I invite you to join, as every year, you and your family or friends to this volunteer to help the ENVIRONMENT… Monex Bank invites you to:
Beach cleaning, and turtle release this time!
Date: SATURDAY 26 OCTOBER, 4.30PM (see more information in the postcard below)
Meeting point: Soriana Playa de Oro
I appreciate your confirmation please before this Friday, October 11, to register them with name, if you are an adult or child, and size to request your shirts and caps.
Hopefully you can join us, remember: It has no cost, nor do you have to bring anything, just your enthusiasm and participation!
Limited space, please confirm full name, adult and / or child, and size for your shirts.
Any doubt I am at your service,
Estimados clientes y amigos,
Los invito a sumarse como cada año a ustedes y su familia o amigos a este voluntariado para ayudar al MEDIO AMBIENTE …Banco Monex los invita a :
Limpieza de playa, y liberación de tortugas en esta ocasión!
Fecha: SABADO 26 OCTUBRE, 4.30PM ( anexo mas datos en la postal abajo)
Punto reunión : Soriana Playa de Oro
Agradezco su confirmación por favor antes de este viernes 11 octubre , para inscribirlos con nombre , si es adulto o niño , y talla para poder solicitar sus playeras y gorras.
Ojala puedan acompañarnos , recuerden : No tiene costo, ni tienen que traer nada , solo su entusiasmo y participación ¡!
Cupo limitado, favor de confirmar nombre completo, adulto y/ o niño , y talla para sus playeras..
When director John Huston came to film The Night of the Iguana in 1963, Puerto Vallarta was just a sleepy little fishing village. A little Hollywood glamour, provided by the famous cast and scandalous and media-drenched affair between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and this little pueblo suddenly became an international beach hideaway for starlets and regular folks alike.
Palm-lined beaches, turquoise waters, brown sugar sand and a sultry year-round climate — there’s a lot to love in Puerto Vallarta.
Unbeknownst to a lot of travelers that beach-hop north – to the beaches of Punta Mita, Sayulita and San Francisco – Puerto Vallarta’s southern shores are dotted with delicious little inlets and a handful of quaint towns that boast some of the coast’s most beautiful beaches. It takes a little effort to get to these off-the-beaten track expanses of sand, but I think you’ll find it worth it once you arrive.
From Boca de Tomatlán to Yelapa
The road south out of central Puerto Vallarta is a jungle-lined trek past luxury hotels, public beach accesses and a half-dozen, half-built dream houses. Despite the constant construction, a dense fog of humidity and heat permeates everything, slowing even the most ambitious projects and most energetic tourists.
Along this road you’ll pass the now-closed Night of the Iguana hotel, and several exclusive housing developments in pre-sale before you reach the highway entrance to Boca de Tomatlán, a small village about 30 minutes down the coast. Whether you go by bus or by cab, it’s easy to find the town’s boat dock as you enter Boca’s small handful of streets. This is one of the bigger towns along this stretch of coast and the take-off point for the boat that takes you down the shoreline.
You’ll see handfuls of locals and Mexican tourists waiting for the next water taxi to set out. Boats to Yelapa leave every hour on the hour starting at 8:00am with an additional final boat at 6:30pm. Sounds prompt, but everything here is variable, so arrive with sunscreen and patience. The Yelapa taxi will drop you off at any of the beaches between Boca and Yelapa (about a 40-minute ride) but you have to ask the boat’s captain in advance.
Alternatively you can ask around to see which boats are going to the specific beach you want and you can often find someone leaving sooner and getting you there faster. There is a single walking path that will take you overland to both Animas beach and Quixmo beach but it is a long and hot walk. The boats are infinitely faster and more enjoyable. In the case of the water taxi you pay when you get off; a private boat ride requires you to set a price in advance.
I suggest riding the entire way to Yelapa to take a look at the beaches as you decide what suits your fancy. There is a first tiny, rocky-edged beach called Madagascar as you pass a palapa “house” on the edge of a cliff heading out from Boca. There is nothing here as far as amenities and not much shade, but it is an isolated pinpoint of a beach to drop anchor and swim for a bit.
