PUERTO VALLARTA AMONG THE BEST CITIES IN THE WORLD TO VISIT

You have so many reasons to decide about your happiness, other than the persons telling you not to do it…

Just choose to be happy in your own skin!

You are amazing and so is Puerto Vallarta.

Puerto Vallarta has been recognized as one of the 10 Best Cities of the World to Visit Outside United States, in the category Small Cities, according to Condé Nast Traveler 32º Reader’s Choice Awards.

Our beautiful destination was granted 5th position due to its natural attributes, its powerful energy, attractive activities for the whole family, and other qualities that meet in the corner of the Bay.

Puerto Vallarta is one of the three Mexican cities that are part of the 40 Most Important Cities of the Worldand one of the two that appear among the 20 Best Small Cities. In fact, our destination is the only Mexican beach city that appears in both lists.

“We feel really honored to be part of this exclusive list of international cities. We think that this is the result of the charm that people of Puerto Vallarta offer and the diversity of attractions that can be enjoyed here”, mentioned Javier Aranda, general director of the Fideicomiso de Turismo de Puerto Vallarta.

This year, more than 600 thousand readers worldwide were in charge of rating and sharing their experiences about their favorite places. This is the complete list of the 10 Best Small Cities of the World to Visit:

 

10. Cologne, Germany

9. Monte Carlo, Monaco
8. Puebla, Mexico
7. Florence, Italy
6. Bergen, Norway
5. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
4. Salzburg, Austria
3. Quebec City, Canada
2. Dresden, Germany
1. Mérida, Mexico

Todd Bates​
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BUCERÍAS: ART AND WATER SPORTS

BUCERÍAS: ART AND WATER SPORTS

Jorge Chávez

Sep. 25, 2019
1,205 views

Relaxing in Bucerías can be very easy, with its wide range of entertainment including excellent restaurants, a thriving music scene, an art walk and both residential and commercial areas. The town’s name comes from the word “bucear” (to dive), as this activity is related to fishing, which has sustained the town since its founding. The Estatua del Buzo (Statue of the Diver), close to the main square, perfectly captures this tradition and is an ideal place for souvenir photos.

Bucerías: art and watersports, vallarta lifestyles

To Start

After breakfast at one of the various options in this Riviera Nayarit micro-destination, a short walk along its streets is the best way to begin. Thanks to its oceanfront location, Bucerías’s main square is the ideal place to get a feel for the town’s lifestyle and relaxed pace. To one side is the Artisans’ Market, which is very lively on weekends. A little hidden, but easy to reach, is Paseo del Beso (Alley of the Kiss), a pedestrian passageway connecting the market with the town, featuring curious murals highlighting romance.

Beaches

Bucerías’s long, wide beach, with its fine sand and gentle waves, is undoubtedly one of its main attractions and one of the favorite destinations for families with young children. You will find many restaurants here, especially near the center of town. Due to its excellent climate throughout the year, this beach is an ideal place to practice and admire extreme watersports such as kitesurfing and windsurfing. And it is consistently included in SEMARNAT’s list of the cleanest beaches in Mexico.

Bucerías: art and watersports, vallarta lifestyles

Dining

From the simple to the gourmet, there are a number of options to consider here, many located on Lázaro Cárdenas and nearby streets, right next to shops and art galleries. Starting from the main square and heading north along the Pacific, a wide variety of oceanfront family restaurants offer exquisite specialties based on fish and seafood.

Shopping

One of Bucerías’s busiest areas is the Zona Dorada (Golden Zone), where there are lots of boutiques, shops and galleries with different types of art. Consider taking the opportunity to admire the mystical and colorful Huichol crafts, especially the yarn paintings and beaded animal figures—not to be missed!

Bucerías: art and watersports, vallarta lifestyles

Nightlife

You can start the evening at one of Bucerías’s coffee shops, where you can enjoy blends from different parts of Mexico and the world, as well as exquisite fine pastries.

