Posts tagged with "sunset"

360 MAGAZINE, VACATION, HOLIDAY, ILLUSTRATIONS

Puerto Vallarta Re-opening

VENTURE OFF THE BEATEN PATH IN PUERTO VALLARTA

Mexico is known for its outstanding beach towns, which pull hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. But just because a destination is popular with tourists does not mean that there are no local, under-the-radar secrets to be discovered. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico’s west coast beach capital, is a destination that is very much on the tourist trail, yet still provides adventures off the beaten path for those who are willing to look.

Puerto Vallarta is the jewel of Mexico’s west coast, strategically located on the Bay of Banderas. The city itself has a fabulous marina, hotel zone, and historic downtown, and is also within driving distance from some of the smaller beach communities that sit along the bay. It is a haven for luxury, fine dining, all-inclusive resorts, local culture, art, history, adventure travel, and more.

Of course there is plenty to see and do in the resort areas and on tours, but travelers looking to venture off the beaten path will find so much to discover. Adventure enthusiasts will love the many hiking opportunities available in and around Puerto Vallarta. One of the best is a coast-hugging hike that runs from the small village of Boca de Tomatlan to Las Animas beach. The hike is relatively unknown to tourists and is mostly a local activity, but those who make the journey are rewarded with dramatic views over turquoise-colored water, private beaches and coves, and even a secret beach club that acts like a private party hideaway on its own stretch of sand. To access the hike, hire a taxi or take a local bus south to Boca de Tomatlan to find the trailhead. To return travelers can hire a water taxi back from Las Animas to Boca de Tomatlan.

Speaking of beaches, visitors can discover a small beach community only accessible by boat. The small fishing village of Yelapa is surrounded by jungle-blanketed mountains, offering a quiet beach escape far from the activity of Puerto Vallarta’s more central beaches. A handful of restaurants dot the shore, and there are a few basic hotel accommodations for those who wish to spend the night. One of the best things to do in Yelapa is to take the hike back into the jungle to find the beautiful waterfall.

Get your cameras ready for one of Puerto Vallarta’s ‘wow’ factors: its sunsets. Epic almost any night of the year, the skies over Puerto Vallarta explode with fiery colors. While most visitors will pick their perches down along the shore, those in the know will be high above the city taking in the sunset and views below from the Mirador Cerro de la Cruz. This hilltop vantage point has sweeping views over the entire city, Zona Romantica, and the bay. It’s beautiful at any time of day, but for those truly Instagrammable photos, sunset is unbeatable.

Finally, foodies will delight at the off the beaten path dining that packs the city. While the restaurant gastronomy scene is absolutely worthwhile, it’s the local spots that truly set Puerto Vallarta dining apart. Roam the taco trucks in the 5 de Diciembre neighborhood, or sink your teeth into delicious fish tacos and ceviche at El Solar Beach Club.

Tip: Remain at El Solar after sunset for live music and a local party almost every night of the week.

From isolated beaches to the next undiscovered taco experience, adventures in nature, and everything in between, Puerto Vallarta might be one of the most popular destinations in Mexico but it offers a world waiting to be experienced off the beaten path.

About the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board

The Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board is responsible for promoting the destination in national and international markets. Nestled between the rugged, tropical Sierra Madre Mountains and Banderas Bay – Mexico’s largest natural bay and second largest on the American continent – on Mexico’s balmy Pacific coast, Puerto Vallarta is easily accessible from the U.S. and Canada. The city enjoys a warm tropical climate year-round, with average daytime temperatures of 80°F and cooler evening temperatures in winter months. Located four miles from downtown Puerto Vallarta, Gustavo Diaz International Airport receives more than four million visitors annually. The destination is home to 300,000 residents and offers an estimated 12,400 hotel rooms, with more than half in 4-star-plus properties.

