PUERTO VALLARTA GETS CLOSER TO CREATING THE MUNICIPAL CLIMATE CHANGE PLAN
Puerto Vallarta took another step towards the creation of a Municipal Climate Change Plan (PMCC), which allows it, from the local level, to face this global phenomenon that threatens settlements located along the coasts.
On April 10 and 11, the Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change Design Workshop was held, which is part of the Puerto Vallarta’s PMCC development process.
This process is being supported by the Ministry of Environment and Territorial Development (SEMADET) of the State of Jalisco and the German Cooperation for Sustainable Development in Mexico (GIZ), through the programs of Vertically Integrated Climate Policies (VICLIM) and Adaptation to the climate change based on ecosystems with the private sector in Mexico (ADAPTUR).
During the work session, key individuals were informed about the conditions of the municipality in the face of climate change, the sectors that most emit Greenhouse Gases (GHGs), as well as which are the most vulnerable for the future.
The group worked on the construction of a long-term strategic vision for the PMCC of Puerto Vallarta, developed in a participatory manner that meets the needs of each sector.
The actions proposed in this workshop will be an initial input for the design and implementation of future policies and instruments that promote sectoral articulation for decision-making, in the face of the global challenge posed by climate change.
The exercise counted on the participation of strategic actors of diverse scopes, among them of the public, social sector, academia and private sector, who from their perspectives and taking care of their interests, contributed quality inputs for the development of the PMCC.
The fact that Puerto Vallarta has a PMCC, provides a comparative advantage over other tourist destinations, being in a better position to reduce the risks of this global climatic phenomenon, as well as its impacts on the community.
Beyond this workshop, society and key stakeholders can continue to be involved in each of the stages of the development of the PMCC, through the PMCC Blog (https://energypedia.info/wiki/Portal:PMCC), a online space designed to promote the exchange of experiences, successes and challenges, as well as sharing documents, studies, videos, events, among other materials that are of common interest.
PUERTO VALLARTA PREPARES ACTIVITIES FOR THE EASTER HOLIDAY TRAVELER
The municipal government of Puerto Vallarta, through the Tourism Department, has scheduled a series of activities that will give greater appeal to the downtown and will be an important attraction for tourists over the Easter holidays.
Ramón González Lomelí, head of the agency, said that the city will provide activities that promote the destination over the Easter holidays, including four stages in the area of the pier, where visitors and residents will be able to enjoy, in the afternoons, pictures of Mexican folklore, music, circus shows, and other entertainment.
To these events, the two ‘turicletos’ will be making trips for the enjoyment of the tourists, as well as the putting in operation a train that will offer routes to the families along the Malecon.
González Lomelí announced that he is working on other events of great importance for the destination, which will be taking place throughout the year, such as beach soccer, a FIFA tournament for the qualifying rounds of the Concacaf, as well as the International Folklore Festival, where the attendance of five countries has already been confirmed; the Tennis tournament and one more edition of the Down Vallarta.
There will also be the International Pyrotechnics Festival, with three venues, the Malecón, the IPEJAL site and the baseball stadium of the Agustín Flores Contreras sports unit, an eventwhere 450 participants from different countries are expected.
“Vive Vallarta” will be held on the site of the Puerto de Luna hotel, an event that will have a handicraft show of states and municipalities, area of games and food, as well as the installation of a theater for artistic presentations, and this time the installation of an ice rink is planned.
“We have several projects for Easter and in the month of May, to continue promoting the destination; these are just some of the plans that we have, in addition to very important groups and conventions that will be arriving at the port,” he concluded.
This past weekend I took to the road (again) under the guise of research and headed north to the small town of Chacala, the last beach town before you drive into the mountains, on your way to Compostela. It’s a fishing village that has grown in recent years to become a lively tourist destination. On the weekends the beachfront restaurants are packed with families enjoying freshly caught seafood and playing in the surf.
The beach is flat and the gentle waves shallow, perfect for small kids and those who don’t want to get their hair wet. The water is so calm that there are paddleboarders in the bay, even in the later afternoon. A couple of sailboats are moored offshore, and colourful fishing pangas line the pier just off the main beach. It’s ridiculously idyllic. And affordable.