A little farther down and you will see a short, palm-lined strip of beach that is absolutely lovely called El Caballo. This has little human presence to speak of although there are a few hotels on either end tucked up into the mountainside. Just past the rocky outcrop at the end of Caballo is Animas beach. Animas has a decent strip of beach and a long dock in the center.
This a popular beach for tourists because there are a couple of dozen restaurants that sit between the sand and the jungle backdrop. The water is nice but not as crystal clear and gorgeous blue as some of the others.
The next big beach is Quimixto, which you will recognize by the terracotta-roofed house that sits to one edge, almost in the water. This is a splendid beach for an afternoon, and many locals told me it was their favorite. There are a handful of restaurants and hotels but much fewer than at Animas.
Next is Caletas, which is the home to the Ritmo de Noches show put on by Vallarta Adventures at night. This was also the once home of director John Huston and the beach is absolutely adorable, even though there are just a few hotels and no restaurants open to the public. Majahuitas beach (the next down) is similar in that there are a few hotels but not much with open arms to the public. Still the beach is delicious and small.
Yelapa is next up, with an ample beach to one side of the town, home to about 1,500 people. Several restaurants, including the most famous, Fanny’s, sit center-stage on the beach and boats bob in the water near the town dock as many of the locals you see working in this area either live here or in Boca. Yelapa is a nice town to make your base if you’re comfortable depending on water taxis for transportation or paying exorbitant rates for private boats (someone quoted me US $70 an hour for a private ride).
The town has some nice hotels including Hotel Lagunita, Casa Pericos and others that sit along the edges of Yelapa’s tiny bay. The rock outcropping to the south end of the bay down the little coast to Playa Isabella has nice snorkeling.
Yelapa to Chimo
Twice daily from Yelapa runs a taxi that heads farther south down the coast to Chimo beach, about 30 minutes away. Again, beware of trusting timetables too much and always be early and prepare to wait. Catch the morning taxi to head to La Manzanilla, a minuscule beach that glitters like a jewel just 10 minutes down the coast by boat. There’s nothing there to distract from the beauty of the crystal-clear water but a shady palapa for picnics.
From Manzanilla you can walk south over the rocks (watch out for iguanas!) to the next beach ingeniously called Playa del Medio, or beach in the middle. This is another gorgeous little gem, and quiet, unless there is a rowdy yacht parked just off the coast like the day I was there.
From Playa del Medio you can walk along a cement path to Pizota, a small fishing village at the farthest end of this strip of beaches. Pizota has that same lovely water, but the beach is scattered with locals’ kayaks and canoes and the water with taxis and fishing boats. Most days you will have a little audience if you want to swim there as the local boat operators hang out in the shade near the edge of the beach, gabbing and drinking beers.
Pizota is a regular stop on the Chimo taxi’s route, but be sure to ask the taxi captain and not the locals what time they will be coming through – answers varied wildly and I ended up missing it altogether. There is a small convenience store on the edge of beach with some surly women running it – a fine place if you need to get a beer or water or snacks.
Inland and then out again
Too far to go by water (unless you have your own boat) there are a handful of places farther south, what is commonly called Costa Alegre, that I think you should know about.
Mayto beach is absolutely divine. The water makes a deep drop just past the sand-dune style coast, but while it looked rough, the day I went the waves were a joy. A single hotel sits on the beach, the Mayto Hotel (what else?), and they serve cheap beer and delicious food in an exclusive setting. This beach is starting to be on people’s lips, but it’s still so far out there (about an hour from the closest town of Tuito) that it’s yet to be overrun with tourists.
The day I went (albeit during the low season) there were only about six other people (and most of those eating at the hotel). The beach stretches lazily around a 12-kilometer bay that the staff of the Mayto says can have rougher waves in the winter season. There is no shade here so bring that umbrella or prepare to fry. There is a small tortoise refuge that releases turtles in the evening if you stick around. You can camp at the tortoise refuge for about $8 a person a night.
GET OFF THE BEATEN PATH IN PUERTO VALLARTA AND RIVIERA NAYARIT
Rich culture, outshining natural beauty, a popular gastronomy scene, and host of activities, means Puerto Vallarta, in the state of Jalisco, and Riviera Nayarit, in the state of Nayarit, have become two much-loved destinations. Despite their popularity, there are still many amazing offbeat spots to discover – see 6 of them here:
Explore Authentic Tuito
Buried in the mountains, about 45 minutes from Puerto Vallarta, is El Tuito. Cobbled streets, yellow and orange mudbrick houses and time-worn petroglyphs give this little town immense character. Themain square is surrounded by gardens, restaurants, cafés and artisan shops.
