VOLARIS TO CONNECT PVR-RIVIERA NAYARIT WITH THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST
Volaris announced its new Phoenix-Puerto Vallarta/Riviera Nayarit (PHX-PVR) route starting on June 16th of this year, expanding the connectivity between that region and the Mexican Pacific.
The new flight, which began ticketing on Friday, February 8th, will allow clients to travel to and enjoy one of Mexico’s premier tourist destinations and relax on its beautiful beaches.
“The route between Phoenix and Puerto Vallarta allows Volaris to consolidate its presence in the international market, expanding its destination portfolio and positioning itself as the Mexican airline with the most flights from one of Mexico’s most important destinations,” said airline executives.
The flight will be permanent with two frequencies per week on Fridays and Sundays. It will leave Puerto Vallarta at 11:08 a.m. arriving in Phoenix, Arizona, at 11:56 p.m. On its return flight it will depart Phoenix at 1:16 p.m., arriving back in Puerto Vallarta at 5:56 p.m.
The airline expectations are high for the flight as this is a very important market not only of travelers of Mexican descent, but also of North Americans who reside in Phoenix and the surrounding areas and like to vacation in Mexico.
The flight to Phoenix is one of several recent new flight announcements to the US and Canada, including the Sun Country flight from Las Vegas and the Swoop flight that began two connections earlier this year from Hamilton and Abbotsford, Canada.
The Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau is very happy with this decision and wishes Volaris much success in the operation of its new route.
The Southwest region of the United States includes the states of Arizona and New Mexico, as well as the western portion of Texas; southern Nevada, Utah and Colorado; western Oklahoma; and southern California and has positioned itself as an important market of origin for tourists to the Puerto Vallarta-Riviera Nayarit region, especially among travelers of Mexican descent who live in that area of the Union.
The beach umbrellas are ready for more growth in tourism.
International tourist numbers up 5.5% last year and they spent more
There were 41.4 million international tourists and they spent 6% more
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
A record 41.4 million international tourists came to Mexico last year, 5.5% more than in 2017, and they spent more while they were in the country.
The Secretariat of Tourism (Sectur) said in a statement that 41,447,000 foreign tourists visited Mexico in 2018 compared to 39.3 million the year before.
The tourists spent just over US $20.3 billion while here, 6% more than in 2017. Each international tourist spent on average US $490 in the country.
The top 10 source countries for tourists who arrived by air were the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Spain, Germany, France and Peru.
Once daytrippers from the three countries with which Mexico shares a border are added, a total of just under 96.8 million foreign visitors entered the country last year.
That figure represents a 2.6% decline on total visitor numbers in 2017, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi).
The 55.3 million daytrippers spent just under US $2.2 billion or an average of $39 each, taking total tourism expenditure to just over $22.5 billion, 5.5% more than 2017.
For this year, Sectur predicts that international numbers could hit 43.6 million, which would represent a 5.2% increase on last year’s figures. Total tourism expenditure is forecast to reach jut under US $23.7 billion, which would also be 5.2% higher than in 2018.
Tourism Secretary Miguel Torruco Marqués described the outlook in both areas as positive.
Earlier this month, Torruco said that the government is aiming to increase expenditure by tourists in Mexico by focusing more on attracting big spenders.
This Friday, February 8, 6-10 check out the show in her gallery (Calle Constitucion 325) featuring seventeen of Kathleen Carrillo’s new works soon to be mounted at the Four Seasons Resort in Punta de Mita.
Her latest collection “Speakeasy/Cabaret” shares works about nightlife, Jazz, dancing and a bit of the dark side. These can be seen at her gallery in Puerto Vallarta.
Kathleen has just opened her second Gallery in Carlsbad, California, in North San Diego County. She will be spending most of the summer months in this new gallery while continuing to be dedicated to her patrons in the winter months in the Puerto Vallarta gallery.
Watch her latest episode of Colour In Your Life, a PBS affiliated series about artist and their lives, which aired in Australia and Europe last week. Find it on YouTube: Colour In Your Life, Kathleen Carrillo.
You can call Kathleen at the gallery 322 222 9879, or her US phone 858 261-8129. Gallery located at Calle Constitucion 325 in Old Town! See you there.
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.
Grupo Vidanta, the leading resort and tourism developer in Mexico and Latin America, announced today the introduction of The Estates, a one-of-its-kind luxury development to debut at Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta and Vidanta Riviera Maya, two of the company’s seven resort portfolio destinations. Formerly under the name of ‘Jungle Estates,’ The Estates plays a significant role in Grupo Vidanta’s ongoing goal to offer the most exclusive and high-end tourism projects in all Latin America.
