Travel Blog

Marks Restaurant Bucerias

November 7th, 2013 ernie Posted in Puerto Vallarta No Comments »

Marks Restaurant BuceriasIf you ever have a chance to go to Marks restaurant Bucerias Mexico, do not even think twice about it, spend an evening dining at this great restaurant. It is a nice spot with really great food and not badly priced as well. It is on a quiet little street about a block off the beach and one of the nicest restaurants in the area. We spent an evening at this restaurant with some friends who thoroughly enjoyed the evening with us. Great food, great atmosphere, and in the spring great weather as well.

These two pictures really show what a nice place it is and the food is also great as well.

Bucerias is a small Mexican town on Banderas Bay on the Pacific coast side of Mexico. There are beautiful beaches, great restaurants in this small rustic town.  It is growing fast so there is more and more a mix of old-world Mexico with new world construction and demands from tourists from all areas of the world.


The beaches are wonderful, long and sandy. You can wade well out into the water that is clear and warm. You will not find a lot of surf in this particular area of the coast. However, for those who want to enjoy the sun, sand, and water it is one of the more idyllic places to spend your time.

Marks Restaurant Bucerias

Marks Restaurant BuceriasMarks restaurant is a great place to spend an evening with your favorite person. Fine dining in a tropical setting, life cannot get much better than this!

We were there on a warm tropical evening and thoroughly enjoyed the evening dining under the stars in Bucerias Mexico.

For more information about this beautiful vacation destination, click here.



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Vacation Packages Puerto Vallarta

October 21st, 2013 ernie Posted in Puerto Vallarta No Comments »

Vacation Packages Puerto VallartaThere are many vacation packages associated with Puerto Vallarta to various hotels in the area. These are usually the resort hotels that offer a combination of hotel plus airfare with all inclusive meals thrown in. There are several nice hotels that are located right on the beach along the coast. Some are inside the city of Puerto Vallarta. While others are on the outskirts or even in other smaller towns not too far from the airport.

Vacation Packages Puerto Vallarta

If you only have a week to spend, and you want to be pampered, not worry about finding groceries etc, then an all inclusive resort is probably the place to go. They cater to everything and your meals and often drinks are also included. The only thing you have to think about each day is what you plan to do that day and which restaurant in the complex you plan to eat in.

Longer Term Vacation

On the other hand, if you have a month to spend or longer, an all inclusive can be pretty expensive and actually a little boring. If you have paid for the all inclusive, you may feel that in order to get your money’s worth, you must spend all of your time there and eat at the restaurants etc. for the writer this would get a little boring and we would just have to get out and explore, go to other restaurants’, beaches etc.

For us staying in a condo on the beach is the best approach when we are staying for any period longer than a week. Sure you have to find grocery stores for some meals and you have to make your own meals etc, but this is part of really getting to know the city you are in. Besides you can still go out and try different restaurants, go exploring, spend time at the beach and even at the pool which most condos have.

We tend to eat breakfast at home and then head out to whatever we plan to do that day and maybe have lunch or supper or both out somewhere at one of the local Mexican restaurants in Puerto Vallarta. This is how we like to spend our vacation in Puerto Vallarta.

What is there to do in Puerto Vallarta

There are lots of activities that tourists can consider when vacationing in Puerto Vallarta. There are great beaches, there are great restaurants, and there is great shopping. For those people who are more adventurous, there are fishing trips, whale watching on Banderas Bay, and trips to other villages around the bay, each with their own charm and attractions.

There are trips into the jungle , including zip lining, boat rides, donkey riding and trips to tequila factories out in the jungle. You can just chill out on the beach under a palapa with an ice cold beer to enjoy and watch the para-sailing enthusiasts.

There are also lots of pubs on or near the malecon which is a walkway that runs along the water for several miles in downtown Puerto Vallarta. One place we really enjoyed is the third floor at Cheeky Monkies sitting along the rail watching the boats and people along the malecon. This is the best place in the city to watch the sunset at night!

Hope you enjoy your vacation in Puerto Vallarta, there are lots to do and it is a safe city to visit. Just be careful the same way you would in all other cities in North America.

For more information and details about Puerto Vallarta, click here.


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Vacation Puerto Vallarta

October 7th, 2013 ernie Posted in Puerto Vallarta No Comments »

Vacation Puerto VallartaWe spent two great months on our vacation in Puerto Vallarta and enjoyed almost every minute of it. My wife and I consider ourselves to be pretty adventurous . We were willing to try many things, although we did not stay out at the bars very late We always were careful about our surroundings and the people around us. That is the only thing that we would caution anyone planning to go to PV. Just like any other city that you visit as a tourist, always be aware of your surroundings. Try to not look like a tourist and dress down to avoid attracting attention. Give the impression that you know where you are going even if you do not.

Bus System

They have an excellent although antiquated bus system. The buses go almost everywhere within PV as well as to many of the other villages that are on the bay and a few miles from Puerto Vallarta. They do not cost much and only take cash, so always be prepared with cash to pay the driver. The buses are antiquated in that they have metal seats, they shake, they rattle and they are uncomfortable, but they are running from early in the morning until about 10pm at night. After 10pm, you need to be prepared to take a taxi wherever you are going.

Vacation Puerto Vallarta-  Beaches in Pureto Vallarta

The beaches are wonderful. Soft sand, no stones and lots of palapas to get under and relax. There are many beach bars that provide both food and beers for very reasonable prices and tourists can sit back and enjoy the surroundings, go for a swim and dry off in the sun. the only negative is that there is a constant flow of Mexicans selling various goods which they have made or purchased somewhere. They will come right up to you and you constantly have to politely decline. You get used to after a while

They have several Starbucks coffee shops in town so if you want a good cup of coffee then this is the place to go. We know it is not Mexican, but sometimes you just need to have a good cup of coffee that you can trust.

Vacation Puerto Vallarta – Restaurants in PV

There are many restaurants that cater to every price as well as every type of food. We tried a lot of Spanish restaurants and really enjoyed them all. Some will automatically place a bottle of tequila on your table that is included with your meal. There may only be four or five shots in it, but that is just fine. At one restaurant we ordered beer and were served tequila chasers with it. Many restaurants will sell a beer for a dollar which is very inexpensive by Canadian and US standards.

There are lots of excursions to go on. From trips out on the ocean to go fishing and do some whale watching to zip lining in the jungle they have it all. We went zip lining which included donkey riding and a trip to a tequila factory after the trip was over. A great way to spend the day. Book with a reputable firm and you will be safe as well as enjoy yourself.

Marina Area of PV

We lived in the marina area of Puerto Vallarta and enjoy the location very much. Far enough from downtown to be quiet, close enough by bus to be comfortable and close to the actual marina to enjoy the bars and a few restaurants. We stayed at the Portofino in the marina which is a private condo with a large pool area and a beach right in front. Very safe as far as we could tell and a great place to stay. Just make sure that the unit you book is clean. Some are not very clean and will need a thorough cleaning when you move in.


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All Inclusive Puerto Vallarta Vacations

September 21st, 2013 ernie Posted in Puerto Vallarta No Comments »

All Inclusive Puerto Vallarta VacationsTaking All Inclusive Puerto Vallarta Vacations  is one way to spend a week or two in this sunny vacation resort on Banderas Bay in Mexico. The best time to go is in the winter from January to May, when the sun shines and every day is hot. Other parts of the year have more rain and it may not be what you are looking for in terms of a vacation.