Looking like a scene out of an advertisement for a tropical dream vacation, the palapa roofs and swaying palm trees inspire you to imagine a simpler life. And by the looks of the crowd, there are a fair number of people who have settled in Chacala, at least for the winter, living exactly this life.
If you know me, you know I gauge how much I like a place by how much I want to pack everything and move immediately. I loved Chacala so much I messaged a friend and asked her to help find me a long term rental… maybe this is the big move my horoscope is warning me about.
If you have a chance to visit this village, I highly recommend it. There are many rooms on Airbnb and a dozen or so hotels with rooms that start at $400 pesos for double occupancy (I suggest splurging on the 800 peso rooms). There were vacancies in most places I enquired at, so as long as it’s not a major holiday or a long weekend, you can probably show up and find a room easily. There are plenty of restaurants and a couple of small grocery stores. Pack a bathing suit, and you’re good to go!
Now, if you’re not up for a road trip this weekend, there are plenty of great events happening around the bay including all the live music venues which you can check out here.
This week is also the 8th Annual International Charro Championship in Arena Vallarta. This high-energy 5-day event is the highlight of rodeo aficionados and features some of the best horsemen (and women) from Mexico and the United States. Charro is recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO and is an intrinsic part of Jalisco and Mexican culture. You can learn more about the events at www.arenavallarta.com. Look for details on how to travel by bus from Vallarta and Nayarit to the arena in these pages.
This past week was the final week of voting for the 2nd Annual Best of Vallarta Reader’s Choice Awards. 1000’s of votes were cast and will now be compiled, and the winners for 2019 will be announced in a couple weeks. Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to vote and to read the ‘Best of’ guide we published this month. Copies have been distributed to over 100 points around the bay – be sure to pick up yours before they’re all gone! Stay tuned for more info. Thank you to everyone who has participated this year – it is much appreciated!
After Puerto Vallarta signed the “Global Compact of Mayors for Climate Change and Energy” with the state government, it is committed to reversing the effects caused by climate change with the international community.
The Ministry of Environment and Territorial Development (Semadet) serves as the state representative of the Global Covenant of Mayors and signs as an honorable witness, which also commits to facilitate accession processes.
This pact is an international alliance of local and regional authorities that share a long-term vision to promote and support voluntary actions to combat climate change based on reducing greenhouse gases. As well as promoting climate resilience and access to energy, harmonize the measurement and reporting approaches of the municipalities and provide a solutions approach, in which local governments are the key actors and the city and municipal networks are essential partners.
Sergio Graf Montero, head of the Semadet, said that you can not plan the use of the territory thinking of the past, “we can not think that we are going to establish a human settlement, a subdivision, a building, in a place where in history, there were floods.”
He added that one has to think about what is going to happen in the future from now on, otherwise, they will lose investment, money and the population will be put at risk.
“That is why it is fundamental that the municipality of Puerto Vallarta not act alone, but contextualize its action on climate change in their region,” he explained.
Work began between Semadet and the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), through the global projects of “Vertically Integrated Climate Policies”. As well as for the “Adaptation to climate change based on ecosystems with the tourismsector (Adaptur), through the development of the Municipal Climate Change Program (PMCC) in Puerto Vallarta.
With these actions, the municipality is committed to join the global efforts that are made to face the challenges of climate change.
The work for the preparation of the PMCC began with a workshop that aimed to inform and add the participation of institutions from the public, private, academic and civil society sectors for participatory development.
The objective is to achieve a self-diagnosis of vulnerability in the municipality, which includes the relevance of its ecosystems and ecosystem services in a context of climate change, in addition to the capacity for adaptation that is available. These actions are a reflection of the fact that in Jalisco the importance of being coherent among all levels of government regarding the efforts towards the fulfillment of the climatic goals in the country is recognized.