During the winter season, there are events such as the Farmers Market and the Bucerías Art Walk, which organizes art-related festivities. Throughout the year, there also are workshops in various disciplines.

When night falls, many bars have live music, performed by residents or some of the renowned musicians who visit. And the town’s culinary offerings have increased recently, with the addition of gourmet restaurants featuring various specialties, including Mexican, Asian and Italian dishes, among many others.

One of Riviera Nayarit’s most visited micro-destinations, Bucerías is ideal for anyone looking for a quiet weekend getaway and/or spending the day in the company of family or friends.

Bucerías: art and watersports, vallarta lifestyles

PUERTO VALLARTA PREPARES TO RECEIVE AND CARE FOR MORE THAN 130 THOUSAND TURTLES

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.

A trip to Mazatlán changed the life of this expat from California

News
Surfer and former publisher Janet Blaser.

A trip to Mazatlán changed the life of this expat from California

Janet Blaser enjoys the Mexican lifestyle and has no plans to move back to the US

A trip to Mazatlán changed the life of a California woman who has now been living in the Sinaloa resort city for more than a decade and can’t imagine moving back to the United States.

Janet Blaser, formerly a food and restaurant writer in Santa Cruz, California, moved to Mazatlán in 2006 after she lost one journalism job and had her hours cut back at another as a result of the rise in popularity of online news.

A trip to the Pacific coast city in Mexico served as the impetus for her relocation decision.

“I fell in love, I felt this heart connection somehow — there were beautiful old buildings, cobblestone streets, plazas with wrought iron and the beautiful glittering Pacific Ocean, warm and swimmable,” Blaser told the financial information website MarketWatch.

“It just felt deeply healing, friendly and welcoming,” she added.

Another reason for Blaser’s move was that she spotted an interesting opportunity.

There were a lot of English-speaking expats and tourists in town but little information about Mazatlán’s social and cultural life and Blaser’s journalistic experience and ingenuity could fix that.

So in 2006, the writer and surfing enthusiast packed up her car and set her sights on starting a new life in northern Mexico. A plan to move to New Orleans was put on the backburner.

Blaser admitted to having doubts about the move but knew that staying in California would stretch her budget and leave her with an uncertain future.

During her first year in Mazatlán, Blaser worked part time as an online editor as she planned how to start an arts and entertainment publication that would provide information to the English-speaking residents of the city and the tourists who visit.

In 2007, she launched M! Magazine and continued to run the successful publication for nine years. In the same period, Blaser started a local organic farmers’ market.

The 63-year-old is now retired but remains busy: she has just published a book entitled Why We Left: An Anthology of American Women Expats, in which 27 essays of women living happily in Mexico are compiled.

Even though her magazine publishing days are over, Blaser is not thinking about relocating north of the border even though she says she misses her three adult children and three grandkids, all of whom live in the United States.

“I can’t imagine living in the U.S. again,” she told MarketWatch, explaining that the cheaper cost of living in Mexico – Blaser lives on about US $1,000 a month – was one but not the only reason why.

“I couldn’t afford to live in the States again” Blaser said before adding that she prefers the “easygoing Mexican lifestyle” in any case.

“It’s a very different vibe here that’s kind of hard to explain. It’s not about being retired, because I wasn’t that until a year ago. It’s just a different understanding of what’s important in life, and a more relaxed live-and-let-live attitude. If something doesn’t get done today, there’s always tomorrow, or the next day. What’s the big deal?” she said.

“. . . I’m able to actually live a more simple life and be satisfied in a way I could never before in the U.S.”

Source: MarketWatch (en)

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La Campana, Jalisco’s ‘Psychedelic Bell,’ is a jewel of natural beauty

La Campana, a bizarre little mountain.La Campana, a bizarre little mountain.

La Campana, Jalisco’s ‘Psychedelic Bell,’ is a jewel of natural beauty

As you walk up the smooth, undulating surface you come upon one strange, sweeping shape after another

Highway 70 could be called “the adventurous way” to travel from Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta.

