The Puerto Vallarta Travel Show Episode #1

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 An Introduction to The Puerto Vallarta Travel Show


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Hello fellow travelers, welcome to the very first episode of the Puerto Vallarta Travel show. I am your host Barry Kessler and I am just so happy to be  to introducing you to my favorite vacation destination, and maybe even yours, Puerto Vallarta Mexico.

That music you were just listing to is performed by Alberto Perez, the owner of the La Palapa group of restaurants,  La Palapa Restaurant is on the southside of town, right down on the beach in Puerto Vallarta. La Palapa, and El Dorado Restaurants as well as Vista Grill on the Hill. For those who are looking for a little romance under the stars, El Dorado has this Romantic Dining experience package you can call ahead and ask for.  Imagine following a candle lit walkway to a private table at the ocean’s edge and you are surrounded by tiki torches. You’re seated at a  candlelit table on the beach with your toes in the sand and dining on a 5-course gourmet menu created especially for you, and served with personalized attention to you and your every wish. Yeah, you can have that…

You can download his song or even his whole CD if you like it as much as I do. I have a link to it in my shownotes  on my website for show #1 where you will find it at

Puerto Vallarta offers so much to any traveler who’s looking for a fun filled seaside vacation. There is something for everyone here.

Traveling on a Budget?

Are you on a budget?  No problem, Puerto Vallarta has plenty of opportunities for the budget traveler.  In fact, when I first came here with my wife, well, she was my girlfriend at the time some 32 years ago, we were looking at Hawaii and Puerto Vallarta, and we chose Vallarta just because we could actually afford it. We chose a travel package that included air and a week stay at the Playa Los Arcos Hotel in Southside, romantic zone,  PV, right on the water. It’s still there today and is still going strong. It was cheap, and you can still get great package deals through all the travel ticket sites. I know that the package deal is very popular with Canadians.

Luxury Accommodations

Maybe you aren’t a budget conscious traveler but a luxury seeker. Perhaps your idea of a perfect vacation is being pampered. Maybe you want to have a massage on the beach, or just prefer sitting by the pool drinking and eating. Maybe you don’t even want to leave the property.  You prefer the all inclusive food and drink experience. Everything included, in some places even the tips. For many I suppose, lounging, reading being pampered, getting a poolside or Oceanside massage, a spa treatment,  having the staff know you by name, having a private beach with beachside service is an important part of the vacation experience.  Not me, just sayin, but I’m not here to judge. I’m here to learn from all of you fellow travelers. Maybe I’m missing something. I’m willing to be proven wrong. I’ll keep an open mind during our travels together.

So there are the real budget digs that can cost you around $20/ night US, and there are places like the Four Seasons Punta Mita that will cost you around $1,550 a night. Air BnB’s have made it down here in a big way, There’s apartment and condo rental specialists for those looking to have an extended stay.

What I’m getting at is there are lots of properties all along the Bajia de Banderas that will suit any traveler’s needs and we are going to visit them and talk about them. We are going to talk to the hotel representatives and to you the everyday traveler to get your first hand experiences. It’s going to be fun.  This is going to be an interactive experience.

Since this is the first episode I want to give you an overview as to what to expect from the show as it unfolds for you on a weekly basis.

The first shows will concentrate on the basics. The history of Puerto Vallarta, the current lay of the land, geography, the local customs. What are the best months of the year to visit?

We will talk about getting there.  Are you driving? Are you flying into the airport, are you just stopping for a day on a cruise liner and only have a few hours to get a feel for Vallarta?

Important Travel Information

 What to pack, Passports and length of your stay, what to expect when you arrive at the airport. Can you bring your pet?  How about Groceries and Shopping for the basics? Can I get what I want? Are there supermarkets? Are there convenience stores like 7/11’s? We are going to talk about exchanging money, can you drink the water? Is it okay to eat the food? Is the ice okay in the margaritas and in my coke? What about the crime?  Is it safe in Puerto Vallarta? Can you walk the streets at night? How about the police? Can you trust them? What are the people like? Can you trust them?

How about the bugs? Mosquitoes? How do we prepare for that?