Morro Bay, 360 MAGAZINE, California

5 Ways to Enjoy Morro Bay

The crowds are gone, the sunsets are as breathtaking as ever, and the weather in this seaside town of Morro Bay is extraordinary – which is why locals call October and November Morro Bay “Secret Season”. In the fall the coast is clear, sunny, and warm, and this years Secret Season is infused with new ways to enjoy Morro Bay. The opening of Port House, a new waterfront restaurant, the new Fire Pits at Morro Rock, and the new Estero Adventures are bringing smiles to everyone’s faces this fall. On top of miles of beaches and the unavoidably beautiful 576-foot tall volcanic rock sitting at the front of a bustling harbor filled with sailboats, kayakers, pelicans, sea lions and otters, here are 5 new and fun ways to enjoy Morro Bay this fall.

1) Dinner with a Sunset View at the NEW Port House Restaurant

Soak up the amazing sunsets while you drink hand crafted cocktails and dine on California coastal cuisine with an Italian flairߞand really great steaksߞat the new Port House Restaurant. That’s how executive chef Joe White describes the menu at this new eatery that recently opened on Morro Bay’s Embarcadero at 885 Embarcadero, the former site of Otter Rock Cafe. The location has been completely renovated with a nautical theme throughout, expanded waterfront seating, overstuffed couches and a beautiful bar, this restaurant is a new addition to the fine dining establishments in the middle of the Embarcadero. Don’t miss out on the Port House’s weekend brunches or rent out the entire location for your holiday party! Specialty drinks recipes like this one called the Port House will make any occasion special. Port House Cocktail, basil Hayden’s bourbon, 20 yr port, bitters, luxardo cherry, straight up. Delish!

As well as renovating the entire building, there’s also a NEW marina waterside at the Port House. The marina consists of five new docks, and a newly installed kayak and standup paddleboard launch area. Tiki bar tours, whale watching excursions, a charter boat company offering deep sea fishing excursions, and boat rentals are located only steps away from your delicious Port House. There’s even space for transient boaters, so you can cruise over for excellent food and a table by the window.

2) Enjoy the NEW Morro Rock Fire Pits

An excellent way to witness the stunning sunset is to take your surfboard at dusk and surf Morro Rock’s epic waves. Afterwards, enjoy an evening bonfire at the city’s new Morro Rock Fire Pits that overlook the beach or the bay, where you can stargaze to the sound of the waves cashing on the shore or enjoy watching the sea otter families in the harbor as they dive and dine on local shell fish. Sprawling from the base of Morro Rock to the north, Morro Beach is perfect for playing, beach combing or taking a cruise on a beach cruiser from Beachfront Kites and Surreys. Morro Bay’s Harbor Department also offers beach wheelchairs for people who are mobility challenged. Call the harbor department at (805) 772-6254, let them know when you’ll arrive and they will bring the equipment to you at the Morro Rock parking lot.

3) Cruise the Bay or the Boardwalk with the NEW Estero Adventures

Estero Adventures is a one stop for active adventurers offering a large selection of outdoor activities including electric pontoon boats, kayaks, standup paddleboards, and fat-tire beach bike rentals. Perfect for making memories and going on adventures, Estero Adventures is conveniently located along the Embarcadero inside the Estero Inn. The dock is located right in front of the Inn, close to the sand spit with an easy launch area perfect for all skill levels.

4Romantic Engagements abound in Morro Bay

We must mention that in Morro Bay, being home to two oyster farms that deliver local oysters to restaurants throughout town, romance and getting paramours in the mood for love is kind of our thing. Romance reaches new heights at the iconic Morro Rock, especially if you or your future someone is expecting a “big rock” for their engagement ring and want the perfect Insta location. The blufftop of Black Hill is a memorable location to pop the question, and with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Morro Rock Éc;Yes!Éd; will definitely be the answer. Or, take the engagement to the water on a tour of the bay while cruising the harbor with Chablis Cruises, a 50-foot, two-story riverboat serving up elegant brunches and beautiful views, perfect for dropping that ring in a glass of champagne. Want something more traditional? Windows on the Water or the Galley offer beautiful waterfront settings for any engagement, offering floor to ceiling views of the bay from their restaurants, patios and lounges. For those who’d like to say “I do” at any of Morro Bay’s amazing venues, Toes-In-the-Sand Weddings will help take care of everything.