Stay at one of the all inclusive Puerto Vallarta vacation resorts right on the water to fully enjoy all that Mexico has to offer. Patrons can swim in the ocean or lounge by the pool. They can play volleyball and take in other sports offered by the hotel and fully enjoy their vacation. Of course you can also just relax in the sun with a cool drink as well if you wish.

All Inclusive Puerto Vallarta Vacations – Resorts

Most of the all inclusive Puerto Vallarta vacations resorts are just a bus ride away from downtown Puerto Vallarta. The buses run all day long up to approximately 10pm. If you decide to stay downtown after 10pm, you will have to take a taxi home. They are not expensive and pick up at all of the regular spots along the downtown area. As with all cities, tourists should be careful, know where they are going and watch their wallets and their purses. Puerto Vallarta is no worse and no different from all other cities around the world.

Your hotel can also make arrangements for you to take excursions out on the bay, into the mountains and to the tequila plantations that abound in the area. Most hotels will have easy pickup right at their premises, while for some excursions you may have to take a bus or taxi to meet up with them. Many fishing excursions are also available from the marina area. Fishing is a great past time and you can take most of your catches to the local restaurant where they will prepare your meal from the catch you made;

This is a great place to go for your all inclusive Puerto Vallarta vacations.


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Hotel Rosita Puerto Vallarta

August 25th, 2013 ernie Posted in Puerto Vallarta No Comments »

Hotel Rosita Puerto VallartaHotel Rosita, one of the first hotels in town, located right in the heart of Puerto Vallarta Mexico, on the beach & where the famous Malecon (boardwalk) begins.

The Malecon in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico is a boardwalk that runs along the water across the entire downtown area of the city. It is a great place for tourists to spend the day walking on the Malecon. They can also spend time sitting in one of the bars on the beach under a palapa having a beer or just watching the kids play in the water in the sand. There is always something a little different each day along the Malecon. It is well worth a stroll during the day as well as during the evening.

Hotel Rosita Puerto Vallarta – Vendors

There are lots of vendors selling various goods. There are people performing various acts and entertaining people on the Malecon. Also there are Sandcastle builders building extremely intricate sand castles. And there are people fishing along the peers. It is a wonderful place to spend a day or even an afternoon. In the evening there are many many people strolling along the Malecon enjoying the weather. They enjoy the scenery and of course the fabulous sunsets.

There are many places to stay when you go to Pureto Vallarta. Some will stay downtown where it can be a bit noisy during the day. While others prefer to stay a little further out from downtown but still within walking distance. Some tourists prefer the marina area which is a half hour bus ride from downtown and the Hotel Rosita Puerto Vallarta. It basically comes down to whether you want rustic charm and proximity to the downtown area. Or some prefer to be in more modern areas or along quiet secluded beaches. Take your pic, but we know one thing and that is you will enjoy visiting Pureto Vallarta.

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LAX to Puerta Vallarta

August 21st, 2013 ernie Posted in Puerto Vallarta No Comments »

LAX to Puerta VallartaFlying from LAX in Los Angeles to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico could not be easier. We flew on a Mexican airline on a flight that took two and a half hours. We were provided with excellent service. The airline served an excellent meal on the plane as well as we were offered two drinks each. This level of service is far superior to anything you receive on the American airlines! We obviously enjoyed ourselves very much.

We drove our car to the airport and used long term parking to leave it while we were in LAX to Puerto Vallarta on vacation. Parking was easy, although expensive and transfer to the airport was no problem. LAX is large so give yourself lots of time to transit to the right air terminal. Security was the usual which you would expect at any of the large airports. We were bused out to our plane since there was no gate for it to pull up to.

LAX to Puerta Vallarta

We arrived in LAX to Puerto Vallarta at a fairly new and modern airport. It is a lot smaller than LAX, but easy to get around, get through customs, find your bags and obtain a taxi. The only thing we did not like was that you have to pay an airport tax when you leave the airport in a taxi. It almost doubles the cost of the fair but then were not going far. The airport is located next to the marina. In fact you can easily walk from the marina area of Puerto Vallarta to the airport. It only took approximately 30 minutes.

Returning from Puerto Vallarta to LAX is much the same. We flew the same airline and were treated in the same wonderful manner. Flying Mexicana airlines is by far the best way to travel compared to many of the American airlines or even the Canadian airlines. They offer better service, the flight attendants are actually nice to their customers and it can be a very enjoyable flight.

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Time in Puerta Vallarta

August 7th, 2013 ernie Posted in Puerto Vallarta No Comments »

Time in Puerta VallartaWe have spent a lot of Time in Puerta Vallarta and found it to be very enjoyable. After all when you look at a picture like this one, who would not enjoy their time in this wonderful tropical paradise. The climate in Puerto Vallarta is perfect for tropical things to grow with a rainy season in the summer and fall and then a relatively dry season in the winter. It still can be quite humid in the winter time, but there is little rain and most days are sunny and hot. This is pool weather!

Time in Puerta Vallarta

If you are considering spending Time in Puerta Vallarta, there are 4 main areas to consider in terms of where you stay. They are the old town or downtown area, the Marina, Nuevo Vallarta and then the various beach communities that are located around Banderas Bay. They all have something to offer the traveler and the vacationer and they are all different. We will give you a short description of each. You can also get from one to another by bus quite easily with some communities like Yelapa connected by water taxi.

Downtown Puerto Vallarta

Downtown Puerto Vallarta is really the center of the what is going on. It is filled with restaurants and bars and there is the walk along the ocean that many people enjoy for their morning walks or their even walks. There are many hotels and motels in this area and almost all of the buses will pass through this area connecting to the outskirts and the other small towns and villages around the bay. It is busy and quaint and there are lots of small streets to explore.

The marina area is new and more upscale than Puerto Vallarta. There is a large marina with many boats of all kinds and many restaurants as well. There are more hotels that are better class along the marina and along the ocean. We stayed at a condo called the Portofino which we enjoyed very much. It was right on the ocean and near a golf course that we walked past many times. There is some shopping nearby and some restaurants offering great Mexican food.

Nuevo Vallarta

Nuevo Vallarta is further out of town with condo projects, golf courses and a beautiful beach as well. It is about 30 minutes by bus. You are really living in an area that could be anywhere in North America. Everything is upscale and does not have the charm of the Mexican culture in the way that Puerto Vallarta does. It is very nice and many expats prefer to live in this area.

Finally there are many towns and villages that are scattered around the bay that can be reached by bus or water taxi. Many are being developed, but still hold the rural charm that many people are looking for. Enjoy summer days and winter days on the ocean under palm trees with and quaint little restaurants. There is also the hustle and bustle of a small town market in most places that you can visit.

We really enjoyed out time in Puerto Vallarta and plan to go back again.


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Puerto Vallarta Honeymoon

June 21st, 2013 ernie Posted in Puerto Vallarta No Comments »

Puerto Vallarta HoneymoonIf you are going on a Puerto Vallarta honeymoon, you have picked a great place for your vacation. Your spouse will enjoy a great time on your honeymoon. Pick a resort that has great pools, clean rooms and close to the bars. There are some places that are not so great so you have to be picky! But there certainly lots to do in Puerto Vallarta on your honeymoon. You also want a location close to downtown so that you can easily walk to the restaurants and bars and enjoy the beach at the same time.