With sustainability being more important for travellers than ever and 2019 set to be the biggest year for ecotourism, you may be amongst those searching for the perfect eco-holiday! Puerto Vallarta, in the state of Jalisco, and Riviera Nayarit, in the state of Nayarit, have long been two beautiful destinations offering sustainable activities that explore the regions’ incredible eco-systems. Read on for 7 eco-friendly ways to discover the beauty of Mexico!
1. Help Baby Sea Turtles
Baby sea turtle releasing in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit has become a major tourist attraction. Turtle protection programs with turtle farms dedicated to the harvesting, hatching and releasing of baby sea turtles have been created by the Mexican government with marine biologists. As well as getting to see the beautiful creatures and enjoying an interactive and educational experience, you can help increase the survival rate of new turtle hatchlings!
2. Pay the Crocs a Visit
Riviera Nayarit has some great ecotours where you can visit and learn all about it’s rich ecosystem. If you want to explore it alongside rustic towns and historic ruins, head to the river of La Tovara. For those wanting to combine crocodiles and sea turtle release programs, you can visit El Quelele, a marshy lagoon where American Crocodiles exist in a protected environment.
3. Explore Vallarta Botanical Garden
Vallarta Botanical Garden is a nature reserve with botanical collections of more than 3,000 species and has an orchid nursery of 100 different species. After exploring the beautiful gardens you can swim in the Horcones River, do some bird watching or take a trail through the jungle!
4. Have a Whale of a Time in Banderas Bay
Banderas Bay is a sanctuary with an abundance of marine life. From December to March the majestic humpback whales arrive at the bay to mate and birth their young. You can experience this for yourself with various whale watching tours that are controlled, respectful and adhere to strict environmental and safety standards. You can also swim with the dolphins there!
5. Experience Life Underwater
Many water activities that can be enjoyed all year round! Jalisco and Nayarit are home to natural protected areas, bird sanctuaries and marine parks with impressive hill and rock formations that are great for snorkelling, diving, paddle boarding and kayaking. South of Puerto Vallarta, you’ll find Los Arcos. Along the Riviera Nayarit coast are the Islas Marietas, home of the famous Hidden Beach, Isla del Coral and Isla Isabel.
6. Visit San Blas for Birdwatching
With over 300 bird species and over 80% of migratory birds flocking to San Blas during the winter months, the coastal village is home to some of the world’s best bird watching locations for vacationing birdwatchers, especially during the months of October through to March as the weather is very pleasant. True bird watching enthusiasts visit San Blas during Mexico’s Festival of Migratory Birds at the end of January or San Blas Christmas Bird Count in December.
7. Zoom Across Jungles and Coastal Views
Jungle canopy tours, or zip-line tours, are one of the most popular and eco-friendly options to explore Mexico’s emerald green Pacific Coast rainforests in the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains. You can book zip lining anywhere along the 200-mile stretch of the Riviera Nayarit in most major communities like Punta de Mita, Sayulita and Lo de Marcos. Puerto Vallarta also has many opportunities for zip-lining. Thrill-seekers can whizz along Mexico’s longest and fastest “Superman” zip line or get an aerial view of Los Arcos Natural Preserve.
Vallarta Botanical Garden is 24 kilometers south of Puerto Vallarta.
Visit to Vallarta Botanical Garden turns out to be a day to remember
Expat finds a way to make a living in the middle of a jungle
Friday, January 18, 2019
After guiding me around a unique cloud forest of maple trees and giant ferns in a remote corner of western Mexico, botanist Miguel Cházaro casually remarked, “By the way, there’s a botanical garden near here you really must see. It was started by an American and it’s unique.”
Well, “near here” took six hours to get to, plus six hours back, and I ended up reaching home at midnight, but I must admit the eminent botanist was right: the Vallarta Botanical Garden truly is a must-see, no matter where you find yourself in Mexico. The place is located 24 kilometers south of Puerto Vallarta, along Palms-to-Pines coastal highway 200.
Step out of your car and you’re in the jungle. We were visiting in July and everywhere we went, hundreds of “skippers” fluttered all around us. These, explained a sign in English and Spanish, are Hesperiidae butterflies, smaller than most and given to skipping, flitting, darting and zig-zagging, from which they get their popular name.
