Gay Pride festivities around the world kick off this month, and Puerto Vallarta is gearing up for its fifth consecutive LGBT Pride event, running May 21 – 28, 2017. The eight-day festival includes art and culture events, concerts, entertainment, films, pool parties and the main event, the Pride Parade.
One of the biggest annual draws to the destination in recent years, the week long celebration attracts thousands of international visitors who want to celebrate the diversity of the city and champion the bringing together the region’s associations, companies and the entire LGBT community.
Puerto Vallarta continues to be at the forefront of acceptance and is recognized worldwide as an LGBT mecca, boasting a variety of gay-friendly bars, clubs and beaches. For a comprehensive list, visit Gay Guide Vallarta.
For more information about LGBT Pride, visit VallartaPride.com.
Visitors in search of Puerto Vallarta’s vibrancy and authenticity can roam the narrow streets of the Romantic Zone, or “Zona Romantica” as it’s referred to by locals. Offering a traditional old-town feel and densely populated with shops, restaurants, bars, and galleries, Puerto Vallarta’s Romantic Zone is one of the most alluring areas of the city. Bordered by the Rio Cuale on the north, Santa Barbara Street on the south, Insurgentes Street on the east, and Playa de Los Muertos on the west, the Romantic zone is also known as Other Old Town, The South Side, and Colonia Emilano Zapata.
The charming cobblestone avenues wind through the lively and colorful neighborhood, with business owners and artisans enthusiastically engaging with the pedestrians strolling by. Locals and tourists, alike, are lured by the Romantic Zone’s luster; its cultural intrigue, abundant food options (including many well-regarded street food vendors), locally-made artifacts and the city’s most popular beach, Playa Los Muertos, easy to fall in love with. Whether you’re in search of a memorable al fresco meal, unique tropical cocktail or locally-made artisan souvenir, the Romantic Zone is sure to satisfy your desires.
Click here for more on what to see and do in the Romantic Zone.
An hour south of bustling Puerto Vallarta, a rural oasis welcomes those in search of fresh mountain air and even fresher fare. A lush agricultural retreat, the quiet town of El Tuito is known for its charming farm culture and its production of organic veggies, panela cheese, blue corn tortillas and local moonshine.
A tour on Thursdays is an ideal way to learn about the local history and explore the town. The 4-hour tour begins with a stroll through the streets taking in the authentic adobe architecture and sampling blue corn tortillas and locally-made soft panela cheese along the way.
Next, visitors swing by the farmhouse to nosh on raicilla while observing propagation and
seed-saving techniques, followed by a walk through the countryside to witness the working farm that includes tilling, composting, mulching, planting, irrigation, crop rotation and harvesting.
And, lastly, a sweet treat at a backyard bakery that uses a wood-fired oven.
Visiting Puerto Vallarta at the end of February and looking for a party? You’re in luck! Every year, just prior to Lent, cities across the world indulge a longtime tradition and vibrant celebration known as Carnaval, often culminating with a Mardi Gras parade. And, Puerto Vallarta is one of them. On Tuesday, February 28 at 8
PM, the city will host its ninth annual Mardi Gras parade to observe the occasion.
Promising to be bigger and better than ever, the festivities commence at the Hotel Zone’s Sheraton Hotel, then head south on the Malecón, ending just south of the Los Muertos pier. Throughout the celebration, onlookers will be dazzled by whimsical floats and vivid costumes adorned with sequins, feathers, and bold colors, in an affair that unites the city.
Last year’s Carnaval attracted 30,000 locals and visitors from all walks of life. The event is open to all ages. Masks and costumes are welcome.
Want to participate in the parade? Register here. The winning float will be awarded a $5,000 peso cash prize. For more information, visit: http://carnavalpv.com/
Fun fact: Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, refers to the day when Lent-observing individuals eat fattening foods and stock up before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which commences the following day on Ash Wednesday.
When you think of Puerto Vallarta, you probably envision white sand beaches and a blue-green ocean, maybe a chaise under an umbrella and a frosty drink cheered up with tequila. All good thoughts and right on the money. But PV also has a beloved theater, Act II, and this season is packed with crowd-pleasers. Broadway’s Tony-winning musical Avenue Q debuts November 12, followed by the musical revue Starting Here, Starting Now on the 14th and Canadian folk-pop singer/songwriter Jeffery Straker on the 17th. Then, on November 27, giving us ample time to digest our Thanksgiving turkey, the 4th annual Voice of Vallarta contest, whose winner wins $20,000 pesos, begins. If you’re looking for more reasons to visit PV beyond this month, the Act has plenty more shows in the wings: Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps begins Jan. 7, the Neil Simon classic Plaza Suite, starring multi-Emmy winner Eileen Matthews, debuts March 4, and the curtains open on Harvey Fierstein’s Tony-showered Casa Valentina, about a Catskill’s resort that caters to transgender visitors, April 4. Check out the Act’s full line up and reserve tickets here, and book your rooms with us!
