Once again the month of the Festival Gourmet International in Puerto Vallarta is almost here, bringing with it the reward of great tasting food and fabulous gourmet experiences. This year it'll be held from November 8 till the 18th and will be held both in Puerto Vallarta as in the Riviera Nayarit.
1995 was the first year the Festival Gourmet was held, the result of a conversation between Thierry Blouet from Café des Artistes, Heinz Reize from Hotel Krystal and Silvan Müller of Nestlé. This conversation led to the idea of promoting Vallarta's vibrant gourmet scene and the excellent local restaurants for the world to see.
The 10 day gourmet festival the last 17 years has enriched both the local gastronomic activity and has made Puerto Vallarta a destination with more than the normal appeal of a Mexican beach town.
In 1995 the first festival was held with six 5 star hotels and six local restaurants in the roster, each with an invited guest chef. Until this day, the format hasn't changed, each host restaurant brings an invited chef, but now the participants are much closer to 30 each year.
The invited chefs work together with the local masters, both at the hotels and the local restaurants, creating new and superb quality dishes, that'll make this a one in a kind happening.
Welcome to this unforgettable "Fiesta!!
Virgin America has started flying between San Francisco (SFO) & Puerto Vallarta's International Airport (PVR) on Friday, Dec 2, 2011.
Puerto Vallarta was recently voted the best Mexican holiday by USA News & World and the northern neighbor resort destination, Riviera Nayarit, was named the newest celebrity hot spot worldwide by Harper's Bazaar magazine.
Virgin America onboard facilities
You can watch free TV or listen to music on the individual screen at every plane seat. You can also order drinks or food from the screen. There are plugs for laptops and WiFi is available onboard for a fee.
Virgin Airline Fares
How much will it cost to take Virgin America on a trip south of the border?
Flights between San Francisco and Puerto Vallarta start at $119 dollars, you must add to this price: taxes, restrictions & fees.
“We continue to see strong demand for Mexico travel and we’re pleased to launch new service to these historic and world-class destinations. With unrivalled service and amenities, we hope that our new flights will allow travelers to kick off their Mexican vacations in style – from the minute they step onboard one of our aircraft,” stated David Cush, President and Chief Executive Officer of Virgin America.
Virgin America strives to offer travelers a unique flying experience, the same way Puerto Vallarta offers visitors a unique and memorable vacation, unlike any other, said Salvador González Resendiz, Mayor of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. Puerto Vallarta is the perfect location for their newest warm weather destination. We look forward to complement Virgin America's excellent services.
Located on Mexico's Pacific coast, where the states of Jalisco and Nayarit come together, Puerto Vallarta continues to be one of Mexico's hottest destinations with a rich cultural tradition and town, a historical cobblestone center, family-friendly attractions and 1st first class hotels, resorts and facilities.
Puerto Vallarta was named Friendliest City by Conde Nast Magazine and an estimated 3 million travellers visit it annually. Riviera Nayarit, located close by to the North in the state of Nayarit is currently Mexico's most fashionable destination. The Riviera stretches along 192 miles of the Pacific coast, surrounded by the majestic Sierra Madre Mountains just 10 min north of Puerto Vallarta's International Airport. The region extends along the entire coast of the Pacific state of Nayarit & includes places such as Nuevo Vallarta in the Banderas Bay (Bahía de Banderas), the historic colonial town of San Blas, the very exclusive Punta Mita, that offers top-notch resorts and golf and picturesque fishing villages plus a California favorite: the surfing village of Sayulita.
We are pleased to welcome the new Virgin America flights from San Francisco, said Marc Murphy, director of the Riviera Nayarit Convention & Visitors Bureau. Riviera Nayarit guests will discover & enjoy a unique holiday experience, complemented by pristine beaches, luxurious accommodations plus excellent service.
If you don't fly virgin, you're in for a treat.
Puerto Vallarta is a place full of attractions for all tastes and ages, but if you want to enjoy a true Mexican experience, then you should visit Puerto Vallarta’s Romantic Zone or also known as Viejo Vallarta (Old Vallarta Town), the right place to enjoy a tasty bit of Old Mexico.
