The 2nd Luminia Fest Pyrotechnics Festival was inaugurated on the eve of December 31st and offered a celebration to mark the ending of 2017, which Mayor Arturo Dávalos called 'the best year of tourism in the history of Puerto Vallarta.'

The Festival offered thousands of Vallartenses and tourists a party of lights, music and color on the Malecón in Puerto Vallarta to bid farewell to 2017.

At midnight, after the final countdown was made by Mayor Arturo Dávalos Peña, the pyrotechnic show began to the rhythm of the music, which provoked the applause of the locals and tourists, national and foreign, who stood along the Malecon, on the beach, along Morelos Street and in Plaza de Armas.

Read about the many awards Puerto Vallarta has received these last years.

Source: Vallarta Daily

Last modified on Monday, 15 January 2018 00:37

Centro Puerto Vallarta 030 S

RoseAnna Schick mentions that Puerto Vallarta is a great tourist destination:

The first time I recall hearing of Puerto Vallarta was as a kid, watching the television series The Price Is Right. They often gave away trips to this exotic locale, and it seemed like a whole different world, far removed from my tiny prairie town of Marquette.

Puerto Vallarta was a thriving Mexican village with a beach-landing port long before it became an international tourist destination. It’s proximity to an agricultural valley and mining region, while being situated on the ocean, makes for a diverse and fascinating cultural and economic history.

Read more about Puerto Vallarta's colorful history.

Source: Winnipeg Free Press

Last modified on Monday, 15 January 2018 00:35

by Peter Wells Scott

If you are sitting in a hot stuffy office in the middle of Manhattan or Washington, D.C., and someone says, "Let's go to the beach," it's just not that easy. The Hamptons are at least two hours away, and Rehobeth, Del. and Ocean City, Maryland, are more like three or four from the nation's capital. Getting back is even worse. Folks have to get back to work on Monday morning, so if you are making a weekend excursion, the backup of traffic can be hours of agonizing sitting in traffic.

Playa Camarones Sunrise S

Not so in Puerto Vallarta or around the Bay of Banderas. A short ten-minute drive from almost anywhere can land you at the beach of your choice:

  • Playa Los Muertos on the south end near to the pier has been a perennial favorite of locals and tourists. Fisherman fashion homemade "poles" made out of an empty soda bottle, a "fishing line" with a hook and bait attached. Locals are always proud to show off their catch, be it Sierra, Pargo or Torito. The beach is lined with restaurants galore, from a more fancy Daiquiri Dick's to an inexpensive fish on a stick or 12 oysters on a plate. The beach is never dull, as vendors weave their way hoping for that "first sale of the day." Whereas you may tire of their unending explanation of "almost free", one nevertheless can find bargains not available in retail establishments. Los Muertos extends for a mile south of the Rio Cuale, and many expensive condos overlook the beach. Gentle waves make this beach safe for wading and a swim beyond the breakers.
  • About a mile south of Playa Los Muertos is Playa Conchas Chinas, a great place to spend the day exploring sandy coves that are dotted with tide pools. Multicolored tropical fish, crabs, mollusks, and oysters abound, and the water is sufficiently clear for snorkeling. Be sure to bring your own gear.
  • Further south there are beaches named El Gato, Los Venados, Los Carrizos, Punta Negra, Garza Blanca, and Playa Gemelas. All can be reached by an in-town bus marked "Boca" or "Mismaloya."
  • The beach at Mismaloya resembles Los Muertos with its continual activity, both from the native population and from people that own condominiums. One reaches the beach by walking down the dirt road next to the Mismaloya River. There are quaint restaurants lining the road. Once at the ocean, looking to your left, you can get a glimpse of Vallarta's history, because it is there that the filming of "The Night of the Iguana," took place. 
  • Boca de Tomatlan is a bit farther to the south. It is a small colorful beach, known for its pangas, and excursions to Las Animas, Quimixto, and Yelapa.
  • Offshore from Mismaloya is Los Arcos, a marine national park comprised of two large rocky outcrops about 100 yards offshore. The coral attracts parrotfish, angelfish, and triggerfish, which makes it a preferred spot for snorkeling.

All beaches are federally owned or belong to the public, however, you want to look at it. Every hotel has its own beach, and most have security to protect their pools.