Find Serenity in Yelapa
In a beautiful natural cove at the foot of the majestic Sierra Madre mountains, surrounded by jungle, nature and the Pacific Ocean, is the small community of Yelapa. The tranquility and privacy make Yelapa the perfect place for artists and writers. It’s even completely free of any roads! The only way to reach the town is by water taxi, a 40 minute trip from Puerto Vallarta.
Discover the Charms of San Sebastián
Nestled deep within the hills of the Sierra Madre mountain range, the historic Mexican town of San Sebastián del Oeste dates back to 1605! It’s one of the few places in Mexico to conserve the charm of colonial architecture. You can admire all sort of wonderful views including of Cerro de La Bufa and Banderas Bay. And watching the sunset above the mountains in tranquility is one of the best things to do here!
Visit Local Lo De Perla
A 3 hour guided tour takes you through the rainforest and Lo de Perla orchidarium, an amazing scene for wildlife lovers and those seeking a connection with nature. It’s a truly unique experience where you’ll encounter a marvelous diversity of colorful butterflies, orchids, mammals, reptiles, birds, and insects. The tour is a perfect day out for the whole family!
Take a Scenic Drive to Offbeat Punta El Custodio
An hour and a half drive through popular seaside towns will have you enjoying isolated beaches, creative artisans and pristine nature in Punta El Custodio. Visit Platanitos Beach, a traditional fishing village and enjoy the delicious seafood dishes in thatched-roof huts lining the seashore. Don’t miss the “Hummingbird Garden”, a sanctuary with more than 130 species, for a truly off the beaten path experience.
Marvel at the Sacred Tatei Haramara Islet
The sacred White Rock, Tatei Haramara, is an important sight located across from Playa del Rey in San Blas. For the Wixárika people, it’s the physical manifestation of the goddess Haramara and the first solid object to appear in this world. According to Huichol legend, Tatei Haramara is the origin of all life. It’s one of the most sacred spots for the Huichol, the Cora and the Mexicanero people!
I wish to share with you our latest, and more productive, Community Service event!
On Saturday, September 7, 2019, we gathered and tidied up, 67 full size garbage bags in the area of Benito Juarez, between the 2 tunnels.We were able to do that in less than 1 hour.
That is incredible!
An additional reason is that we were so fortunate to have an extra 12 young persons to assist us, who were referred to us by Alex Breceda, who providesfree exercise training to persons that may not be able to pay for that.
This is our 5th event, and so far, we have gathered over 250 bags of garbage, that are off our streets.
REMAX Puerto Vallarta is also working with the city, that we will pay for, and install more garbage containers, in all areas of Puerto Vallarta.
This shall be done, firstly with education and information about the times of the pick-up’s of the garbage, but also with re-usable grocery bags to minimize the front-end of the garbage situation.
How we are going to do this is with: fund raisers, donations from restaurants, from our sponsors, and from our real estate community, both agency’s and developers.Our communities, too!
We are not looking at the city to assist us, as I believe if you see a problem, fix it.
If you can share this message, as well as like our REMAX Facebook page, you shall receive our next community service location, as well as the other fund-raisers we shall be having; that would be wonderful.
We live here, love it and enjoy it incredibly, so I suggest to get more persons involved to make it even better.
When you see the RE/MAX lime green shirt, please say thank you, as that person earned it by doing community service; for all of us!
Could Mexico Cactus Solve the World’s Plastic Problem?
Gabriel Serna – Agence-France Presse go to source
August 8, 2019
A material developed by Atemajac Valley University researcher Sandra Pascoe is made with the juice of a prickly pear cactus, and can be turned into discardable, non-polluting packaging.
Guadalajara, Jalisco – Mexico’s prickly pear cactus, which is emblazoned on the country’s flag, could soon play a new and innovative role in the production of biodegradable plastics.
A packaging material made from the plant has been developed by a Mexican researcher and is offering a promising solution to one of the world’s biggest pollution conundrums.