Its picturesque cobbled streets and tree flanked streets are the perfect companions and guides on a tour of the galleries, hotels, shops, cafes, bars and restaurants this romantic area of Vallarta has to offer.
In the Viejo Vallarta you can find everything, excellent hangouts like Cuates y Cuetes, a now traditional location to spend the day at the beach, relaxing and enjoying a cold cocktail, or if you prefer some beer, at this place you’ll find the famous (or is it infamous) "buckets" (cubetas), they are literally buckets of ice cold beer in a bucket of ice and water. You can also visit a nice place called Época, where you can relax under the shade of a palapa and savor a delicious margarita and enjoy the view. If you like to treat yourself to a delicious Mexican dish, you will find a wide variety of options that will surely satisfy your craving, or if you are looking for a delicious international cuisine dinner or share some quality time with your friends here in the Viejo Vallarta, there are many small local restaurants where the food is practically homemade, all the way up to gourmet restaurants where meals are prepared by local or celebrity chefs from around the country and the world.
For a casual, but delicious dining experience, can go to Fajita Republic, for example, where you can find all kinds of fajitas made from chicken, beef, seafood, lobster and even vegetarian fajitas… if you can imagine that, or another great place is the restaurant Café de Olla, both are notably popular when it comes to Mexican or Mexican inspired food.
If you are looking for a place for your breakfast, Freddy Tucan o El Ándale are ideal and famous in the area, just ask around if you don’t believe us. If you prefer you can enjoy an evening with a scrumptious Italian dinner, you can find that either at La Piazzetta (Rodolfo Gomez 143 - (322) 222-0650, at Pizza Nostra (Francisca Rodriguez 150 - (322) 223-0703) or the Trattoria Michel on Olas Altas 507 ((322) 223-2060).
You can also enjoy a walk in the pleasant Vallarta weather and enjoy the beautiful sunsets by the beach. When the sun has slipped below the horizon it is common to crave a cold delicious drink and then take off to a night club in the area, no need to even search, bars and clubs abound in the Zona Romántica, so just stay in the area and enjoy.
At night, the fun never stops, and once you're ready to enjoy a delicious drink to start off the evening, it is important to not miss the opportunity to savor a famous Tequila, the most famous of the Mexican liquors and proudly Made in Jalisco, which you can undoubtedly find in any of the bars or clubs you visit, if they don’t feel free to move along to a real bar/club. Do not hesitate to take the traditional shot of tequila (caballito de Tequila), a short glass of pure quality tequila (Don Julio, Centenario, Herradura, are good brands), not the bad tequila you normally find around the world, which has to be forced down with salt and lemon, rather the pure delicate distillate that you drink slowly, enjoying the taste and smoothness of liquor in each sip.
Of course this Viejo Vallarta could not lack an artistic side too. For those who enjoy and truly admire (an like to purchase) beautiful crafts and arts, the romantic section of ??Puerto Vallarta has a corridor that includes more than fifteen art galleries and is held once a week from October to April, the so-called “Art Walk”. These galleries feature diverse exhibits, where you can find everything from classic pieces of Mexican art to completely contemporary art creations.
As mentioned, this beautiful area of ??Puerto Vallarta has something to please the expectations and tastes of each and every one of the visitors. Without doubt, a stroll around the romantic Old Town area will complement and even complete your visit, making it a truly unique trip where you’ll experience and grasp a little of the essence of the heart of Puerto Vallarta, not only the typical and sometimes bland all-inclusive TV dinner prepackaged trip.
Many activities have been held in conjunction with the reopening of the malecon in Puerto Vallarta, one of these was the unveiling of the sculpture of Triton and Mermaid in its new location. And to make the moment even more enjoyeable, the youth group Bieros-Kum had all attendees dancing during the celebration.
This event took place last Sunday after the remodeling of the seaside walkway (known as “el Malecón”) in Puerto Vallarta, financed by the Municipal Government, headed by Salvador Gonzalez Resendiz. The unveiling of the sculpture called Triton and Mermaid was the presentation of the different works that graced this new area of Vallarta.
