Archive for the ‘Puerto Vallarta’ Category

posted by colin on Oct 9

In May of 2011, President Felipe Calderon (president ofMexico) reassured travel executives attending a global tourism summit in Las Vegas that “Mexico is a safe place to visit”.

Despite Calderon’s comforting words, various news programsand magazine articles have left some of us asking whether or not we should go.

Mexico is a large country, and so any attempt to answer that question should probably focus on those places that are safest for travelers.  On April 22nd, the US Department of State issued a Travel Warning to inform US citizens aboutsecurity situation in Mexico.  In the Travel Warning, the Dept. of State specified that “resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico are generally do notsee the levels of drug related violence and crime reported in the border region
and in areas along major trafficking routes

Anecdotally, I can report that my wife and I spent two weeksin and around Cancun in May.   We took taxis into town and buses to attractions outside of the populated areas and never had any problems or felt uneasy at all.   The locals were always friendly and very helpful.  Most are very proficient in English.  We are heading to Playa del Carmen in December without giving it a second doubt!

And what about our guests?  Are they concerned about venturing to Mexico?  We have had a few inquiries about this
topic.  Safety questions do arise once in a while.  To questions such as “how safe is it? and Is the media blowing it out of proportion?”  I insist that you should use common sense.  Be alert, stay in populated areas, don’t wear expensive jewelry away from the resort, late night activities away from your resort should be curtailed, be respectful of your surroundings.  The same advice that I would give if traveling to NYC, Washington DC or LosAngles.   Use your head,  contact KokoTravel for your next Mexico vacation and you’ll have a great time!!!


posted by colin on Jul 15

New on the list of popular Mexico vacation destinations; the Riviera Nayarit, north of Puerto Vallarta is growing and changing, but with a plan to ensure that the natural beauty and culture remains.


Nueve Vallarta Beach

Riviera Nayarit, Nuevo Vallarta Beach

New on the list of popular Mexico vacation destinations; the Riviera Nayarit, north of Puerto Vallarta is growing and changing, but with a plan to ensure that the natural beauty and culture remains.

Riviera Nayarit is in the beginning stages of development. Between 2005 and 2007, the government has invested $1.5 billion in tourism facilities and infrastructure. Of the 20 projects currently in development, 15 percent of the investment is from the United States. Our resorts, restaurants and other establishments place a major emphasis on service and quality as well. Travelers will also be spoilt for choice in terms of lodging options because Riviera Nayarit not only offers all inclusive resorts but also luxurious accommodations for the discerning traveler,” states governor of the state of Nayarit, Ney Gonzalez.

The region’s first stop is just 10 minutes from Puerto Vallarta’s airport, which allows visitors to benefit from constant flights from major U.S. gateways. “This accessibility has helped us to develop the Riviera Nayarit region and promote its unique traits of luxury, culture and nature.”

“Our primary focus in on luxury and nature and as the region develops in the next decade, luxury resorts and facilities will be enhanced by the protected flora and fauna. Nature is an important asset of Riviera Nayarit. For instance, did you know we are a major migration point for humpback whales? Riviera Nayarit is also home to several species of protected sea turtles and sanctuary for over 250 species of birds-one of the largest in North America-and many are rare,” he explains. “We believe a wide-spectrum of travelers would be interested in traveling to Riviera Nayarit, especially those who appreciate the beauty of the region’s natural wonders such as its mangrove forest reserves, Ridley sea turtle sanctuaries and 100 miles of golden-sand beaches. In terms of accommodations, Riviera Nayarit offers many options ranging from intimate bed and breakfast hotels by the sea to luxurious five-diamond resorts. It attracts couples, family vactions, destination weddings, incentive groups, golfers, and watersports enthusiasts.”

Riviera Nayarit; La Cruz Huanacaxtle

With these plans come an abundance of amenities, perks and unique offerings. For instance, Riviera Nayarit is home to La Tovara National Park, considered on the top sports for birdwatching in the entire continent. Visitors to the area can choose from four signature golf courses, with two more in construction. The town of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, says Murphy, is completing its first phase of development with a 400-slip marina; the second phase will see the construction of a boardwalk and a commercial area with boutique hotels. “Another totally new area, Libitu, is just being developed now, starting with a golf course that will be completed this year. Other locations are just starting their initial development phases and will be announced in the near future,” he adds.

One of the jewels of Riviera Nayarit is the fishing village of San Francisco (also known as San Pancho), which has a polo club with an active season from October through April. It’s out of the way yet very accessible, with hidden beaches and lush hills providing a hush-hush hideaway spot that’s still unknown by the masses.