Puerto Vallarta Honeymoon – Things to Do

There is lots to do in Puerto Vallarta as well as in the surrounding towns and villages. There are some pretty nice beaches along Banderas bay to spend time on and they are only a bus ride away.

Take a bus to one of the little seaside towns and spend time at the beach. This picture shows what some of these beaches are really like. There is always a nice restaurant and bar close by to enjoy. The buses are inexpensive and easy to get around on. Just check the schedules and make sure that you do not miss the last one.

The Beaches

Some of these beach side towns have built palapas along the beach which are really thatched umbrellas to sit under with a small table where you can sit back, catch some sun, have a few beers and have a very nice meal brought right to you on the beach. We have spent many an afternoon doing just this on several beaches along the bay. The swimming is also very nice with warm water and shallow sandy beaches. Whenever you are swimming, always swim with a partner and always check out the rip currents. You do not want to be pulled under and out to sea in one of these rip currents. The locals can help you understand the best location to swim and the time of the day as well when it is safest to swim.


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a Vallarta Vacation

June 7th, 2013 ernie Posted in Puerto Vallarta No Comments »

puerta vallarta vacationWe spent two months in Puerto Vallarta on a Puerta Vallarta Vacation. This was one of the best vacations we ever had. From riding the wild buses to drinking beer on a beautiful beach or eating fresh caught fish that was caught in the morning and cooked right on the beach, we enjoyed it all! Puerto Vallarta is a different kind of place and if you do not visit and experience all that it has to offer then you are missing out.

Puerta Vallarta Vacation

Zip Lining in the Jungle

We also went zip lining in the  jungle, road burrows bare back in the mountains and drank seven different kinds of tequila at a tequila factory! The owner of the tequila factory really enjoyed his job and drank right along with us. He either drank water or has an incredible ability to absorb all that tequila and not show the effects.

Whale Watching

Whale watching on Banderas bay  is another great past time and many people will go out on boats to catch a closer view of the whales as they prepare for their trip north along the coast to California and beyond. We went  swimming in the ocean, the water is warm and there are lots of waves to surf and enjoy. Swimmers do need to be careful at some locations due to the undertow.

Puerta Vallarta Vacation- Night Life

There are lots of bars and great restaurants and most serve tequila with your meal! We ate in many places were they bring a beer and a shot of tequila with every beer we ordered. You have to be careful with how much you drink since it is quite easy to get drunk. There is nothing better than sitting on the beach under a pallapa (a straw covered or thatch covered umbrella) with a pale of beers on ice. We tried to enjoy it all and found the people were really friendly and helpful as well. They depend on the tourist trade and want to make sure the gringos are enjoying themselves.


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Vacations to Puerto Vallarta

May 21st, 2013 ernie Posted in Puerto Vallarta No Comments »

Vacations to Puerto VallartaThis picture of one of the bays near Puerto Vallarta is just absolutely beautiful. This is a great place to consider for Vacations to Puerto Vallarta. This picture really represents the idyllic life that makes up a vacation in this area of Mexico.  We spent two months in this area of Mexico and thoroughly enjoyed the entire time. It is a different culture. Their processes and ways of doing things are different from what you might be used to. But you have to remember that you are in a different country. We enjoy getting to know different cultures and traveling so this time was well spent.

Explore Puerto Vallarta – Vacations to Puerto Vallarta

We got out every day and traveled to a different part of the area around an in the city of Puerto Vallarta. We explored old town Puerto Vallarta, we walked along the malecon every day, we stopped at many of the bars on the beach and enjoyed the sun and a cold beer. The malecon is a walkway that goes along the beach almost all the way along in old town Puerto Vallarta. It is a very nice way to spend your day or just a few hours.

There are small bays all along the coast with small towns and places for tourists to spend their time. We found many were very quaint with lots of little restaurant and bars to spend your time at. We love to explore and that is one of the reasons we went to many of these beaches.

Modern City

They also have many of the modern conveniences that many North Americans have come to expect. Good grocery stores, lots of places to purchase clothing and jewelry and there is even a Costco to shop at. We were able to find great food deals and cheap booze at the Costco.  One of the foods that we really liked where barbecued chickens with jalapeño’s and small potatoes. The flavor was fantastic and these chickens were always well done and still moist.

If you have a chance to go to Puerto Vallarta, make sure that you take the time to ride the buses and go exploring. You will experience much more than just staying around your hotel’s pool!

For more information about this beautiful vacation destination, click here.


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Vacation Rentals Puerto Vallarta

May 7th, 2013 ernie Posted in Puerto Vallarta No Comments »

Vacation Rentals Puerto Vallarta are a huge business in this tropical Mexican city. There are many condos, hotels and homes built as vacation spots for the snow birds who want to get away from the snow and ice of the north or just people who want to spend some time by the sea. Having spent 2 month in a vacation rental in Puerto Vallarta, the writer can tell readers that this is a wonderful Mexican city to visit. It is relatively inexpensive to visit and spend time there and it is also quite safe contrary to the many news reports about Mexico.

Vacation Rentals Puerto Vallarta Along the Coast

There are vacation rentals in the city itself as well as along the coast in both directions. There are several smaller cities as well that are being developed and expanded with small apartment style condo’s as well private homes. Two such places are the Marina in Puerto Vallarta and also Nuevo Vallarta.  Both places have shopping centers, golf courses, private homes and condos as well as luxury hotels for tourists.

Staying in one of these vacation rentals in Puerto Vallarta, tourists can usually find all of the utensils and bedding that they need. Some are excellent and very clean, while others may need some work when you arrive. Most will need the basics such as spices etc and of course food that you plan to prepare and cook for yourself.

Marina in Puerto Vallarta

If you are near the marina, there are several restaurants which are quite reasonable to eat at. In addition you can enjoy the scenery on the marina or look out over the ocean. Check out the bars as well when you are staying in your vacation rental in Puerto Vallarta. Many will serve a tequila chaser with your beer or wine. One restaurant we went to placed a bottle partially filled with tequila on the table. Which was included with the meal and whatever other drinks that we purchased.

Another restaurant owner would share a shot of tequila with each of the tables  through the night. I really think that it had to be watered down tequila. There were about ten tables. How could you really drink that much tequila and still be walking around or do that night after night?

As with any city, visitors should be alert and careful. But no more so than any other city across North American. The main danger areas are in northern Mexico close to the US border which is a long ways from this seaside tropical city.

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All Inclusive Vacations Puerto Vallarta

April 21st, 2013 ernie Posted in Puerto Vallarta No Comments »

All Inclusive Vacations Puerto VallartaAll inclusive vacations Puerto Vallarta are available for people who really want to be pampered and not need to lift a finger while they are on vacation. Most rental units available in Puerto Vallarta are one step down from this level of all inclusivity. They typically come equipped with everything you will need to set up home while you are in Puerto Vallarta. All furniture, dishes, cutlery, and linens are usually provided. You just need to  purchase the food that they wish to prepare.

