If you travel south in the Banderas Bay (Bahía de Banderas), you’ll find a protected area, that through the years has become a regular attraction, not only for the different day cruise ships in Vallarta but also for those that enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling. We are, of course, talking about the now famous Puerto Vallarta islands of “Los Arcos”.
These small beautiful granite islands protruding from the sea surface, visible even from downtown, which since 1984 have been classified as a National Marine Park.
This beautiful Los Arcos National Marine Park is located out at sea between two beaches, Mismaloya beach, and Las Gemelas. At the park, you’ll find caves, deep tunnels, arches and a striking reef. It is said that the waters around the park are the deepest in the bay, with a depth ranging from 9 to 480 meters (30 and 1,600 feet).
This wonderful place is also a protected area for various seabird species that breed there, some of these include penguins, various species of parrots, pelicans and other sea and land birds. In the same way, marine life biodiversity in the sea around the park is also considerable, you’ll really enjoy a snorkel or scuba dive in the area, the water is quite clear and you can see different species of fish and other marine life.
Los Arcos is a place that is visited by many boats every day, they stop by this national park and all visitors have the opportunity to enjoy and marvel at the stunning scenery while doing their favorite activities. After the tour in Los Arcos, ships continue their journey south so their clients can also enjoy the beautiful beaches that can only be accessed by sea, such as Quimixto, Majahuitas or Yelapa beach.
In the past, not so long ago these huge rock formations were called Las Peñas (The Rocks), in fact, all of Puerto Vallarta was called that way, Las Peñas or Peñitas precisely due to the large rock formations near the sea limits, and in years prior the name was “El Carrizal”. It was here where "The Night of the Iguana" movie was shot by director, screenwriter and actor John Houston.
The Los Arcos Marine Park is not the only one in the bay, there’s another one at the Marietas Islands, one of the world’s protected biosphere reserves established by the UNESCO. The Marietas are an archipelago consisting of four land masses: two islets and two islands. The first and largest is 130 feet high (43 meters) and 1500 feet (700 meters) wide. The second is 160 feet high (54 meters) and a mile wide, approximately.
You can enjoy a swim, scuba diving and snorkeling can also be practiced here, it is also very common to see people doing underwater photography and climbing up the cliffs.
So don’t miss out on this natural sanctuary that has virtually no contact with civilization and where you can find species such as humpback whales, dolphins, giant manta rays, seabirds, turtles, swallows and other birds that enjoy the protection of this archipelago.
If you are in your plans come to visit Puerto Vallarta or you're in this magical place, we recommend that you take the opportunity to get to know these wonderful and unique places where you can enjoy an unforgettable experience.
So, if you are planning to visit Puerto Vallarta, or you already are here in this tropical paradise, take the time to visit and enjoy these marvelous and unique protected ecosystems, where you will get to know firsthand and in a real natural setting, the local autochthonous nature and take home a memorable and enjoyable experience.
If you belong to the LGBT community and are look for the ideal place to enjoy a vacation at the beach, Puerto Vallarta is definitively the best option.
In addition to excellent weather, Puerto Vallarta offers outdoor activities, shopping and restaurants, sophisticated cafes, bars, discos, bars and strippers and transvestite shows and martini bars if you want to enjoy an intimate conversation.
That is why, among other reasons, in recent years Puerto Vallarta has been called friendliest gay tourist destination in the country.
Each year gay entrepreneurs arrive in Puerto Vallarta so they too can be part of the variety of businesses in Vallarta's LGBT community, these include art galleries, clothing and accessories stores, restaurants, houseware, crafts and more. With this range of options, it's not a surprise that Puerto Vallarta is the vacation destination that most people wish to return to on a second occasion.
The news on this occasion is the International Expo & Business LGBT to be held in Puerto Vallarta, and the main goal of this event is to showcase and establish business links between buyers and sellers that have products aimed for the national and international LGBT community.