This road takes you past the legendary mining town of Guachinangowith its shimmering church covered with a million shards of broken porcelain plates, past Atenguillo, famed for its rustic raicilla distilleries hidden in the hills.

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.

From the highway it looks like a bell.

From the highway it looks like a bell.

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.

Owner of La Campana, Tino López, is always ready to guide visitors up the mountain.

Owner of La Campana, Tino López, is always ready to guide visitors up the mountain.

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.

    • 2—DSC_0153
      Another view of La Campana.
  • 2—DSC_0153
  • 3—DSC_0161
  • 5—GR-Trail-to-La-Campana
  • 6—GR-Window-view-of-sister-peak
  • 7—Old-Mans-Beard-antibiotic
  • 8—Panorama
  • 10—The-View-from-the-top

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.

A few meters from the highway you can park in front of an iron gate. Just a few meters past the gate, look for the start of a trail on your right. Walk east uphill and you will soon be on an ever-more-obvious path that takes you directly to the base of the little mountain.

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.

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Attention All Animal Lovers in Puerto Vallarta: Beware!

Attention All Animal Lovers in Puerto Vallarta: Beware!


August 5, 2019
When we moved from Canada we brought our one dog, Toby, with us. We had committed to being a one dog family (having had multiple animals in the past, and now having kids, we thought this the sane thing to do).

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – One of the risks of living in Puerto Vallarta is that if you are an animal lover you are at high risk of increasing the size of your pack! The large number of street animals and the Facebook posts of those needing help all make you think that maybe there’s room for just one more family member.

And so it was with our family.

When we moved from Canada we brought our one dog, Toby, with us. We had committed to being a one dog family (having had multiple animals in the past, and now having kids, we thought this the sane thing to do). We got Toby when Justin was 4 and Tianna was 3.As it turned out Toby and Justin bonded and Toby soon became “Justin’s dog.” After a short while in Puerto Vallarta Tianna let us know that she would like to have a dog of her own to care for. As all good and not so rational parents eventually do, and after months of negotiation, we gave in.

I called our friend Lynette, who works with many of the animal organizations here in Puerto Vallarta, and started the process. Our requests were pretty specific and we expected the process to take awhile. It turned out that we were very naive. The following morning Lynette called to tell us that the Colina Spay and Neuter clinic had an abandoned and abused little poodle mix in need of a home. We picked up Estrella that day and with time and love she has become a great, albeit pampered, part of our family.

Fast forward 2 years … as we returned one evening from taking Toby and Estrella for a walk we came across an abandoned puppy at the door of our condo building. Clearly cold and scared we couldn’t leave him there for the night and took him in until we could find someone to adopt him. This may not have been the best plan, as the kids (okay and me), quickly became attached to Mikey (naming him was the kiss of death).And so Mikey, nicknamed ‘Diablo’ (lovingly, and for good reason) by those who knew him, became part of our family. We all convinced ourselves that this was it. No more animals. If only there was a procedure or drug that would make it so you can’t or don’t even think of taking more animals into your home.

Unfortunately when we recently found Bruno (or more accurately, when he found us), a neglected and sick dog eating out of the garbage on the street, we knew we couldn’t leave him there. We would just take him in, clean him up, feed him and take him to the vet. Then we would find him a good home. Well, and I know this is a shocker, Bruno is now part of our family.

And so you don’t think that I am the only one that has gone loco, I have friends in Puerto Vallarta with many more animal family members than us – some as many as 13 or 14.

So a warning to those animal lovers out there: It is almost impossible to not grow your family here!

Maybe we need to start an Animal Lovers Anonymous chapter, or maybe we just need to get over it and love our animal friends unconditionally as they do us, and realize that we wouldn’t have it any other way.

If you are interested in adopting a pet in Puerto Vallarta, or supporting the local organizations that do such great work here, these are just a few of the many:

• Colina Spay and Neuter Clinic
SPCA PV
Mex Pup
PuRR Project


Warren Brander is an expert real estate agent working with Remax in Puerto Vallarta. He can be reached at 322-200-2253, or by email at warren(at)remaxinpv.com. You can also check out his website for a great selection of Puerto Vallarta condos and homes for sale at WarrenBrander.com.To learn more about Warren Brander Real Estate, click HERE.

