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With an area of close to 1.2 million square miles, the country of Mexico holds a spectrum of geographical characteristics, and in traveling its expanse, one can quickly move from vast, arid deserts to steaming, tropical jungles, from lush, fauna and flora-rich wetlands to towering, glacier-capped mountains, from rugged, wind-swept coastlines to glistening, white-sanded and sun-washed beaches.
Mexico is bordered by the United States to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the west and south (with the Sea of Cortez, or Gulf of Cailfornia to the north-west between the mainland and the Baja California peninsula), the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean to the east, and Belize and Guatemala to the south and south-east. Mexico's border with the United States measures over 3,300 kms.
The Sierra Madre Oriental and Sierra Madre Occidental (Eastern and Western mountain ranges) run slightly inland along each coastline and define a central high plateau area in much of the country. The climate and vegetation on either side of these ranges can be quite distinct. There are many volcanic peaks in Mexico, the highest being Orizaba, at 5,639 meters or 18,500 feet, Popocatepetl, at 5,452 meters or 17,888 feet, and Ixtaccihuatl (the Sleeping Lady) at 5,286 meters or 17,343 feet, all located in the central area of the country. Active volcanoes include the mentioned Popocatepetl and the Nevado de Colima in the west-coast state of Colima.
Mexico over the centuries has been home to a great many mesoamerican cultural groups and influences, the major ones being the Olmecs, Mayans, Zapotecs, Toltecs, Aztecs and Mixtecs. Much of these ancient cultures were destroyed by the conquest and colonization by the Spaniards in the 1500's, nevertheless, the final result is a people and customs which form a rich ethnic and cultural tapestry, along with a wealth of archaeological relics and architectural marvels that span the ages.
The central-western state of Jalisco, Mexico is bounded by the states of Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, San Luis Potosí, Guanajuato, Colima and Michoacan, with a Pacific coastline extension of some 280 kms. Run through by the western Sierra Madres, the state boasts of a variety of climates from the cool, snow-topped Nevado de Colima at 4,330 mts, to the moderate high central plains to the often steamy tropical jungles along the coast.
Jalisco's indigenous population consists principally of Huicholes, Coras and Tepehuanes who, for the most part, still conserve their native languages and colorful dress. Jalisco's capital is the buzzing metropolis of Guadalajara - a mix of colonial splendor and modernity. Others of its largest cities include Puerto Vallarta on Banderas Bay, the city of Tequila at the heart of Jalisco's tequila producing region, Ciudad Guzmán, Lagos de Moreno, San Juan de los Lagos and Tlaquepaque and Zapopan which form part of the greater Guadalajara metropolitan area.
Costa Alegre restaurants are rich in natural resources, what makes their cuisine varied and complete. At the same time its sea is full with marine species that are deliciously prepared by Mexican experienced chefs. This zone is known by its lengthy littorals, coconut plantations, and sugar cane fields and fruit orchards.
With the exotic tropical fruits, a great variety of refreshing drinks and delicious sweets are prepared. Some of these drinks are the pulque (maguey juice ferment), the tepache (pineapple juice ferment) and the famous ponche (fruit collage drink); if we talk about the sweets, the coconut candy and the quince jelly are the most representative.
In Barra de Navidad are the best restaurants, whether for an intimate romantic dinner or to have lunch with your friends. Although Melaque has a few restaurants, it features lots of palapas on the beach that Offer Sea delights and regional food. In these friendly villages you will be able to enjoy delicious coastal dishes at very reasonable prices. We provide you with a list of the best places for dining in Costa Alegre.
Jalisco is steeped in tradition: many of its cultural features have become synonymous with Mexicanness, such as mariachis, cowboys and tequila. It is located in the west of the country and surrounded by Nayarit, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, San Luis Potosí, Guanajuato, Michoacán and Colima and has a long Pacific coastline.
