Top 5 Best River Spots to Spend the Day in PV

Puerto Vallarta may be most famous for its beautiful beaches, but any visit to the Bay is incomplete without a day (or at least a lunch!) on the river. The Bay of Banderas is home to at least 20 rivers, but the most famous that runs through the downtown Puerto Vallarta area is the Rio Cuale. Today, I’m going to share my Top 5 favorite spots to relax along the beautiful Cuale River.

1. Babel Bar

I just love this hidden gem! Babel Bar is a restaurant and bar located at the far eastern end of the Cuale River island. Not only is the food delicious, they have really created a relaxing space with hammocks and lots of shady spots with tables set up to relax by the river. Over the years, they have become a fantastic venue for afternoon live music by wonderful artists. Just a short distance from downtown and bustling Romantiz Zone, your tranquil getaway awaits you.


2. The mouth of the Cuale River

Cuale River Puerto Vallarta

This downtown PV river spot is definitely the most traficked of all my recommendations. Where the river meets the ocean, it is a very popular spot! Nonetheless, it is a fantastic locale to people watch on a Sunday afternoon. A  favorite spot amongst the local children to swim in calm waters, it is a hub of activity in the spring when the waters are clear and calm. Find a shady spot under the bridge, choose a snack from your favorite beach vendor, and enjoy the happy vibes!


3. El Salto Waterfall

El Salto Waterfall Puerto Vallarta

This one is for the true adventurous hikers out there! Find a local tour company or long time resident of PV to take you up the Cuale river to this most amazing swimming spot. El Salto is a gorgeous waterfall that runs year round.  However the best times for swimming are January through May when it is dry season and the current is mellow. You wont find any restaurants or bars up here, so bring plenty of water and a tasty picnic to enjoy one of the most beautiful locations in Puerto Vallarta.


4. El Rio BBQ

El Rio BBQ Puerto Vallarta

This BBQ restaurant can be found just 10 minutes inland from downtown PV in the the town of Paso Ancho. Perched right on the river, patrons can enjoy a swim in a really lovely spot along the Cuale. The best part of this river spot is the rope swing. Local kids put on an amateur show of truly incredible tricks and stunts. 50 ft cliff jumps and flips off the rope swing are part of the entertainment. Dont forget to tip your pint-size performers! El Rio BBQ is also known for its live music acts. Get ready to rock and roll most days around 4 pm when the bands roll in and plug in. Dance floor gets crowded!


5. Las Pilitas

This is a great little waterfall and rustic restaurant spot located about 10 km up the river from downtown Vallarta. Technically, it’s not located on the Cuale River, but on a smaller tributary called the Vallejo. It can be reached by a bumpy dirt road taxi ride! This lovely little spot is best in rainy season or early winter when the the current is stronger. A great complement to the El Salto Waterfall. ATV and mountain bike tours head to this great little place in the mornings, so an afternoon visit would be best if you’re looking to have the place to yourself!

Neighborhoods in Vallarta, what’s your favorite?

The more time you spend in Puerto Vallarta, the more you realize just how many different little neighborhoods there are. As you graduate beyond the most populated areas like Centro (Downtown) and the Romantic Zone, you begin to see all the charming streets and areas that make Vallarta so unique. It’s really true when they say that “there is something for everyone” in this city by the Bay.

Here is a list of some of my favorite areas to explore that maybe you havent heard of just yet.

El Cerro         

“The Hill” in English, this Vallarta neighborhood is aptly named for the hillside it occupies right above downtown. I love this neighborhood because it’s very quiet, even though its just a 5 minute walk up the hill from the Malecon where all the action is.  A great mix of residents, corner stores, and beautiful traditional homes make this an incredible neighborhood to live in.

Las Gaviotas       

Colonia Las Gaviotas is such a gem. Locate just across from Costco, it is a suburban oasis. Wide cobblestone streets lined with gorgeous mature trees, this is a beautiful Vallarta neighborhood. Mountain views make homes here quite stunning! Very popular with families due to its proximity to so many great schools, as well as a short walk from Costco and La Comer. Great local restaurants include Bonito Kitchen, Ramen Ya, and Lukumbe for the kids.



Fantastic up and coming neighborhood in Puerto Vallarta. Located in a great central location to a wide variety of shopping. Costco is not far, and there are corner stores of every type every few blocks as well. Beautiful fresh produce at open air veggie markets is a great draw to those that want to live a more authentic Mexican lifestyle. Newly paved streets, make this quaint neighborhood easier to access than before. Mountain views to die for!



This relatively large area is tucked in between Vallarta’s two main thoroughfares. Its fantastic location is made even better by the charm and walkability of this Vallarta neighborhood. SO many great restaurants popping up all the time, there is always a new hip dining option in Versalles. With deals to be found, this is a great area to invest in!


