HOLY WEEK AND EASTER VACATIONS IN THE RIVIERA NAYARIT

HOLY WEEK AND EASTER VACATIONS IN THE RIVIERA NAYARIT

You have no excuse for staying home during Holy Week and Easter! The Riviera Nayarit wants your vacations to be unforgettable with Seasonal Offers that go live from Friday, April 5 through May 2, 2019 that include promotions from 23 hotels associated with the destination.

Participating hotels from Nuevo Vallarta, Flamingos, Bucerías, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Punta de Mita, and Rincón de Guayabitos are offering rates from $2,700 MXN and discounts from 20% up to 54%, free amenities, and much more.

This promotional event is organized by the Bahía de Banderas Hotel and Motel Association (AHMBB and the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) to incentivize tourism during this holiday period, one of most important for domestic travelers.

“These offers were created to make the luxury of the Riviera Nayarit accessible to more people,” said Marc Murphy, director of the Bahía de Banderas Hotel and Motel Association (AHMBB) and managing director of the Riviera Nayarit Hotel and Motel Association (CVB). “We have a great variety of hotels and resorts for everyone, and each time the properties are offering more discounts and incentives.”

Promotions and amenities:
• Free calls to the U.S. and Canada • Pet-friendly hotels • Up to 3 children stay free • $50 USD in resort credits • Free WiFi • Unlimited calls in Mexico and to the United States and Canada • Unlimited all-inclusive • Unlimited rounds of golf • Theme nights • Pillow menus • Free babysitting for 8 hours with a minimum stay of 5 nights • 3 and 6 months with no interest.

Stay in the best hotels:
In Nuevo Vallarta and Flamingos: Dreams Villamagna; Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit; Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta; Marina Banderas; Marival Residences; Marival Emotions Resort; Occidental Nuevo Vallarta; Ocean Breeze; Paradise Village; Riu Palace Pacífico; Riu Vallarta; Samba Vallarta; Las Palomas Nuevo Vallarta; Villa del Palmar Flamingos; Villa La Estancia.
Bucerías: Royal Decameron Complex; Vista Vallarta.
La Cruz de Huanacaxtle: B Nayar; Matlali; Vallarta Gardens.
Punta de Mita and Higuera Blanca: Rancho Banderas; Imanta Resort.
Rincón de Guayabitos: Las Cabañas del Capitán.

Vallarta is Planning Semana Santa Activities

Vallarta is Planning Semana Santa Activities

Semana Santa is fast approaching! The municipal government in Puerto Vallarta is busy preparing family friendly events to be enjoyed over the two-week holiday.

The city will set up four stages on the Malecón, where people will be able to enjoy free entertainment, including traditional Mexican dance, live music, circus shows and more.

Municipal tourism director Ramón González Lomelí says that the city’s two ‘Turicletos,’ pedal-powered by as many as 20 people at a time, as well as a train will be put on the Malecón during semana Santa.

To promote tourism and encourage visitors to check out the city centre, González Lomelí said that these are just some of the activities that the city has planned.

The celebrations will continue into the month of May with other events including the 13th Festival Vallarta Azteca del Folclor from April 28 through May 5 with a week of shows around the city, the Puerto Vallarta Open ATP Tennis Tournament from April 29 through May 5 held across from Villa del Palmar in the Hotel Zone, and the 2019 Down Puerto Vallarta Extreme Bike Race is on again on May 18 & 19.

The town of Tequila’s best-kept secret: the elusive Blue Falls

The pool at the foot of the second waterfall at Blue Falls.The pool at the foot of the second waterfall at Blue Falls.

The town of Tequila’s best-kept secret: the elusive Blue Falls

It was a waterfall you’d expect to find in the Garden of Eden, wide and wispy, with a sunlit blue-green pool at its foot

Besides being the home of Mexico’s most famous drink, the town of Tequila was added to the list of the country’s Pueblos Mágicos, or magical towns, in 2003.

Although Tequila’s streets are not exactly quaint, it is surrounded by extraordinary natural beauty. On one side of town you have the massive Volcán de Tequila rising to 2,920 meters (9,580 feet) above sea level, while directly on the other side of the city lie the sheer walls of a great canyon 600 meters deep.

