Hacienda Dona Engracia – Puerto Vallarta

Here’s another excellent un-beach experience near Puerto Vallarta ~ Hacienda Dona Engracia. When we arrived, a Holland America shore excursion group was taking in an “authentic” Mexican experience of dancing and cowboy rope twirling, piñata bashing and tequila tasting. That was fine, but the hacienda also offers horseback riding and that’s what we were after.

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Estero El Salado – Puerto Vallarta

An eco-reserve in the heart of Puerto Vallarta’s jam-packed hotel zone? Unbelievable, but that’s exactly what I found at Estero El Salado, one of the city’s newest and most unexpected attractions.

In spite of the traffic, it took only about five minutes to drive from our beachside hotel to the incongruously green haven separated by chain-link fence from the restaurants, shopping emporiums and high-rise resorts that crowd bustling Boulevard Francisco Medina Ascencio.

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Puerto Vallarta Fan Club

I’ve joined the Puerto Vallarta fan club pretty late. I know this former Mexican fishing village with the romantic Liz Taylor-Richard Burton connection has long been a favourite of my Okanagan neighbours, but I didn’t get the attraction. Labouring under the belief that PV is just another beach lined with high-rise hotels, I wasn’t interested. My idea of purgatory is a full week stuck in a beach resort. Call me crazy (and many of you will), but although I like a poolside Margarita as much as the next winter-weary Canadian, I can only down so much tequila and after I’ve ploughed through my second trashy e-novel, I just have to get up and do something—preferably involving a new experience and an excuse to haul out my long lens.

So I was less than enthusiastic about PV as the location for a conference I recently attended. Boy, how wrong could I be?

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YLW Update

Escaping the Valley (just for a little while) gets easier every year with constantly improving air service through Kelowna International Airport—our own YLW. It doesn’t get better than direct, non-stop flights. WestJet offers seasonal fall/winter/spring non-stops to Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix in the US, and Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Cancun in Mexico, designed for independent travel or to coordinate with WestJet Vacations. For all-inclusive fans, Transat Holidays and Sunwing Tours schedule non-stop departures from mid-November to the end of April for package vacations in Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Cancun.

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Puerto Vallarta: Turtle Beach Time


Puerto Vallarta Baby Turtle Release

Just back from Puerto Vallarta where I attended and made a PD presentation at the Canadian Chapter meeting of SATW. I went with the mindset that PV is just a beach town. Boy, how wrong can you be. I’ve got a ton of stories about horseback riding in the mountains, visiting a UNESCO world heritage site, an organic coffee plantation, releasing baby Olive Ridley turtles (that was my beach time ),

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