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Category Archives: Art & Culture

The Wonderful New Year’s Eve Traditions of Mexico

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Mexico has some fabulous traditions that are celebrated on the eve of a new year and whether you will be ringing in 2021 with us in your vacation rental, or celebrating from afar, here are some of the fun traditions of Mexico that you can add to your celebration.

Tidy Up! Although your Pinnacle Resorts suite will be immaculately clean, in Mexico we have a tradition of sweeping the broom through the door or throwing a bucket of water over the terrace (please make sure to look down below to avoid soaking passersby!) to “clean out” all that is leftover from the year before, preparing ourselves for all joys that a new year will bring.

Pack Your Suitcases! Although you may have just arrived for your vacation in Puerto Vallarta, grab your suitcase and do a quick walk around the block. This tradition promises that 2021 will be a year full of travel and adventure for you. (Don’t worry, you don’t need to really pack again – empty suitcases work just as well!)

Grab Some Grapes! Eat 12 grapes at midnight, one for each month of the upcoming year. Every sweet grape will mean that the corresponding month will be fruitful and successful, but a sour grape warns you to take precautions for more challenging times.

Pick Your Underpants! Maybe the silliest of all the New Years Eve traditions, the color of your underwear can bring good things to you in 2021:

  • Yellow for wealth and prosperity
  • Red for love and passion
  • Green for good luck
  • Blue for good health
  • White for peace and harmony

…we suggest something multicolored to cover all your bases!

To our guests ushering in 2021 with us and to all our visitors both past and future from around the world, the Pinnacle Resorts staff wishes you 2021 full of good health, travel, and adventure.

Click here for more Puerto Vallarta luxury vacation tips from Pinnacle Resorts.

The Christmas Traditions of Mexico

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If you are visiting Puerto Vallarta over the Christmas season you can expect to trade in cold weather and snowed-in streets for sunshine, ocean breezes, and swaying palm trees. But you don’t need cold weather to be festive for the holidays and here are a few of the most common Christmas traditions in Mexico.

Posadas: meaning “inn” or “shelter” in Spanish, in this celebration, the Bible story of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem and their search for a place to give birth is recreated. The festive celebrations take place on each of the nine nights leading up to Christmas and include signing, breaking piñatas, eating tamales, and drinking Ponche, a traditional fruit punch.

Piñatas: not just for birthday parties, piñatas are commonplace at Christmas parties and stuffed with traditional Mexican candies, small toys, and chocolate coins.

Poinsettias: called “Noche Buenas” in Spanish, these festive plants are native to southern Mexico and their use in cultural celebrations dates back to the Aztecs who called these festive plants “Cuetlaxochitl”. Try saying that three times quickly!

Tamales: a traditional Mexican meal served over the holidays, tamales consist of masa (corn dough) stuffed with chicken or pork stew, peppers, cheese, or fruits, and wrapped up in a corn husk.

Nativity Scenes: though midnight mass will be observed in homes rather than church this year, many Mexican families and businesses will have their own nativity scene recreating the Holy family, angels, and shepherds, like in many parts of the world, but in Mexico, the Three Kings are not added to the nativity until January 6th, to mark the Epiphany or Día de Reyes, as it is known in Mexico.

Painted Tin Ornaments: though Christmas trees are not as common in Puerto Vallarta as in other parts of the world, many still decorate using traditional Mexican tin ornaments. Colorful and in endless arrays of colors and designs, these pretty decorations are great keepsakes of your time in Mexico

To all of our guests visiting our luxury vacation rentals in the Puerto Vallarta Romantic Zone this month, and to all of our visitors both past and future, the Pinnacle Resorts staff wishes you the best of the holiday season. May it be as merry and bright as a sunny Puerto Vallarta day.

Click here for more Puerto Vallarta luxury vacation tips from Pinnacle Resorts.

Photo by Jessica Fadel on Unsplash

Dia de Muertos

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Traditions in Puerto Vallarta

If you are traveling to Puerto Vallarta during the first week of November, you’ll be visiting during one of the most important annual cultural celebrations in Mexico: Día de Muertos. Also, called Día de Los Muertos, the “Day of the Dead” is actually a two-day event, on November 1st and 2nd, and though the name may sound like a time of sadness, Día de Muertos is a celebration of the happy remembrance of family and friends who have passed.

