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Expat Living

North Banderas Beat - April 10, 2015

Beach Cleanup

The volunteers who show up at the monthly beach cleanup in Bucerias on April 11 will be in for a surprise. Vallarta Bagel World has offered to supply fresh baked cinnamon rolls to the first 25 volunteers who spend their morning combing the beach for items to put in their trash bags.

Volunteers meet at the Bucerias malecon near the diver statue for an hour or two of picking up debris left behind by Semana Santa beach-goers.

Bottles of water and large plastic trash bags will be provided by the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Beaches have been crowded during the annual pilgrimage to the coast, but local residents report that the amount of trash left behind was noticeably less than in years past and that the municipality has been doing a good job of emptying the often overflowing trash containers.

Vallarta Bagel World owner Peter Hardy says he will consider the free handout of cinnamon rolls every month.

Take a Gamble

Join friends at the Vallarta Yacht Club on Saturday, April 18 for a special evening of popular casino games, including Blackjack, Roulette, Texas Hold-em and Bingo. There will also be a live and silent auction that will increase your odds of bringing home some great prizes. Enjoy special theme drinks and hors d’oeuvres, too. Dinner is available for those who wish to come early.

Buy-in costs 250 pesos, including chips and hors d’oeuvres.

For more information, contact the Yacht Club at (322) 297-2222.

Civic Leader Dies

Well -known Bucerias businessman and civic leader Mario Topete, 58, died following emergency surgery on Saturday, April 4.

Most recently, he coordinated the fundraising for installing cobblestone pavements on two of the last remaining dirt streets in a popular tourist area of Bucerias.  Following that year-long project, he continued to seek out donations to repair streets in two other neighborhoods of the town, as the representative between property owners and officials of the Bahia de Banderas Public Works Department.

Topete was the owner and general manager of the Hotel Cactus Inn on Highway 200 in Bucerias, and was elected last year to the board of directors of the Riviera Nayarit Hotel and Motel Association.

He is survived by his wife Sylvia, two daughters and a son.

On the Drawing Board

The tourism boom in the Riviera Nayarit is prompting the construction and remodeling of hotels, the launch of public-space projects, infrastructure improvements and new family entertainment and attraction options.

New hotel openings and renovations include the One&Only Mandarina opening 145 luxurious villas as well as separate private residential estates. The beachfront property will also feature a beach club and pool, private cabins, a poolside café and lounge, a family pool and the One&Only Spa, Fitness Center and Conference Center for corporate meetings and retreats. 

Matlali recently opened in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle in its own nature preserve overlooking Banderas Bay. The boutique hotel features 40 villa-style accommodations, each with fully-equipped kitchens, ocean and mountain views, and separate living and dining areas. The property will also house the Matawe Spa, infinity pools, a popular nightclub and the Eva Mandarina Beach Club, where guests can order Mexican delicacies.

Near Punta de Mita, the Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa has completed four years of renovations that include revamped guest rooms and lobby areas, expanded family amenities and new restaurants, new wedding locations, travel club facilities and a kids’ pool.

Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit in Nuevo Vallarta recently began a US$20 million renovation project that is scheduled for completion in 2016. The renovations will include improvements to their oceanfront Azul restaurant, modernization of the amenities, furniture and décor of their 131 master, parlor and governor suites and the addition of two suites to accommodate guests with disabilities. Spa enhancements include updates to the hydrothermal circuit and chromotherapy offerings, as well as the inclusion of a bi-thermal and energetic shower and an ice fountain with peppermint to balance the health impacts of the sauna.  

Finally, Marival Resort & Suites now has Mediterranean-inspired rooms with new remodeled bathrooms with oversized showers and large glass balcony doors overlooking the Bay of Banderas.

Cirque du Soleil

Other planned northshore attractions include world famous Cirque du Soleil, partnering with Grupo Vidanta, creating a 300-acre, immersive theme park experience in Nuevo Vallarta to include a water park, nature park and an outdoor evening show for as many as 5,000 spectators. Construction is expected to be completed in 2018. 

Artificial Reef

A little further north in Bucerias plans call for the construction of a new artificial reef, marina and boardwalk lined with new stores, restaurants and bars, as well as an additional boardwalk for coastal fishing at the end of 2015.  

Road Construction

New road construction includes replacing the curving coastal highway on the north side of the bay with a new ribbon of highway cut through the mountainside between Punta de Mita and La Cruz, while a 34-mile stretch of highway between Jala and Compostela is projected to be ready for full use by the summer of 2015. This section of road is part of the new Guadalajara-Puerto Vallarta superhighway that will serve as a toll-road option to busy Highway 200 and reduce travel time to the region, officials say, by 50 percent.

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