Bucerias Beat: Flight Of The Snowbirds

It happens every year. Just like the butterflies and the birds, Bucerias’ Snowbirds migrate north when the temperatures rise. It’s almost as if someone flips a switch and suddenly my favorite beaches are nearly empty, the roads are less congested, and there’s plenty of parking downtown. There are also of plenty “closed for the season” signs and sealed up storefronts. For those of us who live in Bucerias full-time, it can be heavenly if you know where to go to stay cool and how to find life in low season.

For starters, it’s now warm enough that you should want to be in a pool or the ocean all the time. Make plans to visit different local resorts for a day-pass and take advantage of their low season deals…we love the all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch at the Marival Residences in Nuevo Vallarta and the “day pass with lunch” at B. Nayar Resort on the north end of Bucerias.

Many of Bucerias’ north end restaurants stay open year-round (or take a short break in August/September). For a beachfront breeze and incredible sunset views hit up Mezzogiorno, at the very north end of Avenida del Pacifica #33. The catch of the day is always fresh, and the drink specials are a welcome break from beer and over sweetened margaritas. For enclosed air conditioning and a spectacular meal, don’t miss Esquina 22 on the corner of Avenida México and calle J. Espinoza, whose nightly chef specials are unique and delicious. There’s always someone interesting to talk to at the bar and their daily 2×1 happy hour from 3-7pm is the place to stay cool in late summer afternoons.

If you’re on the south end of town, make your way to Armando’s Place at calle Fancisco Madero #45. They also have enclosed A.C. and lots of fans on the outdoor patio where Armando serves up the most delicious basil lemonade (shot of tequila optional) to go with his mouthwatering BBQ ribs…and if you can’t manage to leave the poolside, they deliver! If you head even further south and want some remarkable tacos and burgers, don’t miss La Negra, on calle Abasolo #11.  Stay into the evening, hanging in the shade of their new rooftop patio where there’s usually a DJ spinning and folks grooving on the dance floor. Their mescal-based drinks are a local delicacy as far as I’m concerned.

While the seasonal tourist markets are now closed, our local “Tianguez” or Sunday River Market stays open year ‘round. Head down to the arroyo Sunday morning for freshly made tacos and Birria (a spicy meat stew specific to Jalisco), some locally grown vegetables and fruits, free-range eggs and freshly caught seafood. You’ll also find everything from car stereos to bedazzled jeans to the latest DVDs, so plan to stay awhile and take it all in.

When all the touristy places turn off their flashy neon signs, another layer of local commerce emerges, and it’s probably been there all along. So take a walk through the streets of Bucerias this week, and you will find all the smaller, local businesses offering everything from passport photos to key replication, waiting for customers like you to finally take notice and walk in. The low season is the best time to slow down, perfect your Spanish and see Bucerias in an entirely different light.