There are over 600 reviews of the IFC Home Tours of Puerto Vallarta on Trip Advisor. 95% of them rate the tours as “Excellent.”
One of the latest reviews reads – “We read about the International Friendship Club (IFC) and their work with the Puerto Vallarta community and really wanted to support them by attending the house tours. The volunteers of the International Friendship Club were knowledgeable and helpful. The houses we visited on the trip were phenomenal. We really enjoyed the event and look forward to doing a house tour again in the future.”
The IFC Home Tours start on Tuesday 4th December and Wednesday 5th and will run every Tuesday and Wednesday, except for Christmas and New Year, until 1st April.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.ifctoursforvallarta.com or on the day of the tour at the starting point, which is the Sea Monkey Restaurant located where Aquiles Serdan meets the Bay of Banderas.
The Home Tours started in 1985 when a group of ex-pats decided to raise money to provide free surgery and continuing medical care to Mexican infants and small children in this area, who were suffering from cleft palates and cleft lips.
To raise the money, these volunteers asked some friends to open their homes to visitors for a couple of hours a few times a year. The rest is history that happily keeps repeating itself. The success of the tours is due to the kindness of the homeowners, their belief in the work done by IFC, and the thousands of volunteer hours given by residents, both full-time and part-time. And, of course, the customers who pay their fares for the tours.
When you take your IFC Home Tour, you will visit three or four unique homes in Puerto Vallarta. You will see some excellent art on the walls, sculptures around the pools, traditional Mexican kitchens. You’ll be able to feed any dreams you might have of living the “high life” in Puerto Vallarta.
Seats on the luxurious, air-conditioned buses are limited, so it is best to book early. The sale of tickets on tour days starts at 9 am at the Sea Monkey. A great way to start the day is to arrive early, buy your tickets, then take a seat at a table on the beach and order coffee, orange juice, an omelette, and more coffee. Meanwhile, wiggle your toes in the sand and watch the pelicans, and maybe a whale or two, cruise by.
Because some of the homes on the tours are set on cliffs or tucked away on the cobbled streets of the town, good mobility is required. If you have wonky knees, a painful back, or a dicky heart, maybe a day at the beach or at the pool is best. If not, you can look forward to a good time in the hands of our trained team of volunteers who accompany each bus and who are with you to ensure a safe and happy time is had by all. They are a wealth of information on the houses that you’ll visit, on Puerto Vallarta, and what it’s like living here for months at a time.
The money raised by IFC Home Tours is used to help local, Mexican children. Kids who are born with cleft palates receive free surgery and ongoing medical care for all of the years that they need it.
People in the far-flung villages of Cabo Corrientes used to have to travel by bus to P.V. to get expensive dental treatment. Now they can access it, for free, through the IFC’s dental program in Boca de Tomatlan.
Children with cancer, who need to go to Guadalajara for treatment and special treatment, are helped with their bus fares and meals through the club’s support.
IFC has also established a Scholarship Fund for indigenous Huichol students, who live high in the Sierra Mountains so that they can pursue their dreams of post-secondary education.
These and many other programs are fuelled by the revenue from the Home Tours and the kindness of the homes’ owners.
The tours leave the Sea Monkey at 10:30 and last for about three hours. If you want a break from days in a deckchair reading or doing puzzles or computer games, then come on a Home Tour. Open the doors of homes you would never otherwise see and walk down some new paths. You’ll be glad that you did.