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The cruiseships Ruby Princess, Eurodamm and Carnival Splendor arrived at our shores this past Wednesday, January 2nd with over 9,200 people on board.

This past Wednesday, our port terminal welcomed three cruiships with over 9 thousand people on board, which means at least 20 million pesos economic potential for the city, according to money spent per passenger calculations.

It was the first triple arrival of the year of three that are expected to take place during January and even a quadruple on the 21st of this month, noted by sources at the API (Administración Portuaria Integral, or Integral Port Administration).

Without a doubt these giants of the oceans were a sight to behold last Wednesday as a New Year's gift.

Source: Vallarta Opina (Spanish)

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The canadian branch of popular travel website Expedia asked their visitors to recommend places to visit in 2019 and Puerto Vallarta made the list.

Where are the best places to travel this year? To compile our list, we asked 1,000 Canadians where they would recommend travelers visit in 2019.

This is not the year to stay at home and collect postcards on your fridge from other people. It’s time to send your own hellos from the other side when you book a trip to Puerto Vallarta—one of the best places to visit in the world.

  • When you’re comparing Puerto Vallarta vs. Cabo vs. Cancun, you’ll see that Puerto Vallarta comes out on top for being a foodie destination. See what we’re talking about when you visit during restaurant week each spring. This is when you can try dozens of popular eateries in the area that are offering three-course menus.
  • Did someone say tequila? When in Mexico, it’s only appropriate to sip on the regional specialty. Sign up for a tour with Vallarta Tequila Tastings and cheers to vacation life.
  • Make 2019 the year you try new things—like snorkellingPuerto Vallarta Tours will help you find the perfect flippers.

Source: Expedia.ca

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Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel and Romantic Getaway (one of our Top 10 All Inclusive Hotels) has received for the 12th consecutive year, from the AAA, the 2018 Four Diamond recognition.

In an exclusive interview with AZNotcias.mx, Abel Villa -General Director of Buenaventura Hotels- said "we're incredibly proud to have been, once again, recognized by the AAA with this award which reflects the great work from our personnel and the compromise we have to the brands Villa Premiere and Buenaventura Hotels". Their objective is, he added, "to make our guests feel like they've been welcomed to their own piece of paradise. That feeling you can only achieve with the everyday work and warmth of our staff."

According to AAA, a four diamond hotel is refined and luxurious, providing physical attributes of luxury, extensive commodities, and a high degree of hospitality, service and attention to detail. a four diamond restaurant is distinctive of great food, creative preparation and skillful service, often counts with a sommelier, in a luxury environment.

There are about 1,676 hotels in the US, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean that received the Four Diamond Award in the past year: making them 2018 recipients. This category is represented by only 6.1% of the almost 27,000 hotels approved by the AAA.

Fuente: AZ Noticias (Spanish)

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No home, office, school or reunion in Mexico let January 6th pass unnoticed. On this day, known as the Day of the Magi or of the Three Wise Men, tradition obliges you to share a "rosca", a large ring-shaped pastry with a small doll hidden inside.

The doll embedded in the Rosca de Reyes represents Baby Jesus, and whoever is fortunate enough to find it in their slice of rosca acquires the commitment to give a party on the following February 2nd, Candlemas Day, a celebration where tamales and atole, a corn-flour dish and a corn-based drink, are a must on the menu.

Gold, Incense and Myrrh & many other gifts: Santa Claus bringing presents to Mexican children is actually very recent and is not the one that prevails in rural areas, nor in all the social spheres within our cities. Santa Claus might pay a visit, but the Three Kings will never fail to appear at dawn on January 6th, to keep - following their legendary journey carrying gifts and guided by a shiny guiding star, all the way to Bethlehem to worship Baby Jesus - their appointment with all our children.

The Kings finally arrive on January 6th: when the children wake up, anxiously opening the gifts that commemorate Epiphany, and later that evening everyone gathers to share the rosca de reyes. It is then that the Infant Jesus' future godfather is designated.

The Great Tamale Party: Tradition has it that the responsibility of the godparents elected on January 6th shall dress up the Holy Baby. In days preceding the event, it was quite common to read signs on houses that offer services in that specialty: We dress "Holy Infants". After having presented the Child at church, accompanied by those who shared the rosca, it is time to celebrate the occasion with a tamale feast offered by the godparents.

On January 7th the party is over, schools return to their schedules and all you can find in the trash cans are paper plates and small little dolls that surprised their discoverer.

Click HERE to read a lot more about the January 6th Celebration in Mexico.

 

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Though celebrated much like it is in other parts of the world - with dinners, parties, midnight toasts and fireworks - New Year's Eve in Mexico is full of delightful customs that focus on transitioning from the old to the new.

Here are a few or our favorite Mexican New Year's Eve Traditions:

  • Write your wishes for the upcoming year on pieces of paper and put them in a safe place. Burn the paper when each wish comes true.
  • Clean the house; take a bath; or wash the pets and cars on New Year's Eve for renewal. Sweep and mop from the inside outwards. Mop the house with cinnamon water. Heat the water with cinnamon sticks as if you were making tea. Burn incense before midnight.
  • Eat a tablespoon of cooked lentils, and give a handful of raw lentils to friends and family members for good fortune.
  • As the New Year's Eve midnight countdown begins, eat 12 grapes making a wish for each strike of the clock. Each grape represents a month in the New Year; a sweet grape means it will be a good month; a sour grape, a bad month.
  • At midnight on New Year's Eve, open the door and symbolically sweep out 'the old.' At midnight, toss 12 coins outside and sweep them into the house for prosperity.
  • Watch fireworks on New Year's Eve to frighten away evil spirits, allowing safe passage into the next year.
  • Want to travel? On New Year's Eve at midnight, take empty suitcases for a walk outside; encircle the house or walk around the block for the distance to be traveled next year. Another option is to gather the suitcases in the center of a room and walk around them several times.

Source: Banderas News

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