Without a doubt, contact with nature is one of the activities that more and more people enjoy during their vacations, it can be a walk through the woods, the beach or the mountains, a horseback ride or simply wearing a bathing suit and diving into the depths of a river, lake or the ocean.
Feeling your body float under the water, like a bird in slow motion, is relaxing and stimulating. Who has not dreamed of flying? Who as a child did not enjoy spending all day in the water?
Well, if you really want to enter a world of adventure, full of new things or that you don’t usually see, there is no better choice but to experience and enjoy the sensational experience of scuba diving.
When you jump into the sea, you’ll enjoy the experience of seeing and maybe even touching multicolored fish, corals, anemones, coral, jellyfish and other creatures that you won’t even recognize, you’ll marvel over the textured sands formed by the currents, caves and underwater mountains and reefs that provide shelter for small creatures from other predators.
In Puerto Vallarta there are many places where you can practice scuba diving, the most famous and popular attraction, no doubt about it, is Los Arcos, a beautiful rock formation protruding from the sea surface. It is located near Mismaloya 5.5 nautical miles south of Puerto Vallarta. This place is adequate for divers of all levels, from novices to experienced divers. The depth of the so-called Aquarium is approximately 60 feet around Los Arcos, where you’ll find all sorts of tropical marine life in the reefs, including the entertaining garden eels that look like shy ribbons sticking out of the sandy sea bottom, waving demurely back and forth with the invisible waves. Its unique feature is an 800 ft vertical wall on the west side of Los Arcos where you can enjoy a descent into the Canyon (El Cañón) and the famous Devil's Jaw (La Quijada del Diablo), which are only for experienced divers. Here you’ll see schools of bright fish, turtles, manta rays and moray eels. Another good dive site “El Bajo”, with an underwater peak and several submerged volcanic formations that offer lots of marine life including parrotfish, snappers, moray eels, nudibranchs and many other surprises. Other dive sites are Las Lajas and the Great Wall (El Paredón) where you can enjoy turtles and rays in large quantities.
There are many other options for this sport, not just the beaches and sea in the state of Jalisco, but also in the sea of Nayarit, some recommended places are:
Majahuitas, a beautiful beach that is accessible only by, it’s located between Los Arcos and Yelapa, a beach 10 nautical miles south of Puerto Vallarta. Here the Sierra Madre sinks into the sea and generates a series of shallow bays. You can dive here all year round and enjoy a very diverse and rich marine life. The underwater visibility is up 80 feet from July to December. You’ll find shy garden eels living in the sandy bottom, the largest school of yellow surgeon fish, rays, octopus, seahorses, green turtles and more.
Mismaloya is one of the most visited scuba diving locations due to its proximity to downtown Puerto Vallarta and you can get there by sea and land. The bay 6 nautical miles long and is located to the south of the city. The sloping sea floor offers large boulders with depths between 10 and 20 meters, where you can see moray eels, lobsters, snappers and king angelfish.
The Marieta Islands, off the coast of Nayarit in Banderas Bay, was made famous by Jacques Cousteau, the oceanographer, in the 70's and today is one of the most popular dive sites in the Mexican Pacific. It is part of an underwater mountain range and is located at the entrance of the Bay of Banderas. Here you can find an impressive descent, reefs, and caves, filled with tropical fish, sea turtles, manta rays and even whales when they are visiting the bay, normally between November and March.
El Morro, a place for advanced divers with a rock formation cavern at 70 feet under water.
Las Viudas, where you can also go hunting underwater and catch large sized commercial species that you can, later on, enjoy a delicious dinner.
There is also a place called El Malinal, which happens to be a favorite for those who love sea life. This site is not well known and this makes it a great place to enjoy an impressive amount of sea life and biological underwater diversity. It is definitely a great experience you should not miss.
The Chimo, this place is highly recommended for divers that already have some experience. It's a beautiful place where you can find black and white coral, many different tropical fish species, turtles, giant manta rays and more.
La Corbeteña, one of the best sites for underwater scuba divers. Here you can find stingrays and sharks, but you must have some type of diving certification because you’ll inevitably require some scuba experience to explore its waters.