  • Yelapa is home to 100 local families and a group of artists that find Vallarta "too busy". Since it is only accessible by water, folks walk or ride horses. A hiking tour of the village and surrounding jungle and a waterfall is a favorite pass time.
  • One can get a feeling of the bustle of the city by spending some time at the beach at Bay View Grand (El Salado). On any Sunday there are at least ten LearJets that take the privileged back to northern reality.
  • A quick 10 miles up the road to Bucerias, north of the airport finds one of the favorite "walking beaches."
  • Heading north on the road to Punta de Mita is the Destiladeras Beach. The sand is white and comfortable, making it a perfect spot to spend a day of relaxation and sunning.
  • Back to the main road and heading north you come to Sayulita, 3 km from Ruta 200. The beach at Sayulita is a mecca for surfers. Over the hill to the graveyard is another "Los Muertos." The sandy cove is a perfect place to take the mate of your dreams.

Whether you are looking for a secluded stretch of sand or a day of palapa hopping, the Bay of Banderas offers a complete smorgasbord. The most romantic has to be the beaches at Hyatt Ziva, Punta Negra, and Sayulita. The best for walking is Bucerias, the best for action is Los Muertos or Mismaloya, the best for sightseeing is Yelapa or Quimixto.

Whatever the selection, one need not suffer the commute from New York or Washington, D.C.

Last modified on Friday, 03 May 2019 19:51

Real Estate, The most profitable Investment

From Homes & Living Magazine

Currently, when investments offer low rates of return and the stock market is unstable, the real estate market distinguishes itself as a safe investment that pays good dividends to investors.

Investment yields in terms of more than a year

The possibility exists of acquiring real estate on credit, which would pay for itself by renting it out, due to the high demand for houses or apartments in zones located on the beach such as Vallarta because it offers the buyer more comfort and privacy.

Real estate can be rented and represent an investment that, using interest rates as a gauge, is much better than what a bank pays for a traditional investment. And in case of an emergency liquidation, it can be mortgaged at relatively low cost.

Easy guide to buying property in Vallarta

We all dream of someday owning beach property inasmuch as it, without a doubt, offers a retreat for a weekend, a vacation, or a complete or occasional retirement after long, hard years of labor. Nevertheless, what you want to buy ( a house, an apartment), what your budget is if financing will be necessary, who will be the assessor, and finally, a number of relevant aspects that must be checked, are important. To acquire property, especially in the case of foreigners, it’s essential to know the laws in order to protect your investment.

For foreign investors

Mexican laws establish that the way to obtain the property rights is via a trusteeship that is drawn up through a national banking institution.

What is a Trusteeship?

It functions as a base in the drawing up of a buy-sell contract, selling a property, making investments, buying real estate or giving guarantees. The effect of a Trusteeship is to protect the rights of the trustor (national or foreigner), to acquire guarantee or administrative property rights. In the case of foreigners, the trusteeship is established because restrictions exist regarding the acquiring direct ownership of land inasmuch as foreigners can’t be direct owners of the property. In addition, it guarantees legal security in relation to possession of the real estate. It’s a requirement that the protocol of this contract must be done before a notary licensed by the Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores.
A Trusteeship has a term of 50 years, a term which can be extended.

Fiscal Aspects of buying-selling of real estate property

When a taxpayer, resident of the country, sell a property it’s subject to income tax (Impuesto Sobre la Renta, I.S.R) according to the profit, which is the difference between the original purchase price and the selling price, a technical mechanism established to determine the correct tax. For the sale of houses used for habitation, there exists an extension for payment of this tax, provided it has been designated as a house used for habitation.

Property Title

It’s important to analyze this document, which is the proof that the person selling the house is actually the owner. It also contains the measurements of the lot and the description of the property from the public register.

Construction permit, lot plans and payment of taxes

It’s necessary to ask for the building permit, a lot plan and verify that the payment doesn’t have outstanding tax or service debts of any kind and is free of liens. Properties in the federal maritime land zone with pools, bedrooms, retaining walls, and walkways, should have a concession title that authorizes the construction or proof that the authorization has been obtained from the “procuraduria del medio ambiente”, to avoid fines, closures or demolition.

Steps for acquiring property in Vallarta

Currently, the acquiring of real estate property not only involves taking into account the style of the house but it also involves a crucial decision from a financing and investment perspective.

1.- It’s advisable that not only the seller but the buyer have an assessment done by a licensed lawyer who’s a specialist in real estate.

2.- Consult a real estate professional. Looking for the AMPI seal guarantees a more extensive legal review and saves a lot of headaches, making the transaction a relatively easy step where the time of closing of the sale is fundamental.

3.- Define the suitable type of property, depending on the budget.