While cold — if not icy — winds blow at the top of the volcano, exuberant tropical vegetation flourishes on the hot and humid floor of Barranca La Toma.

Many years ago I managed to climb to the top of the far wall of La Toma canyon. Dripping with sweat and covered with dust, I gazed across the lush valley filled with the kind of jungle you’d only expect on the shores of the Amazon, and there on the opposite side, directly below the town of Tequila, I could just barely make out a tall, wispy waterfall.

“Wouldn’t it be nice to be standing at the bottom of that!” I told my friends, and thus began my 20-year search for that distant, beckoning cascade.

The trail to the falls, through fields of blue agaves.
The trail to the falls through fields of blue agaves.

We soon learned that we what we were looking for was called Los Azules, the Blue Falls, but nobody seemed to know exactly how to get to them.

Fifteen years later, we got a clue. “You know that waterfall you’re always talking about — Los Azules? Well, I heard that the people down at Santo Toribio know how to reach it.”

I talked my wife into joining me and off we went down a very steep road to a tiny settlement at the bottom of Barranca La Toma, which boasts a grandiose church in the middle of the jungle. This is the shrine of Santo Toribio, a martyr killed in the Cristeros War.

After visiting the saint’s spartan lodgings, we mentioned Los Azules to some local children. Their eyes lit up. “We know the way — vámonos!” they said, practically dragging us on to a narrow path through an exotic landscape. Well, the path got steeper and steeper, the humidity got higher and higher, the mud got slipperier and slipperier and all of a sudden we were overlooking a chocolate-colored roaring river.

“Now what?” we asked our little guides.

“We have two choices,” they replied. “We can swim or we can try to cross the bridge.”

Canyoneer Luis Medina checks out the view atop fall No. 2.
Canyoneer Luis Medina checks out the view atop fall No. 2.

Well, the “bridge” was a precariously balanced tree trunk spanning the river which, by the way, smelled anything but inviting. Admitting that our adventurous spirit was was not quite up to the standards of those little country kids, we gave up.

That 20-year search for an easy way to reach Los Azules ended quite by accident when I bumped into canyoneering guide Luis Medina.

“John, that waterfall you’ve been calling ‘elusive’ is only a half-hour walk from Tequila — and, guess what, it’s not one waterfall but three — and all of them very impressive. I’ll show you the trail this coming Friday.”

A few days later, Luis picked me up and off we drove to Tequila. We parked only one kilometer from the highway and began walking through gorgeous fields of blue-green agaves, along a road dotted with chunks of high-quality black obsidian.

At the end of the road we had been following we started down a narrow, steep trail surrounded by jungly growth. Suddenly we came to a clearing and there, far below us in all its splendor, lay the huge valley of La Toma, framed by high, red canyon walls.

“Welcome to the Machu Pichu of Tequila,” announced Luis.

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    Taking a shower at the foot of fall No. 3, 70 meters high.
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Fifteen minutes later, we arrived at the kind of waterfall I would expect to find in the Garden of Eden. It was 40 meters tall, wide and wispy, with a sunlit blue-green pool at its foot that beckoned us to jump right in for a swim — which, of course, we wasted no time in doing. The water, by the way, comes from springs near the top of the canyon and is perfectly clean.

To our surprise, the pool temperature was neither hot nor cold, but pleasantly cool. As we swam and played in the water, dozens of blue and red dragonflies danced in the air above us, exactly like the birds and butterflies in a Walt Disney movie.

In fact, the whole scene was more like a dream than reality and to top it off, we had this paradise all to ourselves the whole time we were there, which was most of the day.

“Luis,” I said, “this is heaven! In the U.S.A. this would be a national park with no-swimming signs and hundreds of tourists filing by just to get a glimpse of paradise.”

“You know,” replied Luis, “that’s just what my clients tell me when I bring them here — these falls are even more enticing when you’re rappelling down them.”

Luis mentioned that the flow of water in Los Azules is more or less the same all year round and also during storms. This means you don’t have to worry about flash floods in this canyon, as you must in many others.

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I have been describing waterfall No. 2, which is very attractive and relatively easy to reach. There are, of course, a grand total of three, which explains why the name of the place is Los Azules and not El Azul.

