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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

FREE GUIDED PUERTO VALLARTA MALECON TOURS

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No visit to Puerto Vallarta would be complete without visiting our world famous Malecon, the mile long oceanside walkway with the gorgeous Pacific blue water on one side, stretching from the neighborhoods of Cinco de Diciembre all the way to the Romantic Zone.

A favorite spot for visitors to take vacation photos, including in front of the colorful Puerto Vallarta sign and the Los Arcos Amphitheatre, the full length of the Malecon is lined with bronze sculptures from some of Mexico’s most renowned artists.

Some of the pieces include Origin & Destiny by Pedro Tello, Nostalgia by Jose Ramiz Barquet, Nature as Mother by Adrián Reynoso, The Subtle Rock Eater by Jonás Gutiérrez, The Good Fortune Unicorn by Aníbal Riebeling and Triton and Mermaid by Carlos Espino, but all of the sculptures can be easily discovered with two free walking tours offered every week during high season.

From November through April, you can choose from a Tuesday morning tour starting at 9:30am or a Thursday sunset tour starting at 6:00pm hosted by Gary Thompson, owner of Galeria Pacifico and a Vallarta resident for over 38 years. The morning tour departs from the Millennium sculpture located next to the Hotel Rosita and the sunset tour departs from Galeria Pacifico at 174 Aldama Street.

Both tours are offered free of charge, but you are invited to make a donation in support of Biblioteca Los Mangos, Puerto Vallarta’s public library and cultural center, a non-profit organization that relies solely on private donations.

Ask your Pinnacle Resorts Concierge for more details about the Puerto Vallarta weekly guided Malecon tour or other recommendations for fantastic ways to explore the city during your visit.

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

UNCORKING THE WINES OF MEXICO

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When most people think of Mexico, they think of Tequila, Margaritas and Coronas, but winemakers in regions like Baja California, Coahuila and Durango have been putting Mexican wines on the map with some exceptional vintages.

Though the history of winemaking in Mexico dates back to the 16th century with the arrival of the Spaniards, it has only been in the past few decades that wineries have honed their craft and the demand for Mexican wines, both in Mexico and internationally, has boomed.

But for those new to Mexican wines, it can be difficult to differentiate the best bottles and grapes. Two local sommeliers, Vanusa Forster (originally of Brazil) and Natalia Villa-Lobos (of Mexico) offer you a unique guided experience into Mexican wines with Uncork Mexico.

With a new storefront located at Matamoros 425-A in downtown Puerto Vallarta, they carry a wide selection of Mexican wines of every variety and a nice selection of artisan cheeses. Vanusa and Natalia will help guide you in finding your perfect wine to take home or you can attend one of their very popular wine tasting events held every week with different themes (whites, reds, sparkling, etc.) that are paired with fine cheeses, fruits or chocolates. Uncork Mexico can also offer private tastings in the comfort of your Pinnacle Resorts vacation rental for a more personal experience and they offer free wine delivery service from their website.

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

WHALE WATCHING SEASON IN PUERTO VALLARTA

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If you are vacationing in Puerto Vallarta now, you may have been lucky enough to have caught a glimpse of humpback whales swimming through our bay from the private terrace of your Pinnacle Resorts vacation rental suite.

Every year, December through March, these majestic creatures visit the Pacific waters of Banderas Bay on their annual migratory path. Huge and friendly, often accompanied by their playful babies, they are some of our most welcome visitors.  Here are a few fun facts about humpback whales:

  1. The females are bigger than males! In length, females reach 15 to 16 meters in length (49 to 52 feet), while the males only grow to about 13 to 14 meters long.
  2. An adult humpback whale weigh about 30 000 kilos on average – that’s over 66 000 pounds!
  3. On average, humpback whales live to be 45 or 50 years old.
  4. They like to feed in polar waters, fattening up in the summer on a fish-based diet, but prefer to spend the winters in our tropical waters to have their babies and play.
  5. And playful they are! They are best friends with dolphins and will often swim and jump together.

Humpback whales are mammals, meaning that they need to come to the surface to get air, pushing water out high in the air as they exhale, before breathing back in and diving back down, often waving a fin or a tail on the way.