All Inclusive Vacations Puerto Vallarta

Inexpensive Alcohol

Alcohol is very inexpensive in Puerto Vallarta, regardless of how and where you purchase it. Compared to the US and Canada, alcohol will be a fifth or a seventh of the price that you might be used to paying. Restaurant meals are also inexpensive as well. Most people will eat out most nights instead of preparing their own meals. Of course there are places which are very expensive. But if you eat at a traditional Mexican restaurant, the food was excellent and very inexpensive along with the alcohol that comes with the meal. Beer will cost you a dollar, and the tequila will be included in the price of beer.

All Inclusive Hotels

All inclusive vacations in Puerto Vallarta include all meals and alcohol as well, but if you stay longer than a week, most people want to get out and see the city and the beaches in the area rather than stay at their hotel. It is perfectly safe to roam the city during the day time and in the tourist areas as well in the evenings.

Also for those people who stay in the city for periods ranging up to a month or longer, there are less expensive ways to arrange accommodations. All inclusive hotels are excellent for a wee or maybe two weeks at the most.

Safety in Puerto Vallarta

As with all cities anywhere it makes no sense to be out in the wrong area of town late at night. Check with your concierge at you hotel to confirm those areas that is safe to go to. Better to be safe than sorry and the price of a taxi ride is certainly a lot cheaper than trying to walk in areas that might not be safe at night.

There are lots of taxis and taxi stands throughout the city. They are safe and dependable. The buses stop running around 10 or 10:30 pm, so you may want to time your events around this schedule.


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Puerto Vallarta Resorts

April 7th, 2013 ernie Posted in Puerto Vallarta No Comments »

Puerto Vallarta ResortsPuerto Vallarta resorts are pretty much just like other resorts all over the world. Some are very modern and up to date, while others bring a sense of old world charm. Some resorts are in secluded areas, that are hard to get to but when you do there is a huge appreciation for the privacy and enjoyment they offer. Be careful of old world charm locations since this could mean that the amenities are not up to par with what you may expect from North American standards perspective. Before you book read the comments and if possible talk to people who have been there.

Puerto Vallarta Resorts – Beach Front Access

The majority of Puerto Vallarta resorts are located along the coast with beach front access for everything from swimming, snorkeling, fishing and boating. One of the neat things about staying at a resort in Puerto Vallarta along the ocean is that you can have a massage on the beach with the wind blowing off the ocean and a beautiful view of the boats, the waves and even the odd hump back whale that may surface.

Resorts in Puerto Vallarta include hotel style resorts as well as condo style resorts. Condo style resorts provide an opportunity to cook your own meals and live almost as if you were at home. Many people will eat out for breakfast, eat in for lunch have a siesta and then head out for a nice meal in the evening.

Hotel Resorts in the City

We have visited several hotel resorts in the city. We found wide variations in the amenities and the rooms as well. One hotel in downtown had a very small roof top pool, a rickety elevator and the rooms were dark and dingy. This was a quiet place with not a lot going on in the hotel. Unfortunately it was also right beside a bus route which was convenient if you are taking the bus but terribly noisy until 10:30 at night when the buses stopped running.

Another resort, a little away from down town, on the beach boasted several pools, with activities in the pool during the day and events at night on the beach. This was an interesting place if you enjoy lots of people and want to be right on the beach. Location means a lot and in this case you could walk on the beach all the way down town.

There is lots to do in Puerto Vallarta. If you get tired of the resort, just head down to the malecon in old town Puerto Vallarta. There is something going on every night. There may be entertainment, markets, dancing and even fireworks from time to time. Many people love to watch the sunset from downtown Puerto Vallarta on the malecon.

For more posts about taking a vacation in Puerto Vallarta, click here.


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Puerta Vallarta Rentals

March 21st, 2013 ernie Posted in Puerto Vallarta No Comments »

Puerta Vallarta Rentals of hotel rooms, time shares, condo’s and homes are all available in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Depending on the location desired and the whether you want modern North American or rustic Mexican, just about all types of rentals are available in this Mexican city by the coast. The weather is fantastic during the late fall and winter into spring. The summers are hot and humid with lots or rain, but prices for Puerto Vallarta rentals are much lower at this time.

Puerta Vallarta Rentals

Make Your Reservations for Rentals Early

The city of Puerto Vallarta is busy during tourist season and Mexican citizens are employed in many different enterprises and businesses that serve the tourists when they come. They offer really great service, polite with great quality of food at inexpensive prices. These Puerto Vallarta rentals can be reserved months in advance and many people will book their place a year in advance before they leave.

We have seen condos for rent along the ocean that have lots of beach front as well as hot tubs and huge pools to spend your days by relaxing. There are single family homes for rent that are part of a golf course resort. There are original Mexican homes available in old town Puerto Vallarta as well as in other areas of the city.

Learn Spanish

It really helps if you know a little bit of Spanish. Mexican citizens really appreciate the attempts that are made by visiting tourists to learn their language. Most people working in the service industry will know some degree of English. Also other languages so you will never be lost and unable to find help while in Puerto Vallarta. We spent two months in PV as it is known and had a great time. We do not speak Spanish, but had no problems making ourselves understood.

The prices for meals and alcohol are also very reasonable. As long as you eat at traditional Mexican restaurants, or sitting under a palapa on the beach. Beer is usually around a $1.00 a beer. They will sell them in buckets, 6 to a bucket packed in ice.

For lots more posts about this great vacation area, click here.

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Luxury Hotels Puerto Vallarta Mexico

March 7th, 2013 ernie Posted in Puerto Vallarta No Comments »

Luxury Hotels Puerto Vallarta MexicoThere are many luxury hotels Puerto Vallarta Mexico. After spending two months in this wonderful resort city, we would recommend it as a great place to visit. So far the issue of drugs has not become a big issue in Puerto Vallarta Mexico and tourist still feel and are safe in this beautiful city along the coast. The best time of year is from Jan through May, when it is their dry season. Almost every day is sunny and hot with few clouds and light winds. The humidity is higher than southern California, but still very bearable. During the summer months and into the fall there can be a lot of wind and a lot of rain. Not the best time to come to PV.

Puerto Vallarta Mexico – Hump Back Whales

During the spring hump back whales can be seen in the ocean along with many different kinds of fish and dolphins. The weather is hot and dry during the winter and pretty muggy and wet in the summer and early fall. Choose your best time to be in Puerto Vallarta Mexico based on the weather and the prices at the luxury hotels .

Beach Front Hotels

All of the luxury hotels Puerto Vallarta Mexico has to offer are located along the ocean with most if not all having beach front to enjoy in addition to their salt water pools. These hotels offer time share as well as regular rooms for lease along with restaurants and activities to participate in. Tourists can book many different trips around the bay, to other cities and to other beaches in the area. We spent two months there and were never bored.

We will update this post about luxury hotels in Puerto Vallarta Mexico in a few weeks. For now rest assured that the best areas are near old town Puerto Vallarta, the marina area and also in Nuevo Vallarta. These three areas offer modern hotels and restaurants. There are other small villages along the coast that are more rustic and actually quite interesting.