Clouds of them danced all around us as we began our tour of the Botanical Gardens, which cover an area of eight hectares, crisscrossed by pathways with exotic names like The Vanilla Trail, Jaguar Trail and Guacamaya Trail, leading to even more exotic-sounding places like The Jungle Overlook, The Swinging Bridge, Tree Fern Grotto, The Garden of Memories and The Giant Strangler Fig Tree.
And everywhere you go, every step of the way, there is lush vegetation: sensuous tropical flowers, bizarre, creeping vines and gargantuan trees which soar to amazing heights in this tropical climate. Here you will find orchids — an amazing multitude of orchids.
There are even orchids that resemble anything but orchids, plus a few that (to our great surprise) exude alluring perfumes. And, of course, there was the tastiest of all orchids, Vanilla planifolia, whose vines grow abundantly there (and you can buy the beans or extract in their store).
Here, too, are cocoa pods growing before your very eyes and attached directly to the tree trunk. Each pod holds 20 to 60 seeds, the main ingredient in chocolate. There are also rare cacti of every sort, exotic “Purple Island” waterlilies, red ginger, once exclusively reserved for Hawaiian royalty and such a huge collection of anthuriums that we wondered whether they had found all 1,901 types. Along that line, the gardens have so many thousands of species that no one has even tried to count them.
When you need to take a break in your exploration of the gardens, you can cool off with an exotic drink at the Hacienda de Oro Restaurant, which also houses a most impressive Natural History and Cultural Museum.
This amazing project came into being thanks to Robert Price, founder of the botanical gardens, who kindly took time to chat with me at the restaurant over frosty glasses of incredibly refreshing and delicious drinks. One of these contained chaya and chía, while the other was a combination of iced lemon-grass tea, tapioca and ginger, sweetened with agave nectar.
“Some of our visitors suspect we have spiked these two drinks with frog’s eggs,” quipped the curator of these gardens.
Robert Price, who was born in Savannah, Georgia, told me he came to Puerto Vallarta in 2004, planning to stay for only six months. Fortunately for us and for Mexico, someone knocked on Price’s door one day, selling orchids. “Those orchids were absolutely incredible: gorgeous,” says Price, “and I asked the man where he had found them. ‘In the mountains,’ he told me . . . and eventually he brought me to this very place. I took one look and said to myself, ‘This is where I want to stay!’”
Now all Price needed to do was figure out how to make a living in the middle of a jungle. “Well,” he says, “I noticed there were no botanical gardens along the coast and that seemed surprising to me. But I love nature and the idea of starting my own botanical garden came into my head. So, I researched the internet to find out how to do it. And this is the result. I think this is what I was sent here to do.”
By chance a friend of mine just returned from a visit to the garden. I asked Susan Street for her impressions.
“It took some doing,” she told me, “to convince my sons, their father and their girlfriends to abandon the beaches of Puerto Vallarta long enough to try something new: a visit to the Vallarta Botanical Garden, which turned out to be a 40-minute drive from Puerto Vallarta’s downtown area. We only spent a few hours there, but boy did we wish we could have gone back the following day!
“There are so many trails to follow, plants and trees to admire and delicious food to devour! Each of us wanted to spend quality time in specific parts of the garden, but instead we stuck together and took it all in as a group. The bougainvillea were gorgeous, the vanilla plants all budding, the variety of cacti mind-boggling!
“We topped everything off, of course, with lunch at the Hacienda de Oro restaurant. We devoured scrumptious fish and shrimp tacos while sipping on vanilla and raspberry mojitos.
Then, wonderful organic coffee topped everything off as we awarded ourselves with more wandering through the gift shop, purchasing bamboo straws, cacao products and vanilla extract, in addition to a free dark-chocolate bar given to us upon presenting a coupon clipped from the visitors’ guide. A day to remember, and a visit I can’t stop recommending to friends.”
Another visitor went on a tour of the place with Leonardo, their botanist, and claimed it was the highlight of her stay in Puerto Vallarta, “the best botanical gardens guided tour we experienced — ever!”
