About admin

Lover of the great outdoors - travel and adventure. I live in Lake Tahoe and Puerto Vallarta and this blog is my way of expressing my love for Mexico, its people and places.

Puerto Vallarta ranked Best Place to Visit 2018

Puerto Vallarta Ranked Best Place to Visit in 2018

In late December, 2017, Business Insider ranked Puerto Vallarta one of the best places to visit in the upcoming year. Among others were Maui, Hawaii, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil & Patagonia.

Puerto Vallarta, one of Mexico’s premier beach towns, holds a steady 70-80 degrees in the winter months, making it one of the most comfortable places to relax on your next vacation.

This quaint little town is bordered by green, luscious mountains to the east, with an elevation that rises rapidly as you go inland. This provides opportunities for magnificent sunset viewpoints all over Vallarta.

US News mentioned Puerto Vallarta one of the best cities to retire around the world!
But keep in mind – PV is no longer your grandmother’s vacation spot; this now booming city maxed out at 100% capacity this New Year’s, & there are no signs of it slowing down. kismet- Medium – check out our newest villa for rent.Villa Kismet –

Amazing dining in Tiny Yelapa – Tacos Y Mas


This is a must do on your next visit to Puerto Vallarta!! Make your way to the Los Muertas Pier and catch a conga boat to Yelapa – its a magical little village just a short 30 minute boat ride away but like an undiscovered paradise. Once there – get off the boat at the community pier near the Pueblo of Yelapa and explore this sleepy little village on foot. There are no cars here by the way as its cut off from Vallarta by the mountains so boat access is the only way here. Take a hike up to the waterfall and along the way discover the Rodriguez Rosewood stand where the family has been making rosewood treasures like salad bowel, gobblers and carvings for over 100 years. I own two salad bowels, and some gobblers and they are precious and will last many lifetimes. These salad bowls make treasured heirloom gifts too. On your way up the hill you will find Tacos Y Mas and chef Diki, her sister Livi and their family. Diki is an amazing chef who trained with Wolfgang Puck and many other celeb chefs. She cooks at Tacos y Mas every winter from October – May – until she ventures to Alaska as head chef an the world famous Talon lodge. If her Chicken Piccata is on the menu – order it!!! Everything here is amazing especially the Margaritas – so make time for dinner and take the last boat back to Vallarta or ask about renting a room for a night or two – you won’t be disappointed spending time in this paradise.

New Villa Rental – Villa Kismet 7 bedroom bargain summer pricing

I want to announce that I have a new villa for rent – Villa Kismet – its amazing! It features 6 ensuite bedrooms and a bonus room / game room – on the ocean – literally the waves splash into the pool its that close!! It comes complete with a chef and house staff all for $1200 per night summer special rate and can sleep up to 14 – its a must see – pics below

Healthcare in Mexico Verses Central America

With medical tourism on the steep rise in all sectors of the world, if you are visiting Puerto Vallarta, you might want to take advantage of the healthcare system here.  Many people travel to Costa Rica from the north as it is also an excellent target country for low cost healthcare.  Here are some comparisons you might want to consider in choosing one country over the other.

From: https://internationalliving.com/countries/costa-rica/health-care/
Costa Rica has excellent healthcare

By almost any standard, Costa Rica has some of the best healthcare in Latin America. There are two systems, both of which expats can access: the government-run universal healthcare system, Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, known as Caja, and the private system. Both health systems are constantly being upgraded—new hospitals, new equipment, and improvements in staff training.

Despite the advancements, costs are low in comparison to those in the U.S. and even some European countries. Healthcare costs are about a third to a fifth of what you’d pay in the U.S., depending on the treatment. Many doctors, especially in private practice, speak English and have received training in Europe, Canada, or the U.S. Drugs are also much less expensive.  The same can be said of dental doctors, like clinics as such as http://dentalinstitutecr.com

Private healthcare is also available, which is affordable and high quality. There are three large, private hospitals that most expatriates use: CIMA hospital in Escazú, Clínica Bíblica in San José, and Hospital La Católica in San José-Guadalupe. All these facilities are in and around the capital of the country, San José.

