Marietas Eco-Discovery Tour
: A veteran guest on various day cruise “party boats” around North America, I was ready for a change from that type of excursion, which often includes rowdy crowds, rushed itineraries and, frequently, unexpected charges in these alleged “all-inclusive” tours.
Strolling Around Gringo Gulch
: Climb up any of the step-lined streets that lead to this charming hillside neighborhood and you will quickly understand why Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton chose to have homes built there back in the 1960s.
Women Sailors, A Success Story
: Fifteen years ago, Laura Mestre de Legorreta decided to form a women’s sailing team to take advantage of her son’s boats, which had been sitting unused for two years.
Behind the Scenes at Rhythms of the Night
: An accomplished pianist plays Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 as if it were the melody line of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, and a gifted chef prepares a perfect Grand Marnier soufflé as easily as you or I would take the lid off a container of ice cream and scoop some into a dish.
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.
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.
Enjoying Your Best Game of Golf
: Puerto Vallarta has certainly matured from the days when it offered just two golf courses. While those two clubs were very professional, Vallarta was not known as a destination for golfers. But when the EMC World Cup was held at Vista Vallarta in 2002, international attention brought additional investment to the area, and the existing seven local courses grew to nine with another on the way.
The Puerto Vallarta Whale Watching Forum
: “The Puerto Vallarta Whale Watching Forum is a privately funded, ecological group that promotes education and responsible whale watching activities in and around Puerto Vallarta and the Banderas Bay.”
San Sebastian: A World Away in 15 Minutes
: Until recently, I hadn’t had the pleasure of knowing this neat, former silver-mining town in the mountains that’s as pretty and peaceful as I’d imagined real traditional Mexico could be.
San Sebastian del Oeste, A Mountain Renaissance
: For decades, visitors braved hours of perilous travel along rutted dirt roads to reach the largely unspoiled paradise we call San Sebastián del Oeste, a former silver mining town. A landing strip suitable for small aircraft moderately increased exploration possibilities, but it wasn’t until the completion of a paved road connecting Puerto Vallarta with Talpa de Allende.
Mexican Bullfighting Trivia
: The word "bullfighting" raises controversy around the world, but there seems to be agreement on one fact: once you’ve been to a bullfight, chances are you will no longer be neutral about the sport. Either it’s an event that you’re passionate about and will go to numerous times in the future, or your first event will be your last.
Join the Remote Control Flying Club in Banderas Bay!
: A remote control flying club meets every Saturday, in a two-hectare space located in San Vicente, Nayarit, a little town along Banderas Bay. Previously, this club met in Rincon de Guayabitos, but will continue to meet in San Vicente. Flying remote control airplanes is a very involved hobby and is not only about flying.
Expanding Our Maritime Terminal
: If you think Puerto Vallarta’s increasing parking problems have been limited to our city streets, you’ve been missing the bigger picture. All around the world, business is booming for the cruise industry.
: While chicken is a mainstay of many a diet, my own included, I rarely treat myself to duck, considering it a special occasion poultry. And, truth be told, when I do indulge it’s either in Peking Duck or Duck a l’Orange – not only because I love them both, but until recently they were the only duck dishes I knew!
Hot Spot: Lázaro Cárdenas
: Bucerias may mean “place of the divers,” but along Lazaro Cardenas in this fun town on the Riviera Nayarit it should mean “place of the diverse!” The avenue runs parallel to the ocean, a block to the east, and both daytime and evening offer many attractions.
Discovering Off-Malecon in Vallarta
: Every city has its hidden corners, its unseen treasures. While sculpture is featured on the Malecon in Puerto Vallarta, those who know the city suggest that you not stop there. In fact, some of the more interesting corners are off the main drag. This piece focuses on Vallarta’s off -Malecon sculptures, as well as tidbits and stories related to them.
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.