The first fall is around 60 meters high but only operates right after a storm while the third is 70 meters tall and, like the second, runs all year round.

My Los Azules Falls trail aims to get you to the bottom of the second waterfall, but GPS coverage is poor in this part of La Toma canyon and you might end up at any one of the three falls. Don’t worry: each of them is an adventure!

If you’d like to have Los Azules all to yourself, visit this site on a workday, not on the weekend (especially Sunday), when a lot of people from Tequila hike down to take a dip. Whatever you do, don’t forget your swimsuit and a camera!

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.

Exploring the Río Verde canyon: high cliffs and hot showers

Mexico Life
Río Verde: chocolate-colored in the rainy season.The forgotten Río Verde is chocolate-colored in the rainy season.

Exploring the Río Verde canyon: high cliffs and hot showers

Isolated Jalisco river offers wonderful hot springs and a spectacular canyon

The Río Verde could be considered western Mexico’s “forgotten river,” principally because it runs along the bottom of a long canyon 300 to 500 meters deep, accessible only via a few steep, rough, dirt roads.

It is so forgotten that I couldn’t find its length anywhere, so I made my own measurements and, “according to Pint,” it is 173 kilometers long, starting deep in the Jalisco highlands and ending at Guadalajara.

Thanks to its isolation the river is relatively unpolluted, and all along its length are wonderful hot springs. Add these two factors to the astounding beauty of the steep canyon walls overhanging the river and you have a great outdoor site well worth a visit.

My first trip to the Green River was rather bizarre. I received a phone call from botanist Miguel Cházaro asking me if I wouldn’t like to visit “a hot waterfall called La Bolsa. It’s a natural shower, at perfect bathing temperature and it’s located at the edge of a huge orchard where ripe mangoes drop right into your hands and, by the way, just above the orchard there’s an archaeological site with a big pyramid and . . . .”

Of course, I was hooked and so were a lot of other hiker friends when I told them Cházaro’s story. The result was a big turnout for a hike to La Bolsa.

Frothing river in Tamara canyon.
Frothing river in Tamara canyon.

“How far away is this place?” people asked me.

“Miguel says it’s just half an hour from town.”

“What should we bring?”

“I guess lunch and a swim suit is all you need.”

Well, the “half-hour trip” took two hours, which did not surprise me too much, but instead of arriving at the hot waterfall, we found ourselves on the edge of a tremendous canyon, at the bottom of which we could barely make out a narrow ribbon of brown: the Río Verde, normally green, but chocolate-colored during the rainy season.

“Just follow me,” said Miguel, and over the edge we went, slipping and sliding on muddy trails that zigzagged through thick maleza which slowly turned into a full-blown jungle as we descended. All of us figured the waterfall must be “a half-hour” down the hill, but it soon became clear we were heading for the very bottom of the canyon.

Yes, sometimes the Río Verde does look green!
Yes, sometimes the Río Verde does look green!

One hour later, we came to a wide, flat, open area dominated by a conspicuous, high, lozenge-shaped mound where we learned about the history of the area.

“The Aztecs,” we were told, “arrived at Acatic in the year 1200 and almost decided to make it their capital because they saw an eagle land there. However, the eagle took off again and so did the Aztecs, wandering away to what is now Mexico City, where they finally saw the omen they were seeking: an eagle devouring a snake while perched on a nopal [prickly pear cactus].”

We continued down the hill and finally, four hours after leaving Guadalajara, we reached our long-awaited hot waterfall. Ah, but for most of the group it was quite a disappointment.

“The bathing spot looked great,” stated one exhausted hiker, “but to get to it you had to grab on to the branch of a tree overhanging the roaring, frothing Rio Verde. I was not quite prepared to do that.”

As a result, only three out of the crowd of 20 actually got a chance to stretch out under the marvelous hot waterfall they had striven so hard to reach. I was one of those lucky three and as I lay beneath the falls with jets of deliciously hot water pummeling my back in a soothing massage, I asked myself, “Was it worth it?”

For me, the reply was a resounding “Claro que sí!” but for those others, who now faced the prospect of climbing back up the canyon’s muddy trails in the pouring rain, the answer may have been quite the opposite, especially for one exhausted soul who looked up at the top of the canyon far above us, threw himself down on the ground, arms outstretched, and declared, “I’d rather just die right here, if you don’t mind!”