One of the things that you will see during this time in Puerto Vallarta are colorful altars that hold the memories of loved ones. Altars will have photographs, flowers, colorful cut paper flags, candies, candles, religious images, favorite foods and drinks of the departed, and the iconic sugar skulls of Mexico decorating them. The altars are not only to honor loved ones but offered as a comfort to the souls of those being remembered, with their favorite dishes and treats to enjoy in the afterlife, candles to light their way, and flowers to bring joy.

You will also likely spy La Catrina at this time of year, the representation of animated female skeletons dressed in fanciful hats and European dresses in the style of the early 1900s. A creation of Mexican artist Jose Guadalupe Posada around 1910, La Catrina has come to be a widely popular part of Día de Muertos celebrations throughout Mexico.

And another part of Día de Los Muertos in Puerto Vallarta that you will want to try is Pan de Muertos, a soft and sweet bread traditionally served for the occasion. Pan de Muertos is generally baked in a round shape to mimic the shape of a skull baked with cross pieces of dough to represent the bones of the dead and then topped with sugar. Pan de Muertos is widely available in late October and early November at bakeries, grocery stores, and cafes around Puerto Vallarta.

November is a particularly special time to visit Puerto Vallarta as the city celebrates joyful memories of friends and family and we hope to be able to host your stay at Pinnacle Resorts, centrally located in the heart of the Romantic Zone within walking distance to all the cultural attractions of downtown Puerto Vallarta.

Click here for more Puerto Vallarta luxury vacation tips from Pinnacle Resorts.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Mexican Independence Day

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Many people mistakenly believe May 5th to be Mexican Independence Day, but in reality, the anniversary of the country separating from Spain is celebrated on September 16th and is a national holiday that is highly anticipated every year.

Mexico is a proud country and though this year there will not be large scale public celebrations, to support the good health and wellbeing of our community and visitors, Independence Day will be celebrated in homes and restaurants in Puerto Vallarta and across the country, and visitors will be able to feel and see the spirit of the occasion all around them during the month of September. Streets will be decorated with the red, white, and green colors of Mexico, flags will fly in honor of the occasion and local eateries will be serving special meals in celebration.

One of our suggested ways to celebrate is with dinner at Kaiser Maximillian, an upscale restaurant within easy walking distance from us, to enjoy the traditional Independence Day dish of Chiles en Nogada until October 10th.  Another excellent option is Gaby’s Restaurant, a traditional Mexican restaurant in downtown Vallarta, serving delicious and authentic Mexican dishes in a casual atmosphere. Or, if you would like to stay in and watch the sunset from the terrace of your suite, have Chiles en Nogada delivered in from caterer Claudia Lovera. Your concierge can assist you in placing an order for delivery via WhatsApp message to 322 128 0120 or with restaurant reservations.

Or stay in and visit any of the Pinnacle Resorts sky bars or lounges for Tequila, Margaritas, and other Mexican wines, spirits, beers, and cocktails during our famous nightly Happy Hour when all drinks are 2×1 and raise your glass with a hearty “Viva Mexico!” in celebration.

Click here for more Puerto Vallarta luxury travel tips from Pinnacle Resorts.

Photo by Jorge Aguilar on Unsplash

Real Mexican Cuisine: Chiles en Nogada

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If you are lucky enough to be visiting Puerto Vallarta during September, you are in for not only a cultural but a culinary treat. September 16th marks Mexican Independence Day and part of the traditional celebrations is a very traditional Mexican dish called Chiles en Nogada.

Chiles en Nogada is popular at this time of year because the colors of the dish – red, white, and green – mimic the colors of the Mexican flag and the Poblano peppers are at its peak during this time. It is one of the country’s most iconic dishes and is said to have been created from a recipe made by 19th century Catholic nuns in San Andrés Calpan in the State of Puebla in Mexico.

So, what is Chiles en Nogada? It is a large roasted Poblano pepper (not found to be spicy to most tastes) stuffed with a mixture of minced meat, dried fruits, almonds, and spices. It is then covered in a rich and creamy, white walnut of Castile sauce, called Nogada, and sprinkled with juicy pomegranate seeds and garnished with parsley. It is as much a treat for the eyes and is it for the palate and is a must-try dish to add to your culinary adventures in Puerto Vallarta.

