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The Charms of Sonora

Beaches, mountains and the desert

A Cool Relief

Pátzcuaro, Michoacán

One Day in the Heart of Puerto Vallarta a day outside the resort

SUP on the Riviera Nayarit Paddle boarding is the latest craze

Moving to Mexico

Vacation to resident in under a week

livin’ the Dream

Retiring to paradise in the Yucatan


Three tales of renovations in Mexico

COnnecting Mexico to Canada

Our Sun

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Applicable to travel between Dec. 18, 2012 and Apr. 30, 2013. Offer does not apply to group and Florida bookings, cruises, flights and Sandals and Beaches Resorts packages. Clients booking by Oct. 31, 2012 can change their original travel date once. Travel can be changed but must be completed by Oct. 31, 2013. Changes to travel dates are subject to hotel and flight availability. If the price for the new travel date is higher, the client must pay the difference. No refund will be given should the price for the new travel date be lower than the original. *Applicable only on bookings made through travel agents. **Subject to availability. Not applicable to seat selection and upgrades made on the air carrier’s website. †Change of departure date request must be made directly to the customer’s travel agent. If unavailable, customer may contact TRANSAT at 1-866-322-6649 (Mon. to Fri. from 9 am to 11 pm EST and Sat. and Sun. from 9 am to 9 pm EST).

I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to live in Mexico and to travel extensively within this beautiful country with so much diversity. –Tammy Cecco, Vice President

Why not add some colonial charm to your beach vacation? Ixtapa with Morelia Huatulco and the city of Oaxaca • Riviera Maya with the city of Campeche • Cancun with the city of Merida •

My top picks For A Romantic Retreat Las Alamandas, Costalegre: There is no better

spot to detach from life and reconnect as a couple. 1,500 acres of pristine paradise with 4 private beaches. An unforgettable location for a destination wedding!!

These are just a few of the destinations that are easily combinable. Ask your favourite travel consultant for details!

For A Group Getaway Dreams Resorts Mexico. Whether it is a corporate

group or family reunion, Dreams Resorts does it right. They have lots of great perks for groups and 1 in every 6 rooms are free!

For Family Fun Paradisus Esmeralda, Playa Del Carmen. It's the newest

of the Paradisus Resorts chain and fantastic for families. The kids will love all of the attention they get–from a video game menu to turn down service with cookies and milk. The parents will appreciate the level of service and quality and choice of restaurants.

For Cultural Experience Explore the mysteries of the Maya World with the 7 day Tierra Maya program. It visits all of the important archeological sites in the Yucatan and includes time in the beautiful colonial cities of Campeche and Merida. Add a few days of beach at the end and create an unforgettable package! We’re your Mexico specialists. Flights, hotels, packages-we have it all!

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Madeline milne Editor-in-Chief, Art Director


Gary R. Beck Contributor

Madeline’s expertise in real

Moralea lives in Metchosin BC

First visiting Puerto Vallarta

estate marketing and passion

where she is an elected council-

in 1979, Gary has maintained

for life in Mexico is the founda-

lor, respected volunteer for

meticulous notes on every

tion on which Mexi-Go! is built.

local environmental groups and

dining experience he’s had in

Living full time in Mexico brings

frequent contributor to the local

the past 30 years in Vallarta.

experience and real life skills

paper. When the rain and wind

Gary is a regular contributor

to the creative process. When

get to be too much, Moralea

for many local Puerto Vallarta

she’s not exploring new parts of

heads to Mexico, where she

newspapers and websites as well

Mexico, you can find Madeline

finds pleasure in the unique flora

as Sunset Magazine and Zagat.

under her palapa, poolside, with

and fauna, the beaches and the

Gary publishes the popular PV

a good book and her posse of

highlands and in the warmth and

Restaurant Guide, Beck’s Best.

Chihuahuas. She divides her time

comfort of the Mexican culture,

“Exploring Puerto Vallarta’s rich

between Vancouver, BC and

food and people.

array of eateries is exhilarating.” Beck says.


Wendy Rains Contributor

Laurie ROBERTS Contributor

Gabriel Jones Contributor

Internationally noted

Laurie Roberts is the Executive

Gabriel and his wife Wendy have

Architectural Designer, Journalist,

Director of ESCWORKS!

now embarked on their second

and Environmentalist , Wendy

International Inc. Canada and

year living in Mexico and while

Rains has made her home in

of EnglishWORKS! & Spanish

he specialized in tequila and

Todos Santos, B.C.S. for the past

WORKS Mexico, S.C. They

taco tasting in year one, he has

ten years. She currently hosts the

specialize in program design

found a new love in stand up

popular Cabo Mil radio program,

and implementation of EFL for

paddle boarding. Gabriel is an

Todos Santos Today, and her

professional adults. Laurie and

enthusiastic ambassador for his

digital newsletter, Baja Tips

her team established a reputation

adopted town of Sayulita, for

Weekly, touts “Solid Advice and

for innovation and excellence

animal rescue, fostering and

Tips with a Twist”.

in providing service to the

adoption and for life in Mexico.,

most prestigious multinational

Look for Gabriel’s SUP article in,

companies in their region. Laurie

this edition and then join him in,

has also served as an international

sunny Sayulita.

conference speaker.

6 Mexi-Go! Fall 2012

Editor-in-Chief Editor

Madeline Milne Moralea Milne

Art Director Contributors Photography Distribution

CREATIVE Madeline Milne Brad Hopwood Gary R. Beck Wendy Rains Laurie Roberts Erin Staley Anita Draycott Gabriel Jones Audrey Royem Craig Zabransky Victoria Pratt Moralea Milne Jeff Obser Barb Nettleton Madeline Milne Moralea Milne Maxwell Hansen-Milne

Advertising AND SALES Garth Watson | Sales Director Gabriel Jones | Riviera Nayarit Sandra Reed | Yucatan & Riviera Maya Joel Hansen | Business Development MARKETING AND PR Veronica Rivas CONTACT US! Mexi-Go! is published by Canadian Marketing Strategies S de RL de CV Copyright (2012)

Welcome to the family Audrey Royem Contributor

craig zabransky Contributor

erin staley Contributor

Mexi-Go! now has regular columnists. We have reached out to a number of our contemporaries in Mexico for regular contributions and we hope you’ll enjoy the information they have to share with you.

Audrey lives full-time in Sayulita,

Craig Zabransky travels the

Taking her stories from the stage

world taking photographs and

to the page, choreographer

| Gary R Beck

Nayarit and is the Director of Audrey International, a business

writing tales of travel to inspire

Erin Staley pirouetted her way

offering personal assistance & fa-

others to take and make adven-

from the U.S. Pacific Northwest

cilitation to foreigners interested

ture in their lives. Mexico has

to Mexico in 2010. Published in

in moving to, investing in and

captured his heart and he seizes

fiction and non-fiction, Erin is

integrating into Mexico. She has

every opportunity to visit the

currently the editor for a Puerto

Food columnist and local staple of the published Puerto Vallarta foodie scene, Gary write the popular Puerto Vallarta restaurant guide. For more of Gary’s tasteful writings visit:

over fifteen years of international

country as often as possible. You

Vallarta city guide:

experience and hold a Master’s

can find his travels at:

of International Affairs from

| Laurie Roberts Well known for her successful language school in Lake Chapala that sponsors before & after school programs to orphans and low income families. She is affectionately known as the “guera” (blond & light skinned) with a Mexican heart!

Columbia University. A native of Colorado, she has lived and worked in New York City, Southeast Asia and Mexico | Wendy RAINS Long time Todos Santos resident and woman of many talents, Wendy will bring tales of the Baja to each issue. Wendy is online in a plethora of places including:, | Audrey Royem Anita Draycott Contributor Anita has been a Torontobased journalist, editor and

ON THE COVER | Puerto Vallarta Sunrise

photographer for more than twenty-five years. Her awardwinning travel articles regularly appear in such publications as Zoomer, Doctor’s Review, Sunwing in-flight magazine and Luxury Golf & Travel. Her column, Fairways to Heaven, appears bimonthly in www. A self-confessed golf addict, she has chased dimpled white balls over six continents.

Barb Nettleton Photographer Barb is an active volunteer at Harbourfront Int’l Festival of Authors, PEN Canada, and Writers Trust in her hometown of Toronto. She is married to Frank, has a horse named Flash (who for the last eleven years does very special work teaching at risk youth how to ride), two sons, a dog and a cat. Barbara comes back to Mexico every year, camera in hand!

Audrey lives and works in the surftastic town of Sayulita, Nayarit. She helps people find the answer to the many questions surrounding life in Mexico. You an find Audrey and her wisdom at: | International Surgeons of the Americas From a personal experience that forced them to look at emergency lifesaving medical care in Mexico; ISA helps patients find the best surgeons for their needs. You can learn more about ISA at 7

FEATURES Real estate


Ordering off a Spanish Menu A handy guide of dining related terms and foods you might not otherwise be familiar.


The Charm of Sonora Beaches, mountains and the desert offer travelers to Sonora a wealth of outdoor opportunities.




A Cool Relief Visit Pátzcuaro, Michoacán to escape the summer heat, one of Mexico’s Puebos Magicos.



One Day in the Heart of Puerto Vallarta


Leave the comfort of your resort behind and spend the day (or longer) exploring this fun beachside city.


Nothing like a fixer-upper to bring you out of retirement! Three home renovations in Bahia de Banderas.


Moving to Mexico



Three days into a week-long vacation this Torontonian was inspired to buy a restaurant and now calls Mexico home.


SUP on the Riviera Nayarit The fastest growing water sport has taken over the bays of Riviera Nayarit.


livin’ the Dream Victoria native, liz Cunningham, travels to the Yucatan to learn more about retiring to paradise.


Dream Homes A selection of some of Mexico’s finest homes for sale.

RegistRation of Canadians abRoad

A free service that could save your life

We encourage you to sign up for the Registration of Canadians abroad service if you are travelling or living in western Mexico. Registration enables us to reach you in case of an emergency abroad, such as a hurricane or civil unrest, or inform you about an emergency at home. Sign up online: or register by email, fax, or in person. For more information, contact the Consulate of Canada in Guadalajara or the Consular Agency of Canada in Puerto Vallarta: Tel.: 52 (33) 3671-4740 (Guadalajara) 52 (322) 293-0098 (Puerto Vallarta) Email: Internet: Information obtained through registration is confidential and is used in accordance with the provisions of Canada’s Privacy Act.

insCRiPtion des Canadiens À L’ÉtRangeR Un service gratuit qui pourrait vous sauver la vie

Nous vous encourageons à utiliser le service d’inscription des Canadiens à l’étranger si vous voyagez ou habitez dans l’ouest du Mexique. Nous pourrons ainsi vous rejoindre en cas d’urgence à l’étranger, par exemple à la suite d’un ouragan ou de troubles civils, ou vous informer de toute urgence qui surviendrait au Canada. Inscrivez-vous en ligne : ou par courriel, par télécopieur ou en personne. Pour plus d’information, communiquez avec le consulat du Canada à Guadalajara ou l’agence consulaire du Canada à Puerto Vallarta : Tél. : 52 (33) 3671-4740 (Guadalajara) 52 (322) 293-0098(Puerto Vallarta) Courriel :; Internet : Les renseignements fournis sont confidentiels et utilisés conformément à la Loi sur la protection des renseignements personnels.

contact us! Do you have comments? A story to share? Have you made the move to Mexico and want to let us know how great it’s been? Share your wisdom with us! By all means - send us an email - we’d love to hear from you!

Hola! By the time you read this we will have wrapped up the first (of many) Mexi-Go! Expos. This September is the 2nd Anniversary of Mexi-Go! and the Expo is the newest tool we have developed to help inform Canadians about life in Mexico. With over forty exhibitors and two days of seminars, we hope that our visitors learned something new and irresistibly exciting about Mexico. If you missed the Vancouver show, please keep your eye out for us soon in Calgary – dates are still under consideration but check on for more details. The Expo is proud to be working with Riviera Nayarit and Puerto Vallarta to promote the Bay of Banderas. This beautiful region is a short four-hour fight from Vancouver and offers all the amenities you could desire for a week long vacation or a more permanent move. One of my favourite things about this area is the proximity to the mountains. They remind me of my hometown of Vancouver, and they add another level of exploration just outside the city. A short distance south of the Bay of Banderas, we toured the Hacienda El Divisadero and learned more about the production of Raicilla – a spirit similar to Tequila (read about it on page 42.) It is a great day trip from Puerto Vallarta and one I recommend you consider the next time you are in town.

For the past two years, this country has awed and inspired me on a nearly daily basis. My mother came to visit for a week this summer, and to escape the heat we did an impromptu road trip to Pátzcuaro in Michoacán (the state to which the Monarch butterflies migrate). Those two days only highlighted the fact that there is so much to see and appreciate in this country. To learn more about Pátzcuaro read the article on page 24.

As you plan for your holidays this winter, we encourage you to visit our advertisers and take advantage of their services. Many offer excellent package deals if you want to travel before the start of the holiday rush. As always, we welcome your comments. Please send us an email, we love to hear from you.

MExi-Go! ONLINE This fall we will relaunch our real estate listing and rentals site with information on travel, real estate and living in Mexico. Stay tuned!

