The Puerto Vallarta Bureau of Tourism, an Interview

An interview with Elvira Moncayo from the Puerto Vallarta Board of Tourism. Also, an Exciting Announcement About Parque de Los Azulejos, in Lazaro Cardenas Park from Natasha Moraga, Artist

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Hello fellow travelers, welcome this episode of the Puerto Vallarta Travel show. I am your host Barry Kessler and I am just so happy to be 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. Those are La Palapa, The El

La Palapa, Puerto Vallarta Mexico

Dorado Restaurant, and at night for dinner The El Dorado transforms into the ever so romantic Vista Grill with those dramatic views of the Los Muertos Pier all lit up at night in beautiful colors. Of course, at La Palapa you can enjoy that same view of the Los Muertos Pier all day long for breakfast, lunch or dinner, seated with your toes in the sand right at the water’s edge. It’s so romantic, it’s so Puerto Vallarta my friends!

Today we will be talking  with a very special guest, but first, what’s happening this week September 19, 2017.

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Mosaic Tile Wall at Basillio Badillo and Pino Suarez


Have you seen the tile wall in the romantic zone? On the South side of Puerto Vallarta, as you walk past Freddy’s Tucan toward the beach you come upon a school, surrounded by a wall. But not just any wall, a wall made up of tiles, cracked and cut tiles in mosaic form. Cracked ceramic plates and cups, tiles with names and memories baked into them. Tiles commemorating special occasions, names of pets and loved ones’ past. Mirrored glass, marbles, pebbles, all sorts of textures and mediums. Different colored grouts between the tiles. It’s a beautiful place. If you have been to Vallarta, downtown Vallarta, you probably have seen the wall. Have you ever thought to yourself…self, I wish I had my tile on that wall? Got to admit…I have. Well, how would you like to make your mark in Lazaro Cardenas Park? Now you can! That’s right, you have an opportunity to join in on a grand endeavor. For the 100-year anniversary of Puerto Vallarta coming up next year, Artist Natasha Moraga, the woman responsible for tiling that wall around that elementary school on the southside as well as her project at the Marina Vallarta as well as the letters Puerto Vallarta along highway 200 in Nayarit as you travel towards PV and more.

I reached out to Natasha because you guys are about as crazy wild as I am about Puerto Vallarta, and this project will knock your socks off. I reached out to Natasha, and Natasha has people, and her people sent my information to pass along to all of you and here goes….

Puerto Vallarta will celebrate its 100 year anniversary next year and we are preparing now! Natasha Moraga, founder and creator of Mozayko Vallarta is about to start her biggest community art installation in Lazaro Cardenas Park.

Areas of the Park  will be reshaped and transformed in a functional and organic way. Covered with beautiful and colorful tiles, we will turn our beloved Park into an open-air art gallery. This Park belongs to all of us, but we have limited customized tiles available.

As a special thank you for your hard work in making Vallarta a better place, we extend the opportunity to aquire your customized tile for the installation in the Park before sales become available to  the general public.

We want you to play a role in this amazing project and leave your legacy for generations to come!

We have many options to choose from To order your customized tile or for more information, email us:

She writes further……

Natasha Moraga


We are currently looking for donors and sponsors of tiles and benches.

Natasha Moraga Puerto Vallarta

Additionally, we are finishing up our website where everyone will be listed and all our events will be listed.  A few highlights are:

  • Official Launch Fundraiser Opener at No Way Jose! on Sunday October 15.
  • Casa Karma, Night of Stars Fundraiser Gala and silent auction, January Date to be determined
  • 3-day Experiential Workshops held twice a month in Lazaro Cardenas Park
  • Weekly Blogs
  • Monthly Newsletters starting Nov/Dec
  • Photo Gallery / Time-lapse Photography / Videos
  • Show Your Love – Valentine’s Day Selfie Kissing Contest to win a Celebration Tile
  • Best of Contest – Win a free tile for the local vendors i.e best popsicle vendor, best beach massage, etc.  We have about 20 categories
  • Lunch Club – Local Restaurants donate lunch for the day for workers
  • Lots of SWAG items for sale
  • Holiday Gift Item – Automatically produces an Official Certificate of Authenticity on Website to print, signed by Natasha Moraga
  • Wedding Gift  Item – Automatically produces an Official Certificate of Authenticity on Website to print, signed by Natasha Moraga, and more.