Who can forget a delicious day of adventure or relaxation on the beaches of Puerto Vallarta? Who could not enjoy and appreciate the beautifully varied and colorful sunsets that every evening paint the hills and buildings of the harbor with a different color palette?
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Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish/Church.
Everything is so wonderful in the mind of spectator, they enjoy the scenery as the evening approaches, but a striking architectonic structure stands out among all the elements near the Malecon: a crown appears high up in the sky held up by a tower. This symbol represents the city and is used as an icon for the whole area, the crown and the Parish is located just a few blocks from the newly renovated seaside promenade, the Malecon. The locals also proudly call it the "Cathedral" of Puerto Vallarta.
The church itself really doesn't have a well defined style; the crown is baroque and is purportedly a replica of the crown that Empress Carlota carried, consort of Maximilian of Habsburg, Emperor of Mexico in 1864, but it's not the case, it was designed by the priest Don Rafael Parra Castillo, the same person that designed the church tower.
The Parish with its unusual combination of styles, ranging from Renaissance towers and the Neoclassical style of the main building, to the contemporary Mexican folk art details, in the end results in a mish-mash masterpiece resulting from the combination of diverse ideas and inspiration from everyone including the masons and bricklayers, priests and the people of Puerto Vallarta.
The temple started off in the early XX Century, as the first church in Puerto Vallarta. The initial idea was that it was to be a small chapel in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, this was the general idea until Father Francisco Ayala, around 1915, suggested that the building should be a tribute to the original Guadalupe Church in Mexico City, the Basilica of Guadalupe. With this as the guideline the chapel soon became a parish.
Like many other buildings in Mexico, construction was stopped during the Cristero War. The construction of an area for the chorus, complete with dome and upper body, was the starting signal for the next stage of the church’s development.
On the day of Virgin Guadalupe apparition's 420th anniversary, according to records of the Catholic Church, the dome of the Parish was finally finished.
By 1952 the main tower was visible all over the city, but it was not until 1963 (1965 in the book by local historian Carlos Munguía Fregoso) that the crown, designed by Jose Esteban Ramirez Guareño, was placed on top of the tower. The cross and sphere on top of the crown are the work of another artist, Esteban Ávalos Haro. The external design of the towers was completed in 1987.
The temple is the heart of the Catholic faith of both residents and tourists, masses are conducted in Spanish, French and English, and a bilingual Mass is held on Saturdays and Sundays (more in our Church Section).
Bells tolling are a typical part of local city soundscape during the weekends, and are even more so during festivities honoring the Virgin of Guadalupe, during the first 12 days of the month of December.
Tastes, sounds, colors and the sea breeze in the air combine to captivate the senses of everyone who comes close.
Surely the church is now a symbol for this famous beach destination, a very Mexican Puerto Vallarta, that should not only be admired from the outside, but also from within.
In contrast to the religious images on painted wood, the marble altar, carved wooden confessionals and the image of the Virgin Guadalupe by Ignacio Ramirez, artist of our state of Jalisco, this building overflows with love, devotion and sacrifices, and must be added to your short list of places you absolutely must visit on your trip to Puerto Vallarta.
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Teleton 2005 - To Love is to Help (Dec. 2-3, 2005)
Teleton is a national unity project, where we, Mexicans, have the opportunity to reinforce our values and work for the same cause: the rehabilitation of our handicapped children.
Teleton represents the opportunity to renew the trust in individuals and organizations, to think and reflect on our values and make them part of our daily life. Teleton not only raises funds but also promotes a culture of integrity and participation.
Teleton means love, integrity and respect for life and human dignity.
Teleton is a global phenomenon of communication that transforms into a social phenomenon of correspondence within Mexico. It is the sum of millions of souls that turn out to be a national reality.