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Ex-Pats in Vallarta, August 2019

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Expats in Vallarta
 This Weeks Only  Event


 
Tuesday, Aug. 6th

5 to 7 pm

El Andariego Restaurant


Located in the 5th of December, Calle Mexico #1358
across the street from Sr Frogs with lots of  parking right behind Sr. Frogs.  Right on the bus route and lots of taxis are available.

THE SAME TEAM THAT COMES WITH GREAT DINNER CHOICES HAS CREATED A VERY SPECIAL EXPATS MENU WITH VERY SPECIAL PRICES FOR EXPATS!


We have the entire main floor.  So there is lots of room for us to move around and visit with all the other ExPats.

Tips are Not Included and because of the special pricing No Credit Cards will be accepted.

You only pay for what you order.

-Only August Dinner-

Las Adelitas

Thurs,Aug.15, 6pm 

Since this will be our only

dinner in August, do not

miss it. You will
be very   if you do.

Located between Plaza Caracol and Costco
on Ave. Fluvial

Reserve Now!

Delicious Menu, Good Service!

Adelitas Combo – Arrachera, Chile relleno, chicken taco, quesadilla and nopal asada
$275 pesos

Black Angus Rib Eye – with baked potato, tossed salad, and garlic bread.  $290 pesos

BBQ Ribs – Las Adelitas famous  BBQ pork ribs along with fries, coleslaw and garlic bread
 $200 pesos

Giant Shrimp in garlic sauce – Served with  rice, beans and garlic bread.  $285 pesos

Peruvian Chicken – 1/2 BBQ Peruvian Chicken with fries, cole slaw and garlic bread.  $145 pesos

Grilled Fish Filet  –  Grilled mahi mahi with cole slaw, garlic bread, fries and beans. $190 pesos

We have been coming to Las Adelitas for many years and we have never been disappointed.  Plus you will love the authentic Mexican decor and the excellent service.

Email Sara Now

to Make

Your Reservation

Dinner reservations must
be paid in advance.

*****

       

Have questions?

email me:  sarawise45@gmail.com

We look forward to Seeing You

at all our Events

Sara


Expats in Vallarta

DON’T MISS THESE RIVIERA NAYARIT FAIRS, FIESTAS, AND TRADITIONS

DON’T MISS THESE RIVIERA NAYARIT FAIRS, FIESTAS, AND TRADITIONS

The true essence of Mexico is best experienced through its traditions, the legacy of the Spaniards and indigenous people. Fairs, religious festivities, and other colorful ancestral celebrations are part and parcel of Mexican life, all of them vibrant with music, chants, food, and fun.

In the Riviera Nayarit, these events also help to promote tourism in coastal towns such as Bucerías and Sayulita, for example, where every year religious festivities attract thousands of visitors. Gastronomy and music are a fundamental part of the celebrations.

Consider the Riviera Nayarit for your next vacation! Here’s a list of the Fairs, Fiestas, and Traditions you cannot miss!

Bucerías’ Feast of Our Lady of Peace
The Bucerías Patron Saints Feast in honor of our Lady of Peace has traditionally been held between January 16 and 24 for the past 59 years. Besides being an essential part of local tradition, over the past few years, it has become a tourist attraction as well. Cultural, artistic, and athletic activities take place during the festivities, but there’s no doubt one of the most colorful is the fishermen’s seafaring pilgrimage. The fishermen deck their boats out with flowers, colorful ribbons, and religious motifs. The plaza is dotted with stands selling Mexican treats; there is folk dancing, fireworks, and lots of other activities that involve both locals and visitors.