In addition to excellent “normal” healthcare, Costa Rica also offers a number of anti-aging clinics with medicines like HGH which in the US cannot be prescribed for anti-aging purposes.  Also, alternative, experimental, treatments are available with stem cells – http://stemcellstransplantinstitute.com whereas in the US, virtually noting is approved by the FDA.  Also, non-standard drug treatment can be obtained in Costa Rica using ibogaine, which in the US is classified as an addictive substance, although other countries do not consider it addictive and recognize its addiction breaking habits.  For more information about ibogaine treatment, see http://envisionrecovery.com

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Samana Santa in Vallarta

No place quite marries art, religion, and fiesta like Mexico. During Semana Santa,
indigenous, colonial, and modern traditions meld into an explosion of color and
artisanal flair. Puerto Vallarta’s whitewashed colonial streets are festooned with
cascarones (colored egg shells filled with confetti), fireworks explode over jungle
backed Playa dos Muertos and reverence and revelry finds expression in a myriad of
live concerts, theatre productions, and sombre religious processions.

When you’ve had your fill of fiestas and Passion Play reenactments, retreat to Casa
Dos Cisnes and enjoy the silence. Five minutes by car from Puerto Vallarta, but far
from the maddening crowds, Casa Dos Cisnes is a haven of tranquility and
soul-satisfying luxury in the hills of the Sierra Madre. Exquisite living spaces
awash with modern decorative details and traditional colonial features—custom glazed
talavera sinks, carved statuary, bovedas, furniture hecho a mano, weeping walls, and
fountains—combine with state-of-the-art amenities and unparalleled views of the
Pacific’s fabled coastline to create the perfect antidote to your average cookie
cutter vacation rental.

With temperatures hovering near perfect and a jam-packed calendar of events, it’s no
surprise that Puerto Vallarta reaches critical mass during April and May when hotel
accommodation is overpriced and oversubscribed.

Semana Santa::
March 29-April 5. Medieval hooded figures parading slowly behind religious effigies,
accompanied by thudding drums and wailing trumpets, Holy Week is an extraordinary
experience and one of Mexico’s largest festivals.
Book your villa today at www.evillasvallarta.com – and don’t miss this season of festivals.

May 1:
May Day Parade. The Malecón is the setting for live music, family friendly events,
food stalls, singing, dancing, and parades.

May 5:
Cinco de Mayo. Mexico’s historic victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla is
celebrated with carnival processions throughout Puerto Vallarta.

Late May:
Puerto Vallarta International Sports Fair. Sporting tournaments and events,
including basketball, soccer, and beach volleyball.

Vallarta Dental Tourism – Save Money on Professional Care

We all know it’s important to take care of our teeth, but we’re also familiar with the costs involved.

For Americans willing to hop on a plane, visiting a dentist in another country could save travelers over 70 percent on dental procedures such as crowns and root canals, according to data from medical publisher Patients Beyond Borders.

Some 130 million Americans live without dental insurance, according a 2012 report to Congress called Dental Crisis in America from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Because even the insured face out-of-pocket costs, it might make financial sense to fly to your next dental appointment.

You Won’t Be Alone

“We estimate that in 2012, 400,000 Americans crossed international borders for dental care. For 2013, we project a growth rate of approximately 20 percent,” says Josef Woodman, CEO of Patients Beyond Borders.

Emily Ross of Whatclinic.com, a global healthcare professional search provider for medical tourism patients, says that the most-searched-for destinations for Americans seeking dental care are from Mexican dentists, especially nearby border cities like Los Algodones, the U.K., the Philippines, Costa Rica and India. Patients often enjoy a “dental vacation” to Costa Rica at the same time since it is a natural attraction anyway. It should be noted that dental implants, crowns, and dentures are the most popular searches.

While procedures abroad may be cheaper, there are a number of things you’ll want to consider before traveling internationally for dental care.
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So much Vallarta – do you have enough vacation time?

So You Think You Know Puerto Vallarta?