With an initial presence in Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta and Vidanta Riviera Maya, The Estates will be Vidanta’s -Grupo Vidanta’s luxury vacationing brand- premier resort offering, boasting ultra-luxury opulence thanks to high-end details, plush amenities and lavish vacation experiences. One of the key distinguishing factors of these sumptuous new units is that they offer a private sanctuary designed to honor and reflect the sweeping beauty of the natural landscapes that surround them.
“The introduction of The Estates represents our continued commitment to transforming the hospitality industry and cementing Mexico’s position as one of the world’s premier tourist destinations,” said Iván Chávez, Executive Vice President of Grupo Vidanta. “The Estates are bold and innovative, revolutionizing the concept of luxury, and will go above and beyond in style, personalization, comfort and service, even for the most discerning traveler.”
The Estates will be located in picturesque, nature-filled settings at Nuevo Vallarta and Riviera Maya resorts, and will be available in sumptuous one-, two- and four-bedroom surpassing space configurations. Boasting an indoor-outdoor al fresco design to take full advantage of the breathtaking surrounding landscape at each location, all three of The Estates accommodations will be thoughtfully designed with modern touches while embracing the unique cultures of both coastal destinations. Guests will enjoy spacious living and dining room spaces, elegant spa-inspired bathrooms, secluded terraces and a private outdoor pool and lounge area. Model units will be available for guests to tour later this year.
This spectacular, new class of luxury accommodations perfectly complements the markedly unique and high-end experiences and offerings of both locations, including the renowned Norman Signature Golf Course, Almaverde farm, and Santuario entertainment plaza at Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta and the acclaimed Cirque du Soleil show, JOYÀ, The Beach Club, and Salum Beachside Eateries and Market at Vidanta Riviera Maya. The Estates will provide an exclusive paradise for those who crave personalized, curated and extravagant travel experiences.
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.
Almost a million Americans live without the proper papers on the other side of the wall that President Donald Trump plans to complete with federal funds. The big difference is that some emigrants arrive with dollars and their credit card. That is why some are expelled from thousands and others are deported – at most – at the rate of almost three hundred per year.
As of 2016, immigration declined to the United States from Mexico. It is pointed out by the CMS, a study center specialized in migration. On the contrary, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi) of Mexico, from 2015 to the present, the number of northern residents who live and work in cities such as Guadalajara or Puerto Vallarta, the Federal District or Baja California has increased.
Three years ago, only 65,302 Americans kept their documents in order according to the National Institute of Migration. By then, the Inegi accounted for 739,168 US citizens. Although statistics from the State Department carried that figure to more than 934,000. They represent more than 90 percent and that number could have increased since 2015.
The complacent attitude of the Mexican government in this situation has no symmetry with the treatment to which it submits immigrants arriving in the country from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The local Ministry of the Interior reported that 76,329 Central Americans were deported between January and August of 2018. At certain times, Mexico exceeded the US in the number of expelled.
A work by international migration specialist Omar Lizárraga Morales (distinguished in 2018 with the research prize of the Mexican Academy of Sciences) entitled “The immigration of US retirees in Mexico and their transnational practices” provides a lot of data on the characteristics of this type of migration. In the conclusions, he states: “In the case of the Americans, the surplus value that pensions acquire in the countries of Latin America is the main factor of attraction to migrate. In contrast to the current high cost of housing on the north side of the border, the moderate cost of living that prevails in Mexico led them to settle in these destinations.”
Lizárraga Morales, relying on the research of her colleague María Luisa Cabral Bowling, who studied US immigration in the municipality of Los Cabos, in Baja California Sur, points out: “The need to regulate this migratory flow, because it can represent a danger for the Caribbean society for its social and economic impact”. Also that “more than 90% of the real estate companies that are located in Baja California are Americans, they buy at low prices and sell at exorbitant prices. Faced with this situation, the local inhabitants are restricted to access to beaches that were previously the commune”.
According to the Mexican journalist Jaime Avilés, author of the book AMLO, Private life of a public man, in 2006 the Americans make up 10% of the population in places like Puerto Vallarta but control 85% of the real estate.
“Americans are 10% of the population, but they monopolize 85% of the real estate of the urban center. They have all the houses of the Historical Center; they only rent to foreigners and they charge the rent in dollars. In addition, they have almost all the hotels, restaurants, galleries, bars, and in some nightclubs, they have the luxury of preventing entry to Mexicans. ”
Americans, even those undocumented, live in privileged tourist destinations such as the beaches of the Riviera Maya or Puerto Vallarta or in historic centers of San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato.
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.