Safe travels, Madeline

Special Contributor

SUBSCRIBE TODAY Love the feel of paper in your hands? The ease of reading a magazine on your deck? Then subscribe to Mexi-Go! Magazine today and enjoy the real thing!

$19.95 / 4 issues

10 Mexi-Go! Fall 2012

Jeffrey Obser Contributor, centerfold map of the Bay of Banderas A one-time California journalist who discovered an artistic bent in Mexico, “Mapa” Jeff first mapped Yelapa seven years ago -- and then took on the whole Bay of Banderas, town by town and street by street. His creations, including custom maps for business and rental owners, are on view at Jeff lives year-round in Puerto Vallarta.

Upcoming Events! Across Mexico there are exciting cultural, travel, food and investment events that are worth a visit. Here are some of our top picks!

Cervantino International Festival October 3-21 Often claimed as the most important cultural event in Mexico, the Cervantino International Festival in Guanajuato features avant-garde artistic performances and exhibitions of fine, classic and modern art. Countries from around the world are represented, with over two thousand national and international artists. You will find classical music and electronic rhythms, along with folkloric and contemporary dance, as well as plays and multimedia shows. Cinema, visual arts, workshops and activities for the kids can also be enjoyed throughout the festival.

Discover CENTRAL MEXICO Affordable Luxury Homes | Tropical Gardens Perfect Climate | Romantic Village Charm Come Join 10,000 Canadians Who Make Ajijic Their Home Trudie Nelson - Your Canadian Realtor (011) 52 376 766-1918

Oct 31 - Nov 2: Day of the Dead celebrations. Happening all over Mexico but Morelia, Michoacan is the most famous. Stay for the Festival de MĂşsica, Nov 16-25.

Nov 8 - 18: Puerto Vallarta Gourmet Festival. Enjoy gourmet safari and progressive dining (eating a different course at each stop) experiences as well as cooking demos, an international culinary symposium, wine and cheese tastings and more!

Nov 16 - 18: Feria Maestros del Arte, Ajijic, Jalisco. Not to be missed (He)art show of Mexican folk and indigenous art and crafts. Meet the artists, watch demos, enjoy Mexican cuisine and purchase exceptional quality art and handicrafts.

Nov 24 - 26: Jazz Festival, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, with the Wayne Shorter Quartet, among many others.

Dec 23: Noche de Rabanos (Day of the Radishes), Oaxaca, Oaxaca. Radish carving has been a talent in the this area for centuries. Start your Christmas holidays with a novel experience! 11


Ordering off a S Many visitors from all over the world do not understand Spanish on the local menus, although most establishments offer English versions. Some even have their menu available in French, Italian or German. But Spanish versions often have more accurate wording and descriptions. This mini dictionary of restaurant terms should provide you with the confidence to move beyond tacos and hamburguesas! Print a copy and carry it with you for dining occasions.

Meals Desayuno - breakfast, usually ends at noon. Comida - lunch and may offer set menu: comida corrida, which is Mexican fast food of a soup, entrée and agua fresca [fruit-flavoured water] of the day. Cena - dinner, usually starts at 5 or 6 PM. Abierto - open Cerrado - closed

Meats and Seafood

12 Mexi-Go! Fall 2012

Huachinango - red snapper   Huachinango Sarandeado - whole red snapper marinated in birria paste [roast peppers, garlic, spices] and grilled.   Huachinango a la Veracruzana - baked in tomatoes, olives, capers, garlic, onion and oregano.    Dorado - mahi mahi Atún - tuna Camarónes - shrimp Lagosta - lobster Ostiones - oysters Pulpo - octopus Pollo - chicken Pechuga - chicken breast Res - beef [State of Sonora is reputed to produce the best quality in Mexico] Bistek a la Méxicana - diced beef cooked with tomatoes, onion, garlic and jalapeño. Arrachera - beef flank steak, significantly tougher than other beef cuts, so many recipes use moist cooking methods such as braising. Machaca - beef or pork dried with chilies and other native spices, then rehydrated and pounded for tenderness. The reconstituted meat is used for flautas, tacos, burritos or on a plate with eggs, onions and peppers [chile verde or poblano].  Carne Asada - made from thin beef steak. The meat is marinated by rubbing with olive oil, salt, spices, lemon or lime juice, pepper and/or garlic before grilling. The meat can be served alone or chopped and used in tacos, burritos or quesadillas. It is often served with guacamole, grilled onions, black beans [frijoles negros] and fresh salsa. Carnitas - shredded pork seasoned heavily before slow braising or deep frying. At this stage, the meat has broken down sufficiently to allow it to be pulled apart by hand or fork or chopped with a cleaver. Served with chopped cilantro, diced onion, salsa, guacamole, tortillas, refried beans [frijoles refritos], lime and radishes. It can be a dish by itself or as an ingredient in tamales, tacos, tortas and burritos. Chuleta de puerco - pork chop Costillas - pork ribs, usually barbecued Lomo - pork loin Pato - duck Chorizo - spicy Mexican sausage

a Spanish Menu... Mexican Favorite Dishes and Entrées  Tampiqueña - Tampico-style of carne asada that is usually accompanied by a small portion of enchiladas or chilaquiles, refried beans and vegetables [often rajas: grilled slices of Poblano peppers]. Fajitas - grilled meat served as a taco on a flour or corn tortilla. The term originally referred to the cut of beef used in the dish that is known as skirt steak. Popular meats include chicken, pork, shrimp and beef, often cooked with onions and bell peppers. Popular condiments are shredded lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, salsas, cheese and tomato.  Quesadilla - flour or corn tortilla filled with a savory mixture containing cheese and other ingredients, then folded to form a half-moon shape. This dish originated in Mexico and the name is derived from the Spanish word queso [cheese]. Ceviche - made with fresh raw fish marinated in lemon or lime juice and spiced with chile peppers. Additional seasonings such as onion, salt, cilantro and pepper may also be added.  Aguachile - Spanish: "chile water", the spicy, tart cousin of ceviche, where acid cooks seafood in place of heat. In this case, star ingredients are only barely allowed to cure before being served cold and almost entirely raw.  Enchilada - corn or wheat tortilla rolled around a filling and covered with a chile pepper sauce. May be filled with a variety of ingredients including meat, cheese, beans, potatoes, vegetables, seafood or combinations. Tostada - flat or bowl-shaped [like a bread bowl] tortilla that is toasted or deep fried then filled with various items, especially lettuce which makes it salad-like. Sope - very thick tortilla with vegetables and meat toppings. The base is made from a circle of fried masa of ground maize soaked in lime [also used as the basis for tamales and tortillas], with pinched sides.   Huarache - oblong, fried masa base, with a variety of toppings, such as green or red salsa, onions, potato, cilantro and meat, then finished with queso fresco. Name is derived from the shape of the masa, similar to popular sandals.  Chilaquiles - corn tortillas cut in quarters and lightly fried are the basis. Green or red salsa is poured over the crisp tortilla triangles [totopos]. Mixture is simmered until the tortilla starts softening. Eggs [scrambled or fried] and pulled chicken are often added to the mix. The dish is topped with cheese [typically queso fresco] and/or sweet Mexican cream [crema] and served with refried beans. Torta - kind of sandwich served on an oblong 6-8 inch firm, crusty white sandwich roll called a bolillo, a torpedo-shaped French roll with a thick and crunchy crust. Chile Relleno - green chile pepper stuffed with minced meat and coated with eggs. Typically stuffed with melted cheese as queso Chihuahua or queso Oaxaca or with picadillo meat made of diced pork, raisins, nuts and canela, covered in the egg batter or simply corn masa flour, then fried. Although often served in a tomato sauce, the sauces vary. There are versions in Mexico using rehydrated dry chilies such as anchos or pasillas. Burrito - wheat flour tortilla wrapped or folded into a roughly cylindrical shape to completely enclose a filling of rice, refried beans, lettuce, salsa, meat, avocado, cheese and sour cream. Taco - formed by simply folding a tortilla in half around a filling, leaving the semicircular perimeter open and stuffed with cheese, pork, beef, chicken, seafood, fish, tongue, mushrooms and more. Tamale, also tamal - traditional dish made of masa [starchy dough, usually corn-based], which is steamed or boiled in a leaf wrapper. The wrapping is discarded before eating. They may be filled with meat, cheese, fruit, vegetables and chilies [often rajas].   Empanada - made by folding dough or bread around stuffing, which usually consists of a variety of meat, cheese, huitlacoche [corn fungus], vegetables or fruits. They are usually baked or fried. Volcán - modern twist on a beef, chicken or pork tostada served on a fried tortilla, made to suggest an erupting volcano.  

Author: Gary R. Beck, Puerto Vallarta, JAL.         


Art in its many wondrous forms By Juan de Lascurain

Cozumel Hotel B celebrates its first anniversary with a special week of events and workshops dedicated to art in Mexico. During a trip to Cozumel in 2011, I met Beatriz Tinajero, a Mexican entrepreneur who had just renovated the old ¨Fontan Hotel”, and renamed it ¨Hotel B Cozumel¨. The hotel is located in the north part of the island; the turquoise Caribbean waters and its well manicured landscape provide a relaxing and breathtaking experience. During my first conversation with Beatriz she told me of her vision for the hotel. She wanted to make it a place where she could promote the great artistic talent that Mexico has to offer. Before opening the hotel, she traveled to Oaxaca where she discovered Mexican artists whose works she could display and sell. The hotel is now filled with Mexican art including pottery, alebrijes and textiles from different regions. Beatriz also planned to host workshops in which both the local artists from Cozumel and the participants could learn new techniques and broaden their creative skills. It was an honour to be invited to be part of her first workshop event, along with Angelico Jimenez, who is a member of one of the first families that introduced alebrijes to the world. Alebrijes are brightly painted, carved, wooden fantastical creatures, originally crafted in papier mache by Pedro Linares of Mexico City. Now much of the craft is centred in Oaxaca. The workshop and exhibition were held over three days at the Hotel B, the attendees learned how to create their own alebrije, while I hoped to instill in them the use of technology in creating art. Having never seen anyone carve an alebrije, it was considerably more complicated than I expected. Everything starts with a block of wood and a machete. The looks on the participants’ faces in the crowd when Mr. Jimenez told them that each of them was going to do the same as he was doing was priceless. Taking the block of wood he told us that he was going to make a rabbit, then he grabbed the machete and started to work. After more than eight hours transforming the wood into a rabbit, it was

14 Mexi-Go! Fall 2012

time to paint with some impressive precision. Reminiscent of watching a Swiss watchmaker at work, it was great to see the participants become immersed in the craft and create their vision, obviously with the help of Mr. Jimenez and his son. Transitioning from the traditional to the modern, my workshop was not as specific about teaching a technique but more about teaching people how to discover their creative abilities and to believe in themselves. We started with the simple tools of a blank canvas and a pencil and after explaining how I had found my style and passion for painting by just doodling and following my creative instincts. After the first day of the workshop one of the ladies returned with a stack of her old paintings, she was all excited. “Juan” she said, “look! Here are my old paintings, which I don´t like. I went to bed at 3:00 am after painting this new piece by putting into practice what you taught us”. You could immediately see the difference between her old paintings and the new one; everyone was impressed! It was a great experience to see the work of Mr. Jimenez, his creations are sold all over the world. I tried to sit down and do an alebrije of my own but after a short time I realized that it was going to take many hours to compete my project. That´s when I realized that though we are both respected artists, our experiences have led us on two separate paths. Mr. Jimenez, an old school artist, patiently carves the creatures from the wood and painstakingly designs little designs for endless hours, creating amazing quality museum pieces. Whereas I, an artist from another generation, use technology to create art that is being commercialized and mass produced for retailers such as Wal-Mart and Office Max. Despite our different artistic paths, there remains a kindred spirit amongst artists working to create beauty and meaning in our world. Combined with the spectacular natural art of mother nature in Cozumel that weekend and the generosity of Beatriz and her Hotel B, the experience was one of appreciation and growth and of course good times, great food and wonderful new friends.