Top 5 places to eat in 5 de Diciembre

5 de Diciembre is one of Vallarta’s liveliest neighborhoods. With so many mom-and-pop shops, galleries, open air markets, and restaurants, you could spend a lifetime exploring all that this “colonia” has to offer. Because, we all love food so much in Puerto Vallarta, let’s take a look at my choices for the Top 5 places to eat in 5 de Diciembre.  It’s going to be a mash up of all different kinds of food, so get ready to hopefully discover a new favorite eatery in one of Vallarta’s most beloved neighborhoods.

CALMATE CAFE- Honduras 218               

One of the newest additions to the 5 de Diciembre neighborhood is Calmate Cafe. Run by a young couple who loves to be healthy and active, they created a simple, relaxing dining experience that leaves you feeling satisfied without the bloat and indigestion. Their signature ingredient that is featured in many of their bowls, wraps, and tacos is Sweet Potato! I love the Camo-Tacos which have mushroom, sweet potato, and egg. Lots of options for vegetarians and vegans as well. And the best part, their homemade chocolate chip cookies. A must try!



Who doesn’t love a jumbo sized California-style burrito? Raine and Azul are just the sweetest couple in 5 de Diciembre. And it just so happens that they make a killer burrito. Fresh ingredients, vegan options, and an array of other menu items make The Real Deal California Burritos one of my favorite spots to stop in for a quick bite.  Dont forget to ask for your customer loyalty punch card and work your way to that glorious free burrito.


EL BARRACUDA- Paraguay 1290        

If you havent had the pleasure of dining at this casual oceanfront restaurant, you are just a dinner away from becoming more in love with Puerto Vallarta than you already are. Fantastic fresh sea food, excellent service, a great music playlist, and feeling the sand on your toes at your dinner table make El Barracuda (and sister bar, El Solar) one of the best restaurants in 5 de Diciembre in my opinion! A great spot for a business lunch, romantic dinner, or family dining, this restaurant is a true gem run by professionals that know what theyre doing.

DEL CARBONCITO- Honduras 127

Best Tacos in PV alert!!! Del Carboncito is a neighborhood staple in 5 de Diciembre. This one is definitely for the meat eaters out there. These guys open around 7 pm everyday except Monays. Arrachera tacos are a crowd favorite and are usually all gone by 9:30 pm. Al Pastor tacos are available until 3 am, Viva Mexico!


LA TRAVIATA- Honduras 309      

This is the kind of place you want to bring friends and family that are visiting from out of town. Located on the rooftop of the Paloma del Mar hotel in 5 de Diciembre, the views are outstanding!! The Italian cuisine is delicious as well. Pizzas, pastas, parmigianos, La Traviata has it all. There’s even an enclosed play area for the kids, so that families can enjoy some kid free time. The vibe is very relaxed, however peak season from December to April, reservations for dinner are recommended. Few people know that this spot is open all day from breakfast and uncrowded earlier in the day.


Boardwalk Realty closes its Doors- Just For Now

Hello everyone, please take the time to read this piece written by my real estate partner and owner of Boardwalk Realty, John Swanson. We are still here working hard for every one of our clients with the same focus and dedication as always, we’re just more behind-the-scenes than usual. We wish health to every one of you!

Taken from the March 23, 2020 issue of Banderas News

” In an unprecedented move, one of the real estate community’s most respected real estate companies, Boardwalk Realty, is locking up – for now. Effective immediately, the doors of all of their offices are closed. This includes the company’s main office in the Hotel Zone, as well as their satellite offices at D’Residences and D’esire in the Zona Romantica.

Why would an industry leader make this extraordinary move? To help curb the spread of Coronavirus. “It’s about you” explained brokers Michael Green and John Swanson. “We feel it is our civic duty to consider our client’s health first. These are extraordinary times and they call for extraordinary decisions.

“We are not going out of business nor are we stopping our quest for exceptional service. In fact our commitment is to providing even better service during this time, but sacrifices must be made and keeping you healthy is ‘Job 1’ for us. We feel the best way to do that is to flatten the curve, to keep ourselves and our friends healthy by going electronic whenever possible.” To that end, we enhancing our state-of-the-art website, where you can see all the properties for sale in the bay as well as buyer and seller tips at Our ‘live chat’ feature is a great way to learn about owning here too!

“This was not an easy decision to make” Mike and John explain. “We are well aware of the value of sitting at a table and getting to know our clients face-to-face. We love getting to know people, it’s part of who we are. Most have become our friends on a social level as well and we love being resources for them as part of their Mexico Journey.

Mexico has fared relatively well so far compared to other countries. However, they see problems in many other parts of the world and want to be pro active. “We simply must hope for the best and prepare for the worst by reducing risks where we can. We think of it as our duty,” Green said.