Teleton in Mexico
In 1997, Mexico decides to organize a Teleton, an event of national unity in which every Mexican is committed to the handicapped children of our country. To achieve the fund raising not only do citizens participate but several institutions and organizations are involved:
Emilio Azcárraga Jean - Televisa
José Aguilera Medrano - Banamex
Adrián Aguirre Gómez - Maxcom
Francisco Aguirre Gómez – Grupo Radio Centro
Gabriel Alarcón Velázquez – founder
Juan Francisco Ealy Ortiz - El Universal
Juan Diego Gutiérrez Cortina - Gutsa Construcciones
Alfredo Harp - Banamex
Francisco Ibarra López - Grupo ACIR
Martín Marmolejo González - Nacional Monte de Piedad
Eduardo Ricalde Medina - founder
Carlos Slim Domit - Grupo Carso
Javier Sordo Madaleno - Grupo Sordo Madaleno
Fernando Uribe Calderón - Sistema CRIT
Alejandro Vargas Guajardo - MVS Comunicaciones
Mauricio Vázquez Ramos - Organización Editorial Mexicana
Fernando Landeros Verdugo - Fundación México Unido
One of the biggest examples of solidarity and generosity during the last years are the children and people with economic restrictions, who represent the most significative percentage of donators.
After our eight Teleton events, we can be proud of having established six Teleton Children Rehabilitation Centers (CRIT: Centro de Rehabilitación Infantil Teleton) in operation and one is under construction. These centers are: CRIT Estado de México, CRIT Occidente, CRIT Oaxaca, CRIT Aguascalientes, CRIT Coahuila, CRIT Guadalajara, and CRIT Hidalgo.
Plus, 356 handicap-oriented institutions around the Mexican Republic have been helped by the Teleton Institutions Support Fund (FTAI: Fondo Teletón de Apoyo a Instituciones). Part of the funds raised during the Teleton are given to different institutions around the country, these donations have helped more than 138,000 handicapped individuals in Mexico.
The International Teleton Organization (ORITEL: La Organización Internacional de Teletones) is formed by a group of countries where the Teleton has had a great influence on the population and on the attention to handicapped persons.
ORITEL is one of the biggest organizations dedicated to voluntary help in the World, with an influence over a population close to 400 million people. This organization’s mission is: to promote unity and fraternity on a continental level through the promotion of human values and cultural values, particularly in favor of handicapped people.
ORITEL’s Latin-American members are: Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay.
The organization’s main goals are: create an exchange of experiences between the participant countries, in order to enrich and share knowledge of rehabilitation, operation of rehabilitation centers, training, promotion of campaigns for the integration of handicapped people into society, prevention of accidents leading to disabilities, and the organization of the Teleton event.
Promoting National Unity towards a common cause
The Teleton gives an opportunity, to each and every Mexican, to join together in brotherhood, as has been done through the last years in several events. Love makes us participate in the struggle for improving the life conditions of thousands of Mexicans that live with some sort of disability.
Promoting an integration culture in favor of handicapped people
In order to achieve a total integration of handicapped people we must have cultural values, which will drive us to full respect of human dignity above all.
Building and Operating Rehabilitation Centers for handicapped minors
It is very important for the Teleton to give treatment to minors with neuro-muscular and bone handicaps, this is why the largest amount of resources is destined to construction, supplies and operation for the minor rehabilitation centers. Trying to fulfill the needs of the whole Mexican Republic.
Support institutions that treat handicapped people in the Mexican Republic through the Teleton Institutional Support Fund
The Teleton Institutional Support Fund is conformed by a percentage of the money raised in the Teleton event, through which the Foundation helps with donations to the handicap treating institutions throughout the country. “Mexico, as a whole, collaborate with Teleton, now the Teleton wants to collaborate with the whole country.”
Welcome to the first Annual American School Golf Tournament!
Saturday, 20 of march, 08:30 am shotgun start
Flamingos Club de Golf
Entry fee $130.00 usd (Dinner included)
The tournament will be a “scramble “ the scramble format allows all abilities of golfers to play together. For example, all four golfers on one team hit their individual drives. The best drive is then selected and all four golfers hit their second shots from there. This process continues on the green with all golfers putting from the location of the best approach shot until the one of the four balls is in the cup.
In addition to trophies for highest team, there will be individual prizes for closest to the pin, hole in one, etc.
All funds raised from this first tournament will be used to improve our athletic facilities, specifically, new basketball and volleyball courts.
Let us know your team member names or advise if you want to be assigned to an open team.
Extra dinner tickets $30.00 usd
I you need extra dinner reservations please include this information.
There is only room for 32 teams (128 players), so sign up now.
Tickets can be purchased at the following locations: the pro shop at the flamingos Club de Golf and at the American School.