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Cultivating a purposeful vacation or how to do nothing and still keep your respect By Moralea Milne

I like to have a purpose when I travel and my love of natural history fuels a desire to search out experiences that have to do with nature. Currently I love to find butterflies, capture them in photos and try to identify them at my leisure. That interest has been expanding lately with the addition of some pretty cool bugs that I’ve stumbled across while out lepping (that’s butterfly speak for an activity that corresponds to birding - butterfly experts are known as lepidopterists). Just recently, while prowling through a friend’s garden in Ajijic, I happened across a most extraordinary bug (two actually) that were happily perusing the roses. Their bodies were brilliantly coloured in black, white, red and orange, in the design which reminded me of an African mask. Absolutely stunning! With a little help from Google and some friends, I discovered it is the fifth instar of the Giant Mesquite Bug. You have to hand it to Mother Nature, she has a fantastic imagination when it comes to the diversity of shape and form with which she has endowed all species. Another purpose that I have been cultivating is the search for the perfect coconut ice cream. Mexico is home to some of the most delicious ice cream in the world (called helado, pronounced and while you can find the old standbys of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry (and such a mouth wateringly sublime strawberry), they also have a huge palette of flavours that they have developed, using their vast array of locally grown tropical fruits and nuts. So, I have taken it upon myself to explore and savour, in every little town and village, their coconut ice cream. It’s not a difficult task, you can find an ice cream vendor or two at almost every Zacolo (town square), but the sheer number of vendors producing homemade ice cream means I will be at this, not so onerous task, for a long time to come! 15


Buying into the Dream: Property Ownership in Mexico By Audrey E. Royem Owning your own piece of paradise in Mexico is a dream-come-true for many of us who have grown weary of harsh winters and long, cool springs. However, there are important considerations to understand about property ownership in Mexico, in order to protect your financial investment. The most common ownership classifications of properties in Mexico are Pequeño Propiedad and Ejido. Pequeño Propiedad is titled property. The property is registered at the Public Registry where the owner´s name, beneficiaries and any grievances on the property are listed. The owner has certain inalienable rights over his/her property. This is the type of property you, as a foreigner, should consider purchasing. As an alien, you are allowed to directly own property, unless it is Ejido land or in a restricted area. Land located in the restricted area, within fifty kilometers from oceans and 100 kilometers from international borders, may still be purchased. It will be held for you in a trust, called a fideicomiso. Pequeño propiedad can be held in trust or through a Mexican Corporation. This is the most common way for a foreigner to hold a property in the restricted areas.

A fideicomiso functions just like most trusts, where the trustee holds the asset for the beneficiary, in this case a Mexican bank holds the property for you. The bank holds the title for a small, yearly fee, yet you have all the rights associated with the property: you can sell, gift, build, and enjoy the property. While this is unlike Canadian or US ownership, this is a very safe, secure option. An alternative is to create a corporation to hold the property, although this is only for income producing properties and is not recommended unless the property earns a specific threshold of income. Some foreigners own Ejido land, but it is risky. Ejido land is land that has been deeded to a group of Mexicans, like a community or communities. It is similar to a Native Indian Reservation, but its intended use is farming. A notary once said to me, ¨You wouldn´t consider buying reservation land in your country would you? Then why do it in Mexico¨? Ejido land is often cheaper, but it does not have a title and thus clear ownership, nor can it legally be sold because Ejido members are only granted the uso fructo, or use. To get around this, Ejido land is held by a prestanombre or a Mexican who lends their name to your deed. In some cases, Ejido land can be titled, however costs and time involved are difficult to assess at the onset. Determining what options are best for your situation should be discussed with your real estate agent and notary.


September 7TH & 8TH, 2012 Vancouver Convention Centre

Live Your Tropical Dream!

Travel to Mexico! Retire to Mexico!

Admission: $5 with $1 donated to the Lorena Ochoa Foundation. Register online for your free two-day pass.

The right information and a knowledgeable team can greatly influence your success while navigating through Mexico’s unique Legal, Social, Financial & Cultural landscapes. Whether starting a business, investing in property or relocating, Audrey International will make you feel comfortable and confident while mitigating risks and extra costs.

“It’ “It´s always best to do it right the first time.” Join us at the Mexi-Go! Travel &Trade Expo for 2 days of educational seminars on living in Mexico, retiring to Mexico, opening a business in Mexico and much more! Enjoy exclusive travel deals, great prizes, food, tequila, mariachi, traditional dancers while you browse our exhibitors to learn more about what this amazing country holds for you!

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Opportunity from Adversity

Out of adversity comes opportunity. — Ben Franklin (1706-1790) On the last Sunday in August, 2010, Dr. Barbara Davidson, a family physician, her husband Blair, and their family, spent the afternoon at Playa Los Muertos in Puerto Vallarta. “There is a long, high pier at this beach, where the young people like to dive off the end and swim back to shore,” states Barbara. A dedicated and passionate father, Blair agreed to take his two daughters. “Anna was only nine years old at the time, so Blair had to help her swim back to the beach.” It was that swim that would change the direction of their lives forever. While Blair and Anna swam back, he knew something was wrong. When Blair reached the sand he concentrated only on making it to a chair next to his wife. “He collapsed in the chair, said ‘Something’s wrong,’ then lost consciousness. The next forty-five seconds were terrifying, until Blair suddenly shook his head, opened his eyes, mumbled a bit and then said, ‘What happened?’” Blair had experienced an episode of syncope, a transient loss of consciousness. The echocardiogram revealed that he suffered from severe aortic stenosis. The three classic symptoms of aortic stenosis are shortness of breath from heart failure, chest pain, and syncope. However, in 4% of patients with aortic stenosis, the first symptom is sudden death, usually during strenuous exertion; without effective treatment, the average life expectancy is less than three years after the onset of chest pain or syncope symptoms. “The cardiologist told Blair, ‘I have good news and bad news.’ The bad news is that you have aortic stenosis. The good news is that your heart has not sustained any permanent damage, and the stenosis can be surgically corrected with replacement of the aortic valve.’” Blair and Barbara were urged not to delay in seeking surgical treatment. Living in Mexico and being self insured, Barbara and Blair had to explore all their options. “Here in Mexico, there are so many choices available to patients – first among physicians, and then among facilities where those doctors can practice. The best surgeons can operate in any of the top hospitals in the country, so that decision can be made based on preferences, be it economic, choices of amenities, city, etc.” During this exploration, the name Dr. Octavio Victal came up again and again as being one of the best cardiothoracic surgeons in Mexico, with an international reputation. He would be the surgeon that performed Blair’s procedure. “We chose a relatively small hospital in Guadalajara which offered excellent value, and were extremely pleased with the quality of care and personal attention Blair received. The total cost for everything associated with the surgery was around $30,000, almost exactly what we were quoted beforehand. In the

U.S., we would have paid between $150,000 and $200,000 for the same surgery, and probably had a less pleasant experience.” On Thursday, four days after Blair experienced syncope, Dr. Victal replaced his aortic valve. By Saturday, Blair was not only out of the ICU and recovering in his room, but he and Barbara had begun discussions with Dr. Victal which would ultimately culminate in a venture that would offer to other Americans and Canadians what they had just experienced – timely, high-quality, affordable surgical care. “Dr. Victal knew that I was a physician and that we had significant business experience in the U.S. He expressed an understanding of the growing number of people in Canada and the U.S. who are in need of cardiothoracic surgery that is affordable and immediate.” Blair and Barbara returned home and over the next six months Barbara began to research the “medical tourism” industry, and to talk extensively with Dr. Victal. “All of our initial discussions centered around the theme of what we would do differently. We wanted to focus on ways that patients can attain the freedom and choice that they ought to have when they choose to take control of their own healthcare.” Drs. Davidson and Victal incorporated International Surgeons of the Americas (ISA Surgical) at the beginning of 2012, with Canadian partners. “We are only about surgeons and patients, who of course will both be supported by the patient’s primary care physician. We have surgeons in our network in fifteen areas of surgical practice, all of the professional caliber of Dr. Victal, all who can operate at a variety of hospitals, and all of whom really care that patients not only receive the best quality of care available in the world, but also that they receive good economic value.” Blair is now two years past his surgery, has a perfectly functioning heart, and is once again living life to the fullest. The philosophy of ISA Surgical has emerged from Blair and Barbara’s experience and that of Dr. Victal, as patient, spouse, primary care physician, and surgeon. “Our goal is to help patients navigate through all that is out there to find the best surgeons, who are operating in a manner that provides the best value for the patient. Medicine practiced this way is very satisfying to all involved, and we want to pass that experience on to others.”

©2012 International Surgeons of the Americas. 17

The Charm of Sonora

18 Mexi-Go! Fall 2012

The setting sun over San CarLos, Sonora, Mexico 19

The sun paints Sonora every day, illuminating its major cities, beaches and the mountains. Giant sunset landscapes, that many have captured in pictures and photographs, in an attempt to preserve the red light of the sky, join together the enigmatic beauty of the sea and mountains with its rich flora and fauna. Located in the northwest of Mexico, Sonora’s wide geography, second in size after Chihuahua, is a juxtaposition of red earth and blue oceans, ragged mountain peaks and long swaths of white sand beach. Seeped in cowboy culture, Sonora holds a special relationship with the cowboy culture of Western Canada. The border city of Nogales is the gateway to the famous Route of the Missions, founded by the Jesuit missionary Eusebio Francisco Kino. There are twelve municipalities aong the route that have preserved the churches and historical legacy of Kino that incude, Trincheras, Sonoyta, Caborca, Pitiquito, Altar, Oquitoa, Atil, Tubutama, Saric, Imuris , Cucurpe, Santa Ana and Magdalena de Kino. Another popular tourist route is the Ruta Sierra Mar which begins at the charming Puebla Magico of Álamos and ends at the beaches of Huatabampo. This route gives visitors a chance to view many of the unique landscapes of Sonora. Nogales, is considered the front door to Mexico for tourists from Arizona. Its wide range of restaurants and shopping has grown in conjunction with the growth of the maquiladora sector (manufacturing free trade zone). The sea, desert, mountains and vegetation welcome tourists with their beauty that is compounded by the warmth of the people and the many outdoor activities ranging from scuba diving, fishing, swimming, biking, mountaineering, hiking, hunting, and ecological and cultural tourism. The business tourism sector has become increasingly important in the capital city of Hermosillo and in other cities such

20 Mexi-Go! Fall 2012

as Guaymas, Ciudad Obregon, Navojoa and Nogales. The Sea of Cortez is undoubtedly one of the biggest attractions of the State of Sonora. Sonora’s major tourist attraction are its beaches, especially San Carlos, Puerto Peñasco, Bahía Kino and the Gulf of Santa Clara in San Luis Río Colorado. Puerto Peñasco is a resort town popular with tourists from Arizona. It offers natural beauty, 110 kms of pristine beaches and amenities of every kind; restaurants, nightclubs and easy communication. San Carlos has a large variety of sea life off its shores, making it popular for sports fishing and scuba diving. A large number of species make Sonora a must visit for the eco and adventure tourist including bighorn sheep, pronghorn, coyote, hare, ocelot, black bear, mountain lion, badger, wild cat, deer, and larks, owls, roadrunners, hawk, owl, dove and quail. In desert regions, Sonora has a great variety of vegetation such as saguaro, mesquite, white wood, ironwood, palo verde and torote. At the highest peaks of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain chain you will find forests of pine, fir and oak very similar to the forests of the British Columbia interior. Eight indigenous people still populate this area including the Yaquis, Mayos, Guarijios, Tohono O’odham and Seri, and their many customs have been well preserved. Their traditions continue to be practiced on a daily basis and you can enjoy their songs, clothing and dishes in their ceremonial centers. For music lovers, the Alfonso Ortiz Tirado Festival (Jan 20-28, 2013), attracts 80,000 visitors to enjoy salsa, classical, indigenous and popular music. Held in Alamos, the only colonial city in the state, it showcases international performers as well as honouring individual musicians. Sonora is waiting to welcome you, safe and with open arms.

Sonora, Mexico UPCOMING EVENTS Centro Ecológico de Sonora ~ Open year round In settings recreating Sonoran ecosystems, the zoo and botanical garden are seven km south of central Hermosillo. Showcasing an array of plants and wildlife from Sonora’s mountains, deserts and prairies. Sept 17 to 25 (Copper Canyon) November 4-10 (Alamos) Birding tours offered (for a cost) by Solipaso:

ViLLa Hidago

October 5 to 7 San Carlos’ Cantina Cup International Game Fish Tournament. Sanctioned by the International Game Fish Association. November 10 to 13 Rocky Point Rally Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, An annual motorcycle event that raises money for charities. End of January, 2013


Alamos Cultural Festival - Festival Cultural Dr. Alfonso Ortiz Tirado Alamos, Sonora This important annual festival has an emphasis on operatic singing and chamber music, but popular music and other art forms are also featured. MORE TRAVEL INFORMATION:


A family secret:

mid-October when the summer heat is waning and late June before it gets uncomfortably hot again.

Santa Rita Hot Springs

This is an easy day trip from Los Cabos, Todos Santos, or La Paz, but if you would like to spend the night, there is a very private and lovely little palo d’arco house to rent for overnight stays as well. It’s a short walk through the trees on a rocky path to the springs. Think funky cabin, with some sparse furniture. There are immaculate outhouses available for use, as well as another one situated closer to the springs. You have to bring in your own linens and camping supplies. The nearest mountain village, Santiago, has a little mercado (store), a gas station, a beautiful church, a pharmacy, and the only zoo in Baja! If you plan to stay over, best to do your shopping prior to arriving at the rancho. After all that delicious soaking and floating in such healing waters, you probably won’t feel much like getting dressed to go eat somewhere. And the star show at night just adds to the romance. You might also get lucky and be in the area when the local rancheros decide to hold impromptu horse races…an experience that is lively and unforgettable.

by Wendy Rains


he protected Biosphere in the Sierra La Laguna mountain range between San Jose del Cabo and La Paz in the southern tip of Baja California Sur is a nature lover’s paradise. Besides magnificent waterfalls, there are magical hot springs in hidden places to discover. Santa Rita is one of those. You must have permission to enter this private property, and it is not easy to obtain, since the owner, Braulio, has no phone! You either have to just show up and ask, (good luck finding them on your own), or go through an adventure company, who can escort you and arrange for entrance. These are probably the best hot springs in Baja. Broulio’s family arrived in 1916 and the springs were their secret for many years. These are thermal springs, not volcanic, so the water is very soft and crystal clear with a slight hint of sulphur in the air. Thirty years ago, Broulia cemented one of the pooled areas of water, in order to make it easier to maintain and keep clean. One year a hurricane brought boulders down into it, and created one of the most fantastic almost natural environments ever seen. Broulio installed a pipe to drain the pool to clean it every Friday…and it miraculously fills up again through a small crack in the surrounding granite wall, rising from a very deep four kilometers below the earth! The water temperature hovers around 35ºC in winter and gets as high as 49ºC in summer, so it’s best to plan your excursion between

Both the nearby Rancho Sol de Mayo waterfalls and the Santa Rita Hot Springs are part of the efforts of six or seven different Mexican government agencies and eco groups, that have provided funding incentives for people living in the protected Biosphere region, to be stewards of the land in perpetuity. It is heartening to know that some Mexican government officials and the local rancheros appreciate that there is money to be made through eco-tourism and doing things “green and right”.