Also, in the state of Nayarit, is the picturesque fishing village of Sayulita, Mexico that offers visitors and residents incredible beaches, lush jungles and a taste of rural Mexico. Located on the Pacific coast of Nayarit, Mexico, this pueblo is slowly gaining popularity as a vacation/second home destination with plenty of North Americans. With cobblestone streets hosting dogs, chickens and playing children, Sayulita is a half-century away from nearby Puerto Vallarta and it’s huge resorts, discos and parasailing. Sayulita’s location is ideal, only 35 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta airport and 3 hours from Guadalajara.

Nuevo Vallarta is a beautiful tourist destination, waiting to give you the most relaxing experience you have ever had. Nuevo Vallarta has emerged as a sister resort to Puerto Vallarta, keeping a very personal charm. Ultramodern hotels, most featuring an All-Inclusive plan, frame almost 4 miles of fine sand beaches, the best in Vallarta, and ideal for water sports and leisure, as they offer a hidden yet close paradise to stay and relax.  

Vallarta Palace Pool

Vallarta Palace Pool

Recommended All Inclusive Resort:   Vallarta Palace All Inclusive Resort & Spa Vallarta

Recommended Resort:   Mayan Resorts Nuevo Vallarta Grand Mayan Resorts Timeshare Rental      

Recommended Luxury Suite:   Grand Luxxe Nuevo Vallarta Suite  Rental With Golf 

posted by colin on Mar 23

It may be hard to turn your back on Banderas Bay, the liquid half-moon that flows into the horizon off the beaches of Puerto Vallarta. But PV, as this alluring Mexican resort on the Pacific coast is commonly known, has much more to offer than beaches and water sports. Unlike the master-planned resort towns of Cancun and Ixtapa, PV is Romantica. Whitewashed houses seem to tumble down the green hillsides along the Rio Cuale, and sinuous street are packed with incredible restaurants and galleries. Downtown is still a traditional city where families stroll the malecon (seaside promenade) and dance in the plaza on Sunday night. Shake the sand from your toes and join our journey into the heart of Puerto Vallarta-and beyond.


Amazing art captures the eye wherever you look in Puerto Vallarta, starting with the parade of sculptures along the malecon. Recent additions include the bulging-bellied Rock Eater and swirling Vallarta Dancers, whose artists are represented by galleries here in town. To avoid crowds, study the sculptures in the early morning, the set off to roam through our favorite haunts.

GALLERIA DANTE 269 Basilio Badillo

You don’t need to know much about fine art to be entranced by the works in this enormous gallery’s rambling rooms and courtyards. In the garden, look for sculptures by Alejandro Colunga, who created the sky-high abstract creatures at the Rotonda del Mar on the malecon. Prices range from $200 for a small painting up into the thousands.


You could browse for hours on gallery-packed Leona Vicario, starting at this airy space with Esau Andrade’s whimsical paintings and magical watercolors by Evelyne Boren. Continue on toward the water for more arts and crafts in upscale shops and galleries.

LEONA 226 JEWELRY 226 Leona Vicario

The gorgeous wearable art sold in this chic gallery would make anybody look great. The owners design stunning silver pendants and earrings, and comb through workshops in Taxco, San Miguel de Allende and PV for of-the-moment pieces. Prices start as low as $10, but quickly escalate.



Our small plane glides over Banderas Bay then heads inland, leaving the tiled roofs and high-rise hotels of Puerto Vallarta far behind. After 15 minutes of flying over forests, waterfalls and milk green rivers, the pilot sets down by a brick shelter outside San Sebastian del Oeste, a 17th-century silver and gold-mining town high in the Sierra Madre. The tour’s dozen passengers gather around guide Martin Aver while he runs through the town’s history, from the Aztecs and the Spanish Conquest, up to the mining boom of the 1800s when the population peaked at around 30,000. Today, only about 600 people live in the area.

San Sebastian, a UNESCO World Heritage site, seems trapped in the 1920s (It didn’t even have a generator until 1985.) Visitors were once rare but now tour companies are bringing groups in by van and by plane. Still, Aver says as we board the back of his pickup truck, it’s not like Disneyland here. People aren’t sitting around waiting for the tourists to come.”

But the Sanchez family is happy to welcome guests to their coffee plantation, where beans ripen on century-old trees. While Aver tells us about coffee growing, Rosa Sanchez bags cinnamon scented beans. Then, it’s a short bumpy ride on dirt roads past adobe houses and tiny shops to the center of town, which seems like something straight out of Romancing the Stone. After a tall shot of raicilla (the local moonshine) at the cantina, Aver leads us to the home of Dona Conchia, who opens her doors to lucky tour groups. Showing us around, she steers her wheelchair past cabinets crammed with china, crystal, mining documents and albums of photos that go back six generations.