Canyon walls reflected in the clean, cool waters of Río Verde.
Canyon walls reflected in the clean, cool waters of Río Verde.

Fortunately, he and everyone else eventually made it to the top, although a few only reached it at sunset.

Some time later, a local historian told me about another way into the same canyon where I would be able to appreciate “three magnificent waterfalls, one of them 70 meters high.”

This place is known as La Leonera and I assumed it would present a daunting challenge equal to that of La Bolsa, but I was wrong.

We drove to La Leonera from the little down of Acatic and only a few steps from the parking spot parked we stood next to a mirador, or lookout point, offering us a truly magnificent and dramatic view of the Río Verde canyon. From here you walk along a wide, smooth path, again with a stupendous view.

We strolled along for an hour, finally coming to a little stream. Here we could just hear the purr of a waterfall in the distance. We walked upstream for 100 meters and gaped at la Cascada Velo de la Novia (Bridal Veil), a pretty and appropriately named waterfall about 60 meters high.

Below it was a pool of cold, clean water, a great place for a swim, but note that there is only water here during the rainy season.

At this point some may wish to head back to their car, but the more adventurous can continue along the trail to two more waterfalls.

Eventually I learned about yet another beautiful section of this canyon which is known as La Barranca de Tamara.

Here you can find a steep, but well-maintained road that actually lets you drive right down to the bank of the Río Verde where you can swim in delicious pools fed by cascades of hot water and, if you wish, spend the night there in a nice cabin.

Once again you go through the town of Acatic and follow a well-signposted dirt road to Rancho el Venado (Deer Ranch).

Upon paying the entrance fee, you get a waterproof paper bracelet on your wrist and then begins a twisting, but wonderfully scenic drive down to the very bottom of the canyon. Along the way you come to a fenced-in area containing the tiny deer which give the ranch its name.

The road leads ever downward through gently rolling hills and several dramatic waterfalls (in the rainy season) to two roomy wooden cabins, each of which has drinking and washing water, electricity, a kitchen, a fridge, a fireplace and two bedrooms, each with two double beds — plus a very lovable (and speedy) mouse, which raced back and forth across the ceiling and was far more entertaining than a TV could ever be.

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    Canyon walls reflected in the clean, cool waters of El Río Verde.
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A five-minute walk from the cabin takes you to the south bank of the Green River, next to which two swimming pools have been built beneath a network of small, natural hot waterfalls whose temperature is 37 C (98.6 F, body temperature).

Soaking in one of these pools while gazing up at the towering red cliffs and watching the river flow is a unique experience and without a doubt from that moment on you, like me, will consider the Río Verde “one river I could never forget.”

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.

PUERTO VALLARTA PREPARES ACTIVITIES FOR THE EASTER HOLIDAY TRAVELER

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.

PUERTO VALLARTA CAN HELP BEAT THE WINTER BLUES

There’s no shame in looking for a sun-and-beach getaway in Puerto Vallarta and, with a comfortable 70 – 75 degrees average temperature for the upcoming spring months, it is the ideal place to relax away your winter blues. But for more active travelers, Puerto Vallarta’s location between the Sierra Madre Mountain Range and the Bay of Banderas provides multiple opportunities to help bring adrenaline levels up, too.

Puerto Vallarta is drenched in natural terrains ideal for an endless array of outdoor activities. Water sports enthusiasts can choose from every imaginable activity, from snorkeling and scuba diving to kayaking, sailing, water skiing, stand-up paddle boarding and surfing. The abundant marine life in the warm Pacific waters of Banderas Bay are known to be a fisherman’s paradise, offering some of the best deep-sea sports fishing around.

Those in search of hard-core adventure can go mountain-bike riding or zip lining, opt for a Jeep safari or go horseback riding in challenging terrains. There are also soft adventure tours of the jungle surrounding Puerto Vallarta, from canopy tours to eco-hikes. And, of course, more traditional sports pursuits, including tennis and world-class golf, are also all on offer in Puerto Vallarta, as well.