And then there’s Transportation, once we arrive. How do we all get around?  Should you rent a car? What should you do before you get into a taxi or get on a bus.  I know what you are thinking…I’m gonna get kidnapped…I’m in Mexico! What, A BUS?? You mean like a chicken bus you ask??? Well… We will be talking about that too. We will be talking about all of that in the first couple of podcasts.

So we are going to cover all the basics and get you prepared because I want you to have the safest and most awesome vacation you have ever had. And you are going to have it right here in Puerto Vallarta. I want to help you plan your vacation so you can optimize your valuable, hard earned vacation. I’m here to help you make the most of your Puerto Vallarta Vacation. I’m here to help you enjoy everything Puerto Vallarta has to offer you so you can get your mind off of the  daily grind. You deserve the best. I’m going to make sure you get it. Deal?  Deal!

I’m doing this for you because of all of the help I have gotten from fellow travelers along the way. I’ve had help from many people I’ve met in Puerto Vallarta and you are going to meet many of them as the show progresses over the weeks to come. One of them is a guy I know you will like. You may even know him or have heard of him. This man was a regular poster, I would say he was a regular character on an internet web forum, well let’s say it happens to be  a very popular travel advice website. Anyway, his name is John and he is best known as JR in PV. JR has lived in Puerto Vallarta for 40 years, 30 of them permanently, and for almost 30 years, he has been giving advice to travelers coming to this fair city. Well, JR has promised me that he will join us on a weekly basis to answer your questions and to tell us about what is happening during the week in Puerto Vallarta. He is an expat from London and as you will see, he still hasn’t picked up the local accent; I will have to ask him about that. You’d think he would have shaken off that English accent but, as we all know, guys that talk like that just sound smarter. Anyway, JR has this website and you can see it by going to and on the website at the top of the page is s a tab called Maps, and you can download maps of different sections of Puerto Vallarta. Nicely detailed and I will be referring to it as we make our journey through the city in the upcoming episodes of the show. JR also has in addition to lots of invaluable information, a tour tab at the top of the homepage as well, and if you are going to take a tour while you are in Puerto Vallarta, make sure you book your tour through the website at Remember it’s a value for value proposition here, JR gives us great travel information and we help him out by reserving our tours through, that’s for your tours.

JR and Barry have a conversation about drinking the water in Puerto Vallarta.


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 Although it wasn’t discussed in the podcast, I was told by JR that resorts and hotels in Nuevo Vallarta have their own water treatment plants and therefore, although while you are outside of the resorts you will need bottled water, while at the resorts and hotels in Nuevo Vallarta, Bucerias and Punta de Mita, you should have little concern. Remember to ask.

So what next?

As I said, the next couple of episodes, we’ll be talking about  the history of Vallarta, and lessons and the basic travel do’s and don’ts , then what?  Well there is so much.

Puerto Vallarta Restaurants

As you may or may not have heard, Puerto Vallarta is an incredible foodie destination with over 700 restaurants. Really! We will be interviewing numerous restaurateurs here in town and get their stories. We will hear about their menus, their awards, their struggles working in a town with so much competition for the tourist dollars.  I will be interviewing Gary Beck, author of the Puerto Vallarta Food guide and writer for the Banderas News, covering the entertainment beat. Gary will be talking food and you guessed it entertainment! So food and restaurants will be a big part of this show.

Then we will talk about what to do,  what tours should a first timer take and what a visitor should not miss.

Water Sports

This is a seaside destination with all sorts of types of water sports and romantic, beautiful beaches where you can sit under a palapa/ umbrella, and have food and drink served to you. You can hire una launcha to take you out to Secluded beaches before the crowds hit.

There’s fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, parasailing, sailing and sailboat excursions out of the Marina Vallarta. From  Nuevo Vallarta and PV  you can catch a boat to the Marietta Islands. We’re going to tell you all of the greatest places to go and what not to miss, or if you just want to lounge and relax, you can just hear all about what you are missing and just don’t care. Remember, this is a sharing podcast.

Maybe you are an adventurer traveler and like to hike, zip-line do healthy invigorating stuff. Well Puerto Vallarta has got you covered and we will talk about you guys.

