Editor’s Note: Viva Mexico!

This weekend we celebrate the independence of Mexico from Spain. You will find a couple of articles in this week’s newspaper along with the schedule of events for the festivities that begin on the 14th and wrap up on the 16th.

I recommend you head out to watch the Charro parade on at 11 am on Friday the 14th and then join in the massive street party that will happen along the Malecon on the evening of the 15th. Lots of restaurants have special menus this weekend, and if it’s not too late, you may want to look for a place with a view of the bay so you can catch the always impressive fireworks display at 11:30 pm on the 15th.

Bistro Theresa located on the main plaza directly across from the Los Arcos is a favorite, and they have a special set menu for fewer than 500 pesos. Other restaurants along the Malecon including Una Familia and the new El Patron Restaurant in front of the little lighthouse will both have perfect views of the festivities.

Last weekend I went on a little road trip to Sayulita and San Pancho (San Francisco). The shopping in Sayulita is exquisite. There is no other place like it (that I’ve found) in Mexico. The crowds can be a bit much and don’t even think about finding parking – just go straight to the baseball field and park there! San Pancho, on the other hand, was very quiet with lots of available loungers and umbrellas. The shops are equally adorable but without the crowds. If you’re looking for a special and unique item for your home or a gift to bring back either of these towns and their collection of boutiques will serve you well.

San Pancho’s patron saint festival is coming up at the end of the month, and this would be a great time to experience the local customs and interact with the residents. While each town celebrates its patron saint, they all have unique traditions and events that are worth exploring.

I hope you get a chance to experience this weekend’s festivities and all that the Bay of Banderas has to offer. Be kind. Support local businesses. Tip generously. Keep an eye out for nesting turtles and report them to the local authorities. Most importantly, enjoy your time here.

Safe travels,