Visitors interested in bike-centered activities will find several local tour operators offer bike trips that fit everyone’s fitness and experience level, from beginner to expert; from bike taco tours to 3- or 10-mile climbs through the Sierra Madre to the shores of the Pacific Ocean and to a secluded beach or even the isolated town of Yelapa. Or, bikers can take a short trip to the “magical town” of Mascota, at 2.5 miles and over 12,000 feet above sea level, and riding through the region’s countryside to finally drop straight into the tropical paradise beach town of Puerto Vallarta.

Stand-up paddle excursions depart from Boca de Tomatlan and Colomitos Beach, south of Puerto Vallarta’s Historic Center. There, the calm and clear waters of the Bay of Banderas permit wild excursions. From November to March, marine life is abundant, and species visitors may encounter include multicolored tropical fish of all sizes, sea turtles, manta rays and eagle rays, among others. For a completely Puerto Vallarta experience, try paddle boarding just offshore along the seaside Malecon promenade at sunset, and increase your chances of catching a glimpse of dolphins or humpback whales.

Running is one of the most common sports practiced by both locals and visitors. Early runs along the Malecon and around the Historic Center are popular. Step up your run and throw in some mountains with a hike up the Mirador de la Cruz, for panoramic views of the city, or a run through Rio Cuale Island and up into the Conchas Chinas neighborhoods. For a more extreme experience, try a run along the 62-mile Bay of Banderas coast. The trail starts in the fishing village of Boca De Tomatlan, by a river that flows into a small bay, leads through the tropical jungle and over a rope suspension bridge to end at one of Puerto Vallarta’s most secluded beaches, Playa Los Colomitos. Runners may encounter a wide variety of exotic birds, butterflies, lizards and tropical trees along the way.

Isla Mujeres beach No. 9 on list of world’s top 10 beaches

Playa Norte, No. 9 in the world.Playa Norte, No. 9 in the world.

Isla Mujeres beach No. 9 on list of world’s top 10 beaches

Playa Norte was also ranked No. 1 of all Mexican beaches

A beach on Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo, has been ranked among the top 10 beaches in the world by the travel website TripAdvisor, and not for the first time.

Published yesterday, the website’s Travellers’ Choice Awards 2019 ranked Playa Norte No. 9 on a list of of 25, describing the Caribbean destination as having “calm turquoise waters, pure white powdery sand. Water so blue, it makes the sky look pale.”

The list is based on user-generated content at TripAdvisor, and each beach’s ranking depends on the quantity and quality of the comments and reviews left by users of the online platform.

Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres

The beach was ranked No. 10 last year and No. 7 in 2017.

The website advises that any time of year is a good time to go to Playa Norte, which was also ranked the best among the top 10 Mexican beaches.

Balandra Beach, in La Paz, Baja California Sur, took second place, followed by Playa Delfines in Cancún.

Also on the list of the best Mexican beaches were Maya Chan, Quintana Roo; Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit; Playa El Cielo, Quintana Roo; Playa Bacocho, Oaxaca; Chileno, Baja California Sur; Playa Paraíso; Quintana Roo; and Playa La Ropa, Guerrero.

Source: Sipse (sp), TripAdvisor (en)

Looking for craft beer in Mexico City? Here are some options

Cervecería Reforma makes a gose, a porter and an Irish red ale.Cervecería Reforma makes a gose, a porter and an Irish red ale.

Looking for craft beer in Mexico City? Here are some options

These breweries have braved the traffic and chaos to bring their beer to capitalinos

Mexican craft beer may still only have 3% of the national market, but it is crushing it in Mexico City.

Folks are clamoring for local beer, and while there has always been an abundance of breweries in cities like Guadalajara and Tijuana, until recently not many breweries were actually located in the heart of CDMX.

These breweries have braved the traffic and chaos to bring capitalinos beer right down the street and around the corner and here is where you can find them.

Cerveza Cru Cru

Callejón de Romita #8, Colonia Roma

Making beer was just the hobby of a few of the Cru Cru partners until they banded together to open their microbrewery in the Colonia Roma. They now have a production area and a small taproom in a 19-century mansion in La Romita (with lots of intrigue sprinkled throughout the house’s pre-brewery history).