Its history dates back to pre-Hispanic times, when it was occupied by Nahua groups (in the south) and Huichol (in the north). Nowadays, Jalisco is one of the most important states in the country. Its many attractions include archaeological sites such as Teuchitlán; the city of Guadalajara, the proud Pearl of the West, with its striking colonial buildings and recreational and cultural centers; Tequila, the cradle of the traditional beverage of the same name. Other cities of note include Tlaquepaque with its fine blown glass objects, Tonalá with its pottery and Puerto Vallarta, with its village atmosphere and gorgeous beaches, not to mention the Costa Alegre and other picturesque cities and towns scattered throughout the state.
Costa Careyes was founded in 1968 by Gian Franco Brignone, an innovative artist, architect and entrepreneur from Torino, Italy, whose dream was to create an ideal resort, following the philosophy of the Costa Esmeralda Sardegna Resort developed by The Aga Khan.
While flying over the Pacific Coast of Mexico, Brignone was enchanted with the Coast of Careyes, which today has become best known for its preserved natural landscape, innovative architecture and pleasant year-round climate. Careyes is a place where the Italian ideals of "savoir vivre" and sensuality are complemented by the authentic beauty, climate, happiness and craftsmanship of Mexico.
Now, 35 years after Brignone first made his home in Careyes, a fascinating community has emerged - one that is comprised of international travelers from Europe, Mexico, and United States and beyond. In Careyes, every nationality is welcomed and appreciated. In fact, a recent poll of the residents of Careyes showed that nearly all real estate owners speak at least two languages, with Spanish, French, Italian and English being among the most common. The poll also found that residents have chosen to build homes in Careyes because of the privacy and quality of life the community provides, as well as the universal dedication to preserving the natural habitat.
Each year, Careyes hosts several festivals, parties and gatherings that recognize some of the world's greatest traditions, including the annual Chinese New Year celebration. Throughout the year, residents and visitors alike also enjoy a host of other activities including Polo tournaments, art exhibits and the sea turtle preservation program. In the words of Gian Franco Brignone, "Careyes is a guarded secret only known by special people.
Costa Careyes is part of Costa Alegre, probably one of the most interesting areas of Mexico. The state of Jalisco is the third richest state of Mexico, and Costa Alegre is 100 miles of virtually undeveloped coast guarded by stringent development rules.
Here is a fact that might surprise you: Mexico is the number two worldwide golf destination for U.S. golfers, right behind Hawaii. The Mexican Government Department of Tourism wants to change that ranking. That's right -they are determined to become number one, and at the rate they are going it shouldn't take too long to achieve that goal.
Mexico is an amazingly diverse country blessed with gorgeous locations that rival any in the world, from the stark beauty of Baja California hard against the Sea of Cortez to the new jungle courses in Puerto Vallarta.
El Tamarindo Golf Resort -
Is located midway between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo on the Costa Careyes (also commonly referred to as Costa Alegre). The Resort is about 31 miles north of the Manzanillo International Airport and about 132 miles south of Puerto Vallarta.The stunning 18-hole championship-style golf course at El Tamarindo is set amidst a 2,040-acre natural reserve, making it one of the most spectacular courses in the entire world. The fairways are beautifully lined with scores of Mojote and Cuba palms, as well as breathtaking views of the rocky, untouched coastline that meets the crystal blue Pacific.
Also offers a golf package for one or two golfers. For information about the golf course, golf club, valid golf packages, group rates, tee times or lessons call 52 315 351 5032.
Vista Vallarta Twin Course -
Within minutes of the CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort are two professional courses that will test your skills and please your senses. At Vista Vallarta, legends Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf designed the twin 18-hole courses around the breathtaking views of the Bahia de Banderas, Puerto Vallarta, and magnificent Sierra Madre mountains. The Jack Nicklaus course hosted the EMC World Cup Championship in 2002.
Marina Vallarta Club de Golf -
The 18-hole, par-72 Marina Vallarta Club de Golf. Designed by Joe Finger, this course features natural lagoons, relaxing water fountains, and the unusual challenge of shooting around palm trees and tropical shrubs. Twice the site of the Governor’s Cup Pro/Am Tournament, the facilities include a driving range and chipping putting green, golf shop, and a full-service clubhouse.