To arrange an excursion to Rancho Santa Rita, contact Sergio Jáuregui of Todos Santos Eco Adventures, in Mexico: 52 612 145 0189, US: 619446-6827 or Email: 23

A cool relief Pátzcuaro, Michoacán Most of Mexico’s vast expat community arrive in the fall, exchanging cold, sleet and snow for a relaxed lifestyle, free of winter jackets, snow shovels and slippery ice. Typically they head home in March or April, ready to reengage in a more temperate spring and summer. However, for those who stay year round, or for the knowledgeable summer travelers, Mexico offers so much more than overwhelming summer heat. They head to the plateaus and mountains where the higher altitudes provide more moderate temperatures. Pátzcuaro, a historic town situated about three hours southwest of Guadalajara, at an elevation of approximately 2164 m (7,100 ft) has been designated one of Mexico’s Pueblos Mágicos. Visiting at the end of July, when most of the North American continent was baking in an oppressive heat wave, the temperature was a pleasant 22ºC (71ºF), everyone was comfortable wearing jeans and lightweight sweaters, many elegantly draped in one of the locally handcrafted shawls.

24 Mexi-Go! Fall 2012

cream, made with milk, cinnamon, almonds and honey. Michoacán is renowned for the quality of its ice cream; in Pátzcuaro the vendors use fresh fruit, real sugar and rich cream and prepare dozens of delicious flavours that will test anyone’s resolve.

Founded centuries before Spanish colonisation, Pátzquaro, known in pre-Hispanic times as the “Entrance to Paradise”, exudes ancient history, colonial architecture and charm in equal measure. The entire town is painted white and red, which lends a pleasing harmony and it is clean and tidy, which reassures our North American sensibilities.

Pátzcuaro, the magical village, and the surrounding lakeside deserve a few days of your time, at the least. Indulge your senses at La Casa Encantada, a centuries old hacienda style B&B that is overflowing with comfort, tranquility, art and charm. The staff and service are exemplary, the beds luxurious and the breakfast delicious…I’ll see you there next summer!

The town is located at the south end of Lake Pátzcuaro, famous for its islands and white fish. Isla de Juanitzio, with its towering statue of the hero José María Morelos, can be seen clearly from the shore. The lake, the extensive wetlands and the forested hillsides have contributed to a rich diversity of wildlife and an endangered salamander, known only from the lake. Birding is enjoyed in the area, more than 200 species frequent the wetlands, some endemic to the area.

Bishop Vasco de Quiroga had the cathedral (now a Basilica) of Nuestra Señora de la Salud (Our Lady of Health) constructed in the sixteenth century over a pre-Hispanic ceremonial site and it remains in use today. Pilgrims flock to the Basilica to ask the Virgin of Health to aid in the wellbeing of loved ones. The Gertrudis Bocanega Library, named after a woman executed for her participation in the Mexican War of Independence, is housed in an equally venerable building, the Ex Temple of San Agustin, which was founded in the 16th century. Pátzcuaro on market day is a cacophony of sound and colour, with hundreds of stalls selling every fruit and vegetable imaginable, as well as day-to-day products and high quality local handicrafts. Nearby rustic villages have specialized in certain types of goods; Santa Clara del Cobre is famous for its coppersmithing; Erongarícuaro for its woodwork; and Paracho for guitars; you will find stoneworks, pottery, agricultural products, wovens, and many forms of arts and crafts as you wend your way around the lake. Corn is an important crop and tamales are de riguer when you visit. Savour one with a hot chocolate and top off your repast with a pasta ice

Pueblos Mágicos With the romantic and intriguing description of Pueblos Mágicos (Magic Villages), the Mexican government is promoting the preservation of the natural beauty, cultural richness and historical relevance of many of its towns and villages. Along with the right to a Pueblo Mágicos designation comes government funding that can be used to develop discrete tourism initiatives and help protect the authentic qualities that have made these communities so special. To date fifty-four Pueblos Mágicos has been recognized, not surprising from a country so blessed in history, beauty and tradition. 25

one day in the heart of Puerto Vallarta Exploring a slice of Mexico outside of the resort Puerto Vallarta, one of Mexico’s leading tourist destinations, is home to some of the world’s most luxurious resorts. Most travelers come here to relax in the sun with a margarita. It makes for a great holiday. Yet a seasoned traveler knows part of the charm of Puerto Vallarta is outside the confines of the resort walls. Adventure awaits those who travel downtown and walk the cobblestone streets of the city. Whether your interests are in art, culture, or cuisine, with the plan below, you’ll find Puerto Vallarta memorable for more than just fun in the sun. Author, Craig Zabrinsky Photography, Craig Zabrinsky

26 Mexi-Go! Fall 2012 27

A Holy Sunrise

An Avenue of Art – the Malecon.

Start the day at Los Arcos in the heart of the city, on the Malecón, and head up one block from the water to Juarez. Make a right and start walking towards Our Lady of Guadalupe.

After your hearty meal, head back down to the water and walk the newly renovated pedestrian-only Malecón. A leisurely stroll will allow time to view and admire Puerto Vallarta’s love affair with art.

If it’s perfectly timed, the morning sun will shine directly through the tower that holds the church’s iconic crown. It’s a little magic to start your day. More than a Cooking Class Continue your stroll and build up an appetite on the twenty-minute walk to El Arrayan (Allende 344). Arrive hungry for the 9am-3pm cooking class because the first “lesson” is not in the kitchen but at local breakfast favorite, El Taquito Hidalguensa. Order the Barbacoa de Borrego (sheep) tacos and your taste buds will appreciate a different side of Puerto Vallarta. After breakfast, your lessons will continue, making stops at the town’s different markets where you’ll learn about key ingredients used in Mexican cuisine. Participants will take special notice of all the forms and variety of peppers--hot, hotter, and hottest. The class also gives you a peek inside two different tortilla factories (one flour and one corn) to compare, contrast, and of course, sample. Only then does Carmen, owner of El Arrayan, unlock the kitchen door and give participants aprons to start making lunch, alongside her chefs . You’ll know you’re still on holiday when halfway through the cooking lesson, classic margarita is served and the table set for everyone to indulge in their culinary creations.

28 Mexi-Go! Fall 2012

My recommendation: head back in the direction of Los Arcos (make a left) and enjoy life-size sculptures on nearly every other block. And in the middle of it all, the symbol of Puerto Vallarta, the seahorse, stands tall. Although located in a new spot, the seashorse has been commanding the waterfront since the 1970s. Mariachi, a Chelada and the Sunset. A visit to Puerto Vallarta (or anywhere in Mexico) isn’t complete without a little romance. Continue the walk past Los Arcos, along the water, and cross the bridge to head deep into old town and Zona Romantica. Stop at one of the many beachfront bars, sit under a straw-roofed talapa and quench your thirst. Order a chelada; your beer of choice with lime-juice, ice, and a salted rim. It’s the perfect way to refresh and recharge. (Note: This “beer-rita” is also known as a Michelada in other parts of Mexico). Here on Playa de los Muertos, mariachi musicians roam the beach, waiting to entertain. The songs often delight the festive crowd and prices can start between sixty and eighty pesos (bundled purchase helps price negotiation). Romantic songs seem to work best to set the

mood as the sun starts its descent. Settle in, even take a swim in the Bay of Banderas but definitely stay to watch the sunset. Food is available and very reasonable in this part of town and can make for a simple, yet lovely dinner Heat up the Night with Salsa Lessons After the sun sets, the night heats up and a little Latin spice can be found in the seaside town’s salsa dancing. Before the dance floors become crowded, book time with Marcella for a salsa lesson. The Latin Motion PV instructor offers lessons for all levels. I recommend the basic eight-step salsa, with some side steps for the beginner or more flair and flirtatious steps for the more adept. Marcella can meet for a lesson near Los Arcos (she selects excellent outdoor locations) or can access studio space. And after the lesson, it is always important to practice, so now get dancing! Ask Marcella to guide you to where the best salsa music is playing. Start with Tacos, end with Tacos With all the calories burned on the dance floor, a hunger may develop for a late night snack. My favorite of course, tacos. Take the short and safe taxi ride to Pepe’s Tacos, located behind the Pemex (gas station) and prepare to feast. The kitchen arguably serves up the some of the best tacos in town. Pepe’s is not often packed with tourists, but a few knowledgeable ones always find their way. You too have found your way around the cobblestone streets of this inviting seaside city. You’ve had a great day learning and experiencing firsthand the art, culture, and cuisine of Puerto Vallarta. Be sure to tell your friends at poolside tomorrow morning of the adventure you had, outside resort walls!. 29

Make It, Bake It, Grow It:

she dreamt of a life under the big city lights. She eventually made her way to the glittering lights of Calgary and then Victoria, where she put into practice the “get it done” spirit she had learned as a child. Charlotte opened a restaurant and taught herself to tend bar. She also owned bookstores, a tanning salon, a consignment shop and even founded Victoria Women in Need Society (WIN).

Canadian woman spearheads the successful

During her time in Victoria, Charlotte was reintroduced to eating locally grown food by a friend who was a part of the Moss Street Farmers’ Market evolution. In 2003, with a friend’s help, Charlotte transformed her yard into a feast of edible landscaping. Rows of artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower, purple potatoes and chives lined her front and back yards. Charlotte had come full circle as a fan of the farm-to-table concept.

Puerto Vallarta’s Old Town Farmers Market by Erin Staley


is the international rhythms and the aroma of fresh Mexican coffee that greet visitors long before stepping through the entry way of Puerto Vallarta’s Old Town Farmers’ Market–Tianguis Cultural. The sights and sounds will draw you in, but it’s the sense of community that will invite visitors to stay.

The Old Town Farmers’ Market lives by a “Make it, Bake It, Grow It” philosophy. From the first Saturday in November to the last in May, the Market offers aisles of colorful produce, aromatic flowers, handmade soaps, wooden toys, delicately wrapped chocolates, freshly baked artisan bread, and handcrafted jewelry. Over ninety vendors share their products and produce with travelers from all over the world, making the Farmers Market one of Vallarta’s must-see attractions. And who’s the mastermind behind such a successful venture? Canada’s petite firecracker, Charlotte Semple, commonly known in the Market as “The Manifestor”. One might think this Northern Alberta native was the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, but really Charlotte is the driving force behind a movement much greater than herself: building something for the good of the earth and the community. This self-proclaimed “farm girl at heart” is simply going back to her roots. Charlotte was raised on a “stick farm”. Her father worked in a town of 250 people, driving a school bus, and her mother could always be found in the garden. Charlotte often watched her mother bring produce to the table, but like many children,

30 Mexi-Go! Fall 2012

In 2005, Charlotte and her partner, Carole Fast, decided to give Mexico a go. Their plan was to semi-retire along the Banderas Bay and open an artisan chocolate shop. They created a full life for themselves in Puerto Vallarta, complete with a condo, a new business and plenty of community involvement; however, something was missing—a Farmers’ Market. “There are a lot of wonderful things for sale in Mexico, and a lot of things that the tourists like, but everything looked really similar. There was a lack of contact directly with the creator of the product. The markets I had been involved with in Canada—Salt Spring Market, where I often went and the Moss Street Market, where I was a vendor—had a ‘Make it, Bake it, Grow it’ philosophy. You really had to be hands on.” Like any good idea, the Farmers’ Market blossomed into a movement. Within two weeks, Charlotte had a venue at a community center in the heart of the Zona Romantica neighborhood. Together with thirty vendors and a handful of volunteers, Charlotte opened the Old Town Farmers’ Market. It was a hit, with over 600 people in attendance. The Market stayed open until the rainy season, after which Charlotte became a student of all things “Farmers’ Market”. She investigated similar Canadian and American markets, searching for ways to better serve the needs of Vallarta and the vendors.