Puerto Vallarta Charities

Perhaps you are the kind of traveler who isn’t happy unless they are helping others. Maybe you feel guilty enjoying yourself while others are suffering. You know who you are. You are do-gooders.   Well you do-gooders are in luck, Puerto Vallarta has so many opportunities for you to do all sorts of good. Maybe you want to help out at one of the many children’s charities set up in Vallarta. Maybe you don’t like kids and just so happens you love animals and want to help out at the local ASPCA or the pet spay and neuter clinic.  There is an entire list of these organizations where your help and funds are needed and would be appreciated and I have added a couple to my website of links to do-gooder websites in PV that you can visit. Again you will find those links by going to  Well, we will be interviewing these leaders, these special volunteers in the community who have found their calling and are truly Gods’ helpers for sure.

Puerto Vallarta Real Estate

My real job is selling homes. I know a whole lot about selling houses in Southern California. That’s how I can afford to make Puerto Vallarta my second home away from home. In fact, I do another podcast called the Southern California Real Estate Answer Man Show where I do tutorials on buying and selling Real Estate in California. So if you ever want  to buy or sell a home in Southern California, call me, but I have absolutely no idea where to begin when it comes to buying and selling property in Mexico. I do however, know some great agents who work all along the Bajia de Banderas. From Sayulita and Bucarias to the north, to Mismaloya and Boca Tomatlan to the South so if you are ever in the market and want a great, honest agent referral, email me and I will set you up with an agent that you will get along with. Anyway because of my natural interest in the subject of buying and selling homes, we are going to talk with local Realtors, brokers and attorneys  about foreigners buying property in Puerto Vallarta. We are talking real property not timeshares here, we  are talking about buying the whole enchilada.  About buying a home or condo. It’s not going to be a big part of the show, but we are going to definitely touch on the subject. Maybe more than a touch, maybe a little heavy petting, but we will see. Look, I think that people who come here more than once start looking around and asking themselves, where would I like to live if I lived here. It is certainly a thought provoking subject if just for the voyeurism of the whole thing.

Puerto Vallarta Timeshares

Talking of timeshares,  we will be talking timeshares in an episode or two, that’s  because it seems everywhere you turn around in this town, someone is trying to sell you a timeshare. We will be spending some time discussing the good and the bad of those timeshare opportunities with people who sell them, people who hate them and the people who just love them. Some have multiple timeshares and we will hear from them.

Puerto Vallarta Rentals

And if purchasing your little piece of paradise isn’t in the cards for you, we will be talking with people living in Puerto Vallarta who handle long term and short term rentals. These people and can find you a place to stay the winter, not in a hotel or a resort, but a condo or an apartment or a full on home.  So many of you are snowbirds spending 3-5 months in paradise instead of battling the freezing temperatures In Minisocold, or Cleveland Ohio, or you Canadians up in Canadia from Manitoba, Toronto, Vancouver BC,  Saskatoon Saskatchewan, I just wanted to say that   and  all over that great country to the north.

Canadians are finding that their dollarettes go a lot further in Puerto Vallarta than at home in Canada. That’s why you will find such a large Canadian Expat population in PV. For some reason Canadians love this place. Of course there’s plenty of American US expats living in Puerto Vallarta as well.

Expats in Puerto Vallarta

We will be talking with the expats here in Puerto Vallarta, from one end of the bay to the other to get their stories too. We will discuss their reasons for moving to paradise…duh.., their challenges and successes making a go at living in Mexico. Are they looking to get a Mexican Passport and citizenship, or are they just happy to have resident status. We will have a couple of shows that cover those issues as well.

Get Married in Puerto Vallarta

Perhaps you are considering Puerto Vallarta as your destination wedding location. Many brides to be see themselves getting married with the ocean and sand and the fantastic setting of Bandares Bay as the backdrop of their ideal wedding. Others see themselves wed at the famous Church of our lady de Guadalupe, That beautiful crowned church you see in all of those tourist photos of Puerto Vallarta. Yes, that church. You can be married there.  Maybe you have decided to renew your vows in paradise and want to invite your favorite people in the world to share your special moment with you. Well, we will be talking with local wedding planners, Bakers, Dressmakers, florists, photographers, caterers and hotel operators as well as other property owners who specialize in making your destination wedding the talk of the town and an incredible memory for you to hold in your hearts for your entire lives. I’m really looking forward to that or I should say those episodes of the show because there are so many people to talk with and so many options for those of you in love who are mulling over the numerous possibilities and opportunities. So weddings, vow renewals anniversary celebrations and other special occasion locations and services will be discussed in length throughout the podcasts to follow. If you have had a wedding that you want to tell us about, let me know and we can talk about it in an upcoming show. Please share your experiences with our listeners.

