: While it’s native to tropical Africa and an essential ingredient in several Asian cuisines, not to mention Worcestershire sauce, we like to think of tamarind as our very own. Widely popular in Mexico, tamarind grows wild in tall trees that produce 3- to 8-inch-long, brown, pea-like pods containing a soft acidic pulp and many seeds. When fully ripe, the shell becomes brittle and easily broken.
: Step under the gaily striped awning of “Hikuri” at Coral 66 in the fishing village of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle and enter an extraordinary world – a microcosm created by Aruna Piroshki, Wayland Combe-Wright and their daughter, Kaerolik.
Taking Hand to Brush
: So, you're bending the elbow a bit, practicing the gentle art of Margaritaville on the beach when you decide to get more creative. Once it's time to dig your toes out of the sand, where can you find something for the soul? Surprisingly, many locals artists offer classes, for advanced students or even beginners.
Hot Spot: El Anclote
: El Anclote means “the small anchor,” and this special neighborhood at the entrance to Bahía de Banderas on the exclusive Punta de Mita peninsula does indeed fulfill its name, serving as the “town” and focal point for activities and dining outside the nearby fashionable hotels and estates.
A Treasure Trove of Experiences and Information: Vallarta Lifestyles Digital Edition
: In the dictionary, the word “magazine” is defined as a noun, but the Vallarta Lifestyles Digital Edition is more than an online evolution of a paper publication - it's an experience! Whether you are a full or part-time resident in the Puerto Vallarta area, have visited us before and want to keep current on what's happening here or are planning an upcoming trip to our tropical paradise, this digital magazine is for you!
Dreaming Downtown into a New Existence
: It takes a visionary to conceive a new reality for a space long taken for granted. We’ve all appreciated an evening or morning stroll on the Malecon, bumping into friends or acquaintances and exchanging a few pleasantries, if not salacious gossip.
: Harkening back to an era when no respectable soft drink would be sold in a can or plastic bottle, Lee and Nancy Chapman’s “Vintage Refresco Collection” of 198 unopened Mexican soda bottles makes a nostalgic statement in their Puerto Vallarta home.
: At first glance, there is nothing particularly exciting about this rather unattractive, prickly vegetable. And yet, the unassuming cactus, or nopal as it is known locally, packs quite the star power. Native to Mexico, it was deeply entrenched in Aztec mythology, called “the plant of life” for its ability to produce a brand-new offspring from an old, dying specimen.
Jogging in Paradise
: Not only is Puerto Vallarta a great destination for enjoying beaches, nightlife and art, it’s also the perfect place to enjoy exercising! Both early in the morning and late in the afternoon, it’s quite common to see people running along the Malecon, whether on their own, as couples, in groups or with pets.
Hot Spot: El Pitillal Plaza
: Thanks to modern conveniences, most of us today can tootle along major supermarket aisles and shopping centers finding just about every item we could possibly require on a day-to-day basis. This was not always the case, however, as exemplified today by the small-town charm of Pitillal Plaza.
: Military Macaws, or guacamayas as they are known locally, are a class of medium-sized parrots native to Mexico, Central and South America. Not quite as colorful as some of the larger members of the macaw family, the Military Macaws are equally impressive.
: While tuba isn’t indigenous to Mexico and the word doesn’t come from the Spanish language, tuba is certainly part of the Malecón or beach experience in Puerto Vallarta.
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.
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.
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.
Flyers by the Sea
: When the day gives way to twilight a drum begins to beat, a flute sings along with the waves, and then a dance begins, four men flying in circles celebrating Mother Earth and the power of the sun.
Papel Picado:The People's Art
: Viva la fiesta!
This most traditional and egalitarian of folk arts is everywhere in Vallarta, papel picado transforming any occasion into a special event with a distinctly Mexican feel.
: 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.