October’s an idyllic month in PV, and although we hardly think anyone needs an extra excuse to come to visit paradise, if you’re a Day of the Dead fancier, the celebrations this year are going to be off the charts. We wrote all about it on the latest Hacienda San Angel post (that’s our sister hotel, but you knew that), so no need to elaborate here. But now’s the time to plan for another great event: the 22nd annual International Festival Gourmet, which will be held in and around PV from November 11 – 20. A dozen restaurants and 15 hotels, including Casa K, will participate with everything from theme to progressive dinners and tastings. We’ve invited Chef Jason Fullilove
(contender for the world’s best name or what?) from Los Angeles. Some of you may know him from his creative soul food pop-up, Barbara Jean, or recognize him from his days in the kitchens of Campanile and Patina), but at Casa K he’ll be overseeing the kitchen with a special menu of his globally inspired soul food accented with local ingredients: fresh uni toast, pan-roasted snapper, fish-crowded bouillabaisse and divine desserts.
Is it all getting to be too much? The blustering, the back-and-forthing, the competitive tallies of military brass in their respective corners? If it seems you’re feeling the wear and tear of the presidential race as acutely as the candidates themselves, you’re not alone. And we’re here to help. Casa Kimberly’s Election Overload 2016 package is all about restoring your serenity in a barking mad world. The therapy begins with free round-trip transportation from the airport, five nights in one of our elegant Diamond or Sapphire suites, and complimentary poolside cocktails each day along with snacks—taquitos, ceviche, or maybe guacamole and corn chips—sent out by our chef. And, just to ensure that your relaxation regimen is complete, we’ll throw in an hour-long couple’s aromatherapy massage and a private meditation or yoga class. The trip back to the airport is on us, too, so by the time you float back home, you’ll be cool, calm and collected, and able to cast your vote without losing your mind.
The Casa Kimberly Escape Election 2016 package includes:
Five nights in a luxury Diamond or Sapphire suite
Daily round of cocktails and chef’s-choice poolside afternoon snacks (such as house-made ceviche, taquitos or guacamole and totopos
60-minute calming couple’s aromatherapy massage in the CK Spa
Private meditation or yoga session for two with local Vallarta yogis
A bronze sculpture of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton captures the romance of this star-crossed couple.
As anyone who’s visited can attest, Casa Kimberly is filled with striking furniture, from ornate mirrors and antique crystal chandeliers to exquisite carved wood beds in the elaborate Mexican Colonial tradition. Each piece is hand-picked by owner Janice Chatterton, each room unique in its appointments. Our collection of photos, paintings and sculptures is pretty remarkable, too (can’t help but boast a little), many inspired by or depicting the famous couple whose love is the cornerstone of the property. The life-size bronze statue of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton together on a bench, placed at the entrance of Casa Kimberly so passersby can also enjoy it, has become something of a local landmark. Commissioned by Chatterton, the statue was created by artist Jim Demetro, who’s known locally for three other bronze works in town: “Vallarta Dancers,” one of the most photographed statues on the Malecon; “Andale, Bernardo,” a beloved bronze sculpture of a burro (which tourists can mount for a photo) being egged on by two boys and a dog, and “The Washer Woman,” depicting a woman at an age-old task. While conceiving the idea for Casa Kimberly’s commission, “Mr. Demetro studied many images of Richard and Elizabeth,” says Chatterton, “and was inspired to do this particular pose, which captures their passion for each other. The body movement is what captivates me in all of his work.” In fact, the couple appear so animated, you may be tempted to squeeze in and join their conversation. We won’t stop you.
We can go on for days about the beauty and charm of PV and the myriad things to do here, from shopping to dining to lazing. But we hate to hog all the spotlight all the time. To that end, we magnanimously suggest a day trip. Sayulita, just about an hour’s drive north, is a surf-centric, boho-vibed town with all the fixings for a day of fun in the sun. Our concierge will be happy to help you arrange transportation. Whether you’re a confident surfer or have yet to see a board up close, Sayulita’s Lunazul Surfing School is a great place to head—they have the best/broadest selection of surf and paddleboards in town. Book a lesson and you’ll get a board, rash guards and other wave-riding accoutrement along with top-notch instruction—and a free extra hour of surf time on Lunazul’s equipment after the teaching’s over. If stand-up paddling is more your thing, they offer SUP tours as well, as long as the water’s calm.
Book a private lesson or arrange instruction for the whole family, little kids to intrepid grandparents. When it’s time to put the boards aside and reacquaint yourself with maneuvers on land, cruise around the shops on Sayulita’s cobblestone streets and keep an eye out for the elaborately beaded Huichol
handicrafts. Then it may be time to return to the beach and people-watch, staying cool with a fruity frozen paleta (popsicle), or maybe a sip of something with a higher proof. Then head back to PV. We miss you already!
It’s heating up in PV, and on days like these there’s really only one answer: The Margarita. More to the point: Our Margarita, because it is, quite simply, perfect. A classic at heart, with a brash dash of OJ that boosts the citrus notes of the triple sec, this spirited elixir is stirred, not shaken—it’s not a martini and you’re not Bond, so please don’t argue. Unless of course, you want it shaken, then, by all means….make our marg yours. You can even whir it around in a blender, or try all three versions in succession. Responsibly, of course.
Here’s all you’ll need:
1 ½ oz Sauza Hornitos Tequila (or another pure-agave tequila of your choice)
1 oz triple sec
1 oz fresh lime juice
⅓ oz fresh orange juice
Pour the ingredients into a 10-oz glass with ice and stir.
How simple, and transporting, is that?
And, because it’s well established that we’re a teeny bit obsessed with Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, we’ll be remembering the devoted-when-not-duelling couple on June 26, the 42nd anniversary of their first divorce. The good news, of course, is that they married again less than a year-and-a-half later. Just one more reason to raise a marg.