“The pulp is strained to obtain a juice that I then use,” said Sandra Pascoe, who developed the product and works at the Atemajac Valley University in the western city of Guadalajara.
That substance is then mixed with non-toxic additives and stretched to produce sheets which are colored with pigments and folded to form different types of packaging.
“What we’re doing is trying to concentrate on objects that don’t have a long life,” she said, particularly “single-use” packaging.Pascoe is still conducting tests, but hopes to patent her product later this year and look for partners in early 2020, with an eye towards larger-scale production.
The cacti Pascoe uses for her experiments come from San Esteban, a small town on the outskirts of Guadalajara, where they grow by the hundreds.
San Esteban is located in Jalisco state where, starting next year, single-use non-recyclable plastic bags, straws and other disposable items will be banned.
‘Drop in the Ocean’
Mexico City and states such as Baja California have also introduced similar measures.
In May, the capital city adopted a “historic” ban on plastic bags beginning in 2020. From 2021, straws, plastic plates and cutlery, and balloons will also be banned if they’re made “entirely or partially from plastic,” according to the bill adopted by the local congress.
Sandra Pascoe says her new material would be no more than a “drop in the ocean” in the battle to preserve the environment.
Given the rampant production of industrial plastics and the time it takes to make her material, there would need to be “other recycling strategies” to make any concrete difference, she said.
Latin America and the Caribbean account for around 10 percent of worldwide waste, according to United Nations figures.
In March, UN member states committed to “significantly reduce” single-use plastics over the next decade, although green groups warned that goal fell short of tackling the Earth’s pollution crisis.
Plastic pollution has become a global concern, particularly after bans imposed by China and other countries on the import of plastic waste from overseas.
Despite widespread alarm on the environmental cost, Asia and the United States lifted world production of plastic last year while Europe saw a dip, according to numbers released by the PlasticsEurope federation in June.
PUERTO VALLARTA PREPARES TO RECEIVE AND CARE FOR MORE THAN 130 THOUSAND TURTLES
Puerto Vallarta was the home of 2,700 turtle nests in 2018, giving birth to 130,000 turtles, so this year the city is preparing its 14 kilometers of coastline to receive and care for them during this breeding season.
Currently, Puerto Vallarta is the only city to have a sea turtle protection plan on the Mexican Pacific, which has led to making Puerto Vallarta the best place in the country to see them in their habitat, the result of years of effort in conservation. The city records an 85% hatching rate.
The effort has also involved some hotels in the area such as the Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa, Barceló Puerto Vallarta and Velas Vallarta, which as part of its attractions offer visitors to be part of the experience.
The task is not simple. The possibility of nesting occurs along the 14 kilometers of coastline, where Puerto Vallarta gathers thousands of tourists throughout the year to enjoy its beaches. However, there are some actions that tourists can carry out to contribute to the conservation of the species, such as avoiding throwing cigarette butts or leaving coal from the campfire on the beach, as they are substances that affect the degree of hatching of eggs.
In this part of the Mexican Pacific, four of the eight species of sea turtles are registered worldwide: black, hawksbill, lute and golf, the latter being the most popular.
In 2018 there was a great find, a new species of turtle was discovered, unique in the world and that exists only in Puerto Vallarta, so they registered it as “Casquito de Vallarta”.
Officially, the season is from August to December, however, several of them begin to arrive from mid-July.
The highway then passes near Talpa with its celebrated maple forest, which has been around since the Pleistocene, through Mascota, renowned for its majestic casonas (mansions) with walls a meter thick, and on past San Sebastián del Oeste, the gorgeous mountain village “forgotten by time,” finally arriving at Puerto Vallarta, six hours distant.
There are so many picturesque towns along this route through western Jalisco that most travelers whiz right by a true jewel of natural beauty and surely the most bizarre little mountain I’ve seen anywhere in the world: La Campana (“the bell”).
The local people call it “The Bell” because that’s what it looks like when you glimpse it — for all of two seconds — as you zoom around one of a hundred curves on the ever-twisting highway approaching Mascota.
This spot is a two-hour drive from Guadalajara and at this point your stomach is probably growling and you can almost smell the tantalizing aromas awaiting you at the excellent Navidad restaurant in Mascota. What could I ever say to convince you to pull off the highway onto a little dirt road barely visible among the tall pine trees?