Now preparing for its fourth season, the Market – Tianguis Cultural has become a staple of Vallarta living. It reflects the charm of the area known as the “friendliest city in the world”. International vendors support each other in the spirit of entrepreneurship and community. While Charlotte may be the face of the Farmers’ Market, she is quick to credit the dedication of the many volunteers and vendors who commit to presenting quality “Make It, Bake It, Grow It” products. When asked about her favorite Farmers’ Market moment, Charlotte was quick to say it came in early 2012. “They had set a goal to have 5,000 people come to the Market, and in the midst of the vendors with the music playing and people milling around—all those years of work, struggle, conflict—in that moment, everything had manifested,” she said. Overwhelmed and with tears in her eyes, Charlotte allowed herself to feel a sense of pride. Their goal had been achieved. And with a brush of her cheek, she was off again, helping the visitors at the Old Town Farmers’ Market.




Already, Vallarta grown produce was organic, as many farmers lacked the funds to buy chemicals. Also, many local artisans were searching for ways to start their own businesses. Finally, Charlotte was convinced there was a need for “back to the land” shopping. Naturally, she adopted the “Make It, Bake It, Grow It” philosophy and opened the Farmers’ Market for its second season.

The Bay of Banderas’ most COMPLETE AND FUN

Nuevo Vallarta Puerto Vallarta: Bucerías & La Cruz -Conchas Chinas -Versalles & Fluvial Sayulita & San Pancho Cabo Corrientes -Pitillal & Marina COMING IN 2013: BAY OF BANDERAS ROAD ATLAS 31












Volcàn9796 de Tequila FEET

Ixtlàn del Rio 120


tlàn Maza






San Sebastiàn del Oeste 60






Riv i

Las Varas

San Blas 110


Lo de Marcos 35



Valle de Banderas

Ixtapa 10

Rio Ame ca


yar it




Rincòn de Guayabitos


Las Palmas

 PVR Nuevo Airport Vallarta 3

Bucerías 16


La Cruz de Huanacaxtle


San Pancho 32 Sayulita



Bay of


Punta Mita 30

Marietas Islands

Central Pacific Mexico Puerto Vallarta, Bay of Banderas, and Inland


Road distances in miles from the central plaza of Puerto Vallarta 32 Mexi-Go! Fall 2012







Ajijic 270

Colima ➚

54 Ameca



Autlàn Barr

a de


Las Cruces



Talpa de Allende



o Vallarta ➚

R ort

Los Arcos Mismaloya ➙ 8

Botanical Gardens of P.V. 12

Melaque/ Barra de Navidad 130

El Tuito

Boca de Tomatlàn




Quimixto Chacala


of Banderas

15 (boat)



re g e l a t os



Chimo 20 (boat)


Mayto 55

S Corrales


Cabo Corrientes 33 WWW.MAPAJEFF.COM


to all of our sponsors, exhibitors and attendees. We look forward to seeing you again at the next Mexi-Go! Expo. Happy travels, The Mexi-Go! Team


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Nothing like a fixer-upper to bring you out of retirement! New lifestyles engage retired investors in more than just lounging on the beach By: Victoria Leigh Pratt


learned one of my favourite Spanish words, “desarmador”, while finishing the details of our little home in the Pacific coast town of Bucerias. Our charming contractor had left us with a some unfinished surprises but it was nothing that a few local handymen and my broken Spanish couldn’t fix. In my English-thinking brain, this tongue twister of a word sounded closest to “disarmed”. Hmm, where had I heard that before? Aha, that was the translation for Screwdriver on the local cocktail menus. Well, I wasn’t far off: disarm=undo=unscrew. Oh, I love languages! The experience of owing a home in Mexico has been extremely satisfying, especially the pleasure of decorating and going on to make

additions over the years. The excitement of acquiring the beautiful art work and handicrafts so abundant in Mexico; adapting the Spanish, Moorish and contemporary architectural styles to one’s liking; boldly using colour; and incorporating water and landscaping elements are most certainly the shared attractions of many who come to coastal Mexico with thoughts of planting their feet firmly in the sand. As a realtor, I’ve had the pleasure of assisting a number of recent buyers who’ve each found the right place to articulate their individual ambitions of turning the proverbial sow’s ear into a silk purse. Whether the vision came before or after identifying the property, the common thread was that the real estate had to represent good value and the investment needed to leave margin for improvements that would, in turn, add further value. Essential to the mix was enjoyment and a new style of living that reflects their personal tastes. Their interests, backgrounds and the projects they invented for themselves offer a nice contrast in ventures.

Hire-a-pro reno



Project: The buyer sought a below-market house or condo in a popular zone that would provide good rental income and upside for the future. Her style preference was Mexican over modern. Rather than pay the premium for a renovated unit that originally caught her attention in a well-located and charming complex near the Romantic Zone of Puerto Vallarta, she saw an opportunity in a dated apartment in the same building that was closer to her budget but would require renovations to become the “prettier sister”. Who: A retired financial planner from Colorado with a warm spot in her heart for Mexico, but there’d be no frivolousness in this foreign acquisition. With an appreciation for Mexican design and décor, but limited time to execute a project personally, this businesswoman was open to engaging a pro.


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Strategy: An aggressive offer and frugal renovation expenditure were the formula to contain the overall investment and turn this property into an attractive

vacation rental, which the owner’s family will also be able to enjoy for personal use. Opportunity and results: The owner selected designer Gabriela Ortiz for her practical ideas and methods to change outdated finishes without major demolition. Ortiz loves to help redesign a home using things one already has. In this case she smoothed heavily textured walls with a new semi-polished finish, modified cabinets and countertops while avoiding a generic result, repainted furniture to completely change the look and added authentic lighting to notch up the style and mood. Finally, if the view over Los Muertos beach wasn’t already to die for, this designer knocked us out with a super-sized built-in terrace mirror, reflecting even more expanse of the active bay inward. Future: The updates on this unit will help preserve its value in the resale market, giving it an alluring style and distinctness against more generic properties.

Do-it-yourself makeover Project: A hands-on transformation of a bungalow in the fishing and marina town of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. The owner applied her manual skills and design sense to rehab blahlooking features of the home and furniture that came with it. Further improvements could be phased in as time, money and inspiration permit. Strategy: The buyer wanted a property in obvious need of care with the idea of obtaining it at an advantageous price. It should have the potential for expansion or adding features she didn’t want to pay for up front, such as a pool or rooftop terrace. Who: A Canadian custom linen manufacturer and retailer who loves painting anything she can get her hands on (even rocks), has a green thumb and is technically adept. Opportunity and results: Location just a couple of blocks from a world-class marina and miles of beach, a double-sized lot, good bones and all the expansion potential the buyer hoped for were the assets on which she would capitalize, adding value to a spare feeling house through decor and functionality. This home was cleaned up, dressed up and adorned with the owner’s very personal, distinct colour palette and a host of simple changes to give it way more curb appeal and bring forth its Mexican charm. Along with new paint inside and out, Rustico furniture that was sturdy but without character, was refinished with pleasingly com-




bined coloured stains. A similar treatment to kitchen cupboards transformed what seemed to be a lost cause into an agreeable country kitchen. Simple practical reconfigurations were made in bathrooms and bedrooms, such as converting a section of closet to create a desk niche. So as not to tax the budget, the renovated furniture was covered with linens from her personal line. Task lighting, art and chachkas now give it a warm, personal, lived-in feel.


Front and back patios were turned into outdoor lounge areas and plants have given softness to a boxy bungalow. Rusted iron gates were transformed with new paint into welcoming portals—just the right frosting on this cake. Future: The owner will add a good-sized pool in the large backyard and build a second level, which is structurally viable and will give her a view of the ocean, not to mention doubling the living space.



master plan.

The whole enchilada Project: A couple already living full time in Banderas Bay imagined operating small vacation cottages or a B&B. They welcomed an ambitious endeavour—either renovating or expanding an existing property or building from scratch. I found them a house in the growing pueblo of La Cruz on a large lot, that was wonderfully located, fronting the new Marina Riviera Nayarit, and had three efficiency units that needed cohesion, amenities and a strong dose of style to give it charm, purpose and functionality. Who: A retired American who has served around the world as V.P. of an international oil exploration firm (now a fishing and surf fanatic) and his wife, a native Indonesian with a hospitality background. Strategy: The buyers identified that the property would require multiplying and improving the existing units to create a viable tourism operation. Preliminary research with professionals determined there was sufficient flexibility on the land use and possible building modifications to allow them to develop a feasible

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Opportunity and results: Two boxy one-level buildings were well built and designed by the previous owners to allow additional levels of construction. Chopped up interiors were adaptable to reconfiguration. Its location in a mixed-use zone would allow converting its use from residential to a vacation rental and retail operation. The lot benefitted from street access on both front and rear boundaries. Views to the local marina and ocean would be possible from upper levels. Local architect Fernando Flores Delgado designed multiple lodging units in a Pacific Coast Mexican style that can be built in phases. The owners will build the first phase, which will render three attractive suites, a rooftop lounge and a small retail space where they can sell imported furniture suited to the tropics. Grounds will be enhanced with a swimming pool—an essential amenity—and a fountain feature. Future: Phase one should give the owners enough lodgings to start building their business. Its visual appeal in a prominent location near the flourishing marina will be an inherent marketing tool

The Professionals Victoria Pratt, Realtor Pacific Boutique Properties Bucerias, Nayarit T: +52 329 298 2522 C: +521 322 779 9283

Gabriela Ortiz, Interior Designer GO Studio Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit T. +52 322 297 0612 C. +521 322 227 6380

Fernando Flores Delgado, Architect F2D Taller de Arquitectura Bucerias, Nayarit T: +52 329 298 0942 C. +521 333 100 4947 39

A popular spot on the beach for locals and tourists.

Moving to Mexico One Canadian woman’s week long Mexico vacation becomes the move of a lifetime. By Gary R. Beck


icture this: A single woman living and operating a restaurant successfully in Toronto Ontario for fifteen years, goes to Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico on a week vacation in January 2010, meets a local young lady, Sabrina Leyva, and they hit it off. She is told that a beach restaurant is for sale and she wonders if this is the next move for her, both professionally and socially. Back home, she wires a deposit on the locale, arrives three months later and takes it over. She uses her Canadian experience to operate a restaurant in another country. The challenges include learning Spanish, business rules and regulations, labour laws and cultural mores.

Her name is Colette Zarry. When one meets her, the essence of her enthusiasm and vitality is readily apparent. Her life is good; she has constructed it according to her belief that how you treat a person will mirror the same back to you. Her restaurant, Langostinos, is located right on Los Muertos beach in the Romantic Zone of Puerto Vallarta, beside the newly re-built pier. It is a casual place for relaxing and sampling the menu, which features fabulous international and Mexican fare with fresh seafood daily. Developing the menu, of which she is justly proud, involved retaining the dishes she loved and working with the chefs to change or upgrade other items. Among her favorites are the Greek salad with house-made dressing, bruschetta, top quality filet mignon and rib eye, and spicy Diabla or garlic shrimp. Colette also loves their seafood pasta with octopus, shrimp and scallops. She is pleased with the results and customers’ responses. Ever-changing, she works to perfect her offerings continually.

The ambiance and location makes it the perfect place to spend the day on this famous people-watching beach or enjoy an evening Collette and friend enjoy cocktails at Lagostina’s on Los Meurtos Beach dinner while watching the sunset. It also serves as a great social gathering place, with part of the restaurant reserved as a bar, hosting a With a background in catering and wedding coordinating and the fine supbustling crowd for happy hour and social events. portive assistance of the former owner, she slowly learns the in’s and out’s It didn’t take Collette long to notice the large number of sick and of running a business in Mexico. She is a fair-skinned, light-haired woman neglected animals that roamed Puerto Vallarta’s streets. She began to from Canada who must walk a fine line when she instructs male employees rescue, mend, board, and arrange adoptions for the many stray dogs what to do, according to her wishes and demands, in a macho society. and cats she found, although the number of abused, neglected or aban-

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“Langostinos is always a great place for lunch... love sitting on the beach and the service provided by the staff is top notch” ~ Trip Advisor review doned dogs and cats seemed endless. Her good friend Sabrina joined her in forming Colina, a free (or by donation) spay and neuter clinic on the main street of South Side, Basilio Badillo. The name Colina was chosen as it means the uprising or peak of a mountain in Spanish, and is also the first three letters of Colette’s name and the last three letters letters of Sabrina’s name. It is a fitting name, as they know it is an uphill battle to end the desperation of these animals, while they realize much can be accomplished, one step at a time.

Colina Spay and Neuter Clinic is open Sunday to Wednesday 9am to 2pm, at Basilio Badillo 429B.

The main challenge Colina faces is funding, since it is a charity that relies solely on donations. They wish to provide free veterinary services, particularly targeting street animals who suffer continual pregnancies and litters, as well as a multitude of diseases that plague them, causing slow, disabling deaths. With the support of the community, Langostinos held a successful fundraiser for Colina on March 21, 2012 that met the start-up costs for the new clinic, which can now operate four days a week. Through fundraisers, donations and community awareness, Colette and Sabrina will keep their doors open. By creating terrific food at fair prices, coupled with efficient friendly service, Colette hopes to enjoy a long business life on the beach at Langostinos. Colette says the beauty of living in Puerto Vallarta is exploring the bay area, and interacting with its friendly people. Puerto Vallarta is a great mix of traditional old-style Mexico combined with many modern amenities, having a nice mix of nationals and ex-pats living together. So many full-timers and longtime visitors give time and money in support of dozens of charitable organizations, ranging from children with disabilities, animal care (including SPCA), to a battered women shelter. Colette has found it to be very safe here, without the disrespect or harassment that single women traveling alone sometimes fear.