Among the professionals that will participate from November 20th to the 23rd at the International Expo & Business LGBT in Puerto Vallarta are various service providers that include airlines, hotels, restaurants, cruise agencies, car rental, tour operators, travel agents, CVB's and leading companies that already offer their services to the LGBT community as well as companies interested in expanding their business opportunities into this market.
This great event offers business exchanges and the opportunity to establish up to twentyfour appointments between buyers and sellers, both domestic and foreign, over a period of two days. There will also be held a number of conferences during the event for those interested in learning about the tastes and habits of the LGBT community, as well as the new trends in this business niche.
It should be noted that during the Expo in Puerto Vallarta, Out Now will present the results of the "Out Now Global LGBT 2020 Study" a global study that reveals that Puerto Vallarta is located among the ftop three preferred sites for the LGBT community.
Mexico is home to 4.8 million gay adults that generate $ 67 billion annually (based on a study by Out Now). Brazil has 8.7 million, generating $ 95.8 billion annually, and Argentina has 1.8 million generating $ 27 billion annually.
Each year the Bay of Banderas is blessed with the visit of the humpback whale, evolutionary studies and fossil records date the ancestor of the whale back to the Eocene period, in the case of the whale, around 50 million years ago. [Read a new article on the Humpback Whales.]
Whales visit us with the main goal of mating and to give birth to their young, they later return to the northern seas again. They arrive in the Bay of Banderas at the end of October and depart at the end of March.
Whales belong to the order Cetacea, which includes dolphins and porpoises; they are marine mammals that are descendants of ancient land mammals.
This terrestrial origin is indicated by the need to breathe air outside of the water, the bones of their fins, which are analogous to their land peers and the vertical movement of the columns is more similar to mammals than fish.
How they evolved from land animals to their current giant marine animal form was a mystery, until experts started to find evidence and fossils in the late 70's within Pakistan, which have established and show the multiple steps of the transition of the ancestors of cetaceans from land to sea.
All cetaceans are descendants of a land mammal from the Arthiodactila order, which includes animals like the hippopotamus, pig, deer and others. Cetaceans and artiodactyls are both related to the Indohyus, an extinct semi-aquatic deer, from which they separated 54 million years ago. The earliest whales became aquatic some 50 million years ago and fully marine mammals some 5 to 10 million years later.
These wonderful animals have the peculiarity of having a pattern of black, white and gray spots under their tail. This pattern is unique to each whale and can be used to identify each individual. Biologists and other scientists can over the course of the years, distinguish one individual from the other, determine whom they have mated with and establish an estimate of the number of whales in a population. This information is then used to protect and ensure the survival of these beautiful creatures, as they are currently threatened and are in danger of extinction. The sad part is that despite protection, there are still many threats that keep them endangered.
There are still countries that ignore the moratorium on whale hunting, plus there are other hazards such as underwater nets that entangle them and they drown, another very common danger are ships and boats that hit them or run them over. The noise created by ships and boats is also very harmful to these animals. Underwater explosions, sonar, mining and oil spills and pollution can disorient them, poison or sicken them. Whale watching is also detrimental to these animals if not done under strict guidelines and rules.
We must learn and make an effort to protect these beautiful specimens, especially when you consider that these animals far from causing any harm, cheer us up each year with their visits. They are generally friendly animals that impress us with their playfulness, at least those who are lucky enough to see them in action.
One of the impressive feats whales perform are their jumps out of the water. Their bodies shoot out of the water, occasionally spinning the air while they spread their fins and drop back into the sea splashing water in all directions. These jumps have been analyzed and theories include that whales could actually be playing, maybe they are trying to get rid of sea lice and barnacles or they may also be trying to communicate with other whales by this display of power and strength.
Sometimes they give mighty slaps on the water surface with their fins or tail. Once again, it could be playfully or maybe as a courting display. These activities are usually a bit damaging for the whales, because the barnacles and sea lice cause injuries when they break loose, even bleeding ones.
Another common behavior among whales is that they come out to watch us, just as we watch them, they come very slowly out of the water, they roll a bit when the head is out, to get a better view and then go under the water again.
