase Emiliano Zapata just doesn’t have the same allure as Olas Altas, Romantic Zone, South Side or even Basilio Badillo. These are, in fact, names of well-known streets and areas in one of Puerto Vallarta’s most happening colonias, or neighborhoods: Emiliano Zapata.
The Concierge, Always Ready to Make a Recommendation
: Generally, the first person a guest sees upon arriving at a hotel is the concierge, seated at his desk ready to offer recommendations about the destination’s attractions. The position of concierge originated in the castles of France almost a thousand years ago, where they were responsible for the keys, as well as meeting the needs of the owners and their royal guests.
Puerto Vallarta as a Homeport
: It’s been two years since Puerto Vallarta’s Maritime Terminal underwent a gargantuan expansion, increasing its capacity to receive three full-size cruise ships simultaneously, along with a variety of smaller vessels.
San Pancho: A Little Slice of Paradise
: Deserted powdery white beaches and a traditional small-town feel await you at San Francisco, affectionately known as San Pancho. Located in the state of Nayarit, about an hour north of Vallarta along Highway 200 — away from the high-energy experience of nearby Puerto Vallarta — this beautiful town invites rest and relaxation.
Now that I have Bought Property in Mexico, What do I have to do to Keep Everything Current?
: For a foreigner, buying property in Mexico is a new and different experience. Most foreigners spend time researching the procedure of buying property, setting up a trust or a corporation and becoming familiar with the different permits and costs required to close on a property transaction in Mexico. A lot of effort is put into becoming familiar with the “closing procedure” however very little time is spent on understanding what on-going obligations exist after the property has been purchased.
Capital Gains Tax (ISR) on the Sale of Homes in Mexico
: This is a subject that everyone wants to know about and everyone wants to find a way to legally avoid. In an effort to keep you up to date, the following is the “cliff note” version of what you need to understand. In 2007 the Mexican government modified the rules pertaining to the exemption of income tax obtained in the sale of primary residences. The reason they did this was principally to close loops holes that allowed the upper class to avoid paying taxes on any homes they owned.
: Los Amores is a master-planned residential development designed to provide, in a unique environment, different options to best accommodate most demanding needs. This development offers six condominium options (A-F) and two villa options (Capricho and Deseo), within a secure and gated community, with amenities and features designed so owners can spend quality time with friends and family in a fun, relaxed and enjoyable way.
: Take a closer look at Mascota in this five-minute video feature. (Quicktime video)
: Las Vistas offers the opportunity to own a luxury condo nestled in the jungle on the top of colonia 5 de Diciembre with a spectacular view of the bay, beautiful sunsets and endless city lights of Puerto Vallarta. Developer Carlos Vazquez continues to reach new heights in design and quality, offering an attractive floor plan with top-of-the-line finishes throughout.
360 Spotlight: Dolphin Adventure Center
: If you love dolphins, a visit to Vallarta Adventures' Dolphin Adventure Center should top your list of things to do on your Puerto Vallarta vacation! Vallarta Adventures offers a full range of educational and interactive dolphin programs designed for dolphin lovers of all ages and abilities.
America's Cup Tour
: Although I’d worked as a “two-stripe” officer on the largest cruise ship in the world prior to returning to Puerto Vallarta, I had never stepped onto a sailboat before. All I knew about America’s Cup sailboats was that they were racing vessels with gigantic sails.
Hot Spot: Malecón Extension
: The Malecon extension that connects the original Malecon to the South Side is home to an eclectic collection of shops, eateries and services. In the stretch between the Los Arcos Amphitheater and the Benito Juarez parking lot, you can find everything from coffee to vanilla liqueur, from funky clothing to t-shirts, from fine dining to a quick snack.
Costeletta de Agnello Rack of Lamb
: Costelleta de Agnello Rack of Lamb
Staying Cool When It's Hot, Hot, Hot
: There’s no getting around it. Summer in Vallarta is just plain hot! Even with the almost daily thundershowers, the rain here in the tropics only cools things down temporarily, and before you know it, the hot and humid air returns. But don’t let that keep you hiding indoors with your head in the refrigerator.
Lenny: Music a la Carte
: About four years ago, while I was having dinner at Daiquiri Dick’s
, Lenny appeared with his guitar, offering music table to table. At the request of my companions, I ended up singing Sabor a Mi in harmony with this talented artist. I recently had the opportunity to interview him in the very same restaurant.