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Puerto Vallarta Luxury Hotels

February 21st, 2013 ernie Posted in Puerto Vallarta 1 Comment »

There are Puerto Vallarta luxury hotels for tourists to stay at while in the city, however, these are not in the same class as you might find in other North American cities. They are nice and probably would rank a  4 out of 6 if you were comparing other properties. All of the amenities are there, including pools and beaches with great restaurants. They are just not in the same class as other locations in terms of maintenance and quality.

No Puerto Vallarta Luxury Hotels

There are luxury hotels in Puerto Vallarta as well as along the coast in both directions, in the marina area, in Nuevo Vallarta, and in several other small towns along the coast. You go to Puerto Vallarta for the weather, for the inexpensive food and drinks, and for the culture. There are many places to visit and explore. The people are friendly and will help if you get lost. Just do not expect the same level of luxury that you might find in other cities in North America, after all, it is a seaside town in Mexico.

Weather in Puerto Vallarta

Weather in the summer and late fall can be very muggy and humid with lots of rain. From December on, the weather is usually hot and dry, although some years there will be a small amount of rain and humidity in the winter months. Temperatures are in the high 80’s from January to April. This is a great place to spend a vacation whether you are in a luxury hotel or in a condo.

Book early for these Puerto Vallarta luxury hotels since tourists often book for the next year before they leave.  Book a hotel on the beach so that you can stroll along the beach. If you want to be able to walk the beach to the downtown area of Puerto Vallarta, book hotels that are south of the marina, otherwise you have a long walk along the highway to get around the marina.

We suggest that you take a bus or car to get where you are going. The buses are very good in terms of regularity and cost, however, they are pretty basic compared to other North American Cities in Canada and the US.

For much more information about Puerto Vallarta, click here.

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Puerta Vallarta Vacations

February 7th, 2013 ernie Posted in Puerto Vallarta 1 Comment »

All Inclusive Puerta Vallarta VacationsPuerta Vallarta vacations are offered by many different companies with an assortment of hotels, condos and single family homes. Before you book, check out the place you will be staying as much as possible. This is to ensure that it is going to meet your needs. They all have something to offer that will appeal to people on vacation. But not every place appeals to every person. Cleanliness, proximity to the beach, nearness to down town are just a few of the criteria that people use to pick a location for a vacation in Puerto Vallarta.

Location is everything in Puerto Vallarta, just like everywhere else. You can stay downtown in Puerto Vallarta. Experience the hustle and bustle of everyday life 24 hours a day in the city. For us it is the constant roar of the buses that rumble through town on their hourly runs, blowing exhaust and scaring anyone who goes near the road. A few blocks away from the main street area, it is quiet and peaceful.

Marina at Puerta Vallarta Vacations

Out in the marina area of Puerto Vallarta, there is golf, there are the beaches and several restaurants. If you need to go anywhere including down town, you must either drive or take one of the previous mentioned buses. Once you get used to them they are not bad, and they are quite inexpensive, especially if you use them everyday like we did.

There are also buses that can be taken to the surrounding towns. They run a little less often and they are more comfortable. For us this was the simplest and least expensive way to get around Puerto Vallarta and the surrounding areas. We stayed in the marina area and took a bus somewhere almost every day.

Riding the Buses

One small practical tip about riding the buses is that you should note the direction that the bus is going and which side the sun is shining on. Sit on the opposite side to avoid being roasted by the heat of the sun. This happened to us. All of the locals were sitting on the shaded side and all of the empty seats were on the other side. We endured an hour bus ride in the hot sun. We enjoyed our trip, but that part of it was not a lot of fun.



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Hotel U Puerto Vallarta

January 21st, 2013 ernie Posted in Puerto Vallarta No Comments »

Hotel U Puerto VallartaAttendees at a recent Hotel U presentation in Puerto Vallarta  were promised large 1900 sq ft suits, concierge service and 40,000 cash back two year guarantee. In turn they could buy a 15 year plan to use 4 weeks a year. The company would buy back 3 weeks at 1500 a week to sell to casino users so it would only cost $820 for the first week.

They said they will start building the Hotel U the first thing in Jan 7/12. The grand opening would be Dec 12 , 2012 for the first unit. As a founding member they would also receive one round of free golf a week.

Hotel U Puerto Vallarta – Comments

Comments on this post urged potential clients to run away as fast they could. That pitch is very similar to the spiel that was given to buyers at the Belaire. Before it was rebranded the “U”. There’s a good chance that somewhere in the background the same people are still running the show here. They’re just recycling the same old operation under a new name. Be careful and avoid this sort of sales pitch.

Additional comments that we read indicated even if this were now a legitimate operation it would still be a bad deal. This is an overpriced property in an inferior location. A first class resort, as they try to paint themselves, is not going to be located next to an airport and away from the beach. Vacationers coming to Puerto Vallarta for the level of accommodations purported for the Belaire/”U” will at a minimum want a resort on the beach, not inland.

Review the Law

The laws in Mexico are not the same as other countries. Foreigners must be very careful when they are buying property in this country or any other foreign country. Make sure that you have a good lawyer to represent you. In addition make sure that you have a clear title to your property.

Many make assumptions that property is handled in the same manner as in your own country. You may find that those assumptions will be wrong. As a result our property could cost a great deal more than what you might have originally planned for it to cost.


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Luxury Hotel Puerto Vallarta

December 21st, 2012 ernie Posted in Puerto Vallarta 1 Comment »

Vacation Puerto VallartaThere are many luxury hotels in Puerto Vallarta and also many hotels that are not anywhere near being luxurious. Vacationers should really get someone to visit for them before they book a place if they have never been there. Also, you can count on the brand name hotel chains for good service with high quality as well. These will be very expensive compared to the lower-class hotels. You pay for brand names anywhere and Mexico is no different. This is a picture of the pool area at the Portofino condo-hotel next door to the Marriott hotel in the marina area of Puerto Vallarta. It is right on the beach overlooking the ocean and the sand. A beautiful spot and easy to spend time at while you are in this part of Mexico.

Some Luxury Hotel Puerto Vallarta does not Measure up

One hotel in downtown Puerto Vallarta that we saw was more like a dungeon with few windows. You felt like you were in prison, although they did have all of the basics. The location was really great and it was located right downtown near the Malecon that runs along the ocean. This is a walkway you could visit every day and stroll along the ocean and visit the shops. The hotel room had a kitchen, a small living area, and a bedroom. There was a balcony that was large enough to seat two people comfortably. It overlooked a busy street and all of the wires for electricity, telephone, and whatever else there was. The location was great, but certainly not the living quarters. The pool was on the rooftop and very basic. Not a place to be recommended. this is why everyone should check out the place they will stay prior to actually booking it.

Marina Puerto Vallarta

There are also luxury hotels in the marina area of Puerto Vallarta. These are also in a prime location as well, near the ocean, the marina and close to lots of bars and restaurants. Location counts for a lot. It can make up for a hotel that is not so luxurious. Beach, sun, and sand count for a lot in Puerto Vallarta.

The only negative about the marina location is that it is about 20 minutes by bus from the downtown area of Puerto Vallarta. Too far to walk and a bit of hassle to take the bus every day. This is another issue to make sure that you take into account. Every location has advantages and disadvantages to take into account. Just make sure that the advantages of a hotel are the ones that you prefer and the disadvantages can be lived with.

For more information about this beautiful vacation destination, click here.

