News Briefs

International Living Praises Puerto Vallarta, Sayulita
International Living, the monthly publication detailing the best places in the world to live, retire, travel and invest, has singled out Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita among ‘21 Great Value Beach Destinations Around the World’ in a recent article. In their choices, they singled out ‘pocket friendly beach destinations with their own distinct personality’ in 12 countries, worldwide, including Ecuador, Panama, Portugal and Belize. Of all the countries, Mexico received the highest number of destinations: Cozumel, Tulum, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita.

Founded in 1979 by Bill Bonner, International Living now has offices and writers all over the world. Their very informative website offers a wealth of resources for those looking to relocate to a different country. For more information, visit internationalliving.com • PO

June, Hottest Month on Record
According to the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), scorching temperatures made June 2019 the hottest June on record for the globe, bringing Antarctic sea-ice coverage to a new low. The average global temperature in June was 1.71 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 59.9 degrees, making it the hottest June in the 140-year record. Nine of the 10 hottest Junes have occurred since 2010. Last month also was the 43rd consecutive June and 414th consecutive month with above-average global temperatures.

NOAA is an American scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce that focuses on the conditions of the oceans, major waterways, and the atmosphere. It’s five fundamental activities are monitoring and observing Earth systems with instruments and data collection networks, understanding and describing Earth systems through research and analysis, assessing and predicting the changes of these systems over time, advising and informing the public with important information, and managing resources for the betterment of society, economy and environment. For more information, visit noaa.gov • NOAA

Riviera Nayarit Receives New Blue Flag Certification
Riviera Nayarit has just announced new Blue Flag certifications for Marina San Blas, along with renewed certification for Nuevo Vallarta Beach North and Marina Riviera Nayarit, in the municipality of Banderas Bay. The Blue Flag is a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education that a beach, marina, or sustainable boating tourism operator meets its stringent standards.

With 54 certified beaches and three marinas located in 13 municipalities and six states throughout Mexico, with three beaches located in Puerto Vallarta: Palmares,Playa de Oro and Sheraton. Our country is currently in first place for Blue Flag certification in Latin America, and 13 worldwide. Concerned travelers can visit Blue Flag’s website, where they can check the bathing water quality before visiting a beach. For more information, visit www.blueflag.global. • PO

Puerto Vallarta to Launch Uber-like App
In an effort to improve their services, Puerto Vallarta’s taxi union will soon launch their own cell phone app, called Taxi PVR Oficial. In an interview with Tribuna de la Bahia, Jaime Aguilar Mejia, General Secretary for the Puerto Vallarta Taxi Union, indicated that fares will be lower than those offered by Uber. In addition, fares will be fixed, as opposed to those implemented by Uber, which can vary according to time of day.

Apps for iPhone and Android cell phones are already available at their respective stores. In addition, an official website, taxipvroficial.com, allows direct contact with the group behind the new application, for additional information. Taxi PVR Oficial also has a Facebook page where users can follow news about the new service, or report any problems that may arise while riding a local taxi. • Tribuna de la Bahia

Bucerias Considering Underground Parking for Buses
One of the challenges Bucerias faces is the lack of adequate parking for tourism buses near its hotels, a problem increasingly affecting nearby communities, such as Sayulita, San Pancho and Lo de Marcos. To that effect, the Banderas Bay Tourism Department has announced the possibility of an underground parking project at Bucerias’ main plaza.

Claudia Guzman, Tourism Director, indicated that a new parking lot, along with a new church, will help alleviate vehicular traffic in an already dense area of the bay. Presently, the large tourism buses that tend to increase in numbers during the summer months, are being assigned to parking areas on the outskirts of town.

She added that the problem is not as noticeable in Sayulita, where buses are directed to the esplanade on the gas station, and in San Pancho, they are not as common as in other destinations within the municipality. In contrast, it is not uncommon to find several dozen buses parked along the Carr. 200 highway lateral in Bucerias. Her dependency is encouraging all tourist destinations within the municipality to account for this important need in their future development plans. • Tribuna de la Bahia

SPCA Urgently Seeking Volunteers
Did you know the SPCA is doing free spay/neuter clinics since March too? This project was Janice Chatterton´s latest passion. She recognized that even with all the other free clinics that are already offered in town, there is still such a big need for more free sterilizations, especially in the outskirts of Puerto Vallarta.

To that effect, Puerto Vallarta’s SPCA has started a 2-day free clinic every other week on Mondays and Tuesdays, every week in a different colonia, or neighborhood. Since the beginning of the program, they have been able to fix more than 600 pets.

As the spay/neuter program has increased in size and scope, the need for ongoing volunteers has also increased. The SPCA is looking for volunteers for every clinic who can help with the basic organization (checking in and registering the owners and pets), cleaning instruments, and monitoring the pets when they come out of surgery. No prior experience is necessary, as the SPCA is ready to teach you everything you need to know, and it is not difficult. The required time commitment to participate in this program is 8 am -2 pm.

Even if you can only help one day, please consider donating a morning of your time to help the SPCA prevent hundreds of unwanted puppies and kittens from being born. It is very important and gratifying work. If you are able to help, please email spcapv@gmail.com. • SPCA

Volcano Near Mexico City Continues to Raise Concerns
With an ongoing increase of activity over the past few days, the Popocatepetl, an active volcano in central Mexico, continues to raise concerns among residents of nearby communities. “El Popo,” as refered to by locals, is 43 miles southeast from Mexico City and can be seen regularly, depending on atmospheric conditions.

On March 19, fragments of the dome shot within 1-1/2 mile radius, prompting the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Popocatépetl volcano to change the phase of the Yellow Volcanic Warning Light Phase 2 to Yellow Phase 3, a preventive measure against the observed changes. The activity continued to increase through the month of June causing much dust and ash to contaminate the atmosphere around it. This past Saturday, a new series of explosions resulted in further warnings to the population at large, particularly thrillseekers, to not approach the volcano, maintaining a distance of 7.5 miles around its perimeter.

Popocatépetl is one of the most active volcanoes in Mexico and the most famous. It’s had more than 15 major eruptions since the arrival of the Spanish in the 1500s. The last major eruption ocurred in 1947. •PO

Princess Cruises Offers Largest Deployment Ever From West Coast USA to Mexico
As reported online by Travel Daily News, Princess Cruises is offering its most robust deployment ever from West Coast USA for the 2020-2021 season, visiting destinations in Mexico, Hawaii and the California Coast. Deployment highlights for the 2020-2021 season include a new hometown cruise ship for San Francisco – Ruby Princess – sailing roundtrip to Hawaii, Mexico and the California coast, along with new 16-day Hawaiian Islands cruises roundtrip from Seattle aboard Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess.

Royal Princess returns to the Port of Los Angeles, offering 25 cruises to the Mexican Riviera, including seven-day options to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta. Shorter, five-day cruises to Cabo San Lucas are also available featuring an overnight stay.

New San Francisco hometown ship Ruby Princess offers three, 10-day cruises to the Mexican Riviera, offering a memorable sail-away under the Golden Gate Bridge. Emerald Princess and Star Princess will sail on Baja Peninsula & Sea of Cortez voyages, visiting Cabo San Lucas (overnight), La Paz, Loreto and Puerto Vallarta, roundtrip from Los Angeles.

Whether ashore or onboard, guests can enjoy the local culture with regionally-inspired menu items such as ceviche, tacos, margaritas and even a premium tequila tasting. Live Mariachi Bands will serenade guests performing traditional songs throughout the ship. • Travel Daily News