: 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.
Flyers by the Trees
: 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.como
to learn about professionally guided birding tours.
Purchasing Art Supplies in Puerto Vallarta
: Art supplies in Vallarta are available primarily through two sources: Mexico Magico (formerly Xochitl) at Juarez 534 (222-5776), which is open Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 2 pm and 4 to 8 pm; and Pro-arte at Mexico 1197-A (across from Casa Ley, no telephone), which is open 10 am to 2 pm and 4 to 7 pm Monday through Friday, and 10 am to 1:30 pm on Saturdays.
Puerto Vallarta Navy Museum Opens Its Doors
: Puerto Vallarta's brand-new Navy Museum and Naval Historical Center opened its doors this week in El Centro next to Los Arcos. Discover this new attraction that will allow you to learn more about Mexico's maritime history, as well as that of other cultures.
What’s in a Name, Anyway?
: What’s in a name? Well, at the video store, a clue as to what movie we’re holding in our hands would be nice! Most of the movies in Puerto Vallarta were made in English and then translated for the Mexican market - and we certainly don’t mean literally - their titles sometimes differ so vastly from the originals that they boggle the mind.
: Undoubtedly, one of the major attractions of the season are the whales that migrate to our shores from their feeding grounds along the northern coast of California, creating one of the most spectacular shows nature offers. Follow these tips to select an environmentally-responsible tour provider.
Dim the Lights
: There’s something special about going to the movies – and now there are myriad options in Vallarta, so plan to settle down in the dark and enjoy the show!
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.
Not Just for Kids
: Little fingers all wrinkled from the water? Teenagers getting restless? It’s time to pull the kids out of the pool and explore the fabulous activities that make Vallarta such a terrific family scene. From snorkeling to surfing, storytelling to Spanish classes, there’s something cool going on for anyone young – or young at heart!
Best Place for Free Entertainment: Around the Main Square
: Vallarta offers an abundance of free concerts, plays, movies, dance performances and much more all around the bay. But when it comes to consistently conveying Vallarta’s vibrant cultural manifestations, nothing beats our Main Plaza beside City Hall and the oceanfront Malecon right across from it at the Los Arcos outdoor amphitheater. And here’s what our senior photographer, Eduardo Solorzano, saw when he wandered there awhile.
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 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.
Best Young Performers: Hannalore Hein & Jayce Johnson
: Recently we had the privilege of seeing actors Hannalore and Jayce for the first time in “My Fair Lady,” although they have participated in previous American School annual productions and been active in Puerto Vallarta’s growing theater community.
Fiestas and Festivals
: Every day is a día de fiesta in Mexico! Here is a list of official Mexican holidays and important local festivals you may want to keep in mind as you plan ahead for your paradise vacation.
Crocodile Dundee Was Here
: The best way to see crocodiles, while feeling safe, is to visit the University of Guadalajara's well-run reptilarium at its Ixtapa campus about 15 minutes from the airport.
New Zoo for Puerto Vallarta
: Puerto Vallarta now has a facility in Mismaloya, just south of town, where the public can view 250 animals from 70 different species
: Taking in the sights on foot is a great way to see some of the marvelous things Puerto Vallarta has to offer, from historical buildings to new night clubs, cigars to sculptures.
Swimming with the Dolphins
: A look at swimming with the Pacific Bottlenose dolphins at the Nuevo Vallarta Dolphin Center.
Humpback Whales Breach In The Bay
: One of the greatest thrills you can experience inside Banderas Bay is watching the play of the humpback whales that return every year to mate and give birth.