4.- Analyze all the financing possibilities. Currently, there is short and medium term direct financing available for national and foreign buyers thus U.S. buyers have mortgage credit to acquire or construct vacation homes in Mexico. This type of traditional financing has been available since 1995 through companies like Collateral Mortgage, LTD that grants credit for up to 50% of the value of the real estate, beginning at $400,000 USD, for a term of 20 years to U.S. citizens residing in the U.S. who wish to construct, remodel or acquire vacation property in Mexico. Another way that foreign buyers obtain funds for the purchase of property in our country is by obtaining financing by using property or stocks in their country as collateral. The minimum down payment is 30%, annual interest rates start at 8.75%, the minimum credit amount is $100,000 USD and the maximum is $800,000 USD.

5.- Having Title Insurance, which guarantees the insured (property owner, trustee or mortgage holder) the validity and priority of his rights regarding the property. It’s also an indemnity between the insured and the company issuing the policy. In addition, the Title Insurance is a detailed analysis and evaluation of public and private documents, plans, and others relative to the property title.

When a loss or an adverse claim arises against the policy issued by a title company, it is obligated to: A) Indemnify the insured for the loss suffered, when said loss or reduction is not a result of a problem in granting of title that has been expressly excluded by the policy. B) Pay legal defense fees and defend the insured against whatever claim that questions the validity and preference of rights regarding the property. C) Eliminate or correct the defect or lien that affects the title in question.
The company Stewart Title Guaranty Company - Mexico division is the first in Mexico authorized by the government to issue title insurance in this country.

The cost of the process of obtaining title insurance is divided into two parts: the preliminary studies and the property title, and vary according to company, and based on if a previous study of the zone or building where the real estate is located has been done and those terms of the title insurance policy that change the function of the real estate: from 0.4 % for developments and from 1% for low range property.

We wish to thank Lic. Alejandro Flores Von Borstel, Bernardo Aceves and Silvia L. Elías-Pullen for their collaboration on this article. Originally on Homes & Living.

Last modified on Wednesday, 11 March 2020 23:11

by Peter Wells Scott

They say that paradise is a state of mind, but when all the ingredients are right, it can also be a place. Puerto Vallarta is such a place. When folks from Vancouver complain of 60 straight days of rain, and folks from Phoenix talk of plus 100 degrees of heat, and East coasters dig themselves out of snowbanks, the planes heading south are full carrying visitors to fulfill their dreams of a respite in paradise. And we are not talking about Florida. Humidity and people sitting on park benches awaiting their maker are not what we are about.

Puerto Vallarta offers amenities not readily available in any other part of the world, let alone a resort destination. Temperatures hover in the mid 80's throughout most of the year. The rainy season, from late June to the first week in October, offers a respite from the hotter weather of the summer months, and the streets and sidewalks delight in being clean. There are electrical storms that produce an orchestra of lightning that dances across the sky. Then, it's back to those glorious sunsets which produce "visitantes" on every rooftop across the town, counting down to see if there will be the proverbial "green flash" as the sun sinks beneath the surface of our beloved Bay of Banderas.

For those who choose to dance upon the surface of tourist attractions, there is an unending source of attractions, be it sailing, surfing or snorkeling, sportfishing, golf, a trip on a balloon to gain a strategic sight of the city above the madding crowds, and restaurants galore. There is the marina where the boats hang out and the Malecon where the gals stroll up and down on Sunday nights, brandishing their newly sewn dresses.

Marina Vallarta has come of age with its host of European owned hotels. It has been compared to the "Zona Hotelera" of Cancun, but unlike the latter, it is but a 15-minute drive to the busy Malecon. In Cancun, it requires a 45-minute drive to experience anything authentically Mexican.

The town of "P.V." is filled to the brim with authentic Mexico. From the airport south to Mismaloya, adventure abounds. It used to be that folks got off the plane, found their way to their hotel in the Marina or Zona Central, and never got to the south side. All that has changed. The "Romantic Zone" with restaurant row centered along Basilio Badillo has been discovered and rediscovered with every new restaurant added. The shops along Olas Altas, the homes reaching into Gringo Gulch, and the introduction of exquisite homes along Amapas and stretching into Conchas Chinas has made a bonanza of jeep renters.

Puerto Vallarta has the traditional marks of gringo progress. Walmarts, Sam's Club, Mac Donalds, even Home Depot has given rise to many a "double take." The roots of Vallarta, however, go much deeper than the surface trimmings. There is the family life that huddles around an outdoor taco stand, and Los Muertos Beach that fills with tents and sleeping bags during the ceremonial times of Semana Santa and Semana de Pascua.

Outlying trips to Sayulita and San Sebastian await the more curious. The streets there, mirroring Vallarta, are filled with natives who proudly display their culture. Just remember, the whales are not standing in line at McDonalds, awaiting an order of a double cheeseburger and french fries (freedom fries).

Last modified on Wednesday, 11 March 2020 23:08