: For decades, surfers of all ages have flocked to Mexico’s Pacific coast, long considered to be a destination of choice, in order to benefit from its more than 1,500 miles of beaches, points and reefs. Well-known surf spots from the northern state of Sinaloa all the way down to Oaxaca are awaiting exploration year round.
Cravings: A Guayaba
: A very rich source of vitamin C (even more so than the ubiquitous orange), guayabas – or guavas, as they are known up north – are as delicious fresh as they are in their many widely available incarnations, from thick rolls of rich guava paste to bottled guava nectar. And since they can be harvested year round in warm climates, they are considered one of Mexico’s leading fruits.
Living with Art in a Tropical Environment
: The paper and chemicals traditionally used in photography make it especially vulnerable to damage, such as fading, mold and disintegration, from exposure to light, humidity and heat. Special technology and products used in the printing and mounting processes, along with temperature and humidity-control of the space where photos are displayed or stored, can circumvent the risk.
Molcajete Salsa at Your Table
: A basalt (volcanic rock) tool traditionally used at home to grind spices and prepare salsas and guacamole, the molcajete, or Mexican mortar, is the big enchilada of kitchen gadgets here, dating back to Aztec times.
Earnestly Speaking Nonsense — In a Spanish-Speaking Land
: I doubt any gringos actually set out to make fools of themselves here. But speaking “Spanglish” certainly adds to the likelihood that it’s going to happen now and then. Personally, since my livelihood depends on a facility with language, I’m mortified to have an IQ that apparently slumps 80% when speaking what I’ve come to call “Silly Spanish.”
La Piñata: The soul of a Mexican fiesta
: Piñatas are the very soul of children’s parties in Mexico. All youngsters wait impatiently for the moment they can try to break this model made of papier mache and metal, its belly a clay pot filled with candies. This folk art attracts not only children; adults also fall under its colorful spell when it appears at a Christmas party or even sometimes at a wedding.
The Huichol Universe
: They are easily spotted at diverse shops around town, painstakingly attaching multi-colored beads to hand-carved wooden sculptures depicting a variety of fantastic creatures.
Empowering the Youth of Banderas Bay
: Today’s young people hold the future in their hands. Yet the Mexican educational system alone is not equipped to prepare them to benefit from and cope with the challenges and opportunities inherent in Vallarta, which is experiencing largescale tourism and development.
Marvel of the Sea
: Long before jet skis and condominiums, ATVs and fishing trawlers, female sea turtles crawled from the oceans and bays along the Pacific coast of Mexico to fling away loose sand and construct their nests.
Hot Spot: Olas Altas
: Bustling with activity day and night, this trendy street has such a formidable draw that many tourists and locals actually refer to the entire neighborhood by its name. Saunter about and you will be delighted to have scheduled ample time to discover its many restaurants, gift stores, outdoor cafés and nightclubs.
Mexlend Closes the First Refinancing Loan in Puerto Vallarta
: Puerto Vallarta-based MEXLend, an industry-leading mortgage broker in Mexico, has closed the first GE refinancing loan in Vallarta, and only the second in Mexico, marking the beginning of many more financing options to fund in Banderas Bay.
: A home is usually your largest single investment. When you purchase a home, you purchase homeowner’s or hazard insurance to protect against loss from fire, theft or wind damage.
Music: Movers and Shakers
: We cannot possibly do justice to the increasingly vast and varied live music scene here in Puerto Vallarta in a single installment. Like waves on the sand, every year seems to come and go, leaving behind new and memorable performances by talented performers from all walks of life.
Birds of the Bay
: These are two of more than 300 different bird species that can be spotted locally. Search for them on your own or visit www.birdinginmexico.com to learn about professionally guided birding tours.
Head to the Mountains!
: If you are new to Banderas Bay or on a short-term vacation, chances are that you will want to remain fairly close to your home or hotel, as you will find a plethora of things to do in Puerto Vallarta and its immediate surroundings.
Mazunte, Empowering Villagers to Protect the Planet
: What happens when you provide turtle hunters with an alternative, more profitable modus vivendi, one they can pursue without further endangering a protected species?
: Widely cultivated around the world today, this grain was originally domesticated more than 9,000 years ago in central Mexico and to this day remains one of our country’s staple foods.
: The tortilla has been a staple in Mexico since, as the Mayan legend goes, a peasant made the first dozen as a gift for his king in 10,000 BC. And ever since the 16th century, when the Spaniards came to Mexico bringing their tradition of soup, as well as the chickens and spices from which to make flavorful stock, there has been wonderful tortilla soup.
Hot Spot: Pulpito Street
: A funky South Side block with a bohemian feel stretching, for the sake of argument, from landmark beachfront restaurants El Dorado and La Palapa to happening Olas Altas and Picnic restaurant 21 stairs above it, this place to see and be seen offers a bit of everything.
International Restaurants: In Search of Exotics
: Today, Puerto Vallarta’s international restaurant scene can satisfy even the most sophisticated bon vivant. Of course, chances are that if you are visiting Mexico for the first time, you will want to experience authentic Mexican cuisine with its broad variety of flavors first and foremost.