We launched the panga from the beach of Platanitos Bay at dawn. The sun barely colouring the sky above the Sierra Madre Mountains to the east. Slipping seaward on glassy waters we immediately disappeared into the thick fogbank which had settled over the Pacific Coast for the past few days. We were beginning our adventure journey to Isla Isabel National Park, a bird and underwater sanctuary located 40 miles Northeast of Punta el Custodio, in the open Pacific.

A Day in Bucerias

No day trip to Bucerias is complete without…you guessed it….shopping….naturally, and in no time at all, in a back street of Bucerias where I could hardly squeeze in with my lumbering Suburban, we found a store with stuff we just HAD to have; these fine hand woven tapestries from Oaxaca, hand woven by the family that ran the store.

El Cora Waterfall

El Cora Waterfall

On the fourth day of our visit to Villa Estrella, Ismael organized a wonderful excursion to the El Cora Waterfall. The driver arrived at the arranged time and was very courteous. The drive to the waterfall was a beautiful trip through the Mexican jungle, every so often spotting the ocean from a cliff-top advantage courtesy of the Sierra Madre foothills before turning inland at El Llano toward Tepic and the waterfall.

Quinta Don Jose pool

Quinta Don Jose

We love the beautiful historic area of Tlaquepaque, which is almost an independent town within Guadalajara. It is rich with colonial buildings, historic atmosphere and absolutely full of wonderful life. If you hang around the main square area on any evening it’s always abuzz with wonderful people, vendors, music, food and fun.

Whale Watching Excursion

Whale Watching Excursion

Not long after the first whale encounter, we saw another whale on the horizon. By the time we caught up, we realized that this was an enormous whale. The guide, in all his wisdom, was amazed as he had never seen anything like it. You see, normally, the humpbacks would breach for a while and then dive deep for a long time, but this whale gave us a 2 hour show.

The Mariachis in Tlaquepaque

On occasion we will travel to Guadalajara to do some shopping. The trip takes only a short amount of time and it gives us and opportunity to explore other areas in the Jalisco province of Mexico. One of our favorite places we have discovered is a city called Tlaquepaque, which is just east of Guadalajara. Instead of making the drive home the same day we will often spend the night in this charming town to take in the authentic Mexican atmosphere.