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Vallarta Grocery Stores

December 7th, 2012 ernie Posted in Puerto Vallarta 1 Comment »

Visiting Puerto Vallarta grocery stores for the most part is just like visiting grocery stores in many other cities in Canada and the USA. The larger supermarkets have pretty much all of the same things that we have come to expect. There is lots of choice and quality foods available. They have good service and they still pack your bags which a lot of places in Canada do not do any longer.  Everything is in Spanish of course, but it is easy to tell what the price is and of course you can see what the item actually is with no problems.

Vallarta Grocery Stores quality

Just like Canada and the USA there are stores that do not measure up in terms of quality, quantity or even cleanliness. If you are living there in PV for any length of time, you will quickly get to know which stores which have the best foods and quality. We also found that depending on the day of the week some of the fruits and vegetables will be better than other days.

They even have a Costco in Puerto Vallarta with everything that you find in other parts of the world including the quality of the meet. The Costco store is a long way from downtown, although you can get there and back by bus. For Americans the prices are about the same, however they are probably very expensive for Mexican nationals. The store is clean and carries all of the brands, plus some Mexican brands that you may be familiar with .

Corner Store Grocery Stores

There are also small Vallarta grocery stores on street corners especially downtown. These are corner stores that stock the basics of what everyone will need for food for everyday living and you do not have to go far to find them. These stores carry more of the authentic Mexican products and are used by the locals as well as tourists alike. If you are staying in a condo or apartment nearby, these are the perfect places to pick up a few items for your meals and snacks.

One of our favorite meals are the roasted chickens they do on a spit, with small potatoes, onions and peppers. These chickens are delicious, always well done with the skin crispy and tasty. They can usually be purchased near a grocery store and always ask for a side dish of potatoes, onions and hot peppers.

They usually go on special once a week as well. There will be a line up of customers on these days. We always made sure that we picked up a couple and them made meals which we froze for another day to use when we did not feel like going out.

For more information about this beautiful vacation destination, click here.

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Pablo and Donkey Riding in Puerto Vallarta

March 21st, 2012 ernie Posted in Puerto Vallarta 1 Comment »

Donkey Riding in Puerto VallartaMy daughter and I had the fantastic opportunity to take an adventure tour which included Donkey Riding in Puerto Vallarta and much more while in Puerto Vallarta and I just had to write about it. This was an all-day excursion and really was a lot of fun. If you happened to be in Puerto Vallarta, look up Adventure Tours. They have a lot of different tours you can take and based on the one we took it is definitely worth the money.

Tour Begins at the Marina

Our tour started at the marina in Puerto Vallarta near where the tour boats dock every day. We ordered the boat around 9:30 am and headed out into Banderas bay towards a village/beach called Mismaloya. This was a nice ride and it only took approximately 30 minutes to get there. Once we landed, we then got onto jungle trucks that take you up into the mountains above Mismaloya.

These are open canopy trucks that can navigate some of the more difficult roads as you head up the mountain. We drove for maybe half an hour past a tequila factory ( more on that later) until we stopped at the head end of the trail we were going to take further up the mountain on donkeys.

Donkey Riding in Puerto Vallarta

Now, this is where it really starts to get interesting.  There are about 10 of us altogether and we are each paired up with a donkey and then we head off further up the mountain. I ended up being the first one behind the trail leader and my daughter was at the back. Well, that did not last for long. The guides really liked her and got her donkey running up the trail, passed all of us including me, and of course, my donkey not to be outdone, raced after hers.

Well, all of this is ok, except that I cannot reach the stirrups so I am basically bouncing along on top of this donkey on a narrow trail feeling very precarious, on a trail that is maybe 3 feet wide with a steep drop on my right-hand side. I was really wondering if I was going to fall off the donkey and go sliding down the mountain! I did make it but only after holding on for dear life.

Zip Lining in Mexico

Next, we suited up to go zip lining. Basically, you slide a long cable that is tied to several trees on each end. The trees can be 300 feet apart across a ravine or perhaps down the side of a mountain into a pool of water at the base of a waterfall. We did all of this, it was really safe and when you plunge into the water it is exhilarating and cooling at the same time.

The first time you go zip lining it can be a bit scary, however, after the first one, it is really a lot of fun. We did 7 different lines and one was almost straight down into a pool of water! It was also really hot that day so we enjoyed landing in the water. What great fun!

Late Lunch Back at Base Camp

Once we have finished zip lining we headed back to the base camp for something to drink and to eat before heading off by jungle truck back to the marina. Lunch was nice and we got to chat with the guides and our fellow adventure partners.

Visiting a Tequila Factory

Of course on the way back we passed a tequila factory in the jungle and we talked our driver into stopping for a tour. I think this was all planned and expected. The owner of the tequila factory was all ready for us!

He showed us the agave plants and cut a piece from the plant for us to chew on. They are really sweet and really juicy.  Then we saw the fermentation tanks and he explained the entire process to us about making various kinds of tequila.  We also got to sample some tequila of different flavors.

They had 7 bottles of various flavors of tequila which we got to try.  After 7 shots we were all getting a bit tipsy. This is really what he wanted anyway because we were more inclined to purchase some tequila from him.

Interestingly the tequila factory owner had shot for shot with us and after each one he said, ” I love my job”. Not sure how many tours he had given that day, but he looked pretty sober to me!

After our visit to the factory, we headed back to the marina, which took us about an hour and a half by truck. All in all a great day and exciting to boot!

For more information about this beautiful vacation destination, click here.


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Pablo and Tequila in Puerto Vallarta

March 7th, 2012 ernie Posted in Puerto Vallarta 1 Comment »

tequila puerto vallartaPuerto Vallarta – Tequila is synonymous with Mexico and Puerto Vallarta lives up to the reputation. Wherever you go, there seems to be tequila being served. So much so that we began to wonder if the Mexicans were trying to loosen up the gringo’s so we would spend more money.  The following are short stories about different places we drank tequila while we traveled around Puerto Vallarta. Tequila is made from the Agave plant shown in the picture to the left. If you have an opportunity to go to a Tequila factory, it is well worth the time. Be prepared you may have to drink some Tequila while taking the tour!

Puerto Vallarta – Tequila and Jewelry Stores

For example one day we followed a bunch of tourists into a jewelry store wondering what all the fuss was about. These were people who had come in on one of the pleasure cruse boats and had the day to explore. We followed them to the back of the store and sure enough we saw what all the interest was about. The store owner was pouring shots of tequila for all his patrons to sample! Loosen them up a bit and maybe they will have a story to tell about how they bought some silver jewelry while sipping tequila!

The Restaurants

The restaurants have a tradition almost, at least that is what it seems like. If you order a meal, it comes first with a shot of tequila. In fact one place we went to provided a bottle of tequila on the table which was about 1/3 full. It was free with the meal. Another offered a shot of tequila every time you ordered a beer. The shot was free, the beer cost a dollar! The food was pretty good too.

The Furniture Stores

Now I do not know if all of them do this, but one furniture store we went to one day sure does. I do not even remember the name of it, however it sells a lot of Mexican furniture and it across from the Starbucks coffee shop on the way downtown from the airport. It is a big store and we decided to go visit it after our morning coffee one day. We crossed the street and went inside after browsing some of the large pieces outside.