Well, if you drive down that road only 20 meters, step out of your car and gaze upward, I know you’re going to be hooked. With only a bit of imagination you might swear you were looking at a very bizarre sculpture of a giant puma battling a gargantuan hammerhead shark.
“Well, well, that definitely does look interesting,” is the reaction I have heard from every soul I have coaxed into stopping here. No matter how loudly their stomachs were growling, they would inevitably ask, “How long do I have to walk to go see it?”
When I tell them it’s only five minutes to the base of La Campana, believe it or not, curiosity always wins out over hunger, and off we go to visit what I call “The Psychedelic Bell.”
After that short walk, you suddenly step out of the forest on bare volcanic rock. As you walk up the smooth, undulating surface, you come upon one after another strange, sweeping shapes you’d swear must have been sculpted by Antonio Gaudí or Salvador Dalí. Who else would put frozen waves of rock on top of a mountain? Of course, instead of breaking waves, you may see something quite different.
Whatever the case, please watch your step. There are no guard rails or rangers here to protect you and a false step could be fatal. It’s not a hike for small children unless you’re carrying them in your backpack.
After soaking up this semi-psychedelic view, feast your eyes on the panorama below stretching into the distance. No matter how you felt when you started up the mountain, by the time you reach the top, you will surely be inundated with good vibrations! The length of this walk, by the way, is only 428 meters from your car to the peak of the hill.
I first stumbled upon La Campana some 30 years ago. Seeing so many smooth, clean, sweeping, baby-pink surfaces, I couldn’t help but wonder how long they would remain in that pristine state. But every time I have returned, including very recently, I have found the mountain free of trash and the wave-like formations entirely free of graffiti.
Credit for this must surely go to the local landowner, Tino López, whom we first met years ago when we stepped out of our cars and were hailed by a friendly voice — in English, mind you:
“Welcome! Do you want to visit La Campana?”
Don Tino then showed us the short and easy route to the base of the mountain, which we continue to use today. “My house is close by,” he reminded us before leaving. “Just tell people to shout my name when they arrive, and I’ll be glad to guide them.”
Another reason why La Campana is in such good condition — and the surrounding forest free of wildfires — is because the local headquarters of Conafor, the National Forestry Commission, is located only a few meters above the spot where you parked your car and the rangers are always vigilant.
Another view of La Campana.
If you are interested in camping, there’s a nice flat area — no facilities of any kind — 500 meters east of the gate (at N20.37170 W104.59058). But a high-clearance vehicle may be needed to reach the spot. In the rainy season you’ll find a small brook next to your tent.
One advantage of camping is that you could visit La Campana both early and late in the day, when the light gives it very different looks. And don’t be surprised if you scare up a deer or two as you hike from the campsite to the peak.
If you’d like to visit “The Psychedelic Bell,” ask Google Maps to take you to “La Campana, Atenguillo, Jalisco.” Upon arriving, you will see a sign saying Puerto La Campana. Continue past the sign and make a very sharp right turn onto an easy-to-miss dirt road.
If you go up there with children, be sure to keep them tightly in hand because a strong gust of wind could blow a child right over the edge.
Enjoy the good vibrations!
The writer has lived near Guadalajara, Jalisco, for more than 30 years and is the author of A Guide to West Mexico’s Guachimontones and Surrounding Area and co-author of Outdoors in Western Mexico. More of his writing can be found on his website.
Locals say there are about 15 pools of boiling mud at Los Negritos.
Frolicking in the mud at Los Negritos, a natural wonder in Michoacán
Restorative mud pots and ‘fools’ fire’ at Los Negritos Lake near Lake Chapala
Published on Friday, July 26, 2019
Anywhere else, Los Negritos Lake would have been turned into a recreational area and its curative and beautifying mud pots into an expensive spa.
But in El Platanal, Michoacán, the local people seem content to keep their natural wonders as they are rather than “developing” them.
If you happen to live anywhere near Lake Chapala, you should note that Los Negritos is practically in your back yard. If you love nature, you’ll be fascinated by the strange shapes and noises of its boiling mud pots and, if you suffer from arthritis, you may find an inexpensive — albeit dirty — possible solution to your problem.
