Thursday, December 26, 2013

TRAVEL + LEISURE Best Places to Travel in 2014

Playa Carrizalillo, Puerto Escondido,Mexico

Trujillo-Paumier Photography

Pro riders arrive in this town along the Oaxacan coast and make a beeline for Playa Zicatela, a.k.a. the Mexican Pipeline. But Playa Carrizalillo, a quiet cove accessible via a 150-step stairway, has waters gentle enough for the rest of us; take a dip, snorkel, then down oysters from one of the handful of beach shacks. In recent years, Puerto (as the locals call it) has been upping its hip factor: case in point, the just-opened Hotel Escondido, a 16-room, oceanfront oasis from the cult-favorite Grupo Habita brand. —Jeff Spurrier

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

TRAVEL +_ LEISURE Secret Caribbean Hotels

CasaSandra, Holbox, Mexico

Mr & Mrs Smith

Barefoot luxury doesn’t get much more appealing than at Holbox’s chicest hotel, the beachfront CasaSandra. Owner Sandra Perez’s artistic background yielded suites whose white-on-white elegance is punctuated with bright Mexican textiles and colorful hammocks. The restaurant serves blissfully simple seafood dishes like grilled grouper with black sesame and cilantro to a well-heeled international crowd. Daytime, meanwhile, should be reserved for taking advantage of the island’s greatest claim to fame: swimming with whale sharks. These gentle giants congregate in the waters here in great numbers from June to September

Thursday, December 5, 2013

3 Places To Live The American Retirement Dream Overseas

Kathleen Peddicord Publisher, Live and Invest Overseas recommends PV as one of three places to retire overseas:

 #3: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Mexico is a big place with a bad reputation. The reputation isn't altogether undeserved, as drug cartels do control parts of this country but not all of it, and some of the most appealing regions for both living and investing sit outside the war zones. Mexico offers two long coasts, mountain towns, and colonial cities, plus Mayan ruins, jungle, rain forest, rivers, and lakes. It's also the most accessible "overseas" haven from the United States. You could drive back and forth if you wanted.

For all these reasons, Mexico is home to the biggest established populations of American retirees in the world, making it a great choice if you seek adventure with the comforts of home. Each of the several spots that expat retirees have targeted in this country offers a different lifestyle. Puerto Vallarta is the place to go for what could be described as luxury coastal living.

Puerto Vallarta is more expensive than other places where you might consider living or retiring overseas, but in Puerto Vallarta that's not the point. This isn't developing-world living. This stretch of Mexico's Pacific coastline has already been developed to a high level. Life here can be not only comfortable but easy and fully appointed. In Puerto Vallarta, you aren't buying for someday, as you can be in many coastal destinations in Central America. In Puerto Vallarta, you can buy a world-class lifestyle in a region with world-class beaches and ocean views that is supported, right now, by world-class golf courses, marinas, restaurants, and shopping. This is a lifestyle that is available only on a limited basis worldwide, a lifestyle that is truly (not metaphorically) comparable to the best you could enjoy in southern California if you could afford it. In Puerto Vallarta you can afford it even on an average retirement budget.

You could buy a small apartment outside Puerto Vallarta town for less than $100,000, or you could buy big and fancy for $1 million-plus. Whatever you buy, you could rent it out when you're not using it. The Puerto Vallarta region, including the emerging Riviera Nayarit that runs north from it along the coast, is an active tourist rental market with a track record.