There are numerous restaurants in the Romantic Zone located within easy walking distance from your vacation rental which will be serving Chiles en Nogada this September. Ask your Pinnacle Resorts concierge for restaurant reservations or to-go/delivery options or try making this recipe in the fully equipped kitchen of your suite.

Click here for more Puerto Vallarta luxury vacation tips from Pinnacle Resorts.

Photo by Santiago Blando on Unsplash

Spirits of Mexico

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A quick guide to the difference between the three cousin spirits of Mexico: Tequila, mezcal, and raicilla.

The Differences of Tequila, Mezcal & Raicilla

While Tequila is perhaps the most famous Mexican distilled spirit, it has two close cousins – mezcal and raicilla – that you should sample during your Puerto Vallarta vacation. Here is a quick learner’s guide to the differences between each spirit.

Tequila

The most well-known, this spirit is made exclusively with the Blue Agave plant and to be called Tequila, it must be produced in our own state of Jalisco, in the Tequila region – much like how true Champagne must come from the Champagne region of France. Tequila comes in 5 distinct categories according to the amount of time it has been aged in oak barrels:

  1. Blanco or Silver Tequila (unaged)
  2. Joven or Gold Tequila (unaged)
  3. Reposado Tequila (aged two months and up to a year)
  4. Añejo Tequila (aged at least one year)
  5. Extra Añejo Tequila (aged at least three years)

Mezcal

Like Tequila, mezcal is also an agave-based spirit but can be distilled using a variety of up to thirty different agave plants and it is produced in several areas including Jalisco, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Durango, San Luis Potosí, Puebla and Zacatecas. Like Tequila, a Joven, mezcal has been unaged and a reposado mezcal will have been aged in oak barrels for two months to a year. However, some upscale mezcals can be aged for many years, giving the spirit a richer, deeper smoky flavor.

Raicilla

Like Tequila, raicilla is also a product of Jalisco but is distilled from two varieties of agave plants: Lechuguilla and Maximiliana. Raicilla was a bootleg liquor for generations in Jalisco, only becoming legal for sale in the 2000s, but with a sweeter and fruitier taste than mezcal, it has become increasingly popular with mixologists around the world.

The expert bartenders at Pinnacle Resorts can give you a personalized experience with all these spirits of Mexico and show you the proper techniques to drink them neat or create the perfect cocktail for your tastes. Be sure to visit Chictini by Pinnacle, Signature Lounge, or Residences Sky Bar during your next vacation in Puerto Vallarta.

Click here for more Puerto Vallarta luxury vacation tips from Pinnacle Resorts.

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Photo by Francisco Galarza on Unsplash

Sergio Bustamente: The Surreal Side of Mexican Art

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Sergio Bustamente is one of Mexico’s most famed surrealist artists, whose sculptural pieces and jewelry collections are sent from his main gallery in Tlaquepaque, Jalisco – about a 4.5-hour drive from Puerto Vallarta, in Guadalajara – to buyers around the world.

Orphaned as a child in the city of Culiacan, Sinaloa, Bustamente was raised by his grandfather, a Chinese immigrant named Jose Chong, who became a lifelong inspiration in his work. When he was nine years old, he moved to Guadalajara, where motivated by his love of painting and the different ways that spaces can intersect, he began to pursue a degree in architecture. But soon, he realized that fine art was where his passion lay and was only 17 when he presented his first public exhibition. He then moved to Amsterdam to continue his profession as an artist, honing his craft there for two years before returning to Mexico.

Bronze sculpture work is the medium for which Sergio Bustamente is most well-known. His most famous piece, En Busca de la Razón (In Search of Reason) is located on the Malecon, the iconic oceanfront walkway in Puerto Vallarta that is lined with public art. In Search of Reason was unveiled in 1999 and is one of the most photographed sculptures on the Puerto Vallarta Malecon. The sculpture is a large bronze ladder that is approximately 30 feet high – and wide and sturdy enough that visitors can climb it for photographs – and depicts two small children climbing up while their mother beseeches them to come down safely.

Sergio Bustamente has said simply that the piece is meant to be a comment on “liberty”, but like all his work, the interpretation is always that of the viewer’s imagination. Talk to your Pinnacle Resorts Concierge for more information about this famous sculpture and for other Puerto Vallarta cultural suggestions.

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