If you’ve visited Puerto Vallarta in the past and are planning to take another vacation here, you may be wondering if you have already discovered everything there is to know about the town. Breathtaking beaches where you can relax and enjoy unrivaled views of the magnificent Mexican Pacific Ocean? Check! Fine dining, with a wide choice of restaurants? Check! Incredible adventure experiences that allow you to discover the fascinating marine life of Banderas Bay and of the Mexican Pacific Ocean itself—or even see the forests and natural setting from above on a thrilling zip line canopy tour? Check and check! However, there is more to Puerto Vallarta than meets the tourist eye and it is the discovery of a world that goes unnoticed by many tourists that brings people back again and again.

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*Puerto Vallarta: Your Adventure Begins Here!*

If your dream vacation involves spending day after blissfully relaxing day
just chilling out in outstandingly beautiful surroundings, Puerto Vallarta
should certainly be high up on your list of must-visit destinations. Who
wouldn’t want the chance to spend their vacation in a luxurious beachfront
villa with an unobstructed view of the magnificent beauty of the Pacific
Ocean? Who wouldn’t love to spend a little time in a picturesque town which
combines the very best of traditional and modern sights—all within easy
reach of the warm and shimmering waters of Banderas Bay? But what if your
idea of a great vacation is a little higher-octane and you would prefer
somewhere that can also offer a multitude of adventure activities to get
your adrenaline pumping and your heart racing.

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Best places to eat in Vallarta and the winner is??

Top Restaurants in Puerto Vallarta
Best Overall Restaurant 2013: Trio
Two European chefs, Bernhard Güth and Ulf Henriksson, have become the favorites of locals and food critics with their hearty honest food.

Best Gourmet Restaurant 2013: Café des Artistes
Thierry Blouet, Maitre Cuisinier de France and a member of the Culinary Academy of France, has what is considered by many to be the best restaurant in Puerto Vallarta, Café des Artistes.

Best Moderate Restaurant 2013: Vitea
Everyone is raving about this new oceanfront bistro and bar offering something completely different in Vallarta, classic and contemporary bistro fare in a casual European Riviera ambiance.

Best Inexpensive Restaurant 2013: Café de Olla
With its rustic design and intimate feeling, Café de Olla serves Mexican specialties and is quite popular among the foreign community because of its ideal location near Los Muertos Beach, and generous portions of Mexican staples such as ‘enchiladas’.

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Many are called though few are the chosen. The Christmas season has become the peak period for luxury travelers to visit Mexican shores. The allure of spending Christmas on the beach, toasting with bubbly in front of the Baja sunsets, has attracted the most sophisticated travelers for decades. Los Cabos has turned into a festive land of hedonistic pleasures where those with the means to afford it can steal a few more days of summer joy away from the winter chills, especially when staying in a luxury vacation rental.
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Crochet in Paradise

Every year for around Valentine’s day boat loads of couples and singles dressed from head to toe in white arrive on the beaches of the tiny fishing village of Yelapa – mallets in hand for the annual Yelapa crochet tournament.

It is a strange site considering this tiny village – only accessible by a one hour boat ride from Puerto Vallarta should hold such a formal and serious tournament, but the tradition started with just one women many years ago who loved crochet.

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PV Gourmet Festival – a don’t miss!

The Puerto Vallarta Gourmet Festival

NOVEMBER 29, 2012
…. is a much celebrated event held every November in the popular travel destination.
The Festival Gourmet International, held in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, has become a celebrated annual event in this popular Pacific Coast resort town.
Founded by chefs Thierry Blouet, Heinz Reize and Roland Menetrey in 1995, with six hotels and six restaurants participating, the festival has grown to include 20 of the city’s best restaurants, along with hosting high-caliber international guest chefs. Continue reading

Puerto Vallarta Foodie Alert

Puerto Vallarta is a town known for great food, and amazing restaurants. Well Foodies take note there are some new restaurants that are getting great comments. I have been hearing great comments about Bravo both by word of mouth and in the local media. Opened since October 10th, Bravo caught everyone’s attention because the owner Michael Boufford comes with some impressive experience having been an key part of The River Café for many years, and also had an impressive resume from his previous home town of Toronto. Set on a side street of the main Ignacio L. Vallarta in the Romantic Zone, Bravo is casual yet I am sure very chic. If you want to check it out on line you will see an impressive 1200 hits on Google, check the facebook page, read about it on Lonely Planet, VIP magazine or Banderas news
As soon as I get a chance to check it out in person I will give you my personal opinion as well. The below description from Banderas News sounds pretty appetizing.
Using only the freshest ingredients, everything on the restaurant’s menu starts with one thing: a passion for food. Bravos’ eclectic menu has an inclination towards homemade, healthy, and always perfectly prepared dishes.