This is the perfect time for whale watching in Puerto Vallarta and companies like Vallarta Sportsman offer whale watching and fishing charters for every level of budget and luxury.

Whether joining them at sea or watching them from your luxury vacation rental in the Puerto Vallarta Romantic Zone of our famous Pinnacle Resorts lounges or pool decks, catching a glimpse of these amazing creatures is sure to be a high point of your Puerto Vallarta vacation.

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

DISCOVER THE ART & MARKET OF MARINA VALLARTA

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Puerto Vallarta never ceases to amaze us. Even though we believe we have seen it all, we discover that there are always new things to do. 

Maybe you have heard about the Artisan Market; if you walk along the Marina’s boardwalk on a Thursday evening, you will find the picturesque “Art & Market Marina Vallarta”. This small market opens from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and it is frequented not only by tourists but also by local customers and best of all, it is pet-friendly! So even your pet is guaranteed to have a good time. 

Among its stalls, the market hides: culinary delights, artwork from local Vallarta artists, Huichol art, handmade clothing and jewelry, art exhibitions, sculptures and even live entertainment. It is an excellent option to support local entrepreneurs and buy unique souvenirs to take home. 

  We recommend you go hungry, since the gastronomic proposal is extensive, from vegan food to dishes made at the moment all made in an artisanal and organic way, always trying to be friendly to the environment, so we suggest you take your own bag.

After enjoying your walk along the Marina’s boardwalk, you can end your day with a glass of wine or a craft beer while adminring the sunset from one of the several restaurants in the area. 

Getting to the “Art & Market Marina Vallarta” is very easy, ask your concierge in your rental condo at Pinnacle Resorts to request a taxi and you will arrive in a few minutes. 

For additional information visit their Facebook page: https: ART & MARKET MARINA VALLARTA

Enjoy this traditional market as soon as possible, as it will only be open during the high season from October to May. 

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

PINNACLE PICKS FOR VALENTINE’S ROMANCE

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There is no doubt that Puerto Vallarta is one the most romantic destinations in the world, with our amazing sunsets, warm tropical breezes, charming cobblestone streets and architecture, and our rich Mexican heritage and tradition. If you are staying in one of our luxury vacation rentals in the Puerto Vallarta Romantic Zone, you are steps away from some of the most romantic restaurants in Puerto Vallarta. Here are some of our Pinnacle Picks for the best restaurants for Valentine’s Day in Puerto Vallarta.

La Cappella:  Italian cuisine in a beautiful open-air location in a heritage building that overlooks the crown of the Our Lady of Guadalupe church and across Banderas Bay. Dinner hours are 530pm to 1030pm.

The Iguana: Located in the former villa of Elizabeth Taylor, adjoined by a bridge to Richard Burton’s former home, this landmark restaurant is entirely romantic and serves high-end contemporary Mexican cuisine and offers lovely ocean views.  Dinner hours are 6pm to 11pm.

River Café: With a charming setting on Isla Cuale, dine to the sound of the Rio Cuale river running past and the breeze gently blowing through the palm trees. A favorite for locals and visitors, this restaurant serves international cuisine and dinner hours are from 4pm to 11pm.

La Palapa: What could be more romantic that dining with your toes in the sand with your sweetheart, while watching the sun set from this oceanfront restaurant? La Palapa is an institution on the Puerto Vallarta culinary scene, famous for the tropical setting and gourmet Mexican food. Dinner is served from 530pm to 1130pm.

Contact your Pinnacle Resorts Concierge for reservations at these restaurants or for other restaurant suggestions for the perfect Valentine’s Day in Puerto Vallarta. And, of course, your night should begin at a Pinnacle Resorts lounge for the best Happy Hours in Puerto Vallarta at Signature Lounge, Sky Bar at Residences or the new Chictini by Pinnacle.

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

 

5 REASONS TO COME TO PUERTO VALLARTA IN 2020

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Did you resolve to make 2020 the year for traveling? If you are planning your vacation for the next year, we have five fabulous reasons why Puerto Vallarta should be topping your travel list.