I have beautiful renderings of the park, complete with newly installed benches and hardscape, designed to take advantage of the mosaic tilework all over Lazaro Cardenas Park. You will find them on my website at

I’m going to have Nat Moraga on the show in a couple of weeks so stay tuned for that. She has some great stories that I’m going to get her to share with us. Stay tuned and make sure to order your tiles today, before they are all gone.

Art Rendering Parque de Azulejos
Art Rendering Parque de Azulejos
Art Rendering Parque de Azulejos
Art Rendering Parque de Azulejos



Highway to San Sebastian Report

I reported last week or maybe it was the week before last that the road to San Sebastian was washed out and closed to traffic. So naturally I was a little concerned about how our friends up in San Sebastian were doing, so I reached out to my buddies up at the famous Montebello Italian Restaurant up in San Sebastian, you guys should know by now that if you get a chance, and want the real authentic most bestest Italian food, you gotta go here, Anyway I asked them about the road on Friday the 15th and this was their answer to me…

Hi Barry! Yes, the road is open, yes there are small landslides, there are two parts where there is only one lane and one part where it is difficult but we have been able to pass. We went yesterday to Vallarta and we came back this morning today also Everything depends on the weather.

Then I saw this article in Noticias PV also from the 15th and here’s what it said in essence was..

The Civil Protection and Fire authorities of Jalisco had asked people not to drive in the section of  highway 544 from Las Palmas to Mascota due

Road Pelegroso

to the seriousness of the landslide which caused almost half of the highway to give way and slide down the hill leaving just more than a full lanes width of road. They sent back some folks who wanted to pass, who were told to find a different route.

Then, the authorities changed their minds, mostly because there were a whole lot of people who needed to get in or out of San Sebastian and

Cars Backed up on 522

there most likely was a compromise reached in order to not have a total all out rebellion the day before Independence Day for goodness sake.

So, it was decided that each driver was to take full responsibility for his or her, or their family, their cat, whoever was in the car or truck, was taking their lives into their own hands if they indeed wanted to traverse the single lane in it’s current condition, go at it. Just don’t come running to us if you roll off the road fall down and die. Okay?


So, a little sketchy on the road to San Sebastian, but they are getting through, and if you want to give the road a try, at least for now, depending on the weather and also the erosion of the hillside which may cause the entire rest of the road to collapse, go for it.

Use caution, but it is open for now.


Puerto Vallarta applies pressure to collect lodging tax from Airbnb rentals

I love to travel the Airbnb rout when I come to Puerto Vallarta, so I was interested in this article I read in the Puerto Vallarta Daily News that reported that leaders and legislators are pushing to get Airbnb’s to pay their fair share of taxes. Hotels pay 3% bed tax to the city, but so far, the online platform doesn’t collect bed taxes from Airbnb.

The article reads


The legislator, president of the congressional tourism commission, said, “in the municipality of Puerto Vallarta, the tax revenue generated would be approximately $33.2 million pesos, which would represent 30% of the annual income obtained by the Fideicomiso de Tourism of Puerto Vallarta in the year 2016”.

The aim of this initiative is “to establish clear rules for all, which has been a concern of Puerto Vallarta hoteliers, the second most important destination in the country.”

“This tax is not new, the 3% is paid by hoteliers, but not the web hosting applications such as AIRBNB and HOMEWAY.”

“These platforms do not pay taxes,” he reiterated.

This amount of money that could be received in Puerto Vallarta, could be applied to benefits like promotion and infrastructure.