5) FUN Outdoor Patios Great for Dining and Sunsets

Morro Bays restaurants serve up a bounty of produce and award-wining California wines grown in nearby farms and vineyards from Paso Robles to Edna Valley, not to mention the abundance of fresh local seafood caught by Morro Bay’s multi-generational fishing families. Find a plethora of great places to eat and drink featuring outdoor patios like Bayside Cafe, a hidden gem located next to the Marina in Morro Bay’s own California State Park, or Dorn’s Original Breakers Cafe, a Morro Bay favorite since 1942. Downtown, Pizza Port has an amazing yard for family games and outdoor dining and Shine Cafe, offers vegan and vegetarian street side patio dining under the city lit trees that line Morro Bay Boulevard. Blue Sky Bistro sits right on the water’s edge above the Morro Bay Marina and, offer al fresco dinning. And, let’s not forget Morro Bay’s local seafood markets that double as fantastic seafood restaurants: Tognazzini’s Dockside, Too and Giovanni’s Fish Market & Galley. They offer fantastic menus and patio seating with views of wildlife, kayakers, and fishing boats coming in from a long day at sea. Additional waterfront locations with patios that offer a wide variety of cuisine include Thai Bounty & MIlanes Cuban Cuisine, Lil Hut, Hofbrau and Beach Burger, so donߣt wait any longer if you are hungry for great patio dining, Morro Bay is the spot!

For more information about visiting the seaside town during the secret season, check out www.morrobay.org !

6 Trips to Broaden Your Kids’ Minds This Summer

Now that school’s out for summer, enroll the whole family in a crash course on nature and wildlife with Natural Habitat Adventures

Summer vacation may mean “no more pencils and no more books,” but it can also be a great opportunity for the whole family to learn something new together. Natural Habitat Adventures, the world leader in eco-friendly wildlife-focused expeditions around the globe, offers nature-centric trips designed to get explorers of all ages trading their tablets and phones for GoPros and binoculars. From sailing “Darwin’s Laboratory” in the Galapagos on a private ship to taking moonlit treks through the jungles of Costa Rica, Nat Hab’s family adventure trips are designed around conservation, curiosity and quality time – all disguised as a vacation.

Expand your family’s horizons with these summer experiences:

1. Go exploring in “Darwin’s Laboratory”

Come face-to-face with an outstanding array of wildlife, including sea lions, marine iguanas and giant tortoises on Nat Hab’s 10-day Family Galapagos Adventure. Made famous by evolutionary theorist Charles Darwin, the Galapagos archipelago is the very best place for young explorers to learn about evolution, natural selection and how animals adapt to micro-environments. Sail aboard the National Geographic Islander, a family-friendly ship with a specialty research- and adventure-focused kids’ program on board. Record wildlife sightings in your field notebook, listen for underwater life via the ship’s hydrophone and stretch out in special family cabins designed to sleep up to three. Off-ship, don a wetsuit for snorkeling, paddleboarding and Zodiac adventures with your naturalist Expedition Leader, where you can come mask-to-nose with penguins, turtles and seals.
Priced from $7,650
Dates: July 20 & 27, 2019; July 4, 8, 18, 23, 2020; Aug 1 & 6, 2020

2. Seek out lions after sunset in the Maasai Mara

Make conservation the centre of the conversation on the Family Kenya Adventure, an 8-day, custom-crafted itinerary featuring the Maasai Mara’s charismatic creatures whose futures may be at risk. Learn about poaching and pachyderm rescue during a visit to the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and make friends in high places at the Giraffe Center before heading along the Great Rift Valley into open grasslands. Stretch out in an unfenced luxury tented camp set in the middle of a Maasai Mara private conservancy, and go for guided walks under a sprawling blue sky while keeping your eyes peeled for zebra, hippo and elephant. Later, as evening falls, head out on a sunset game drive in search of lions and other predators to discover life on the plains after dark.
Priced from $7,995
Trip arranged upon request