For lunch at Lupita’s family members lay out fresh corn tortillas, beans, machaca (shredded beef), quesadillas and hibiscus tea. After lunch, we have an hour to wander the town’s steep rocky streets, where brilliant bougainvillea tumbles over adobe walls. Finally, the plane makes a quick taxi before soaring away from this slice of Mexico’s past, bound for Puerto Vallarta.

Maribeth Mellin


posted by Donna-Lee on Jan 5

Our Signature Dolphin Swim allows you to develop a personal relationship with your dolphin in the smallest group sizes anywhere! Take a journey into the intriguing world of the dolphin through amazing face-to-face encounters in which you can touch, feed, play, learn and swim with dolphins.

Your 90 minute journey of discovery transports you to a place where people and dolphins make lifelong connections and dreams of touching and swimming with these magnificent beauties of the ocean come true. Our environment of fun mixed with education and emotion touches hearts and minds in an experience that creates memories to last a lifetime!

The Signature Dolphin Swim begins with an interactive presentation on dolphin characteristics as well as how to use hand signals and positive reinforcement to communicate with your dolphin. Then, in groups of no more than 6 people per dolphin, you will head down to our Dolphin Lagoons for a 40 minute in-water experience with the dolphins.

Interacting with our dolphins leaves a lasting impression on everyone who visits the Dolphin Adventure Center in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, home to over 25 of these amazing marine mammals.

Vallarta Adventures’ Signature Dolphin Swim Program is intimate, exhilarating and enlightening; a personalized experience all rolled into a swirl of shared laughter, caring, and learning. Don’t miss this magical adventure – make your reservations NOW!

posted by Donna-Lee on Nov 17


Puerto Vallarta: Where To Stay & What To Do

By Sharon Stajda,

Puerto Vallarta Beautiful Scenery 

Puerto Vallarta Is a wonderful Mexican city that is fronted by the blue Pacific Ocean, and backed by the lush, green tropical Sierra Madre Mountains. The people are friendly and charming, always helpful and accommodating. The minute you set foot in Puerto Vallarta, you will realize that you have arrived at a truly beautiful and unique place. 

Grand resorts, hotels and villas in Puerto Vallarta 

The town itself is split into two sections, Old Town, and Centro, both having their own special qualities. It is my recommendations if visiting Puerto Vallarta, make sure to take full advantage of both areas. They have distinctively separate charms.

Restaurants in Puerto Vallarta

Centro being the newer part of town, It consists of a wonderful board walk that stretches good length of the town, and continues down into the beach area of Old Town. At night you will find a large variety of free entertainment, to include music, magic, fireworks, and more. Centro also has wonderful shops, and eateries. Not to mention the clubs, that stays open until the last fun is had. Centro also has the towns Zocalo. (Town Square.)

The Zocalo, is the area that as a rule is in the center of town, where locals gather to visit, and become aquatinted.Old Town, being the older section of Puerto Vallarta is built up to the sand of the sea. It is very relaxed, and gives way to some of the most romantic restaurants and accommodations one can find in Mexico. The local citizens refer to it as Zone Romantica. It truly lives up to its name.

Getting around Puerto Vallarta is easy; cabs are cheap, and in abundance. After you get your bearings, you may just want to walk. It is a very easy town to maneuver on foot. Plus walking will give you the chance to enjoy the wonderful sites and sounds the town has to offer. Not to mention the ocean, and its wonderful breezes.

One of the constants of Puerto Vallarta is the weather. They have a winter season, where it literally does not rain, with a very low humidity, this combination lends to spectacular weather. It provides warmth in the sun, and cooling in the shade. The summer gives way to a rainy season. So the best time to visit is between November and March.

Hey – want to check the weather for today in Puerto Vallarta?

What to pack? Summer cloths will do for day time and sleeves for evening. Pack that sweater, the nights are fresh, and cool after October.

Where to stay, this will depend on what kind of accommodation you desire? Puerto Vallarta offers a wide variety of accommodates, from large chain hotels to luxury condo rentals, to charming smaller hotels. I always recommend one turn to the Internet, where one can research all options.

My husband and I have made Puerto Vallarta a yearly destination for some 16 years or more. If we stay in town, we prefer Old Town, and renting a condo on the beach. If we stay a bit out of town, we love south of town. It provides some of the most spectacular views and sunsets one will ever see. As a rule both areas are a step above, when it comes to charm, and relaxation.