Langostinos is open every day of the year from 8am to 11pm, 322-2220894, on Playa Los Muertos between Manuel M. Dieguez and Francisca Rodriguez. 41

The home of Raicilla Hacienda El Divisadero, Cabo corrientes By Erin Staley


p in the Sierra Madres, one can find the timeless wonder of Hacienda El Divisadero, an agave plantation that is rich in natural beauty, history and the age old tradition of making raicilla. Once considered to be Mexico’s moonshine, raicilla has now joined its cousins, tequila and mezcal, as fine agave liquor from the state of Jalisco. Travelers from near and far are drawn to Hacienda El Divisadero to sample the smooth, smoky flavor of the ancient drink of the gods. Hacienda guests are treated like family, traveling the one-hour journey from Puerto Vallarta in style. Scenic views appear along the coastal stretch of Banderas Bay until the road heads eastward where palm trees are traded for thick, tropical vegetation. A brief stop in El Tuito gives visitors a chance to discover the charms of this pre-Hispanic pueblo lined with adobe brick buildings. El Tuito’s town square sits quietly with its majestic trees, scrolled white iron benches and gazebo, hinting of nights filled with music and dancing under the stars. It isn’t any wonder why El Tuito’s 3,500 national and international residents enjoy the relaxed lifestyle of the village that means “little beautiful valley.” And just over a rise or two, perched on the hillside of land belonging to indig-

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enous Náhuatl descendents, is Hacienda El Divisadero, home of raicilla. The Hacienda is the vision of owner and Vallarta-area restaurateur, Florentino Carbajal Ramírez, commonly referred to as Tino. The Hacienda’s 287 hectares have been in his wife’s family for generations. With the help of extended family and highly-skilled artisans, they have opened their doors to share the magnificence of their land and the process by which they plant and harvest the Hacienda’s eight varieties of agave. The Hacienda’s guests are welcomed with Mexican hospitality and treated to a hearty breakfast overlooking the traditional-style homestead. Vibrant plants peek out of terra cotta pottery, equipale chairs line the patio, and a canopy of trees provides shade for the friendly ranch dogs. Freshly baked bread, pan dulce, is presented as well as a colorful array of fresh tropical fruit and juices and homemade Mexican hot chocolate. And just as the dishes are gathered, a tray of organic Hacienda cheese is placed on the table. Six varieties (Chihuahua, Oaxaca, panela, queso oreado, queso seco and sour cream) are offered along with a detailed explanation of the cheese-making process. Their flavors, ranging from sweet to tangy, provide the perfect pairing to the Hacienda’s homemade tortillas and salsas. Along with its assortment of tasty edibles, Hacienda El Divisadero produces up to 15,000 liters of raicilla per year. Its recipe combines the flavourings of agave varieties including agave chino, el verde, el Amarillo and el Padre. Some of the plants grow over one and a half meters high, and when they are ready to be harvested, the agave is taken to la taberna, meaning “the tavern”. The distillery equipment was designed

and crafted by Tony and his staff, along with the fire pit used to smoke the agave in temperatures reaching 950 degrees Celsius. From the maturity of their agave plants to the harvest, fermentation, distillation and bottling of their raicilla, the Hacienda’s goal is to provide the highest standard of organic liquor while respecting the land and its resources. With a salted grapefruit slice in one hand and a sample in the other, guests are told to, “Sip the raicilla and close your eyes. Allow the smoky flavor to permeate your senses. After swallowing, bite the grapefruit and let the salt and citric acid accentuate your raicilla experience.” The gods are thanked for the bounty of the earth, and the rest of the afternoon is spent exploring the Hacienda’s plantation. Whether it’s hiking the trails or saddling up on ranch horses, guests are able to appreciate the serenity of this plantation with its exotic trees, medicinal plants and wildlife. For an added dimension, the exploration includes a visit to one of Jalisco’s ancient petroglyphs. Standing stately beside El Tuito River is the

volcanic rock said to have been engraved by an Aztecan tribe called the Tecoxquines in 700 A.D. The graphic symbols, carved with snake venom, are believed to be petitions to the gods, asking for health, fertility, a successful harvest and the return of life-giving rain. After a full day of discovery, the Hacienda el Divisadero serves up a country-style menu of fine Mexican dishes including seafood, al pastor-style lamb, birria, chorizo, mole pablano and sautéed bananas with cinnamon and cream. Of course, raicilla is available to accompany the meal. Guests can have it straight out of the blue-tinted Hacienda el Divisadero bottle or in one of twenty-two margarita flavours including coconut, mango, guayaba, avocado and banana. The night is young for those who choose to stay in Hacienda el Divisadero’s colonial-style villas, but for those who must head back, a fond embrace is shared. Hasta luego, Hacienda el Divisadero. Until we meet again. 43

Palladium Hotels and Resorts in Riviera Nayarit Home of the All-Inclusive Surf Vacation. By Gabriel Jones


he Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa and sister property The Royal Suites Punta de Mita by Palladium are situated on the Northern Coast of the beautiful Bahía de Banderas (the world’s 2nd largest bay), a thirty-minute drive from the Puerto Vallarta International Airport. The fantastic location boasts great views of the bay with the Marietas Islands to the north and Puerto Vallarta, backed by the green mountains of the Sierra Madres, across the bay to the south. Integrated into the thick, green jungle, where coastal cliffs meet white sand, the resorts provide a great combination of privacy and natural beauty. Adding to this incredible location, the properties are a short drive from several surf breaks and right next door to one of the area’s best surfing spots. Punta Burros is named after the burro or donkey because the wave is strong but

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slow. It breaks just south of the property, so close that it can be viewed from the comfort of your beach chair. Burros is a consistent wave and one both beginners and experienced surfers will enjoy. In addition to Punta Burros, there are many other waves and beaches that can easily be reached within a short drive. Non-surfers in the group can cheer, photograph, enjoy calmer waters in the swimming area, and of course, cocktails from the beach bar. This combination of the ease and luxury of an all-inclusive vacation and the readily available surf, offers a whole new travel category – the all-inclusive surf vacation! Beginners may take advantage of free board rentals on quality, soft-top beginner boards and free lessons, offered daily and taught in small groups by the friendly and knowledgeable aquatic team. Understanding how the wave breaks, currents, where to be alert for rocks and sea urchin, and basic surf etiquette, along with the mechanics of actually catching waves, are all part of your learning experience. For non-surfers in the group or for days when the waves aren’t cooperating, the aquatic center also offers boogie boards, kayaks, snorkeling equipment and leads daily afternoon sailing excursions on small four-seat Hobie sail boats. The Grand Palladium Vallarta recently underwent a massive thirty million dollar renovation to update and beautify the rooms, amenities and expand the spa facilities. Much thought was given to make the property more eco-friendly and the efforts have been rewarded with an EarthCheck Silver Certified Award (to go along with their Travel Life Gold Award and the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award). The Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa is perfect for all ages and families; offering a kids club (1-12) and teen club (13-17); big pools with

large, shallow areas; a small zoo with monkeys, parrots and two amazing ostriches; poolside ping-pong, beach volleyball, and even archery. It provides six dining options, a night club and an almost twenty-four hour sports bar, guaranteeing that even on vacation you will catch the big game. Meanwhile, guests of the adult- only The Royal Suites Punta de Mita can use all of the amenities and services found at the neighbouring Grand Palladium Resort, plus some additional features and services reserved for The Royal Suites guests only, including: a private pool, separate â&#x20AC;?a la carteâ&#x20AC;? restaurant with a new menu each night, concierge and butler service, and Jacuzzi tubs in every room.

If you would like to combine the ease and opulence of an all-inclusive vacation with the excitement and adventure of a surf vacation, The Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa and The Royal Suites Punta de Mita by Palladium provide the perfect setting for your next beach surf getaway. Surf photo courtesy of:

Photo supplied by:

Stoked on SUP in the Riviera Nayarit By Gabriel Jones The Riviera Nayarit and the Bahía de Banderas are home to great destinations like Puerto and Nuevo Vallarta, Bucerías, Punta de Mita and Sayulita and this area is now the hotbed for SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) in Mexico. SUP is perhaps the fastest growing water sport in the world. It is accomplished by standing feet-square and shoulder-width apart on an

oversized surfboard and then propelling yourself over the water with a long, canoe-like paddle. In addition to being addictively fun, much of the popularity is due to SUP’S versatility. Unlike surfing, where wave conditions can make or break your day, you can SUP in almost every condition the ocean can throw at you, from riding waves - both big and small, paddling on open ocean or calmer bays, and now increasingly, on inland lakes, rivers and even light rapids. This has enthusiasts, young and old, from Saskatoon to Sayulita, stoked on SUP. As popularity of the sport and the many different ways to enjoy SUP expands, so does the variety of board shapes and sizes being offered. Like cross-country vs. downhill skis; in SUP, longer, narrower boards (up to fourteen feet) are better suited for gliding across flat water and shorter boards (as short as seven ft) are best for manoeuvring on waves. Wider, thicker boards offer better stability for beginners and can float heavier weights. These are also perfect for bigger boned riders or those looking to bring along extra weight like kids, dogs or even camping gear. Further pushing the boundaries of SUP, there are now fitness boards that come equipped with extra padding and tie downs for resistance bands, to perform yoga and Pilates while balancing on the water, and oversized, super-stable boards with mounts for your fishing rod and tie downs for your catch. Regardless of the application you choose, SUP will always involve using your core stabilizer muscles to balance, and every other muscle to paddle, making it a truly amazing full-body workout. For this reason it has become the new favourite cross-training sport for personal trainers of the stars, who are looking for the perfect body, and for professional athletes seeking that extra edge on the competition. Perhaps the most important component of any fitness regimen is that SUP is really enjoyable and ensures not only large doses of exercise but also fresh air and fun. Despite being a great workout, SUP is easy to learn. You first start on your knees and then work towards standing. Most beginners pick up the basics quickly and find themselves standing and paddling in the first hour. Now with SUP shops popping up all across Canada, you can practice the sport practically anywhere that has some (unfrozen) water and then apply those skills while on your next Mexican beach vacation. Sayulita has one of the most consistent surf breaks in the area and one of the best surf cultures in all of Mexico. Sayulita will always be a surf town first but it has also embraced SUP, with many of the local surfers competing nationally and internationally in SUP. Sayulita is the perfect place to rent a paddle board and take a lesson or even check out a procompetition, like the annual Punta Sayulita Longboard and SUP Classic (March 8-10th, 2013). Most of Sayulita’s surf rental shops now also offer SUP rentals and lessons, but one new shop has dedicated itself fully to SUP. Sayulita SUP offers Sayulita`s biggest selection of SUP boards for sale or rent. In ad-

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Unlike surfing, where wave conditions can make or break your day, you can SUP in almost every condition the ocean can throw at you dition to their own brand of boards, they also offer high performance brands like Naish and Rogue, as well as a great selection of paddles, clothing, and accessories. Whether you are a beginner or looking to add a new skill, this is also a great place to take a lesson. Besides providing the basics of SUP, they offer classes on how to ride waves and, coming this fall, SUP yoga! The storeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s owner, Leyla Morris, is a certified yoga instructor who recently moved to Sayulita from Hawaii, and her store provides a welcoming aloha/namaste vibe. In back of the well-appointed shop is a beautiful green space with a ping-pong table, a smoothie bar (also serving ice cold beer), and the famous Iguana Tree, which is home to a crew of amazing iguanas. This space has long been a hangout of these local lizards and is now quickly becoming a favourite for SUP enthusiasts. Sayulita might be the SUP epicenter of Mexico but the love of the sport extends throughout the bay. One of the best SUP companies in all of Mexico is Pacific Paddle out of nearby Bucerias. Canadian-born owner Adam Finer is a true pioneer of SUP in Mexico and was the first to bring a SUP board here in 2006. As more and more amigos took notice of Adam having a blast on his SUP, so did their requests for him to supply

them with boards of their own. Soon Adam was making regular road trips to the States and importing boards for friends. As the demand became greater than his truck could hold, Adam decided to become a distributor. Today his shop sells more paddleboards than anyplace in Mexico and has expanded to offer sales and rentals in Sayulita and Punta de Mita. In addition to having a huge inventory of SUP boards, paddles and accessories for sale or rent, Pacific Paddle is also the first certified SUP School in Mexico, and the creator of SUP excursions such as the Las Marietas SUP Safari, and Los Arcos Safari. These day trips to offshore rock formations are perfectly suited to SUP as it affords an amazing perspective of your surroundings, both around and in the water beneath you. If you choose a day trip to Los Arcos or the Marietas, be sure to pack a waterproof camera because you will see amazing sea life and birds providing plenty of fantastic photo ops. Whether you are about to dip your paddle for the first time or you have already taken the plunge, you will be sure to find many great ways to be stoked about SUP during your next vacation to the Riviera Nayarit. 47

Mundo Maya The Fairmont Mayakoba’s Willow Stream Spa draws inspiration from ancient Mayan healing rituals By Anita Draycott About a thousand years ago, Mayan rulers, priests and priestesses went through agonizing lengths to beautify themselves. Their foreheads were flattened by boards during infancy to elongate their skulls, a small bauble was hung between their eyes making them somewhat cross-eyed, teeth, pumiced to sharp points, shone with jade inserts and piercings and tattoos were very fashionable. When the mighty Mayan civilization collapsed in the 15th century, the stretch of beach and jungle now known as the Mayan Riviera was virtually deserted, its only inhabitants a sprinkling of farmers and fishermen. However, in 1967, the Cancun area became the first computer-planned resort in Mexico, selected on the quality of its beaches, sunshine, unique historical attractions and hospitable locals. Today the Mexican Caribbean is the country’s top tourist destination. Just north of Playa del Carmen, The Fairmont Mayakoba (the Mayan word for “city of water”) has won numerous awards for both its quality of service and commitment to preserving the ecology. Ten kilometers of limestone canals create a sort of Venice of the Caribbean with suites perched on the edge of the blue lagoons. Lanchas (electric covered boats), golf carts or bicycles transport guests around the property. At the resort’s Willow Stream Spa, several Mayan medical and beauty procedures and indigenous ingredients have been incorporated into the treatments. But don’t worry, you’ll find nothing painful or disfiguring on the menu; these modernized rituals are based purely on relaxation and pleasure principals.