Costa Careyes is located 2 and a half hours south of Puerto Vallarta and 1hour 16 minutes north of Manzanillo International Airport on the Mexican Pacific Coast, on the famous Costa Alegre. Both are lovely drives. The Manzanillo airport is closer and is served by Alaska Airlines, Mexicana, Continental, Aerolitoral, Aerocalifornia and Continental Airlines. Puerto Vallarta receives all major airlines.
In the town of Chamela, a short 10-minute drive north of Costa Careyes, there is a 4,000-foot dirt landing strip that is ideal for light aircraft.
Documents for Arrival at Manzanillo Airport
A valid U.S. Passport is necessary to pass through customs at the Airport.
Your passport will also be used to acquire a tourist card, which must be obtained in order to enter Mexico.
Costa Careyes Airport Transfers
Taxis or limousines are available in Careyes upon request; however it is recommended that visitors rent a car (Hertz, Avis, Budget and National service the area).
Costa Careyes/Manzanillo Departure Tax
Airport Departure tax is currently $11.50 but is always subject to change.
Careyes is equipped with 500 fiber optic lines that are used for phone, fax and Internet access, which makes doing business on the beach a pleasure. Communication with friends and family in the United States or elsewhere should not be a problem from Costa Careyes. All villas come quipped with telephones and many with internet connections and fax machines.
Costa Careyes Villas will come with their own phones.
This number will be given to you prior to your trip.
Long distance calls using any major credit card will usually be possible from these house phones.
Phones with international roaming may work in Costa Careyes, but it is always advisable to check with your cell phone provider before you depart. Should you need a cell phone while in Costa Careyes, cell phone rentals are widely available in the town and can even be reserved in advance.
Electrical current is the same as in the United States, 110 volts. May we suggest that, if you have 220 volt appliances, bring a converter, or please ask if your villa manager/owner can provide one for you.
Pesos are the standard currency. Major credit cards are acceptable in most places. Personnel checks are not accepted anywhere and traveler’s checks are recommended.
Costa Alegre is a tourist destination ideal for relaxation, where you will be able to rest at the most harmonic and peaceful ambiance in direct contact with the purest nature taking pleasure in the singing of the birds, the sound of the sea waves and the impressing night sky full of stars; this will definitely be your most enjoyable experience ever.
Although this is a tourist destination ideal for a tranquil vacation, Costa Alegre nightclubs are wild and fun. The restaurants and bars at the elegant hotels in Costa Alegre usually offer the liveliest music along with an entertainment night show comprised by the most talented and experienced dancers.
Barra de Navidad is probably the town that concentrates the highest amount of nightclubs in Costa Alegre, such as restaurants and bars ideal to share fun and relaxing moments with your loved ones. At these places you will be able to enjoy your favorite drink o take delight in your preferred dishes. The people that live in Barra de Navidad give the warmest and friendliest welcome to the tourists to make them feel like home.
Most of the places to go out in Barra de Navidad are located along Lopez Legazpi pedestrian street and Veracruz Avenue, which is the entrance street that welcomes you in town. On this way, you will find several simply built thatched restaurants distributed along the avenue, passing by the sea wall until getting to the town pier. At night, a lot of these places turn into bustling nightclubs.
Many major car rental companies have offices in the Manzanillo International Airport and area. Costa Careyes car rentals can be easily arranged for you by the Villas Caribe concierge service. A valid United States driver’s license is all the documentation needed in order to rent a car in Mexico.
Taxis or limousines are available in Careyes upon request; however it is recommended that visitors rent a car (Hertz, Avis, Budget and National service the area).
Driving is on the right side in Costa Careyes.
Costa Careyes, Mexico is the perfect place to have your wedding. In addition to the beautiful views and predictable weather, Costa Careyes has the facilities and experience necessary to host weddings of all sizes. Your guests will enjoy the tropical, exotic location and will have many things to do at the beaches during the day and at the fabulous restaurants and night clubs during the evenings. Costa Careyes is also one of the most romantic and exciting destinations for honeymoons.