  • Easy connectivity. Did you know that there are direct flights to Puerto Vallarta (PVR) from over 25 major cities in Canada and the United States, with flights taking as little as 2.5 to just over 5 hours to arrive? Puerto Vallarta is absolutely a top tropical vacation destination in Mexico for anyone looking for a quick and easy flight.
  • Vibrant and welcoming. Puerto Vallarta opens its arms to every type of visitor, from family travel to destination weddings and we are known the best destination in Mexico for LGBT travel. No matter who you are, Puerto Vallarta is a warm and sunny city just waiting for you.
  • Fantastic climate. Puerto Vallarta is sunny over 300 days of the year! And even during our summer rainy season, our rains come quick and fast before clearing out, bringing stunning natural light shows over Banderas Bay.
  • Affordability. From five-star dining to incredible luxury accommodations in Puerto Vallarta, like at Pinnacle Resorts, your vacation budget stretches further than you would imagine in Puerto Vallarta. In fact, you can treat yourself to a fully pampering spa treatment at our Pinnacle Day spa for less than your weekly latte budget at Starbucks!
  • So much to do! Whether your idea of the perfect vacation is enjoying Puerto Vallarta beach clubs, exciting nightlight, incredible dining, shopping, watersports, live entertainment – Puerto Vallarta has it all! And our luxury vacation rentals in the Puerto Vallarta Romantic Zone put you in the heart everything with our expert Pinnacle Concierge team to help plan your time.

Make 2020 the year you discover Puerto Vallarta and come enjoy your luxury vacation rental condo in Puerto Vallarta here at Pinnacle Resorts. We’ll be waiting for you!

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

NEW YEAR’S EVE TRADITIONS IN PUERTO VALLARTA

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If you are spending New Year’s Eve in Puerto Vallarta in one of our luxury vacation rentals in the Romantic Zone, you have already chosen the perfect place to ring in 2020. Our location in the vibrant heart of the city has you within easy walking distance to beach clubs, some of Puerto Vallarta’s best restaurants and nightlife. Or stay in to celebrate and enjoy the incredible fireworks show over Banderas Bay from the privacy of the terrace of your luxury suite in Old Town Puerto Vallarta or from the roof terrace at Residences by Pinnacle.

Another fun way to celebrate the start of this new decade is with participating in some New Year’s Eve traditions in Mexico. Here are a few of our favorites:

1) Jot down your goals and wishes for 2020 on small pieces of paper and store them away safely. As each wish or goal comes to fruition, burn the paper for continued success.

2) Grab your empty suitcase and take a ride up and down the Pinnicular (our exterior hillside elevator) to make 2020 a year for exciting travel.

3) As you begin to countdown to midnight, eat a dozen grapes, with each grape representing a month in the new year starting with January. If the grape is sweet, the month will bring successes, but if it’s sour, it will be a month of challenges.

From all of us at Pinnacle Resorts, we wish you happiness, health and success for 2020 and a Happy New Year!

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

A WARM HOLIDAY GLOW WITH PINNACLE RESORTS

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There is something extra special about spending the holiday season in Puerto Vallarta, particularly if you are spending it with Pinnacle Resorts luxury vacation rentals in the Romantic Zone, the vibrant heart of the city. With a wonderfully walkable location, you are close to everything you need including beaches, nightlife, shopping and some of Puerto Vallarta’s best restaurants. For the festive season, we have some Pinnacle Picks for a warm and glowing holiday vacation.

1) Warm Up Poolside: enjoy the Signature or Residences by Pinnacle pool and soak up some of the perfect Puerto Vallarta winter weather and beautiful ocean, mountain and city views.

2) Gift Yourself Some Pampering: visit the Pinnacle Day Spa and get pampered by our professional therapists with an array of body treatments and facials for fresh and glowing skin.

3) Light Up the Night: walk to the famous Puerto Vallarta Malecon and see the special holiday lights decorating one of the city’s most iconic attractions.

4) Get Up and Glow: the Puerto Vallarta Gay Men’s Choir will be presenting “Glow – A Christmas Spectacular” at Teatro Vallarta on December 20th at 8pm. Tickets are available on the theater website or via the box office.

5) Sparkle and Pop: for our guests staying on December 31st, Pinnacle Resorts offers ideal locations for viewing the amazing fireworks display over the Banderas Bay for New Year’s Eve.

Talk to your Pinnacle Resorts Concierge for details on these or other holiday events in Puerto Vallarta to get your feeling a season glow over the holidays.

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

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