Boardwalk’s toll free lines (US 1 855-239-0640 and Canada 1 855-244-1306) are open, and they are happy to meet you at their office anytime. “We are still happy to tour properties with prospective owners and there are deals to be had in this market. After all, this will end sometime and if you have to hunker down, why not do it in your own piece of Paradise?

Oh, and just for the record, you don’t catch the Coronavirus from Corona beer!”

Condo Life, Is it Right for You?

As a professional real estate agent and long time resident of Puerto Vallarta, I definitely have sold my fair share of condos, as well as enjoyed them in my spare time. I just love visiting my friends and family that own condos here in beautiful Banderas Bay. Without a doubt, I love the Condo Life! There are so many advantages to owning your little slice of the sky,  and a few points to be made aware of as well. Doing your homework on each specific building will pay off when you find your perfect match.

What Is a Condo?

A condo, or condominium, is a private residence within a larger building or community. It can be a multi-story townhouse or a single unit in a high-rise with other condo units above and below.

As an investment property, a condo can be rented out to tenants. This can make it seem very much like an apartment. The difference is ownership. Individuals own each condo. But apartments are rented out by someone who owns the entire building.

A property owner purchases a condo and pays a monthly fee (in addition to the purchase price of the unit itself). This fee covers the maintenance and upkeep of common areas shared with other owners in the condo community.

Pros of Condo Investing

Less maintenance to worry about

One of the biggest benefits of condo ownership is that other people do the exterior property maintenance for you. Neither you nor your tenant bears the responsibility to rake buganvilia leaves or repaint peeling exterior walls.

The building association takes care of the expense and the hassle of building maintenance and the grounds. (But there’s no hard and fast rule of condos. Each association decides what the condo association is responsible for and what the owners are responsible for. So read all docs carefully before buying.)


As an investment, it’s typically less expensive to purchase a condo than a single-family home or townhouse with similar features. So you need less out-of-pocket cash to get started.

However, make sure the monthly rent you’re able to charge can support all your ownership costs, including the monthly HOA fee. The purchase price of a condo is less, because homebuyers factor in that recurring fixed fee.


A big benefit of condo living is access to high-quality community amenities. There’s often a pool, fitness room, and lounge areas. These amenities are very attractive to many tenants, which helps you keep your unit rented. Properties with attractive amenities are often in high demand. That can mean a quick turnover when a tenant moves out. Short vacancies are an investor’s best friend when it comes to managing cash flow.


Most condo buildings have enhanced security. You usually need a key to access the building before getting to the front door of your unit. Each unit is equipped with an intercom that residents can use to “buzz in” approved guests and visitors. This added security makes residents feel safer and keeps out solicitors — an attractive feature that many tenants will pay a premium to enjoy.

Common rules can preserve your investment property’s value

There are typically more rules to follow as an owner in a condo community. Chances are you can’t change the color of your front door, for example. Often, residents are prohibited from conducting any business activities from a home office. These rules are likely more stringent than similar properties not deemed a condo. This helps to deter unwanted activity that leads to property depreciation.

Building rules and regulations are often exactly what’s needed to keep a tidy community that benefits all owners. Your tenant may not be able to grow herbs in pots on the patio, but you also won’t have to worry about a neighbor’s patio becoming a storage space for junk.

I like to invest in rental properties where there’s a modest homeowners association (HOA) fee. The association serves as a policing force that prevents owners from neglecting their property and discourages bad behavior by residents. This helps maintain home values and makes the property attractive, which is important whether I’m seeking new tenants or looking to sell the property.

D’Residences Officially Sold Out! D’esire still Selling

Great news from the Boardwalk family. Luxury condominium building, D’Residences is officially sold out! This project has been a total success and will be a pleasure to deliver to new owners mid 2021. The good news is that there are still units available in sister building, D’esire, located on a quiet, charming corner of the Romantic Zone of Puerto Vallarta.

D’esire is the newest creation from the D’Group and renowned architect Octavio Lopez, creator of the famed buildings D’Terrace and D’Residence, Horizon, Avalon and Paramount Bay. Perfectly located on a quiet street in the heart of the popular “Zona Romantica”, these hip, modern condominiums are designed as perfect second homes, vacation or rental residences, making way for a lifestyle that will be enjoyed by a select few. 

South View from D’esire

 D’esire will please the most discerning and sophisticated clientele with an array of amenities, amazing rooftop lounge and entertaining areas. The boutique building showcases cutting edge contemporary european styling, two elevators, spectacular rooftop “infinity-edge” swimming pool, designer lounge area, tables and bar area with food and drink service, jetted tub and more!