The hotel zone has the larger chain hotels, and they are geared toward activity. They can be over stimulating. I think this is due to the multitude of people that are under one roof. There are also adult friendly hotels. Price will vary; you can find wonderful inexpensive accommodations, along with very high end spa hotels.

I have actually toured many of the smaller hotels in Old Town that were downright cheap. I’ve found that the staff goes out of their way to accommodate their guests. The rooms are pleasantly decorated, and very clean with lots of Mexican flair. One such hotel is Torre De Oro. Hotel Torre De Ore is located 1/2 block from the beach in Old Town. This hotel is very clean, and has an authentic old Mexican flair. Most rooms have ocean views, and small kitchenettes.

The beaches are a plenty, vendors are abound, but they are not overly aggressive, and you can actually pick up some wonderful deals. Don’t miss spending a day on the beach in Old Town. It has an energy all its own.

If you have opted to stay south of town, I can recommend is an all-inclusive spa hotel, the Intercontinental El Presidente, this wonderful small boutique hotel is locate in the Gold Zone south of town. The rooms are large and well appointed. The beach is secluded and very nice, with light soft sand, and very private. This Hotel is approximately 15 minutes from town. One can take the bus very cheaply, or simply take a cab from the front door.

Dinning is wonderful in Puerto Vallarta. There are a wide variety of restaurants. You absolutely can’t go wrong when choosing a restaurant. It would be hard for me to recommend one restaurant over another.

I do have my favorites though. One is the El Dorado on the beach, in Old Town. El Dorado’s is a romantic, rustic beach restaurant that offers a good selection of fresh seafood dishes, and more. The staff is wonderful, and has a way of making an evening unforgettable. Another favorite eatery I can highly recommend is La Palapas, also located on the beach in Old Town. La Palapas is an upscale restaurant, again romantic and elegant, with a wide selection of food to choose from. The owner offers up wonderful soft live music, nightly, via the group Pacific Nights.

If jazz is your thing head to the Bistro, located in Centro part of town. The Bistro has an elegant dining room, with many gourmet dishes to choose from, along with nightly jazz. The decor is elegant, and dreamy.

If you lean toward natural healthy food, try Papaya. This is one of Gringo Gulches best kept secrets. They offer a great selection of healthy, freshly prepared foods, along with healthy Mexican dishes. If one morning you crave pancakes, head to Memo’s Pancake House in Old Town. You will love these pancakes, served in a garden atmosphere.

There is no shortage of great sea excursions in Puerto Vallarta. You may choose to take a cruise along the wonderful Bay of Banderas for a sunset cruise or an ocean fishing excursion, not to mention the booze cruise. There are many fun boating excursion to enjoy.

Perhaps you’re a movie star buff? If so, visit Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Button’s former Puerto Vallarta home in Gringo Gulch. The home is open daily for tours, and is also a Bed And Breakfast. You may just want to spend the night, and capture the romance the Burton’s found in the beautiful home overlooking the bay?

Perhaps you would like to stop in at Richard and Liz’s favorite watering hole? Tequilas, located in Centro you can’t miss it. Make sure to sit upstairs on the balcony, the waiters will point out Liz and Dick’s favorite table. The view is great, the drinks strong. So be careful…

If you are a shopper, you will enjoy a large variety of shops Vallarta has to offer. One such store, “The Tile Factory” makes hand-painted unique Mexican tiles. On any given day you can stop in and watch tiles be painted by the stores artists. You may just want to buy a few. They are very inexpensive and make wonderful colorful sturdy coasters.

My husband and I have a tradition; we love to spend our last night dinning at atop the quaint Hotel La Siesta Hotel, at the hotels Panorama restaurant. The hotel is located in Gringo Gulch, and no better “view” can be found in Puerto Vallarta. It offers a 360 degree view of the bay, and town lights.

This outstanding restaurant was architecturally designed with an Arabic flavor and marble floors. Its elegant dining atmosphere is enhanced by strolling entertainers, for the dinners to enjoy. The food at the Panorama restaurant is excellent; many dishes are prepared right at your table side. If you dine around 9:30 PM you be able to enjoy the fireworks that are displayed off the Buccaneer Ship in Banderas Bay. It is a spectacular! Add the Sunset, the fresh night air, the delicious food, down to to the glorious fireworks. It all adds up to an evening you won’t soon forget.

Puerto Vallarta—- it awakens the senses, and its beauty and charm is sure to captivate the soul. Once you have visited the Bay it will beckon you back, time and time again.


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