San Blas Patron Saint Festivities
Every February 3 the people of San Blas celebrate the Patron Saint who protects hunters with a very colorful and unique party. The activities begin at dawn with a heartfelt rendition of “Las Mañanitas” and the traditional Midnight Mass. The celebration includes dances, processions on land and sea aboard gaily decorated boats, and the main pilgrimage lead by an image of the saint. The procession leaves the church to bless the ocean so the seamen can have a successful fishing season and prosperity comes to the port.

Bucerías Oyster Festival
Every April 28 Bucerías hosts one of its most symbolic events. The Oyster Festival celebrates local oyster divers with a party that emphasizes togetherness and brotherhood within the community. That day marks the end of the season for the El Punto oyster bank (separate from the general conclusion of the season on June 1). Other festival activities include crowning the festival queen, who represents the divers and is chosen by the festival attendees. Of note is the fact this event is unique in the region and is one of the many great attractions offered by the Riviera Nayarit.

The Battle of the Saints in Mexcaltitán
The Battle of the Saints is one of the most representative traditional ceremonies on Mexcaltitán island, located in the municipality of Santiago Ixcuintla. The festivities are in honor of San Pedro and San Pablo; the community prays to them for a good shrimp season. On June 29 a pilgrimage is made emulating the Mexicas or Aztecs, who are said to have left Aztlán to establish the great city of Tenochtitlán.

Jala and Xalisco Corn Festival
The communities of Jala and Xalisco—located a short distance from the coast of Nayarit—celebrate several events to commemorate their Corn Festival (Feria del Elote). This celebration takes place on August 13-15 and includes cultural activities and artistic presentations. In Jala, they also host horse races and a traditional contest for the biggest ear of corn in the world. Of note is the fact this particular celebration takes place during the patron saint festivities in honor of the Virgin of the Assumption.

Feast of St Francis
The Cultural Capital of the Riviera Nayarit celebrates its patron saint festivities in honor of St Francis of Assisi from September 26 – October 4. During those days the Plaza del Sol and the town itself are brimming with athletic, religious, artistic, and cultural activities. As tradition dictates, the Friendship Torch is raffled off, and the novena begins in honor of the Patron Saint.

Day of the Dead in Sayulita | Bucerías
According to legend, the souls of the departed return during the first days of November to visit their loved ones. The Magical Town of Sayulita prepares a welcome from October 31 – November 2 with the ¡Vivan los Muertos! (Long Live the Dead!) Festival with a program filled with music, flowers, processions, and delicious offerings, not to mention a colorful riot of altars for the dead. The festival has been held for the past nine years to help preserve Mexican tradition. It’s an experience much beloved by both locals and visitors from abroad.

This year, Bucerías will join in the festivities with a cultural and artistic program, though it’s well-known that the town already hosts a traditional exhibit of altars for the dead in the main square.

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Sayulita
The Magical Town of Sayulita celebrates Our Lady of Guadalupe from December 1 – 12. The festival and its demonstration of faith bring together families, businesses, and civil associations from around the community as well as neighboring towns and tourists. During the novena, the different neighborhoods host processions with floats in honor of the Virgin. The townspeople then accompany the floats through the main road to the sanctuary created in the Virgin’s honor at the town’s central plaza. The organizing committee also coordinates other cultural activities besides the pilgrimages, with the main festivities occurring on December 12.

Moving to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with Kids – Update

Moving to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with Kids – Update


July 31, 2019
When we moved to Puerto Vallarta our kids were 4 and 5 years old so we felt the timing made sense for the transition to a new country and a new culture. And, as it turns out, we were right.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – About 8 years ago we moved our family to Mexico. I wrote an article then about the trials and tribulations of the move and thought it would be timely to give an update.

¿Habla Español?

When we moved to Puerto Vallarta our kids were 4 and 5 years old so we felt the timing made sense for the transition to a new country and a new culture. And, as it turns out, we were right. The kids picked up Spanish with ease and quickly became fluent. Their Spanish is perfect and they can switch between English and Spanish – depending on who they are speaking to – on a dime. As for their parents? Well let’s just say that it hasn’t been as fast for us to master the language. The proof is when our kids give us blank stares when we speak to them in what we think is perfect Spanish!

