BUCERIAS Mexico - Popular West Coast Vacation Spot


I found Bucerias, just north of Puerto Vallarta, perfect for a quick winter getaway. Okay, it helped that friends had a room for me and that WestJet has a terrific flight from Vancouver to Puerto Vallarta but everything else worked as well.

Bucerias still exudes the ambience of small town Mexico. There are cobbled streets, the basic frenetic market, just enough stores and galleries to keep you interested and most of the accommodation is small, boutique inns sprinkled along or within a block of the beach. (There is one sprawling all inclusive, Royal Decameron. You can’t miss the 620-room resort as it is a multitude of bright colours.)


Las Casitas del Mar was a half block from the beach with a few spacious villas around a pretty garden and pool. It wouldn’t work if you wished party central but it worked for quiet time around the pool and close to everything.


In so many ways Bucerias may be the best of Mexican worlds as it hasn’t been face-lifted to please gringos (you still need to watch where you walk on the rustic streets) but most of the amenities that we visitors require are here. Take the eateries. There are still some cute ma and pa Mexican ones like La Luna where, if you wish a cerveza, the waiter has to go to the nearby store and purchase it for you. The food is tasty and cheap.

No need to tire of tacos as there are choices of French, Italian, Greek, you name it. At Adriatico, I loved that we dined surrounded by greenery. A great spot for late diners, especially if you love live music to dance to. It was a much longer walk (past the market and over the small footbridge) to the end of town to Mezzogiorno. Besides the lapping of the waves and the aroma of garlic and great service, this may be the best calamari I’ve had. Mark’s Bar & Grill was a little too upscale (read pricey) for me and simply too busy and noisy to have a relaxing meal. But Karen’s Place (get a table right out on the beach) was great food and terrific service. Should you wish a burger, go to La Negra. The best place to start your day is Panino’s, have a latte on the street or head upstairs and do the full breakfast.

Besides beach time, Bucerias has all the usual resort activities – three golf courses nearby spas, tours of every nature including some on bikes and ATVS. Thanks to friends, we had terrific tennis at Punta Mita. The nearby towns of La Cruz and Sayulita can be reached by bus (walk up to the highway, green and white buses or small vans) and have terrific markets. While In Sayulita, eat at Mary’s.


WHY TAKE THIS TRIP: It’s an easy winter break. I found the Mexicans here overwhelmingly friendly, they aren’t tired of tourists yet. Let’s hope we can keep it that way.

WHAT DIDN’T WORK ON THIS TRIP: This is very minor but if you book at Las Casitas del Mar, located at Lazaro Gardenas 84, be aware that the street numbers make no sense (this is Mexico) and there happens to be two 84s! My cab driver was terrific, he wouldn’t give up and just let me walk the street, he found it.

There are no tennis courts in Bucerias except for at Royal Decameron where, thanks to new ownership, they can no longer be rented. They are for guests only and they didn’t appear to be well used.