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The signature two-hour Yucatan Healing Retreat offers couples an opportunity to choose from a variety of local healing remedies to customize their treatments. After a relaxing footbath and curativo (fresh fruit cocktail) on the patio of your private spa suite, you and your partner choose from a selection of sea and sand body scrubs, followed by a choice of body masks. Following a soothing bath, you’ll receive side-byside massages using tropical oils. Chocoholics will be happy to know that cacao, the Mayan word for chocolate, was so highly revered in pre-Hispanic cultures that it was offered as a ritual to the gods. Mayakoba’s “Food of the Gods Body Nourisher” paints you from head to toe in a cacao body mask, said to be high in antioxidants and detoxifiers. After a warm rinse, the treatment culminates with a coconut oil and rose essence massage. As you drift euphorically in and out of your oh-so-sweet dreams, you are presented with a wafer of rich dark chocolate, which will leave you feeling nourished inside and out. In honour of Chac, the omnipotent Mayan rain god, the “Cha Chac Rain Ritual” promises that you’ll leave the outer hectic world behind you. Beginning with a traditional blessing and burning of copal incense, you are slathered in a mixture of cornmeal, clay and oats. The mask is exfoliated with an ayate (cactus fibre) cloth, followed by a tropical rainwater shower. In the traditional Mayan temescal (sweat bath), honey was used as a reminder of the sweetness of life. At Mayakoba the “Honey in the Heart” treatment starts with a honey body mask that is removed under a rainforest rinse Vichy shower and followed by a massage. A sip of the golden honey, the nectar of the gods, ends the delightful experience. Most guests spend the better part of a day at the Willow Stream Spa, enjoying the outdoor gardens, Swiss showers, whirlpools, commodious sitting areas and complimentary herbal teas, juices and refreshments. The smiling and cheerful staff delivers courteous and professional service. The Fairmont Mayakoba is the first in a series of planned developments billed as “a new civilization on Mexico’s Riviera Maya,” that include the Rosewood and Banyan Tree hotels.


Livin’ the dream By Liz Cunningham

What a glorious adventure and a dream come true! For many years I have wanted to operate a small resort, campground or B & B, catering to people seeking “down home hospitality”. What does that mean? To me, it’s welcoming others into my home and treating them as family, sharing my knowledge of growing, preserving and eating healthy, good-food, and spending time together as community, most preferably on a beach front. Over the years my husband and I looked at small revenue properties in many areas, but for diverse reasons, we never made the leap. Places were typically too remote, which meant too much distance from friends and family, didn’t have enough sun, were poor for growing, or too expensive. Once you live by the sea, it’s hard to settle for anything else. Growing up in Metchosin, a beautiful rural area just outside of Victoria, BC, my parents had the foresight to buy property and build their home a short block from one of the best beaches anywhere. For me, it’s pretty hard to

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USA 530-876-6196


beat, as it holds over fifty years of memories, and the history of three generations. My standards for a move are simple – but certainly high, needing to feel connected to the people, the food and it must be a special place. Over the years my life has changed from a crazy busy, multi-tasking production manager working in the Vancouver Film Industry. I have been incorporating more sustainable lifestyle practices into my life and I’ve been transforming my third of an acre into a space for growing healthy food, raising chickens for eggs and hatching heritage chicks to sell. I have become a strong advocate for small farming, especially in small spaces and urban settings. Our yard has become a learning garden, to show people how they too can grow good food at home. My whole world changed in one short instant when my partner was diagnosed with an inoperable tumor in April 2011. The next few months were spent consulting with doctors, specialists, and doing all we could to change the prognosis. In June we even took the plunge and after eighteen years together we were married at the kitchen table, to only wonder what took us so long! Within two weeks he passed away at home, peaceful enough, all things considered. About the only thing I knew was this would be the first year I was not going to spend Christmas here in Metchosin. I had to go away somewhere, anywhere, as long as I wasn’t here over the holidays. But where to go that was reasonable, fairly close and would suit my family and myself? In October 2011, my son had spent two weeks in the Puerto Vallarta area, including a week spent in Sayulita. I had never heard of this quaint surfing village, but according to my son, it was fabulous! This certainly didn’t sound like the All Inclusive resorts

52 Mexi-Go! Fall 2012

my husband and I stayed at when we went to Mexico, it sounded far better. After two weeks searching the internet for suitable vacation homes that we could rent over the two week Christmas period, we found nothing available that suited our needs. We started searching further afield and discovered many beautiful homes, and many that were offered for the times we wanted. I had never heard of Merida before, let alone Progreso, but my daughter knew all about “The White City”, the beautiful Spanish colonial city in the Yucatan state. We shortlisted a couple of the rental properties, and all agreed on a beautiful five bedroom home, with huge pool, on the beach, just east of Progreso. There were only five or six weeks between booking our rental house and our departure to Merida. Being gifted with a love of research, I spent many hours combing websites, learning all I could about the area. I stumbled upon a couple of forums, and read comments from all kinds of people who had relocated from Canada, the USA and Europe. They all enjoyed living in the area. Everyone has heard the stories of crime in Mexico, so I read many government websites and blogs offering up the crime statistics and found the Yucatan State is one of the safest in all of Mexico, certainly comparable to my own home town of Victoria. I was soaking up everything I could about the Yucatan, and nothing was disappointing me, in fact the complete opposite, I was totally enchanted even before setting foot in the state. Looking at real estate websites for Merida was shocking, in a most pleasant way. I was amazed with some of the renovations; they rivalled anything done in Canada, even high end West Vancouver homes paled to some of the fabulous restorations of the colonial homes. And the beach properties… for many years I have kept

my eye on the pulse of property prices along the British Columbia coastline and islands. WOW! The prices were so reasonable. Perhaps my son could follow his idea of ‘being happy folding towels while living in a warm climate’ while owning a small rental property? It really appeared there was so much opportunity in the area, and this was certainly confirmed by the few locals I talked to prior to arriving in the Yucatan. Oh, I was excited for all the possibilities that I felt might unfold as we vacationed in this part of Mexico.

way they could. Family is very important, and it was so great to see multi-generations spending so much time together. Everyone looked so truly happy! Returning home after what turned into a three week vacation, I jumped back on the internet and viewed hundreds of properties for sale in the Merida and Mayan Riviera areas. Chelum, Chuburna beach properties really had me quite excited, perhaps this is where I will buy that waterfront mini-resort and do some sustainable small lot farming?

So December 24th, we headed out of Vancouver International Airport and arrived in Merida quite late at night. When I called a car rental company, naturally the young man on other end spoke Spanish. When I asked if he spoke English, I cracked right up with his swift, joking answer “for five bucks I do”. He really calmed my fear of how I would communicate, knowing absolutely no Spanish. He was so friendly and helpful, and offered to shop for us if I emailed a list of groceries to sustain us through our late night arrival and holiday the following day. How many times have you rented cars, where they will do your shopping for the cost of goods purchased, and have the order in the waiting rental vehicle on arrival? Christmas day he sent out his friend with a cell phone and USB stick for internet connection, with reimbursement of the receipt from store. Mexicans are known to be helpful and friendly and this proved true the more people we met. During our vacation we drove many hundreds of kilometers, from the eight lane highway that connects Merida to Progreso, to narrow sand roads of tiny villages, to potholed backroads leading to ruins, to the many one-way streets of Merida……all were easy to drive, well marked and fun to explore. My son and I even drove from Merida to Playa del Carmen, without any difficulty at all and only one $40 CDN speeding ticket, getting caught driving well over the speed limit. Locals in small villages would wave to us and on our way back to Progreso from Rio Lagartos, a rancher even stopped to ask us if we needed directions, then invited us in to his daughter’s home for the best organic coffee and turkey sandwiches ever! Charades are fun and a way to communicate when you don’t speak someone’s language. In all areas we travelled in the Yucatan, I felt a strong sense of community. The people in shops, gas stations, on the street, were so sincerely helpful, friendly and wanting to offer assistance in any 53

Surgical Care South of the Border


s we become an ever more global society, our options continue to broaden and healthcare is no exception. With rising costs and reforms in the United States and longer waiting periods in Canada, many are seeking an alternative to their domestic healthcare system. Mexico has long been the number one international destination for Americans and Canadians seeking medical care outside their own country, and for good reason. As a nation, Mexico boasts remarkable political, social, and economic stability. Its close proximity, cultural parallels, reasonable prices, accredited and certified hospitals and choice of world-class surgeons, position Mexico as a distinct alternative for those who are seeking both economic value and exceptional quality in ™ surgical care.


Comparable to Canada, Mexico offers a universal public healthcare system that provides free or subsidized medical care to its citizens. However, a robust private healthcare sector also exists in Mexico, with ISA Surgical URL Logo ISA Full Logo doctors who are superbly educated, having trained at various B/W C- 100 highly institutions and private, state of the art hospi- M - 5 Grey - 15% respected K Livetals Type Y-0 around the world, most commonly in the U.S.

>2” Wide

The private healthcare sector in Mexico provides patients with speed and choice. Appointments can be made with any doctor, even a specialist, without a referral, often for the same day, after ISAwhich Surgical Logo diagnostic tests and treatment proceed without delay. <2”Wide Doctors also have the flexibility to work at any hospital within the private system, again offering choice to the patient to employ the facility that is right for them. All these options and qualities attract patients from across the globe to Mexico. In the end, after receiving surgical care, the most common response of patients is an overwhelming sense of satisfaction that their healing experience came with such a small price tag.

ISA SURGICAL™ Each month, ISA Surgical will be writing a column dedicated to Canadian citizens seeking an alternative to traditional medical tourism. The column will bring statistics and insights into the Mexican HealthCare System, providing education and awareness to Timely, Affordable, World Class Surgical Solutions... Stay Tuned.

54 Mexi-Go! Fall 2012

K - 47

ISA Full Logo PMS 308

Café con Leche Hidden Treasures ALONG THE WAY By Laurie Roberts


exico is famous for its beaches and resorts, but my fondest memories are the hidden treasures that are off-the-beatentrack. The trip to San Joaquin is one of those!

quick ride on the faithful little mountain donkey that carried the wood, we were on our way again, with satisfied stomachs. We finally arrived a few hours later at San Joaquin’s 16th century pyramids which are a testament to some of the first human occupants of that area of Queretaro. The archeological zone of Ranas is an unforgettable hike into the past. Of all the ruins I have visited, it is by far the most fascinating. After a few hours of imagining, playing in the forest, climbing, and talking about the history and the genius of all we witnessed, we headed off to the underground caves - “Grutas Los Herrera”. Despite the apprehension I felt going undergound, the colours, sounds and water were mystical. This hidden treasure is well worth the adventure!

Mexi-Go! Magazine

We set off early in the morning, not realizing how slow our journey would be into the Sierra Gorda biosphere, with its steep mountain roads and deep canyons. The road is decorated with remarkable flora and fauna that make the 135 km trek northeast of Queretaro to San Joaquin more than worthwhile. When our daughter woke up hungry, we didn’t think we would find anything to eat for quite some time. Thankfully, we were in for one of my most memorable feasts. Perched on the side of a steep mountain turn, appearing to be nothing more than a shack, we spied someone making tortillas! At the last second we turned in and were delighted to find that this lovely eighty-plus year old señora was willing to share what she had. We waited in barely contained anticipation as the smoke from the fire lit underneath the simple metal sheet grill and the mouth-watering aroma of blue tortillas began to fill the air. Refried beans were warming on the burner and fresh goat cheese was being prepared. Plastic plates and serviettes were set on a rustic wooden table. Never in my life have I eaten a meal made with so much love (“hecho con amor” is a very common way of complimenting the chef). After kisses and hugs and a




Mexi-Go! Magazine is available online, all day, everyday. Now published online every month, you can enjoy Mexi-Go! Magazine more often! Join us at for even more information about Canadians in Mexico, travel destinations, great hotels, activities, festivals and more.