Vallarta Botanical Garden
So I hope by now you will agree with me that this amazing place is well worth a visit, even if it requires a 12-hour detour!
• Vallarta Botanical Garden is a non-profit, charitable organization “dedicated to those who work to preserve the beauty of the Earth, and who labor to teach others the value and wonder of their environment.” According to its website it’s open daily, 10:00 to 6:00, but closed on Mondays from April to October. The entrance fee is 200 pesos per person, kids four and under free. The telephone number is (322) 223-6182.
A visitor cools off: “This is where I want to stay!” Photo: Susan Street
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.
Each year you have to renew the registration for your vehicle. If you pay early in the year the fees are discounted. If you don’t pay, the fees accrue and will need to be paid off before you can sell and transfer the car out of your name. The registration card needs to remain in your car for the year.
When to Renew
You must renew your vehicle registration annually by March 31 to receive a discount.
In Jalisco if you pay in January it’s a 10% discount and in February and March it is 5%. The cost is $590 pesos for vehicles and $150 pesos for motorcycles, which are not eligible for the discount. There is also a 50 peso charge that is collected and divided between the Red Cross (30 pesos) and Casa Hogar Cabañas (20 pesos).
Interesting to note that electric vehicles receive a 100% discount and hybrids 50% but both must complete the necessary paperwork.
In Nayarit, no one answers the phone and the website gives no information, which isn’t surprising to anyone that lives in Nayarit. A quick poll of Facebook users shows that the cost is $580 pesos to renew. Best thing to do is to go in person to the office in Bucerias located at José María Morelos 2, next to the Gecko Bar, for the most up to date information.
How to Renew Online
You can renew (theoretically easily) online by going to the following websites:
You will need your old vehicle registration card — called tarjeta de circulación in Spanish — for this par t. On the screen, enter the tag number (placa) and the car’s VIN number.
Print out the receipt of payment and keep it in your car in case the police stops you. After March you can go your respective office to pick up the new registration card.
While paying online is likely the easiest option, you can go in person in Vallarta to the tax collection office at the UNIRSE building in Puerto Vallarta located at Av. Grandes Lagos 236, Edificio A, in Fluvial. They are open from 8:30am – 2:30pm Monday through Friday.
On the north shore the office is located at José María Morelos 2, in Bucerías, next to the Gecko Bar.
You can also pay at your bank or through one of the convenience stores that accepts payments, remember to hold on to your receipt for proof of payment and to pick up your new card when it’s ready (usually after March).
MEXICANS FEEL SAFEST SINCE JUNE 2017, PUERTO VALLARTA STILL RANKS HIGH IN SAFETY
During December 2018, 73.7% of Mexicans over 18 years of age felt unsafe in the place where they live, according to the National Survey of Urban Public Safety (ENSU), conducted by INEGI.
This represents a 1.2% reduction compared to September 2018, when the percentage was 74.9%.
This percentage is the lowest since June 2017, when 74.9% of citizens felt that their city is unsafe.
The cities with the highest perception of insecurity are Reynosa, Chilpancingo de los Bravo, Puebla de Zaragoza, Coatzacoalcos, Ecatepec de Morelos and Villahermosa.
While in the localities where their citizens felt safer were San Pedro Garza García, Mérida, Saltillo, Puerto Vallarta, Durango and Los Cabos.
The survey also reveals that it is women who feel a greater perception of insecurity with 78%, unlike 68.6% of men.
The INEGI study details that 83.4% of the population feels more insecurity in ATMs located on public roads; 75.3% on public transport; 70.7% in the bank, and 67.8% in the streets.
In contrast, the places where citizens feel most safe are: the school, the house, work, shopping centers and the car.
The INEGI adds that this feeling of insecurity is generated in the citizenship by various factors, such as the witnessing of crimes that occur in their own environment.
In that sense, a good part of the consulted population mentioned having seen or heard criminal behavior in the surroundings of their home. 64.8% witnessed alcohol consumption in the streets; 65.2%, robberies or assaults; 49.6%, vandalism in homes or businesses; 45.6%, sale or consumption of drugs; 42.8% frequent shots with weapons, and 33.3% saw violent gangs or gangs.