3. Journey to Peru’s lost Incan Empire

Immerse your family in the emerald-colored jungles and incredible ancient ruins of the Peruvian Andes on a 7-day Custom Family Machu Picchu Adventure. Witness amazing feats of centuries-old civil and hydraulic engineering and learn about Incan astronomy and architecture while exploring the Sacred Valley between Cusco and Machu Picchu. Meet with local Quechua people in Pisac and learn about advocacy conservation projects from the students of Tikapata School. Stay in private stone casitas along the Urubamba River, and experience 15th-century life in Machu Picchu with tales from your private Peruvian guide. Later, compare ancient civilizations with natural Amazonian marvels in the world’s largest tropical forest basin, where kids will take riverboat tours in search of pink river dolphins, or go ashore to scout for the scarlet and green-winged macaws, howler monkeys and leaf-cutter ants that call the Amazon home.
Priced from $4,495
Trip arranged upon request

4. Safari closer to home in Yellowstone National Park

Embark on an unforgettable wildlife adventure without leaving the continent on Nat Hab’s 7-day Hidden Yellowstone Wildlife Safari. Learn how this North American ecosystem works, understanding the importance of ecological balance between predators and prey, and follow naturalist Expedition Leaders into lesser-known areas of the park where bison, bighorn sheep, bears and wolves live largely undisturbed by tourist crowds. See the secret lives of Lamar Valley wolves using a high-powered spotting scope and talk fire ecology—how nature recovers from the ravages of wildfires—with your guide. In an extraordinary natural setting selected for conservation by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1872, guests can engage in enlightening conversations about how hunting along Yellowstone’s perimeter affects the ecosystem inside the park, and why competing political interests threaten the park’s apex predators even to this day.
Priced from $5,295
Dates: August 27 & 29, 2019

5. Scout for sloths on horseback

With its neon-billed toucans, jungle-fringed rivers, mist-cloaked cloud forests and towering volcanoes, Costa Rica is like something out of a child’s imagination. Encounter geothermal phenomena and extraordinary tropical wildlife in one of the most biodiverse places on Earth on this Custom Family Costa Rica Adventure. Join scientists and conservationists at ecological research centers for some interactive exploration of the country’s rain forest ecosystem and discover how cacao beans are transformed into tasty treats with chocolate-making lessons. Soar above the forest canopy on a zip line, search for sloths while on horseback, brave a nighttime bat walk at the 850-acre Tirimbina Rainforest Center and take in the views at the Arenal Observatory Lodge, adjacent to the country’s most famous volcano.
Priced from $5,095
Trip arranged upon request

6. Dog sled across the Arctic tundra

No time for a summer excursion? Surprise the kids with a mid-term getaway to the planet’s “living laboratory” when it comes to climate change in the North. The Arctic tundra around Churchill, Manitoba is one of the nature’s last great frontiers—for now. Learn about its delicate ecosystem and the impact of a warming world on Nat Hab’s 6-day Churchill Arctic Family Adventure, where naturalist Expedition Leaders lead a family-focused adventure that’s all about pairing environmental awe with conservation awareness. Helicopter over frozen Hudson Bay in search of polar bears, race through the boreal forest on an authentic sled dog ride, and climb aboard Nat Hab’s special Polar Rover, a monster-sized truck specially designed for up-close wildlife observation—look for caribou and Arctic fox. In evenings, take in the stunning night sky—and if you’re lucky, the northern lights.
Priced from $5,995
Dates: Nov 16 & 18, 2019

For more information about Natural Habitat Adventures, visit www.nathab.com.

About Natural Habitat Adventures
Natural Habitat Adventures has been a leader in responsible adventure travel and ecotourism since 1985. From polar bear tours in Churchill to small-group Galapagos cruises, from Alaska grizzly bear adventures to African safaris, our journeys, led by professional naturalist guides, reveal the planet’s most extraordinary nature destinations. As the world’s first 100-percent carbon-neutral travel company—and the conservation travel partner of World Wildlife Fund—we offer eco-conscious expeditions from Antarctica to Zambia with a multitude of adventures in between. For more information, visit nathab.com.