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North Banderas Beat - March 23, 2024

Spring has a special vibe around Banderas Bay. This time of year, I live in denial, as others speak of the season ending, I dig in my heals, “NO”!

pg21aIndeed, the pace, the energy around town is slower in April and May and I like that. There is a unique kind of intimacy that one can only experience when living here. Locals relax enjoying renewed peace.

Far from peaceful yet so much fun, May 3 is the celebration of the Patron Saint of La Cruz. For nine days prior, beginning April 25, celebrations in La Cruz start each morning with a procession to the church, repeated in the early evening. There is much fun in the plaza, and of course, bottle rockets getting folks out to church. My favorite is when the horses, sometimes at least 100, leave Bucerias, riders navigating the beach arriving to La Cruz then dancing in the streets. The final evening winds down the fiesta with a grand party in La Cruz with music, food, drinks and fireworks!

Spring weather is warm, abundant breezes call to the wind enthusiasts who flock to Banderas Bay bringing an explosion of color as the kite and windsurfers ride the wind. March to June is the perfect time to enhance your skills or take on a new challenge. Laser sailing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, wing foiling, sailing and all the wind-driven sports embrace this windy time of year. If learning to sail is on your bucket list; contact Yann Bourquin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

pg21bSpeaking of wind, the Festival del Viento—Wind Festival—invites all kite surfing enthusiasts for the competition commencing in La Cruz with the end destination, Bucerias. Banderas Bay’s ideal geographic and climatic conditions make it a premier destination for kiteboarding and windsurfing. This festival features international kiteboarding champions at this top wind destination. I’ll enjoy the vibrant atmosphere from the beach. Festival del Viento is May 18 to 20. For wind surfing lessons contact The Kitezone in Bucerias at TheKiteZone.com

The Vallarta Lifestyles food festival, known as Restaurant Week 2024 (3 ½ weeks actually) is May 15 to June 10, held in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit. Participating restaurants offer innovative three-course menus, with three options available for each course to delight the taste buds. The best restaurants around the bay offer creative three-course meals at a greatly reduce rate. Check out the list of participants and their creative menus at restaurantweekpv.com, but revisit as they add restaurants to the list almost daily.

A new offering in both La Cruz and Bucerias; Victor Tinoco is offering a Birria Tour. If you haven’t tried birria you’re missing out. A Mexican dish originally from the state of Jalisco, birria is a meat stew in which the carne is marinated in an adobo made of vinegar, dried chiles, garlic, herbs and spices then simmered in broth. Victor decides on one town each outing with a maximum of eight people, the tour runs from 9:30 a.m. to noon and includes transportation, three birria tacos (at three different places), one lamb and/or chorizo taco, one mezcal shot and bottled water. The tab is 315 pesos per person. One of our guests told me: “It was a beautiful tour; Victor’s a great host, the food was tasty, and it was fun! The best part was that they were all street taco stands that didn’t look like anything and, as tourists, we wouldn’t have gone without a trustworthy recommendation.” Contact Victor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

pg21cIn La Cruz, chef Julio of Masala Restaurant and in Bucerias chef Sandra of Sandrina’s Restaurant & Boutique give cooking classes, which begin by teaching you to create a cocktail and then a three-course meal that you’ll learn as you cook together. Ultimately the class enjoys the beautiful meal you helped make, together. Sandra also teaches art in group classes. Contact Sandra at sandrinas.com. For Julio’s cooking classes contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Medical travel

Whether you’re looking for cosmetic surgery, dental work or something more major consider booking in the shoulder season. Appointments are easier to get, and the weather is perfect for recovery. Having recently undergone surgery I highly recommend considering getting your medical needs met in the Vallarta/Nayarit area. The experience is excellent.

May Spring bring you JOY and new adventures!

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