As I was looking around I happened to come across a shelf lined with various types of Tequila. One of the salesmen asked me if I would like to try some. He said that his grandfather makes it up in the hills in the jungle and that it was very good. It was 10 in the morning and I really did not feel like starting to drink at that time let alone something that was probably the equivalent of moon shine. I respectfully declined.

Another customer admonished me saying that he had tried it the day before and found it excellent and that there was nothing wrong with it. So at that point I really had no choice but to try a shot. Well it was some of the best tequila I had ever tried. Smooth , rich in flavor and not difficult to drink at all. I could have had another shot, but declined because after all it was only 10 am and I usually try to not drink until at least 12!

Puerto Vallarta – Tequila Factories

So drinking tequila in Mexico is the thing to do. There are many stores were you can buy brand names, however I have found that the restaurants and shops have very good tequila as well. Tequila is made from the Agave plants and I was fortunate enough to go to a tequila factory one day up in the jungles above Mismaloya.

We were given a small tour of the plant, the fermentation tanks and then we had an opportunity to try seven different tequila’s. Our guide drank right along with us and I don’t know how many tours he had given that day, but after seven shots I was feeling it and he must have been too. We all bought some tequila and then headed on our merry way. Fortunately I was not driving and the bus driver only had two shots. I counted !

The town of Tequila

I have never been to this town, however this town was named after the product or maybe the product was named after the town. It apparently is about 3 to 4 hours from Puerto Vallarta and is worth the trip although we ran out of time before we had to leave.

If you go to Puerto Vallarta, you really should take a tour to Tequila and sample some of the best tequila in Mexico.



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Pablo and the Buses of Puerto Vallarta

February 21st, 2012 ernie Posted in Puerto Vallarta 1 Comment »

Buses of Puerto VallartaThe buses of Puerto Vallarta deserve a special post for a number of reasons which we will describe throughout this post. If you  are from anywhere other than North America or Europe, you might say what is the big deal? Many bus systems simply do not measure up to the service and comfort of North American systems. Heck we even have air conditioning in our buses in the city were I live. The Puerto Vallarta city buses are very inexpensive to use and will take you just about anywhere in the city. They do take some getting used to and the drivers are probably the most skilled on the continent. If you are traveling from once side of the city to another you will have to change buses and pay another fare. With the fares so cheap, it is no big deal.

No Air Conditioning

But the Buses of Puerto Vallarta may not have air conditioning but they do have a lot more in the way of service, friendly drivers and a safe environment to ride the buses. First, though we  need to describe these buses so that readers will know what I am talking about.  They are typically Mercedes buses that were built to be school buses. The picture at the left is pretty typical of a bus in Puerto Vallarta.

They have the route information painted on the windshield and they usually have a large steel bumper on the front to deal with any cars that might get in the way. You have to climb up 2 or 3 steps to get into them and some also have rear exits.  The seats are metal with no cushion at all and the seat backs are often pretty straight. this is not something you would want to ride on for any length of time.

Buses of Puerto Vallarta – Friendly Service

We found that these buses are usually on time. The drivers are friendly and will help you out if you are lost or need to know which bus to take. The roads are pretty rough and these buses receive a lot of punishment. They do shake , rattle and roll to quote an old expression. It is amazing there are not more accidents with the buses and cars. However I think that any car driver knows he will lose the battle. His car will be severely damaged in an accident, while the bus will be barely scratched. The car drivers stay out-of-the-way.

We also found that at night when it is dark, the driver will often drop you off right at the entrance to your home or condo depending on were you live. We sure do not get that in North America.

Safe Environment

In North America, the money exchange of paying for your bus ride has been taken away. Now we use only tickets in the majority of the time. If you do use real money, you must have the exact change or just pay the extra. Puerto Vallarta city bus drivers have a wooden tray with all of the coins and bills arranged in an organized manner. It is right out front for everyone to see. We never heard of anyone trying to steal the money or any incident at all!

It took us awhile to figure out were the bus stops actually were. We found most of them by watching were the buses would stop to let off passengers and take on additional riders. There are simply no bus stop signs so you have to watch and observe. Once you know were the stops are from experience, you just get on with life and enjoy the beautiful weather and the culture.

Buses of Puerto Vallarta – Making Change

Now what is really interesting, is that if you are the last passenger to get on at a stop, the driver already has the bus in motion. The door closes and he is navigating the streets in traffic. This is while he waits for you to get your change out. When you hand him the exact change he just throws it in the pile in the middle of this wooden tray I mentioned. He sorts it out later when he is stopped for a traffic light. If you need change, you might have to wait 30 seconds while he navigates the street and shifts gears about 3 times. Then while driving counts the correct change and hands it to you. All the while you are holding on for dear life. Then must find a seat walking down the aisle in this rocking  and noisy bus.

We found that the buses were noisy, they shook a lot, and they were hot. However if you overlook these things, you find that they offered very good service and very inexpensive rates.  I only tore my shorts once on a metal edge of a seat that somehow had been bent leaving a sharp edge. It is all part of the experience of being in Mexico in Puerto Vallarta!


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Pablo and Cheeky Monkey’s in Puerto Vallarta

February 7th, 2012 ernie Posted in Puerto Vallarta 2 Comments »

Cheeky Monkey's in Puerto VallartaCheeky Monkey’s – There are lot’s of things to do in Puerto Vallarta. One of them is to visit Cheeky Monkey’s in Puerto Vallarta downtown along the Malecon. Apparently there are two locations now. However we have only been to the original location on the 2nd and 3rd floor of a building that faces onto Banderas Bay and the Malecon. For those of you who may not be aware, the Malecon is a strip of walkway that runs for several miles along the ocean front in downtown Puerto Vallarta. This beach with the umbrellas is just off the Malecon and they serve beer and food right on the beach! This is a great place to spend some time soaking up the sun and relaxing.

There are lots of bars and restaurants along the beach as well as in the buildings that align the Malecon. There are also many stores, mostly selling tourist stuff, although there are a few grocery stores as well as schools and jewelry stores if you go a few blocks off the Malecon. In the evenings various entertainers play guitars and jugglers perform. There is always something going on to attract your attention. Some people just love to sit somewhere and watch the people strolling along. Find a place in the shade, it can be really hot sometimes.

What’s So Great about Cheeky Monkeys?

Cheeky Monkeys is one of these bars and attracts a lot of attention for several reasons. First of all its name is unique and kind of engaging. Everyone likes to be able to say they have been to Cheeky Monkey’s. Secondly the prices are really great. Beer costs a dollar and the appetizers and meals are well priced as well. Thirdly it is open  view, there are no windows so you have an unimpeded view of the Malecon and the ocean from either floor. There is no ground floor so you must take the stairs up to the 2nd floor from a side street.

The best part is that it faces west and from the second or third floor you have an unimpeded view of the sunsets on Banderas bay, with palm trees in the foreground and often a ship or two out on the bay. One the things that really endears you to this place if this is not enough already is that while the sun sets into the water, which only takes about 5 minutes, they play music from one of the five tenors. Absolutely fantastic and it brings tears to almost everyone’s eyes.

Stroll Along the Malecon

We would often meet friends at the restaurant, have a few beers, something to eat and watch the sunset. Afterword we would go for a stroll along the Malecon, enjoying the many stalls and people selling various goods. Sometimes there would be entertainment of some sort in one of the plaza’s and sometimes they also had fireworks out over the water.

