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.

Vallarta Vacations and Vanity – bargain beauty products abroad.

Ok I admit it – I am a tad high maintenance. I used to be a “roll out of bed wash my face – brush my hair and teeth and go” kind of girl – all that changed around age 40. I did not wake up looking so “fresh” anymore so I made a few adjustments to the beauty routine. As time goes on – and more “adjustments” become necessary – it gets expensive, but I discovered a few little tricks while traveling to save tons on those “maintenance” products and services. How do I save money?
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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 Rican dentists, and India. 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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THE FIVE BEST NEW YEARS EVE PARTIES IN LOS CABOS 2013

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

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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.
panama-sailing-catamaran

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

PUERTO VALLARTA – A CITY ALIVE!

One of my favorite things about Vallarta is the way it come alive at night. Around 8 PM as everyone is finishing dinner or sunset drinks – the stroll begins. That is the stroll along the Malecon – ( the walk along the water in downtown). This stretch of sidewalks used to be divided by the road with lots of car traffic and was the local spot for “cruising” and showing off your modified car and its load speakers – that has all changed this year.  The area has now become a wonderful walking mall – closed to all car traffic that is now diverted to the back streets. Continue reading

Vallarta is a magical place for a wedding!!!

I was lucky enough to attend my friends beachfront wedding last weekend on the beach near Vallarta in Sayulita. We all rented a large Villa and spent the entire weekend playing on the beach – and having a great time. Most weddings are not like that!! Its usually a stressful few days worrying about the details but not TJ’s wedding. The bride and groom were so relaxed knowing that all their best friends and family were staying in the villa – Continue reading

A boat ride away – paradise awaits

If you visiting Puerto Vallarta there are certainly a lot of “must do’s” on the list. By far the biggest has to be a trip to Yelapa. “Yelapa, you may say” – “never heard of that” its not even on the roadmap? For good reason – you cannot get there by road unless you are a marathon hiker or mountain biker. Yelapa is a tiny fishing village accessibly only by boat,

But getting there is both affordable and a trip in and of itself. (Watch video Lovely Yelapa) Pongas aka little boat leave almost hour sly from Los Muertos beach just at the edge of the Romanitc Zone and also a few times a day from the end of the road at El Boca de Tomatlan. Continue reading