There are certain Mexican regulations that must be adhered to in order to make a Costa Careyes wedding legal, so it is highly advisable to contact the office of the Mexican Registrar to get up to date information on all necessary paperwork and other requirements. The most important thing to note is that in order to be recognized as legal, a civil ceremony is required. Religious ceremonies are common and in many cases encouraged by Mexican officials, but will not be recognized as legal unions.
Stops along Highway 200, as it meanders between Puerto Vallarta to the north and Manzanillo to the south, can be an enjoyable day trip, but travelers usually make the drive en route to a destination along the coast.
The Mercado Municipal is a full city block of stands & stalls at the northern end of the upstream bridge over Río Cuale. You'll find bargains and plenty of authentic Mexican food and crafts in this market.
Puerto Vallarta also offers all modern shooping needs including film developing shops, department and grocery stores. A new Sam's Club has opened across from the Maritime Harbor. Hours are 7am-11pm.
Manzanillo has a selection of shops carrying Mexican crafts and clothing, mainly from nearby Guadalajara. Almost all are downtown on the streets near the central plaza. Shopping downtown is an experience - for example, you won't want to miss the shop bordering the plaza that sells a combination of shells, religious items (including shell-framed Virgin of Guadalupe nightlights), and orthopedic supplies. The Plaza Manzanillo is an American-style mall on the road to Santiago, and there's a traditional tianguis (outdoor) market in front of the entrance to Club Maeva, with touristy items from around Mexico. Most resort hotels also have boutiques or shopping arcades.
Costa Alegre is the vacation spot par excellence; in this magical coastal region, peace, tranquility, calmness and natural beauty are the most important elements. However, Costa Alegre shops are also an attraction. At this sensational ambience, you can also find at very short distance, different places to buy ornamental items and typical Mexican handicrafts that will make you remember a wonderful vacation in Costa Alegre.
Barra de Navidad is one of the classic towns in Costa Alegre; it offers its visitors great tourist attractions as well as a gorgeous colonial architecture. Walk around its streets admiring this secluded and sensational Mexican village. Here, the wide variety of local stores, stands, shops and commercial establishments are concentrated on the Lopez Legazpi Avenue, which goes through the whole town; on the other side, Veracruz Avenue is the first street that welcomes the visitors to Barra de Navidad. If you walk along Lopez Legazpi Avenue, you will arrive until the sea wall, enjoying along the way, the colorful and attractive stores full of crafts and typical regional clothing that express the purest folklore of the local people. Find here some of the best Costa Alegre shops.
Sport fishing is one of Mexico's prime recreational activities. Regular catches include marlin, sailfish, mahi-mahi (dorado), yellowfin tuna, roosterfish and bass. Some of the best deep-sea fishing destinations include Los Cabos and La Paz, Mazatlan, Manzanillo, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo and Huatulco. The Tampico and Lake Vicente Guerrero areas of north-eastern Mexico are well-known for their big-mouthed bass.
Located 60 minutes (53km/33 miles) north of the Manzanillo airport, this jewel of a bay is accessible by an 8km (5-mile) dirt road that passes through a small village set among banana plants and coconut palms. Sandy, serene beaches dot coves around the bay (frolicking dolphins are a common sight), and exotic birds fill a coastal lagoon. Swimming and snorkeling are good, and the bay is a popular stop for luxury yachts.
The Pacific Golf and Fishing Club
In this section we cover saltwater fish found off Isla Navidad and the rich blue water offshore fishing grounds of the Mexican Pacific. It is an uncomplicated saltwater species guide to help you identify and locate your target fish, advise you on successful fishing methods and their fighting characteristics, and the proper tackle and baits used to catch them. The Pacific Golf and Fishing Club provide you with everything you need for an exciting day of saltwater fishing. They are knowledgeable fishing guides have the experience to offer you an unforgettable day, and provide the skills and techniques needed for a successful and enjoyable fishing trip.