Hola, amigos! There's no better time to visit Mexico than January when you can leave the snow and/or cold rain behind and enjoy sunshine and tropical breezes. I wish I could do it every year! We were in Puerto Vallarta for eight days and nights in January and as usual I was trying to dream up some scam to stay there. I might change my mind during the Summer rainy season, but it sure is great in January.
Tropical birds and the sound of the surf greeted my ears the first morning I awoke in Conchas Chinas, South of PV. Looking South, those little islands on the right are Los Arcos, and the Sierra Madre rise right out of the sea. I stayed near here 35 years ago, it's great to be back.
We joined a bunch of ex-pats and visiting Gringos to watch the inaugration at the Botanical Gardens up in the mountains behind PV. Everybody stood up and cheered and applauded the new President.
The jungle around the Botanical Garden is filled with rich landscapes and flowers.
Judy's new 'do.
The beaches were warm and inviting, air and water temperatures in the 80s, about the same. I didn't swim in the surf, but I love the warm ocean water and sand swirling around my feet and legs.
Dinners at beachside restaurants were all great. Wonderful dining here, with lots of great restaurants along the beaches for miles. This is at Lindomar.
I dug in to this crab enchilada at The River Cafe before I remembered to take a photo. Hope you don't mind I took a bite first!
One of those fabulous PV sunsets you may have heard about, from our condo in Conchas Chinas.
One of the fanciest restaurants in PV is also a jazz club (!) on Isla Cuale - an island in the river Cuale. Just my luck to show up on the day they were closed. This was one of John Houston's favorite hangs. He had a place near here after shooting "Night of the Iguana" with Liz and Dick.
I'll have to come back another time!
Sand sculptures along the Malecon, the downtown beach walk, are real art.... like this one. There are numerous permanent sculptures as well, including the Boy on the Seahorse. In the distance you can see some of the many modern hotels in the Marina and Nuevo Vallarta on the North side of Banderas Bay. Saturday night on the Malecon is very crowded with both residents and tourists strolling amid vendors, artists and musicians. It's a very lively scene!
Another well-known El Centro landmark is the Church of Guadalupe, famous for the Coronet that tops the tower. Here's a look inside while a wedding was taking place.
Back to the jungle - this time for a canopy adventure on a zip line tour.
I don't know how I got pushed to the front of the line but I was first off the platform.
I was trying to remember everything the guides told me about the gear and grimly holding on.
There were 14 platforms like this, 9 horizontal traverses, a "Tarzan" swing, and a vertical descent at the end as we rappeled to the ground. We were never more than 90 feet off the ground (!), but the guides were great, joking around but making sure we were clipped in with safety lines at all times.
Actually it was fun, once I got the "hang" of it! The guides called themselves "monkees", and at the end they said now we were "monkees" too.