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56 Mexi-Go! Fall 2012

dream homes

Casita Azul | Costa Careyes, Jalisco Represented by: Sothebyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s International Realty | Mexico Casita Azul is an extraordinary oceanfront home for sale in the excusive community of Costa Careyes. It is a uniquely designed homes in the colourful Casitas de las Flores development. This Mediterranean inspired property offers an open concept lifestyle that embraces the colours, sights and sensations of the beautiful Mexican Pacific coast. 5 Bedrooms | 4,971 sq.ft. Asking $3,800,000 usd 57

Catherine Martin Victoria Pratt C: +521 322 227 6190 C: +521 322 779 9283 58 Mexi-Go! 2012 O: +52 322Fall 297 1016 O: +52 329 298 2522

DOS CASAS | RANCHO DEL ORO | AJIJIC ~ Lake CHapala An inspiring sanctuary. A special home offering privacy & seclusion, just minutes to everything in Ajijic. Offered for the first time, the main home has 2 master bedrooms each with their own ensuite and walk-in closets. Living spaces include a welcoming reception hall with bar, lounge with boveda ceiling, niches & indirect lighting, spacious covered terrace with spectacular fountain, large separate dining room, impressive chefs' kitchen, huge pantry, den, office and library, indoor bodega & workshop. Impressive street frontage with secure video entry. "Dos Casas" combines a focus on quality with an immaculate presentation. Lot: 1,994m² Const. 918m² Asking: $890,000 usd

Alix Wilson

Office: (376) 766-2612 (13) Toll free: 1 (866) 377-4632 Mobile: (+52) 1 331 265 5078

Next time you visit Ajijic - Spoil yourself! Call: +52 1 331 350 6764 Email: 59


Easy Accessibility on one level Casa LEACH

3 bed | 3 bath | 4,498 sf $395,000 usd

Built in 2007 for handicap accessibility on both levels and tastefully furnished this custom built home that has it all. Walled for privacy and security with parking for 3 cars and convenient elevator to the main floor. Large terrazza offers 180+ degree unobstructed view of both Scorpion and Mezcala Islands. Bonus! A one bedroom casita on the lower level with its own courtyard and lake view. For more information and To see video tours CLICK HERE:

Ten minutes east of town, Vista del Lago is home to the Chapala Country Club with a challenging nine-hole golf course overlooking the lake. Beautiful private homes surround the course. Conveniently located with easy access to Chapala and all the amenities of a large Mexican town, this community is made up of mainly expat Americans and Canadians many of whom live year round in this paradise. With near perfect weather, excellent golf and stunning lake and mountain views Vista del Lago offers many types of homes and lots to fit any budget. As a long time resident of Vista del Lago and an avid golfer, John can help you with any of your Lake Chapala questions. Call or email him today! Check out

John Cearnal Hernandez Realty Group Ajijic, Jalisco Mexico Toll Free: (817)350-4325 Local: (376) 763-5304

NOW SOLD Single level home with 2 Casitas



on the 3rd hole

4 bed | 5 bath | 6,338 sf $399,000 usd

2 bed | 2 bath | 1,592 sf $99,000 usd

Located on the second fairway with spectacular views this renovated house includes 2 casitas set on a beautifully maintained property. Enjoy your large terrazzo that spans entire living room and master bedroom. Downstairs are 2 one bedroom casitas. Time for a round of golf? Your new homes includes a golf cart and golf course access!

A Little Slice of Heaven. Located on the 3rd green at Chapala Country Club. This 2 bedroom, 2 bath is its own little oasis. Living room has gas fireplace and covered patio covers full length of the house. House is being sold furnished and is move-in ready. Although this is an older and smaller property in Vista del Lago with a little TLC and a few upgrades itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great value.

For more information and To see a video tour click here:

For more information and photos CLICK HERE: MLS ID No. RC1CJ521


Under $100k

All the amenities for a fraction of the cost!

A little TLC and this home is a winner!



3 bed | 3.5 bath | 4,971 sf $299,900 usd

5000 sq. ft. home with panoramic views of Lake Chapala and the mountains from the vast covered terrace. This home offers generous living and entertaining areas with open concept living and dining room along with separate office/den. Lots of features in this home including: Walk-in closets, fireplace, salt water pool with swim-up bar, new windows and doors, 2 car garage and access to the second fairway. For more information and To see more photos CLICK HERE: http://youtube/Psdwtxuv9lQ

1 bed | 1 bath | 1,377 sf $97,800usd

One Bedroom, one bath, partially furnished, near the entrance inside of Vista Del Lago. Wow! You even have your own swimming pool. Large covered patio with mountain views. Enjoy golf course living from under $100,000.00 USD. The house is currently rented. For more information and To see more photos CLICK HERE: MLS ID No. RC1CJ656

Trudie Nelson your Canadian realtor!

Mexican real estate for Canadian buyers




3 bed | 3 bath | 1722sf

3 bdrm, 3 baths, mini garden, secure parking, walk to plaza, shops & Restaurants, covered terrace, second floor 2 guest suites. Well built brick ceilings move in condition friendly neighborhood. Lot: 214m2

Const: 1722 sq.ft.

Villa Las Salvias Ajijic-Las Salvias

3 bed | 4.5 bath | 3891sf

Newly renovated welcoming neighborhood “Las Salvias” spectacular lake & mountain views “rocky” mountain inspired sophisticated design in the middle of Mexico! Mature tropical gardens, filter pool, 3 Bdrms, 4 baths, walk to village, parking four cars. All with a view! Lot: 1155m2

For more information and To see more photos:

$499,000 usd

Const: 3981 sq.ft.

For more information and To see more photos:


FRIENDLY NEW GATED COMMUNITY Casa Los Sabinos Los Sabinos, Ajijic

$215,000 usd

2 bed | 2 bath | 1722sf

2 Bdrm, 2 bath, Live life with doors wide open! Living, dining, chic kitchen with granite quality appliances breakfast bar. Spacious Easy walk to village hiking, restaurants. Move in. Find your paradise.

TRUDIE NELSON Your Canadian Realtor

Lot: 260m2 or call (011) 52 376 7661918 or visit

Const: 1722 sq.ft.

For more information and To see more photos:




Luxury New Home $239,000 usd

Villa mirador

$750,000 USD

3 bed | 3.5 bath | 2152sf

La Floresta, Ajijic

3 bed | 3.5 bath | 5682sf

Quinta La Huerta

A home with extensive space and an open floor plan encompassing living, dining and a high end appliance equipped kitchen. Fabulous outside kitchen with large bar area can be buffet or counter for guests to hang out, area complete with upscale BBQ for grilling. Upstairs to mirador with 360 view that is breathtaking,. Lot: 546m2

Const: 2152 sq.ft.

For more information and To see more photos:

Luxury new home private and secure. Designed to embrace the moderate climate with outdoor living. Walled gardens with a pool, bbq and outdoor kitchen. Great floor plan with all rooms flowing out to huge covered terrace Guest floor with kitchen. Tropical landscaping is easy to maintain. For more information and To see more photos:

Mexico offers so much value, culture, lifestyle and friendship to Canadians of all ages. Mexi-Go! Magazine and websites share the stories of the thousands of Canadians who have found success in Mexico. We bring you information on traveling, living and investing in Mexico. From real estate how-toâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s to great shopping tips we present the real Mexico with a uniquely Canadian perspective.

en las Casitas de las Flores

Casita Azul, Careyes

Casita Azul is a unique opportunity, located in the middle of the bay in the exclusive Costa Careyes. This unique property is designed for outdoor living with exceptional terraces to appreciate views of the Pacific Ocean. The house has 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, infinity pool, tropical garden and all the amenities needed to enjoy a space of this level of luxury satisfactory. Price USD$3,800,000 US +52 (33) 3627-6437


Go ahead - live your dream.

four floors of ocean view ICEBOX HILL, MAZATLAN Enjoy entertaining with three bedrooms, three full baths, and custom gourmet kitchen. Built in 2008, on a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean this home was designed by a California architect, but is distinctly Mexican in character. deceptively modest from the front, the ocean side reveals four levels, each with a spacious terrace and magnificent views, and the lower one includes a lap pool. Luxury details throughout include travertine marble; quarry stone, stainless steel railings. bronze glazing and more. Price USD$ 530,000 US +52 (33) 3627-6437

Mexi-Go! Magazine is published 12 times a year online at and printed and delivered direct to your door four times a year. Enjoy your own subscription to Mexi-Go! Magazine for only $19.95/yr plus the applicable taxes and shipping.

Subscribe today! Subscribe online at


quinta serena

TepoztlĂĄn, Morelos

A beautiful contemporary Mexican country house with the perfect balance between the traditional and the comforts of a modern life style. Quinta Serena has 3 spacious bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, spa with temazcal, a beautiful and extensive wine cellar and a lovely swimming pool among the gardens of the residence. Located a few steps from the riverbed, it has a beautiful view of the valley, and the mountains surrounding the village. Price MXN$ 7,734,000 US +52 (33) 3627-6437




E ac h O ff i c e i s I nd e p e n d e n t l y O w n e d a n d O p e r a t e d

Settle for more….


w w w. ronmorgan. n e t


Promenade Plata Baja

US $139,000

Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico

Located just steps from the beautiful Playa De Huanacaxtle beach in Bucerias, this ground-floor, one-bedroom/one-bath, turn-key condo opens onto an inviting patio, garden and common pool area. In a low-density, secure building, this condo features many high-end finishes and features such as granite countertops, dishwasher, garbage disposal, water filtration system and on-demand hot water, to name a few. Perfect for a tropical get-away or an investment rental property. Construction - 73m2/780 sq. ft. Contact: or Canada and USA: + 866-242-1709 or +52-322-173-8712

Vallarta Gardens 37 La Cruz De Huanacaxtle, Nayarit, Mexico

US $299,000

This house is a 3-bedroom/3.5-bath in a secure, gated beach-front community; furnished, with marble floors and beautiful stone work throughout; multiple terraces, newly tiled rooftop terrace providing panoramic ocean views. Very motivated seller. Construction - 2,153 sq. ft. Land - 2,390 sq. ft. Contact: or Canada and USA: + 866-242-1709 or +52-322-173-8712


Tucan 108, Bucerias, Nayarit The Most Luxurious Condo In Bucerias

US $595,000

Tucan spells pure bliss in the most prestigious beachfront community in Bucerias. This spectacular 2 storey condo feels like a home with 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths and two roomy living spaces for all of your entertaining needs. Tucan features custom finishes throughout, a gourmet kitchen equipped with viking appliances, and spectacular ocean views with eye-popping sunsets. Security 24/7. Construction - 3376 sq. ft. Contact: anita dabbs, Canada and USA: 314 723 5187 Mexico Cell: 011 52 322 107 0391

Casa Ucrania, Bucerias, Nayarit

Terrific Bucerias Investment Property

US $395,000

Located just 3 blocks from the beach in desirable zona dorada, this hacienda style property is loaded with mexican charm. The property consists of a spacious 2 bedroom, 2 bath home and 1 bedroom guest casita. A great rental property or family retreat! The home features parota doors and windows, arches, and lots of light. Has a large backyard with mature palms and panoramic ocean views from the rooftop terrace. Needs some updates, but priced to allow for renovation budget. Construction - 2,723 sq. ft. Land - 4757 sq. ft. Contact: anita dabbs, Canada and USA: 314 723 5187 Mexico Cell: 011 52 322 107 0391


Vento Penthouse, Bucerias, Riviera Nayarit Beautiful blend of style and comfort

US $629,000

A rare opportunity to own a beachfront, two level penthouse in Bucerias. With three ocean view masters each with their own ensuites, makes this the perfect opportunity for friends or family to co-purchase. Featuring a fourth bedroom, 2nd level flex room and terraces on each level, providing space and privacy for everyone. Contemporary design, loads of upgrades and amazing artwork in this immaculate, tastefully furnished home. Vento is a low density, 22 unit complex with onsite parking and 24/7 security. Impeccably maintained gardens and a sparkling, common area pool with direct access to the sandy beaches of Bucerias. Construction – 3003 sq. ft. | 4 bedroom | 4 bath Contact: Cell: 011 52 1 322 779 4574

Punta Arena, Bucerias, Riviera Nayarit Location, Location, Location……

US $760,000

Are you looking to own an oceanfront, luxury condo in the most sought after neighbourhood in Bucerias? Look no further! Punta Arena on Lazaro Cardenas in Zona Dorada has it all! For the adventurous you – rent a paddleboard, kayak, bicycle or Segway and get moving. Pamper yourself with a relaxing massage or facial. Indulge yourself with a steaming hot latte and scrumptious, freshly baked treats from the outdoor cafes. Pick up a new read at the local bookstore. Search for authentic treasures in shops and galleries and dine at some of the best restaurants in Bucerias. All this and so much more, just steps from your oceanfront hideaway in Punta Arena. Start living the dream and experience the best of Riviera Nayarit right here in Bucerias. Construction – 2712 sq. ft. |3 bedroom | 3 bath Contact: Cell: 011 52 1 322 779 4574


Mexi-Go! Fall 2012  

Mexi-Go! magazine is a lifestyle publication that promotes travel, retirement and investment in Mexico. The Fall issue focuses in the regi...

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