We found that it was also fun to watch the various people strolling along. Most are tourists, but local people also come out to enjoy the weather and the atmosphere. This is absolutely a great place to spend an evening.

Catch a Bus Home from Cheeky Monkey’s

When we were there the buses would stop running around 10:30. We had to catch the last bus to make sure we could get back to our condo which was in the marina area of Vallarta. We also could easily take a taxi, however why spend the extra money when you can take a bus that would drop us off right in front of the gates to our condo building.

After 10:30, you pretty much need to take a taxi. If you plan to stay downtown and go to the bars, then your only choice is a taxi to get home. I would not recommend driving in Mexico especially if you have been drinking.  Lots of people do, however I just did not want to have to deal with the problems if I ever had an accident.

For more information and details about Puerto Vallarta, click here.

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Pablo and Crocodiles on the 14th Hole

January 21st, 2012 ernie Posted in Puerto Vallarta 1 Comment »

Puerto VallartaGolfers should pay attention to this post if they plan to golf at the golf course out by the marina in Pureto Vallarta, Mexico! Pureto Vallarta has long been known as a tourist destination. We have a number of friends who live there for most of the year. Downtown Puerto Vallarta is quaint with the Malecon along the ocean and the many bars that line the streets. For us it is a great place to spend the winter away from the snow and ice in Canada. But if you are golfing, there are crocs to watch for on this golf course.

North of downtown Pureto Vallarta is the marina area with upscale condo’s and homes that boasts a marina of course. Along with a shopping center and a golf course. The marina itself is packed with fishing boats available for charter. This is where the luxury liners come into dock for the day. Tuesdays and Thursdays seem to be the prime days for docking of these massive ships with their thousands of passengers.

Pureto Vallarta Golf course

The golf course is slightly further north of the marina and is surrounded by beautiful homes. The golf course, while very nice is unremarkable except for two distinguishing attributes. First there is lot’s if iguana’s that spend their days sleeping in the sun and munching on the grass and flowers that ring the course. Some will grow to at least 5 or 6 feet long and can surprise you when you first see them. Some tourists will mistake them for the crocodiles that also live on this same course.
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Pablo’s Water Taxi Escapade in Pureto Vallarta

January 7th, 2012 ernie Posted in Puerto Vallarta 1 Comment »

Water Taxi in Pureto VallartaPuerto Vallarta is a really fantastic place to visit. We spent 2 months there one year and thoroughly enjoyed the culture and the many things to do there. One of the stories that we like to tell is about our ride to a small fishing village out into Banderas bay. We had to take a Water Taxi in Pureto Vallarta to get there. The water taxis run every 30 minutes from the downtown pier to several locations. Including Yelapa which is where we wanted to go. There apparently were no roads so a water taxi is the only way to get from Pureto Vallarta  to Yelapa.

Water Taxi in Pureto Vallarta

You catch the Water Taxi in Pureto Vallarta downtown at one of the small wharf’s along the beach. This particular one is popular for water taxis, fishing boats , fishing. Also for divers who like to dive off the peer and swim to shore. On this particular day the waves are rolling in at about 3 to 4 feet in height. Which is not too bad unless you are getting on a water taxi!.

If you can picture a concrete wharf going out into the water about a 100 feet. At the far end it is approximately 15 feet above the water level. There is a set of concrete stairs that descend into the water. Which the Water Taxi in Pureto Vallarta boats pull up to, to load and unload passengers. Of course these boats ride up and down as the waves crash on shore. They are rising and falling at least 3 to 4 feet for each wave.

Getting onto the Water Taxi in Pureto Vallarta

Now picture trying to get on a boat with two outboard motors , open from stem to stern, with benches for the passengers. There is no gang plank to  walk on. Basically you must time your steps so that you step from the concrete steps that go into the water and step onto the bow of the boat when it reaches it’s highest point. This can be tricky since you only have a few seconds to accomplish this without getting wet. Or having one leg on the boat and the other on the steps and being spread eagled!
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Retiree’s Solution to a Pension Cut

July 1st, 2011 ernie Posted in Puerto Vallarta No Comments »

We saw this post a few weeks ago and thought that it might be of interest to our readers, who are planning to travel to Mexico or are looking to stretch their dollars further – Retiree’s Solution to a  Pension Cut

This was sent to me by email and I think it is a great idea for many people dealing with a Pension Cut.

While it might not be everyone’s ideal solution, one Nortel retiree has found a creative way to maintain a dignified retirement despite the impending reduction in his Nortel pension. He and his wife have moved to Mexico, who previously worked as a HW engineer in the Data Networks Division at Nortel, investigated the cost of living, medical coverage, and lifestyle advantages and has recently bought a house in Ensenada which is only about 70 miles south of San Diego, California.

There is a sizable Canadian and American expat population in and around Ensenada, San Felipe, La Paz and a reportedly largely Canadian community in Todos Santos, all on the Baja peninsula. He and his wife were able to get retirement visas for Mexico based on his Nortel pension. As residents of Mexico, they are also eligible for free medical care, which in major centers can be very good.

He still has to pay the Canadian non-resident’s tax on his Nortel pension but this tax depends on the total dollar value of your income and can be very little or even zero on small pensions. Mexico, on the other hand, charges no income taxes on foreign income. Land taxes are very low compared to Canada and the USA. In his case, these are less than $100 CD. Utility bills as well are low, providing your use is moderate (i.e. the electrical charges are 3 tier system and the bottom 2 tiers are very reasonable). He finds it easy to stay in the lowest tiers and pays less than $10 CD per month.

Sample of Monthly Utility Costs in Mexico

  • Utility Pesos CDN_$
  • Electricity 120 10
  • Tap Water 60 5
  • Propane 300 25
  • Telephone_plus_Internet 420 35
  • Total 900 75

The cost of living in Mexico lets him achieve a comfortable standard of living for much less cost than if he had stayed in Canada. Expats that have lived in Ensenada for some time tell Wayne that a family of two can get by on as little as $600 Canadian per month plus whatever you pay in rent or mortgage, although $1000 per month provides a more comfortable living. Rent and house prices are much lower as well.

However, to qualify for a retirement visa (FM3) you have to demonstrate that you have a per person reliable income equal to or greater than 200 times the Mexican minimum wage or about $1000 CD monthly. There is a reduction for spouses and a reduction for owning your home in Mexico. Showing bank statements with regular deposits was enough for him and his wife to qualify for FM3 visas.

You can check here for the requirements (and to practice your Spanish). There are businesses and individuals that help you with the paperwork, but the Snyders chose to do this for themselves. The Mexican officials are very cooperative and helpful. And you get more practice with your Spanish this way. Some expats choose to stay with just a tourist visa which is available for just a $10 at any port of entry.

There are ways to supplement your pension and still enjoy retirement. He knows expats that work in the USA but live in Mexico. Some manage businesses through the internet. Others work periodically in the USA then return to Mexico. He knows an electrician that schedules all his work in California for 1 week every 2 months this provides for his family. Another travels to Wisconsin twice a year and works for a month each time and this gives him enough for him and his wife.

In the major cities and in tourist areas Spanish isn’t essential but learning it will add to your ease of living and enjoyment.
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