Representing the local authorities, the chronicler Juan Manuel Gomez Encarnacion, along with all the people present, cut the ribbon of the sculpture which is a favorite for visitors to take pictures and take a souvenir photo from Puerto Vallarta.
The bronze sculpture was made by the artist Carlos Espino and was made public in August 1990.
Carlos Espino is a Mexican sculptor that gives himself in soul and spirit in each of his sculptures. He usually combines the great myths of antiquity and the sensitivity of the modern man. Bronze is his favorite material to work with. That also explains the wonder of this work that now adorns the new Malecón.
Puerto Vallarta, in addition to being one of the most visited vacation destination for its beaches, numerous tours and activities and many exceptional sights, is now also a great tourist destination to really appreciate and enjoy arts and culture in all its expressions.
Across the town you can find fabulous sculptures, paintings and other forms of art which are the expression of a large community of artists that either live in Puerto Vallarta or are visiting the city from other parts of Mexico or the world to showcase their work and make it known. We can mention writers, artisans, painters and sculptors that present their work in the streets, galleries and the seaside walkway in Puerto Vallarta.
As another aspect of the different arts, do not miss miss out on the opportunity to enjoy all the music that has become an everpresent part of all the celebrations related to the new Malecón.
This time it was the vallartan youth group "Bieros-Kum" who played in Los Arcos, where they were in charge of getting the audience's mood up and ended with everyone dancing cumbia villera, a subgenre of an argentinean cumbia that began to gain popularity in some of the most popular areas in Argentina and now has won fame in many other places.
The interpretation of young musicians of "Bier-Kum" was well received and won the applause of all those present. They alos enjoyed this because it was their first public concert. All in all a very successful and enjoyeable event on the Malecon in Puerto Vallarta.
Ever since the Puerto Vallarta Malecon reopening events, businessmen and local stores and restaurants located in the local tourist area have all mentioned that it’s a fact and there has been an increase in both sales and number of visitors. Most of them have noticed a strong improvement in their business and sales. Visitors have flocked to the Malecón, to see it, enjoy it and reestablish the habit.
On the other hand, the manager of a well-known restaurant in the area stated that there has been a marked improvement in the number of people who daily visit the boardwalk, he also said that they have had a greater influx of people to their business and are having more sales, especially when comparing with previous months in which the remodeling work had closed the seaside walkway. He said they are now ready to receive all the people who usually visit during the Christmas holidays and will enjoy this new Malecon.
Another owner, Vallarta-Mart, also said that they are doing much better economically, sales have improved and people and are visiting more often.
Another opinion was that there really has been a noticeable change since the walkway was reopened; the previous week has shown a significant improvement. There is a clear tendency and they are aware that things will continue to improve gradually, and they are expecting that this increase in visitors will improve more every day, helping to keep Puerto Vallarta among the top Mexican tourist destinations.
Jose Ramirez, Assistant Restaurant Manager at the “Bubba Gump Restaurant” stated: "When they started the construction of the Malecon, sales plummeted 70%, now, with the reopening it has gone up 20 percent, we can also observe an improved flow of pedestrian, so we are hoping that with this reopening of the walkway, the arrival of ships to port, and the holidays and the dates from December 25th to January 1st which is the strongest week for Puerto Vallarta we will be able to 100 percent. "
Similarly, Marco, maitre of the restaurant “La Dolce Vita” said: "sales have increased since the opening of the Malecon, there are more people and the walkway is much more attractive."
Arturo Castañeda, maitre at Restaurant Las Palomas stated; "sales have gone up, the number is between 60 and 70 percent over previous transactions."
Raul Zermeno, owner of Aries Jewelry, said: "You can ready see an improved flow of people walking and enjoying the seaside walkway, when we look at our sales we can’t say that we’ve improved, I think what has hurt us is that the U.S. economy is not doing well, but we definitely have more visitors on the Vallarta Malecon."
As was to be expected, the positive opinion regarding improvements both in terms of tourism and sales associated to the remodeled Malecón in Puerto Vallarta is general, this in turn is promoting a positive outlook and a generalized positive mindset, which are a byproduct of this new city project.