Christmas in Vallarta


The old church - in the square

With Thanksgiving just around the corner the Holiday spirit is alive and well in Puerto Vallarta.
Sand sculptures are starting to change their art from Mermaids to Reindeer and Santas and the Malecon is buzzing every evening with the sounds of the season. Caroling groups of young people stroll and sing – artists abound displaying and creating their masterpieces night after night, and a stroll along this “walk by the water” is always magical – but especially during the holidays.

I remember my first midnight mass at the historic church in the downtown square. The people and the pageantry touched my soul. The church is always lovely but at Christmas it is alive with colorful flowers and the congregation is dressed in their holiday best right down to the little children in very grown up suits and frilly dresses. Everyone is reverent and even the children are quietly attentive – perhaps especially careful since Santa is coming.

After church I strolled along the Malecon – it was 1:30 AM – but seemed more like 10:00 PM with all the activity. I love Christmas in Puerto Vallarta and have many happy memories of my sons and parents celebrating our holidays on the beach.

Pet Friendly Puerto Vallarta – Travel with Fido

Puerto Vallarta’s pet friendly infrastructure welcomes four-legged friends

One of the great joys of traveling is sharing the experience with loved ones — including pets. Visiting Puerto Vallarta with Buddy, Bella or Shadow is made easy with the destination’s pet friendly hotels and the destination’s love for four-legged friends.

Whether traveling with a pet for companionship, service or comfort, pet owners will find that Puerto Vallarta offers a great diversity of offerings that make it easy to enjoy a visit to the destination.
Puerto-Vallarta-Malecon El Malecon, Puerto Vallarta’s iconic boardwalk, has recently been renovated to become pedestrian only, cementing its place as the heart of the destination’s social life. Locals and visitors alike have 6 miles to walk their dogs, stop for a meal or some water in one of its restaurants or cafes, shop, or simply enjoy some time on the beach.

EVillasVallarta invites vacation home renters to call and ask about which villas and condos accept your four legged friends!

Read the rest of the pet news release here – http://visitpuertovallarta.com/news/2013/07/Puerto-Vallarta-pet-friendly-infrastructure-welcomes-four-legged-friends/

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Dining Out in Costa Rica

Immersing yourself in a new land and unfamiliar cuisine is like gaining a new intimate friend for life. Some people even see museums in markets and historical culture reflected in kitchens and pantries.

Despite the simplicity of the Costa Rican recipes, it’s easy to fall in love with this peaceful land as one continues exploring its ingredients, ancient traditions and friendly people. They are as generous in sharing their most intimate secrets on each of their recipes, as they are in offering an invitation to their kitchen.
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Sailing in Panama with The Signature Collection

Sailing through the San Blas Archipelago

Do you dream about enjoying the sea, the sun, paradisaical white sanded beached and crystal clear water? Forget about going to crowded Caribbean islands or the exhausting flight to South Pacific, you can now have all this and more in an exclusive spot of Panama.

Yes, that’s right! Panama. Sailing through the San Blas Archipelago is THE ultimate pleasure for luxury vacations in Panama brought to you by Signature Collection. You get the possibility of practicing or learning a great variety of water sports and you will be delighted with excellent, natural and fresh food. Meals are prepared with the catch of the day (variety of fish) or with lobsters or giant crabs (in season), though supplies include the best meat and the finest tropical fruits and vegetables from the market in Panama City. All this in a comfortable atmosphere, customized to your needs, and with the tranquility of cruising in a fully equipped deluxe catamaran navigated by your experienced captain.
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Holiday rentals heating up in Vallarta

I have the great luck of representing some remarkable villas in Puerto Vallarta. I hate to admit that rental inquiries for them have been pretty slow the last few months but this last two weeks something seems to be changing.  I have been inundated with calls for large property rentals for December and January. Most of the folks who call or write are traveling with extended family and friends and want 5-6 bedrooms. This is a major change from holiday inquiries of the past. Continue reading