Just the other day I overheard a tour guide in Gringo Gulch refer to the area as “North American Gulch”, which made me laugh. I guess he thought that Gringo has pejorative connotations. Curious to find out more about more, I typed the word on my iPhone, and was led to the all-knowing information site Wikipedia, which has a plethora of information regarding the etymology of Gringo. One interesting factoid that popped up: “Gringos is what, in Malaga, they call foreigners who have a certain type of accent that prevents them from speaking Castilian easily and naturally; and in Madrid they give the same name, in particular, to the Irish.” Who knew?
Tours regularly traverse the crooked and enchanting streets of Gringo Gulch, as it a truly quaint and wonderful example of all that is beautiful about our town. Its proximity to shopping, restaurants and nightlife, make it a dream location for residents and tourists alike. Here are some of my top ten reasons for choosing Gringo Gulch.
1An Amazing Variety of Properties. This area has everything from quaint little casitas to beautiful big villas surrounded by bougainvillea and hanging gardens. And there are also many charming condos and apartments tucked away in hidden alleyways and streets.
2 A Great Neighborhood Feel. After about one week of living here you will know everyone, and you won’t get 20 ft without stopping to have a conversation with one of your neighbors.
3 Views. Whether you want a sweeping view of the Bay of Banderas, or to gaze up at the gorgeous mountains Gringo Gulch is your spot.
4 The New Pedestrian Bridge. With our new pedestrian bridge you can easily access the island on the Rio Cuale. A perfect shortcut into downtown, with the added benefit of seeing all of the wildlife and activities on the island.
5Great food. In the mood for tapas? Esquina de los Caprichos is a popular and delicious local eatery. Want some Greek food? Try the new Mediterranean Café and Bakery. The best French food in town can be found at Le Cigale Bistro. For the strict vegetarian we have the daily buffet at Planeta Vegetariano. On the higher end of the scale there is the award winning Trio Café and the exquisitely beautiful Hacienda San Angel’s amazing dining room with views of the bay and one of the best mariachi bands around.
6Everything You Will Ever Need. Calle Guerrero (at the foot of Gringo Gulch) seems humble, but actually does have everything that you will ever need to sustain yourself. This street includes a hardware store, pharmacy, coffee house, internet café, several small tiendas, Oxxo, a bookstore, a papelaria, a laundry, a community center at the corner of Calle Miramar, which boasts the International Friendship Club (a great resource for expats) and Proulex and CEPE which offer both Spanish and English classes, and if you are starving, and need a quick bite, the small stand on the corner of Matamoros serves one of the yummiest fresh ceviche tostadas around.
7 Great Nightlife. El Patio de Mi Casa has a full bar and a pizza oven, and they also regularly host excellent bands and DJs.
8 Cool Breezes. Even on the hottest day, Gringo Gulch seems to be magically situated in such a way that you will always get a great breeze from the ocean or mountains.
9 World Class Lodging. Gringo Gulch is host to the world famous Hacienda San Angel boutique hotel. For those on a more modest budget check out Casa Amorita, a beautiful B&B, with astounding breakfasts, or for those who want to cook for themselves, La Dulce Vita can’t be beat. We even have our own gay friendly hotel, Villa David.
10Landmark: Last, but not least, we of host the landmark home of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Casa Kimberly, with its famous pink bridge, and the ghosts of two remarkable and party loving celebrities. But what’s NOT to celebrate, when you live in this gorgeous spot in paradise?
By Miguel Fernandez