Finding a School That Meets Your Needs

In my last article I wrote about the terrific private school options for children in Puerto Vallarta. Because all schools are not the same, if I had to start the process all over again I would likely be more thorough in my analysis. There is a standard Spanish curriculum that all schools are required to follow, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end.

Some schools offer extensive sports programs, while others don’t. Some are heavier on theatre and music. Some offer swimming lessons on site. Some are more rigid and others more relaxed. In terms of academia, some schools follow a project-based learning approach, while others follow more traditional teaching methods.So, when it comes to choosing a school, my advice is to make a checklist of the elements that are most important for your child to thrive. Make a short list of the three schools that fit the bill. And most importantly, if timing permits, visit those schools to experience what they have to offer firsthand.

Being Social

If the school you choose is not in the neighbourhood in which you live, it can be a challenge for kids to hang out with their friends after school. When we grew up, our school was in the neighbourhood in which we lived and our school friends were our neighbours. So it was very easy for us to get together after school once home.

Our place in Puerto Vallarta was a 20 minute drive from school, and there were no similar-aged kids in our condo. So we needed to make a concerted effort to get to know the parents of our kids’ school friends and plan out play dates in advance so that our kids could stay connected with their friends.

Staying Active

The typical school day starts early, sometimes as early as 7:15, and ends at around 2:30. While our kids would love nothing more than to spend the rest of their waking hours on their “devices” we made sure that there were non-electronic-based activities for them to participate in after school.

Many schools offer after school programs, including soccer, basketball, gymnastics, swimming, archery, chorus, and the list goes on. If your school doesn’t have the specific programs that your kids are into, there are many private facilities that do. Puerto Vallarta has some great tennis and golf clubs. It seems there is a gym on every corner, offering unlimited exercise options.Advanced gymnastics programs are typically not offered at schools, due to the need for proper equipment, but group programs can be found at private gyms for around 125 pesos a week ($7 USD).

Learn About the Culture

On one of our first days in Puerto Vallarta we decided to walk through the neighbourhood to one of our favourite restaurants. On the way we met neighbours who were having a birthday party for their child. The parents gave our children two beautifully decorated eggs. We said gracias and continued our walk to the restaurant – my mother and I protecting the two eggs so as not to break them. When we arrived at the restaurant, so proud that the eggs made it, our waiter told us what the eggs were for. These eggs are meant to be smashed over someone’s head so that the confetti inside comes out.

Yep.

There was a lot for us to learn.

Go With the Flow

When coming to a new country there can often be a tendency to expect things to be as we were accustomed to in the country we moved from. And when things are not, the result is frustration. Kids can sense and feel their parent’s frustration and from the beginning we did not want that for our kids.

Of course it’s easier said than done, but when in a situation where the process doesn’t quite make sense, or when something is taking a bit – okay a lot – longer than it did back home, my advice is to take a deep breath and be thankful.

Thankful for the beautiful warm weather; thankful for the gorgeous landscape from the ocean to the Sierra Madres; thankful for the warmth of the people of Mexico; thankful for being welcomed to a county and city like no other.


Warren Brander is an expert real estate agent working with Remax in Puerto Vallarta. He can be reached at 322-200-2253, or by email at warren(at)remaxinpv.com. You can also check out his website for a great selection of Puerto Vallarta condos and homes for sale at WarrenBrander.com.To learn more about Warren Brander Real Estate, click HERE.

From simple hotels to luxurious resorts the Vallarta Tribune has collected many of the available daypass details so you can relax poolside from Punta Mita to Mismaloya

Hi to all of our readers!

As a person that lives here year round, I have over-looked the amazing opportunities that exist here for a stay-cation or something a little more or even just a day trip to a local resort for much earned rest and relaxation.

I have attached a day pass guide, created by the Vallarta Tribune.

The costs run from as little to 5 USD to much, much more, but the options are numerous.

Please share this with your friends and family.

Gracias!

 

Todd Bates

Owner/Broker

Puerto Vallarta RE/MAX