I first heard about Los Negritos from José Luis Zavala, a biologist studying the fish in the area. He explained that this lagoon is unique because it contains all the aquatic creatures that used to be found in Lake Chapala.
“Laguna Los Negritos is actually hydraulically connected to Chapala,” said Zavala, “but it hasn’t been polluted. It’s a perfect laboratory for studying what Lake Chapala must have been like years ago.”
The lake is rumored to be 700 meters deep, but Zavala calls this a myth.
Tall shade trees and several roofed kiosks make the laguna shore an ideal picnic spot and the mud pots are located only 400 meters northwest of the lake, easy to reach on foot over perfectly flat ground.
The mud is black as black can be and the boiling pots are mostly less than a meter in diameter. So “Los Negritos” (The Little Black Ones) is a fitting name for the place. We came upon at least a dozen boiling, hissing, plopping mud pots interspersed with small bogs and occasional wallowing holes filled with cool mud that would bring joy to the heart of any hedonistic porker.
So much moisture, of course, has brought lots of birds to this area and you can see vermillion flycatchers, golden-fronted woodpeckers, house finches, egrets and if you’re lucky you may even spot a white owl.
“Lots of people have drowned in the lake,” a local rancher told us, apparently because it drops straight down from the shoreline with no shallow spots for waders. He said a few people have drowned in some of the cool mud pools whose rims look far more solid than they really are.
However, he assured us that there are great benefits from getting up to your neck in mud, particularly if you suffer from arthritis. One must, however, be careful not to confuse the cool mud with the hot sort.
“One of my horses sank into what seemed to be cool mud and the heat was so intense, the poor horse lost two of its hooves,” explained the ranchero.
Our informant also told us that geysers sometimes shoot several meters into the air, but when and where this might occur is impossible to predict. Finally, our rancher friend said it may be worth staying overnight among the mud pots because occasionally they produce “big green flames.”
We imagined this must refer to the legendary will o’ the wisp or ignis fatuus (fool’s fire), a ghostly light said to hover over bogs, supposedly leading one either to rich treasures or perdition. Science tells us the phenomenon is the result of gases released by decaying organic matter, an explanation that’s not nearly as much fun.
When my friend Mario Guerrero told me he was going camping at Lake Negritos, I asked him to check out those green flames. A few days later, he sent me the following message. I think it nicely captures the flavor of many weekend excursions in Mexico. Tongue in cheek, he described his trip as “nothing special or unusual.”
“You asked me how our trip to Los Negritos went and I can report that it was todo sin novedad (nothing special).
“We started out fine in the morning in two vehicles, but when we stopped to pick up our compañeros, one of the cars refused to start. However, by pushing it, we finally got it going.
“A few hours later, about half a kilometer from Villamar — the closest town to Los Negritos — my own car suddenly died. It was the gas pump — totally shot. So, we had to tow it to Villamar using my friend’s car which, unfortunately, again refused to start.
“However, we push-started it . . . and got to Villamar where we found only one mechanic and he was hopelessly drunk. However, he staggered over to my car, looked at the pump, said he could fix it, but declared that there was no way to get a new one the same day because the spare parts store was closed.
“So, we left my car . . . and told him he should fix it as soon as he sobered up. ‘Just leave me money for the pump,’ he replied, ‘and a bottle of tequila.’
“Then all six of us piled into the other car. It was pretty crowded . . . .
“Finally, we arrived at Los Negritos at 10:00pm It was so dark we couldn’t see a thing, not even the lake. All we wanted to do by then was hit the sack. We went to the first kiosk, but what did we find in the middle of it but a big coral snake about two meters long.
“. . . we chased it away, but nobody in the group wanted to sleep in that particular kiosk anymore, so we went off in the dark looking for another one. Like I said, nothing ‘unusual’ about this trip.
Testing out the beautifying powers of the black mud of Los Negritos.
“. . . we set up our tents inside the next kiosk and now it was about midnight. Then I remembered I promised to check out those mud pots for you. Well, I had the GPS coordinates, so we had no choice but to traipse off into the darkness looking for them.