Delivery date for D’esire is November 2021. The developer has confirmed that enough units have already sold during pre-construction that he has all  funds needed to complete the project! Construction teams are moving quickly with the ground floor already laid and upward progress being made daily. Owning your own slice of heaven in one of the friendliest cities in the world can be done in style at D’esire. Contact me for pre-sale pricing, an incredible opportunity to invest early in Vallarta’s newest real estate at prices that will never be so low again. Working with renowned developers that can be trusted makes pre-sale buying at D’esire a worry-free experience for buyers. At the time of writing, there are still 15 of the original 30 units available.

D'esire March 2020


Benito Juarez Day

All across the country today, Mexicans are celebrating the birth date of beloved figurehead Benito Juarez. A national symbol of pereserverance, dedication, and patriotism, Benito Juarez is a name you will see throughout your travels in Mexico. Street signs, schools, and even taco stands are all named after the 19th century Mexican president. And therefore, on this holiday which takes place on the third Monday of every March, you will find celebrations and special events taking place. Also to be noted is that most banks and federal institutions are closed as well on this day.


Born in 1806, Benito Juarez was a lawyer and politician during the mid to late 19th century who served as president for five terms, from 1858-1872. Today, parallels are often drawn between Juarez and the well liked U.S. president Abraham Lincoln. This is because both leaders are remembered for their firm guidance and willingness to confront major social issues, even when it led to war.

Benito Juarez overcame seemingly insurmountable challenges during his formative years, which were defined by incredible poverty. Orphaned when he was three years old, he worked in the fields as a laborer until the age of 12. He then went to live with his sister and worked as a servant in Oaxaca. It was here that Benito Juarez learned Spanish while still in his teens. His native tounge was an indigenous Mexican language called Zapotec spoken in his tribal community in Oaxaca. Eventually, Juarez entered the Santa Cruz seminary and ultimately graduated in 1834 from the Institute of Science and Art with a law degree.

A true testament to the ethics of hard work, pereserverance, and love of his country, Benito Juarez is remebered today as an exemplary figure in Mexican National History who fought for the rights of all Mexicans.


Property Management in Puerto Vallarta

Congratulations, you’ve purchased your dream home in beautiful PV! The next step in your homeowner journey is protecting your investment year round with top notch property management.

An important part of owning a home in a foreign country is making sure you have the right team in place to keep your investment clean and secure. Many new buyers make the wise decision to hire a reputable property manager to keep their vacation or rental property in tip-top shape. 

What can I expect?

An excellent property managaer will be your eyes and ears on the ground here in Puerto Vallarta. Typical duties include weekly walk throughs, coordination of cleaning, payment of any staff members, HOA fees, trust fees, and property taxes. A great bilingual property management expert will seamlessly guide you along as you learn the ropes to owning property in Mexico.

How much assistance will you need?

Property management fees vary depending on how much assistance you will need. Many new buyers are looking to take advantage of Vallarta’s fruitful rental market and elect to work with trusted property managers who can handle their rental property’s needs. Hence, your property manager can be present for guest arrivals and departures, guest needs, and any maintenance or repair issues that arise.  Therefore, you can expect to invest more in property management that involves rental assistance as well.


How to stay in touch? 

Whatsapp is the smart phone application of choice for most Puerto Vallarta locals. This user-friendly messaging app will most likely be your lifeline to your property management team here in Mexico.  If you haven’t already, download Whatsapp. It’s a great way to stay in touch with all the new international friends you will make living in PV.

Great property management is an integral part of being happy and relaxed once youve purchased your beautiful new home. That’s why knowing your home is in great hands while you are away is definitely worth the extra investment each month.

Single Story For Sale in San Pancho, San Pancho

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Private residence with space

•  single story “Plus four additional suites” FOR SALE  USD1,400,000 . Stunning San Pancho villa

Absolutely stunning showcase property in chic San Pancho. Professionally decorated and fully landscaped, Villas Catalina is noteworthy. Outstanding single-level living within the completely updated main house. Rich, everlasting finishes throughout of granite, marble and parota hardwood. Spotless, professional kitchen with tiled arches and grand tiled and adjoining oversized terrace with grill are perfect for entertaining and spotlights views across the San Pancho bay and expansive pool. Main villa features a restful and private master suite with ample closets and en-suite master bath. Totally private main residence with vaulted ceilings easily communicates with two independent apartments each festively tiled and equipped with kitchenettes. Amazing day and night views from both suites over the cobalt pool to the bay beyond direct towards the town of Sayulita. Two additional detached king-sized master suites with compact kitchenettes have a pleasant, shared jungle terrace with direct connection to the pool. This outstanding residence offers the seclusions of jungle location with totally secure compound with grand-stone entry with private, gated parking for five vehicles. Five separate villas within the compound offer options for investment property, entertaining and large family needs. An oasis of tranquility, with stunning ocean and jungle views in a compound offering security and seclusion.

Property information