Although the perception of insecurity improved, 29.4% of the population consulted considered that in the next 12 months the situation of crime in their city will continue to be as bad. While 19% say that the situation will worsen this year.
The fear provoked in the population, says the INEGI, can change routines or habits, as well as the perception that one has about the performance of the police.
61.4% of those interviewed preferred not to carry valuable things such as jewelry, money or credit cards, for fear of suffering some crime; 56.2% changed habits regarding “allowing their minor children to leave their home”; 53.2% avoided “walking around their house, after 8 pm”, and 34.6% changed routines about “visiting relatives or friends”.
In performance of the security forces, 85.1% of the population described as “very or somewhat effective” the work of the Navy to prevent and combat crime was; 82.6% recognized the work of the Army; 68.9% of the National Gendarmerie; 63.3% of the Federal Police; 47.9% of the State Police, and 39.4% of the Municipal Preventive Police.
Finally, it is also reported that during the second half of 2018, 35.8% of households in urban areas had members who were victims of at least one crime, vehicle theft; burglary at home; theft or assault on the street or public transportation (includes bank robbery or ATM); or extortion.
Luna Lounge is definitely one of Riviera Nayarit’s ‘little gems’ for dinner, libations and quality entertainment. Located right in the heart of Bucerias on the North shore, Luna Lounge is a popular dinner show venue. People just can’t get enough of all the fabulous entertainment offered at this North Shore venue.
The Crazy Senoritas (formerly The Crazy Bitches) continue to perform their show on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Start at 7 pm with a delicious dinner, followed by The Crazy Senoritas Drag Show, starring Miss Diva Divine and the gals. These senoritas will entertain you with hilarious musical parodies in a night you’ll always remember!
The Eric Clapton show is featured on Jan 10 & 12, starring world-famous musician Cliff Edwards. You’ll hear the rock and blues sound of great Clapton songs, like, ‘Tears in Heaven,’ ‘Lay Down Sally,’ and so many more! There are still tickets available for the 12th.
Join Amy Armstrong with the amazing band, Piel Canela, in a night of comedy and incredible music on Jan. 11 in her new show, ‘Viva La Diva.’ Amy’s sidesplitting humor and breathtaking vocals are always a hit with the audience! You’ll hear songs from the new movie; ‘A Star is Born,’ along with tunes from Aretha Franklin and favorites from Queen/Freddy Mercury.
The Frankie Valli tribute, featuring Gavan Rousseau, will be presented on Jan 13. As a member of The Four Seasons, some of Valli’s hits included, “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” You’ll love how Gavan Rousseau sings these gorgeous songs, with that wonderful falsetto sound!
The Garth Brooks show, starring Will Chalmers, is on tap for January 17 and 18. The 17th is sold out, but tickets are available for the 18th. You’ll thrill to songs like, “Friends in Love Places,” “The Dance,” “If Tomorrow Never Comes:” and all the other classics!
The Roy Orbison show will bring you all the great hits of this legend like “Only the Lonely,” “Pretty Woman” and “Crying.” Enjoy this phenomenal show on Jan. 20 and 21.
The Eagles tribute happens on Jan 24 and 25, with tickets still available for the 25th.
And don’t miss the Argentinian duo, Bohemia Viva, who performs their show, ‘Reflections’ on Jan. 26. Luis and Andrea will thrill you as they bring their original sound and harmonies to favorite songs. And you’ll absolutely love those gorgeous Spanish numbers mixed into their show!
The Beach Boys show is another favorite coming your way on Jan. 27. And the month ends with the ‘ABBA Tribute’ on the 31st
February’s lineup includes tributes to Patsy Cline, Adele, Tom Jones, Dwight Blake with Memories of Motown, Neil Diamond, ZZ Top, Us Two, The Blues Brothers and Freddy Mercury/Queen.
March shows feature tributes to Cher, Johnny Cash, Dwight Blake, Rod Stewart, David Bowie, The Saint Patrick’s Day Party, The Beatles, The Bee Gees and Elvis, The Vegas Years.