Cru Cru always has four of their standard beers on tap as well a few innovations or collaborations behind the bar if you ask nicely (the gose made with worm salt is fantastic). Their most popular beer is the pale ale (it makes up a whopping 70% of their production), but founder Luis de la Reguera says his current favorite is the Cru Cru porter.

While they don’t have a full-service taproom and bar just yet, which is what they are working towards, for the time being if you want to visit you can join my craft beer and taco tour (MexicoCityStreets.com), or join the twice weekly Craft Beer Turibus tour on Fridays and Saturdays, or come by the brewery on Thursday at 7:00pm for salsa class (no, you don’t have to dance in order to try the beer, it’s just when the brewery is guaranteed to be open).

Falling Piano Brewing

Coahuila 99, Colonia Roma

Started as a crowd-funding project, Falling Piano Brewery in the heart of Colonia Roma has 45 investors and two founding partners. In March of this year their set-up will be complete and downstairs will be the production area where you can get a tour and some beer-making 101.

One of Falling Piano's beers is called 'your dog is barking.'
One of Falling Piano’s beers is called ‘your dog is barking.’

For now, upstairs is a warehouse-style taproom with space for about 100 people. The kitchen is a rotating pop-up — each month a new chef or restaurant is invited to create the menu. They have 15 beers on tap, all the Falling Piano brand, with classic Mexico City names like tu perro está ladrando (your dog is barking), an IPA, or the tusci pop, a fruit beer inspired by a traditional Mexican candy.

These are some of the same folks that brought you HOP: The Beer Experience (see below), dedicated to bringing delicious beer to the masses of Mexico City. As founder Diego Lara likes to say, beer makes good moments better and bad moments bearable.

Cervecería Reforma

Calle Laura Mendez de Cuenca 21 A, Colonia Obrera

Officially opened in 2015 and selling beer since 2016 the Cervecería Reforma is a high-tech set-up where you can get a hyper-detailed tour of the processing room and learn how they make their three styles: a gose, a porter and an Irish red ale.

They are currently working on a fourth style so stay tuned. The name Reforma obviously refers to the city’s grand avenue but also, according to the brewery’s founders, the union of Mexico’s two strongest cultural influences – Europe, represented by Chapultepec castle at one end, and its indigenous roots, represented by the Templo Mayor at the other.

These two sides of the Mexican psyche are represented in their beer as well. This cervecería doesn’t have its doors thrown open wide to the public (that is their next step), but is part of the city’s Craft Beer Turibus tour on Fridays and Saturdays and offers its space for group tastings and tours with advance notice.

HOP: The Beer Experience

Avenida Cuauhtémoc 870, Colonia Narvarte Poniente

Ok so HOP is not a brewery, but the three city locations are great places to get craft beer. HOP 2 in Colonia Narvarte has 52 beers on tap, more than anywhere else in the country! They started out as a craft beer store and then slowly evolved into craft beer bars and beer gardens that import hard-to-find-in-Mexico craft beer from around the world.

HOP 1 in Juárez is a cozy little beer cave, HOP 2 in Narvarte is a massive rollicking beer garden and the new HOP in Polanco is somewhere in the middle and a little more fancy, as you would imagine.

One more round

A couple more spots for tasting craft beer: the relatively new Principiabrewing from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, in Colonia Del Valle (Magdalena 311) currently has 12 beers on their menu, with a little over half the bar’s own brand.

The Tasting Room (Chiapas 73) has also become a cult classic, their brand is Morenos and in addition to that they have a lot of United States craft beers on their menu.

The tiny Beer Bros in Narvarte (corner of Luz Saviñon and Juan Sánchez Azcona) also has a wide range of craft beer from Mexico and around the world.

Lydia Carey is a freelance writer based in Mexico City.

VOLARIS TO CONNECT PVR-RIVIERA NAYARIT WITH THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST

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.

International tourist numbers up 5.5% last year and they spent more, To Mexico

The beach umbrellas are ready for more growth in tourism.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

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.

Among the nationalities that spend the most while visiting Mexico, the Japanese were in first place, spending an average of $2,008, not including airfare.

However, in terms of visitor numbers, Japan was only in 17th place with 140,363 visitors.

Source: Notimex (sp)