Hidden Beach (or Playa Escondida), a Riviera Nayarit icon, has been chosen as number 9 in the list for The World’s 50 Best Beaches© 2018 by Flight Networks, one of the biggest travel agencies in North America.

Welcome to the most definitive list of beaches ever assembled — a diverse collection of off-the-beaten-path slices of paradise from every hidden corner of our planet. 

To create The World’s 50 Best Beaches©, FlightNetwork has consulted 600+ of world’s best travel journalists, editors, bloggers and agencies — the people who do this for a living — to gain insight from their opinions and expertise. By asking the top travel professionals, Flight Network has created the most trustworthy and accurate list out there to inspire travelers and help choose their upcoming winter holiday destinations.

Hidden Beach (Playa Escondida): Imagine a beach completely tucked away inside a cave with a cavernous opening in the roof to let the perfect amount of sunlight enter. That is Mexico’s Hidden Beach, and it’s undeniably one of the most interesting beaches in the world. Located just a 1-hour-long boat ride from Puerto Vallarta on the Islas Marietas, the only way to reach the golden sand at Hidden Beach is to jump off a boat and swim or kayak through a tunnel to shore.

It is said that the hole in the roof of the cave, creating an ideal sunbathing area, was made when Mexican forces were engaging in bombing practice during World War I. Despite the hole’s not-so-natural creation, the result is one of the most awe-inspiring stretches of sand in the world. With only a few visitors allowed on the beach at one time, you will get to experience the lush beauty and exquisite scenery in an intimate setting hidden from the world.

You can read more about Marietas Islands HERE.

Source: Flight Network

To say that Mexico is a country rich with tradition is clichéd nearly as much as some of the traditions themselves. Take, for example, Mexico's many Christmas traditions. In other countries, the 12 Days of Christmas are recognized, but in Mexico, the holiday season begins on December 1 and joyously continues until February 2.

December 12 is El Día de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, in remembrance of when the Virgin Mary left her image imprinted upon a cloth as a way of revealing herself and her identity to a Mexican peasant back in 1531.

From December 16th until the 24th, Las Posadas, candlelight processions reenacting Mary and Joseph's quest for lodging in Bethlehem, are held throughout the city. The ninth evening of Las Posadas is December 24, Buena Noche, or Christmas Eve. The children lead a procession to the church and place a figure of the Christ Child in the nacimiento (nativity scene) there.

December 25th, Navidad, or Christmas Day, is considered a time to rest, recover, and enjoy the leftovers!

On December 28th, Mexicans observes Día de Los Santos Inocentes, their version of April Fool's Day. After New Year's Eve, the parties continue until January 6th, known as El Dìa de Los Reyes (Three Kings Day.)

The Mexican Christmas season is joyously extended though February 2 when the nativity scene is put away, and another family dinner of delicious tamales and atole (a hot, sweet drink thickened with corn flour) is served with great love and happiness. This celebration is the last of the Christmas festivities, 40 days after the birth of Jesus.

Source: Banderas News

Las Posadas is a novenario (nine days of religious observance) beginning 16 December and ending 24 December. The Catholic tradition recounts Mary and Joseph’s pilgrimage from Nazareth to Bethlehem, as they were looking for a lodging to give birth to Jesus.

The holiday season is one of the most anticipated of the year. The city boasts a special atmosphere with Christmas decorations and traditional festivities begin to take place, where the most important thing is gathering with family and friends. One of such celebrations is the posadas, celebrated all over Mexico and also in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama.

Although posadas are officially celebrated December 16 – 24, many begin organizing them earlier in December and sometimes into January, given the sometimes hectic pace of the season in general—the latter are sometimes referred to as “post-posadas.”

Nobody wants to feel out of place during an important celebration, particularly our foreign visitors that choose to spend the Winter holiday season in Puerto Vallarta or Riviera Nayarit. To that effect, we are happy to share a brief overview of this time-honored tradition, so you can join your local friends in celebration.

Each one of the nine days preceding Christmas Day has a unique significance: happiness, charity, confidence, detachment, strength, generosity, humility, justice and purity. At first, posadas were organized at church atriums and, through time, were extended to the streets, where people gathered joyfully to be part of the processions. People sang and dance, increasingly cheering as the event began. In this fashion, the religious aspect of the celebration fused with the mundane, resulting in a unique mixture of fun and devotion that, in time, transformed the Mexican posadas into one of the most beautiful and unique celebrations in the world.

Source: Vallarta Lifestyles

GayCities.com readers chose the winners of 15 categories in the tenth edition of the Best of Gay Cities Awards, and Puerto Vallarta received the "Fun in the Sun" award.

More than 125,000 readers of GayCities participated in the 10th Anniversary edition of the Best of Gay Cities survey by voting for the most LGBT friendly cities and destinations in the world. A member of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), Puerto Vallarta was the only destination in Mexico to make this year's 'Best of 2018' list.

Among the followers of GayCities, Puerto Vallarta is well-known as a gay-friendly city that offers LGBT travelers a wide range of world-class services and amenities, including fabulous beaches, hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and, of course, a proud LGBT community. The readers of the publication refer to Puerto Vallarta as a 'paradise,' not only for its warm and sunny climate and its wealth of natural attractions, but also for its hospitality and acceptance of people from all walks of life.

For Puerto Vallarta, there are reviews of 77 places and events, the hottest of which are currently the New Year's Eve "White Party" and the "Beef Dip" party on January 29 & 30th. Puerto Vallarta's Sister City, San Francisco, California dominated the 2018 Best of Gay Cities survey, winning the Most Welcoming City, Sustainable Dining, Most Loved Bar (440 Castro), and 'Rainbow Crosswalk' awards.

Source: Banderas News

With a great artistic and cultural schedule, Banderas Bay will be celebrating its 29th anniversary.

Banderas Bay's municipal president, Dr Jaime Alonso Cuevas Tello, invites everyone on December 11 to participate in the celebrations with a schedule that includes a an art exhibit, a solemn sesion of the State Congress and a concert by El Coyote y su Banda Tierra Santa.

The party begins at 9 am, with the ribbon cutting on the art exhibit of 20 pieces provided by the Consejo Estatal para la Cultura y las Artes de Nayarit (CECAN). At noon, the XXXII Legislatura del Congreso del Estado (State Congress Legislature), will begin a solemn session at the Valle de Banderas square, with the involvement of mayor Jaime Cuevas, Congress president Leopoldo Dominguez and representatives Yusara Ramírez Salazar, Karla Flores Parra and Ismael Duñalds Ventura, where a decree elevating Banderas Bay to a Municipality of the State of Nayarit will be read.

At 6:00 pm, at José Ponce de San José del Valle street, the Citizen Merit Award will be given to distinguished citizens in Arts, Culture, Education and Sports. José Ángel Ledesma Quintero, known as El Coyote y su Banda Tierra Santa, will close out the celebrations with a free concert for everyone attending.

Source: Diaro de Vallarta & Nayarit (Spanish)

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