Art in Puerto Vallarta

Maybe you are interested in the numerous art galleries throughout Vallarta. We will be talking with a number of local artists, many of them expats themselves who now call Puerto Vallarta their home. We will be talking with local native Mexican artists as well.

I have an upcoming interview Gary Thompson, who is the owner and director of Galleria Pacifico, and he will also give us a tour of the local artwork on the Malecon, the oceanfront boardwalk in Old Town Puerto Vallarta where there are the most fantastic, some would say unusual looking sculptures and artwork that are so popular here along the waterfront here in downtown PV. During the high season every Tuesday morning at 9:30,  Gary gives a free walking tour where he describes the artwork and talks about the artists too. It’s going to be a real treat.

Cooking and Art Classes in Puerto Vallarta

Maybe you are looking to enrich yourselves by taking a Spanish course or a cooking class so you can cook like a local. Maybe you want to take an art class with a local artist. We will be interviewing these teachers who are eager to share their knowledge so you can bring it home with you to share with your family and friends. And you can relive those experiences each and every day. Imagine if you will learning from some of the most amazing chefs in the whole world. Wow! You can do that here, and you will be so glad you listened to this show because now you have the bug.

Puerto Vallarta is LGBTQ Friendly

Puerto Vallarta is a LGBTQ friendly town. You will find, especially on the south side of town that Vallarta has plenty of Gay daytime  and Night time activities with , Clubs, Bars and Restaurants, beaches and even special tours actually offered specifically for gay tourists here. So yes, the Rainbow flag is flown quite proudly here in Vallarta. And we are going to dedicate at least one show to the LGBTQ community here and the clubs and restaurants that are frequented by the gay community here in Vallarta. I’m telling you, you should check out that show, it should be very interesting.

Theater Arts in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta was put on the map by Hollywood Director John Houston and Richard Burton and Liz Taylor when the night of the iguana was filmed back in 1964, so it should come as no surprise that Puerto Vallarta has a robust theater and entertainment community. We will be discussing that with Gary Beck in an upcoming show this February.

So there is just so much to talk about, and as the show progresses week by week, I will be working along with friends like JR, and my buddy Agustin at The fantastic Hotel Cinco 22 B & B on Calle Hidalgo, about 3 blocks north of The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

 I will be working with those great guys and others to bring you special offers from restaurants and hotels, resorts and clubs so stay tuned for that. Just another added bonus for my listeners and I will be bringing those to your attention as the come up. Again you will find all of the show notes to this podcast ant others to come including the links to JR’s site and to the website where you can purchase the fantastic music of Alberto Perez who we will listen to as we play out this episode.

Remember my friends, and I really mean this, because I have made so many great, genuine friends in Puerto Vallarta, and I really consider all of my listeners my friends, that this show is an interactive one.

I need your participation by sending me emails with questions for JR that you would like to hear him answer on air with me. And please Email me your suggestions for show topics. I probably have about 60 of them written down as of right now, but If you think of something I should be talking about, please reach out to me by email. Just click on the contact tab at the top of the page and fill out the form. 

And remember, if you are considering booking any type of tour while you are in Puerto Vallarta, you must go to, JR’s website and reserve your tour through him, right from his website. Remember the value for value proposition. His experience and on the ground knowledge of everything Puerto Vallarta in exchange for your making a purchase of a tour that you would do anyway, you’re just doing it through him as a way of saying thank you. It costs no more than if you were to use someone else so do it. Really. And when you do take one of these tours, email me about your experiences. Maybe you can come onboard and share with others what you liked or didn’t like about the tour. Again, email me with your experiences. Just click on the contact tab at the top of the page and fill out the form. 

Next week we will get right into the history, geography and lay of the land here in Puerto Vallarta.



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