As you can read and imagine, these amazing mammals are very clever as well as beautiful, do not miss the opportunity to visit Puerto Vallarta and enjoy a whale watching tour and be part of a wonderful experience.
FONATUR, a Mexican government Tourism development fund presented 5 new projects for Puerto Vallarta. The new projects will continue to boost Vallarta's tourism infrastructure and will open up new areas for both visitors and locals to enjoy.
Puerto Vallarta is currently among the top 3 Mexican tourist destinations, so this new investment, that will be part of the Downtown Vallarta's integrated urban development program, is very welcome and has been expected for a long time.
The idea is to boost Vallarta to the top destinations worldwide and these projects will be a step in that direction, though it's doubtful FONATUR Director Adalberto Fügemann y López's predictions of PV in the Top 5 Worldwide is a bit over the top, just consider destinations like Paris, Rome, London, New York, Bangkok, Hong Kong and even Mexico's own Cancún and it's hard to imagine our beautiful Vallarta could overtake them. It's nice to dream though :-)
The total investment will be around 39 million dollars in five different branches within the local tourism, these include sport and leisure, recreational and public spaces, markets, museums and art, and a retirement residential development.
The list includes:
The Vallarta Historical Center Tourism Improvement Program is in charge of many of the most recent improvements in the city, including the impressive changes to the Malecon and the new Los Muertos Pier that will be ready this December.
The goal is to create impressive and iconic sites in this beach destination, which will in turn boost tourism to Puerto Vallarta and the surrounding areas.
Anybody that knew Vallarta in the 2000's and compares it with Vallarta in the 2010's can see improvements in many parts of town, specially impressive is the Malecon, that now start off by Hotel Rosita and you can stroll comfortably all the way to Playa Los Muertos, but there is still a long way to go, specially with the impressive flops such as the Molino de Agua Condos, that have cut off the view and made it look, in my opinion cheap, like a Mexican style Miami. I'd tear it down immediately, but no one's asking my opinion, anyway :-).
A new and fabulous attraction for locals and tourists was inaugurated on November 4, 2011 in the Puerto Vallarta, the Bay Night Club (El Club Nocturno de la Bahía) that from now on will open every Friday, offers visitors an unforgettable moment of dancing and fun under the light of the stars with the cool ocean breeze refreshing the dancers who want to spend a great night out.
The event was co-sponsored by Club Vallarta and The Bay Night Club (Club Nocturno en la Bahía), part of last Friday's earnings were donated to the Women's Shelter of Banderas Bay (Refugio para Mujeres de la Bahía de Banderas).
More than 30 supporters were directly involved making the event a complete success. The Night Club and the cruise trips were designed to help each week the community and charitable organizations while providing a new form of entertainment in Puerto Vallarta and the Banderas Bay area.
Come and enjoy the Bay Night Club, you'll guaranteed enjoy it and you will not only have fun but you will also help to raise funds to help the local community. There are two support platforms each with 100 passenger capacity, open bar, snacks and an memorable evening under the stars. The music that fills the air includes a healthy dose of salsa, merengue, and Latin rhythms of the eighties, classic, Rythm and Blues, Blues and US popular music all night long.
Those who are new to salsa dancing, there is no reason to be worried or distressed, since there is a wide variety of music for everyone to enjoy and all levels of dancer can feel comfortable. However, if you worry about your dance moves and want to enter the competition, Marcela Castellanos, co-organizer of the event and also a dance instructor is available for training. She offers a complimentary lesson to encourage people to fill up the dance floor and subject their bodies to the healthy and smooth Latin rhythms.
Both residents and tourists can meet up at the Marine Terminal for a very pleasant evening and test their new dance moves or learn some new skills from those that participate in the event.
The cruise of the Bay Nightclub takes off exactly at 7:00 pm from the terminal and returns at 11:00 pm. Please arrive at 6:15 pm because the cruise boarding begins at 6:30 pm. Tickets are priced at $500 pesos and locals will also enjoy a discount.