The general objective pursued by this initiative is to extend the lodging tax, to include all those areas of overnight accommodation, such as apartments and houses totally or partially renting, offering tourist accommodation services, as well as regulating collaborative economies which provide the hosting service through digital platforms, according to constitutional principles.

This presentation and participation forum, which was attended by businessmen and hoteliers today, was coordinated by the director Susana Rodríguez, president of the tourism commission.

So many would say, it’s about time. I mean, these renters are using city services, the water, the sewer, the streets. The infrastructure could always use improvements so, we will see. I bet it’s a done deal.

I have a link to the article in the show notes to this episode of the show.


A couple of episodes ago, the one with Gary Beck when we talked about the Puerto Vallarta Entertainment Scene I had a brief interview with

Salvatore Piano Lessons

Pianista Salvatore Rodriguez, the Liberace of Mexico, remember him? Well, on top of his being a fine performer, Salvatore also gives piano lessons. So there, I added another item to your things to do list while in paradise. Learn piano from the master. So if you are interested in taking piano lessons from the maestro himself, check out the show notes from this episode of the show and I will have his contact information there if you and the next time I’m in Vallarta, I plan to sit down with Salvatore and get a full interview with him, and share him with you all. So check all that out.


Okay, there’s just so much, but let’s get on with this week’s guest.

Elvira Moncayo works in the office for the bureau of Tourism here in Puerto Vallarta.

Elvira Moncayo, Puerto Vallarta Board of Tourism

Back in January I was interviewing Gary Thompson, and he suggested I talk with Elvira. So I did.

We discussed the multiple projects newly completed and some that were just getting under way. We also talk about the fantastic website they have at, and the great tools that visitors can use there.

So let’s get to the interview with Elvira Moncayo in her office in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Thank you Elvira, you are so full of energy and you did a wonderful job of letting us know what’s coming up next and what to expect when you make it to Puerto Vallarta.

Make sure you check out, and use some of the tools they have there before you make your next visit to Vallarta. It will make it even more special.

With that in mind, make sure you visit JR’s website at and print out his maps before you hit the ground running in Puerto Vallarta.

Don’t forget to go right to my website and check out all the information I have regarding the Tile Park Puerto Vallarta or the Parque de Los Azulejos and Nat Moraga’s fantastic project. I have all the contact information in the shownotes for this episode and when I get time, I’ll create a special page on the website for this very important project. Until then you will find everything in the blogpost for this episode with Elvira Moncayo and the Vallarta Board of Tourism.



Well, that should do it for this episode of the Puerto Vallarta Travel Show.

Next week stay tuned for more on the ground reports from Puerto Vallarta Mexico, with travel tips, great restaurant and excursion ideas and more.  Until then, remember, this is an interactive show where I depend on your questions and suggestions about all things Puerto Vallarta. If you think of something I should be talking about, please reach out to me by clicking on the Contact us tab and sending us your message.


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 on-board and share with others what you liked or didn’t like about the tour. Again, contact me by clicking on the Contact us tab and sending off a message.



And once again, if you like this podcast, please take the time and subscribe and give me a good review on iTunes if you would. That way we can get the word out to more and more people about the magic of this place. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Remember I made it easy for you to do just that with each episode I create. But if you haven’t been to my website, you really need to have a look there.  I have the links to the places we talk about, interesting pictures and the more all right there in my blog-posts and show-notes for each episode of the show so check them out for sure if you haven’t already all-right? All right.


So, thanks to Elvira Moncayo for telling us all about what is planned for our fair city Puerto Vallarta., I have all the contact information and photos and links for the places that we talked about like the Chocolate Museum, and the tequila place, the aquarium and the mall too. I have a link their website too.

You’ll find all that info and more in the show notes of this episode, at  And thanks to all of you for listening all the way through this episode of the Puerto Vallarta Travel Show. This is Barry Kessler signing off with a wish for you all to slow down, be kind and live the Vallarta lifestyle. Nos Vemos amigos!


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