“Since we couldn’t see where we were going, we ended up walking through mud so thick and sticky it soon looked like we had cannonballs at the ends of our legs. Finally, we found the mud pots, turned off our lights and discovered absolutely nothing: no green flames, no mysteries, no ghosts. In fact, once again nothing unusual.
“. . . two hours later we finally crawled into our tents — when all hell broke loose.
“A hurricane-like wind hit us and suddenly the surface of the lake was churning with monster waves. We had to jump on top of our tents to hold them down. I swear that wind was blowing over 200 kilometers per hour, but it finally weakened a bit and at last we were getting ready to go to bed when — it started to rain.
“Well, the wind was still blowing pretty hard and, therefore, we had rain coming at us horizontally. The roof of the kiosk wasn’t doing us any good at all and in a few minutes all of us and our gear were soaking wet . . . We didn’t get to sleep until 3:00am. It was just another one of those nights — nothing special at all.
“The next day we found the mechanic as drunk as ever, but the new gas pump was installed perfectly.
Mud pots at Lago Los Negritos
“On our way home we stopped at a taco stand under a canopy and what happened? While we were eating, another sudden downpour hits us — more horizontal rain — and we walked out of the ‘restaurant’ soaked again.
“Finally, at 11:00pm we arrived home after a rather long weekend but, gracias a Dios, a weekend sin novedad, with nothing special to report.”
To visit Los Negritos — if my friend’s report doesn’t dissuade you — ask Google Maps for directions to “Lago Los Negritos, Michoacán.” The mud pots are located at N20.06285 W102.61573 and yes, you can input these coordinates into Google Maps.
The writer has lived near Guadalajara, Jalisco, for more than 30 years and is the author of A Guide to West Mexico’s Guachimontones and Surrounding Area and co-author of Outdoors in Western Mexico. More of his writing can be found on his website.
RIVIERA NAYARIT RENEWS ITS BLUE FLAG CERTIFICATIONS
On Monday, July 15, 2019, Blue Flag certificates were awarded to the beach at Nuevo Vallarta Norte and the Marina Riviera Nayarit during a ceremony headed by Miguel Torruco Marqués, Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism, and Antonio Echeverría García, Governor of the State of Nayarit. Both venues are in the municipality of Bahía de Banderas in the Riviera Nayarit. The Lagoon at Santa María del Oro (municipality of Santa María del Oro), and the Marina Fonatur San Blas (municipality of San Blas) are also within the Riviera Nayarit.
The event took place at the Marina Fonatur in the Historic Port of San Blas, where they raised the corresponding flag. This occasion marked the first time the marina received this international certification.
Thanks to these credentials, the state of Nayarit has become an example for the nation. According to Torruco Marqués, this “speaks to the commitment the tourism service providers and the community have with the environment.”
He stated that over the next three decades, people would have more free time and more income. Therefore, “those nations that best preserve their environment and, above all, conserve their historical, cultural, and culinary identity, will be the ones who will participate fully in the extraordinary economic revenue generated by tourism.”
Ana Cecilia Llanos Guzmán, Secretary of Tourism of the State of Nayarit, also made a distinguished appearance at the event, along with the municipal presidents of Bahía de Banderas, Jaime Cuevas Tello, and Candy Yescas, from San Blas.
The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) sets the protocols for Blue Flag certifications. Joaquín Díaz Ríos, executive director for the entity’s Mexico chapter, offered the explanatory statements: The main criteria taken into account for this award are water quality, environmental education and management, safety, and services.
Of note is the fact the certification is valid for one year. Because of this, at the end of every summer the beaches are up for recertification after an exhaustive evaluation.
+ According to statistics offered by the Ministry of Tourism, Mexico is first in line in Latin America as to the number of Blue Flags received and in 13th place worldwide.
+ Currently, 54 beaches and three marinas in 13 municipalities and six states in Mexico have the certification: Baja California Sur, Nayarit, Jalisco, Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Quintana Roo.
+ The Riviera Nayarit received its first Blue Flag for the beach at Nuevo Vallarta Norte in 2013, which has maintained its certification since then.
+ The Marina Riviera Nayarit in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle received its Blue Flag in 2015, the first of its kind to receive this international award.
+ The lagoon at Santa María del Oro raised its first Blue Flag in August of 2016.