BUCERIAS TRAVEL GUIDE
Places to Stay -Click here for price key
Bucerías has fewer hotels than vacation rentals. A number of on-line and local agencies provide short- and long-term rentals, including Las Palmas (Av. Lázaro Cárdenas 27, tel. 329/298-00670, www.las-palmas-travel.com) is an established Bucerías vacation realty company. For over-the-top vacation rentals and mansions on the beach, contact Pacific Boutique Properties (www.pacificboutiqueproperties.com).
Decameron ($$$, Calle Lázaro Cárdenas 150, tel. 329/298-0226; 01800/011-1111 toll-free in Mexico, www.decameron.com) is a huge all-inclusive hotel housing mainly Canadian seniors. At the south end of Bucerías, it's big and seemingly impersonal but an excellent value. At this price, you can still afford to go out to eat at least one meal a day at one of Bucerías's many good restaurants.
Posada de Bucerías ($$$, Francisco I. Madero 59, Fracc. Dorada, tel. 329/298-1507, www.loaposadadebucerias.com) has 12 clean, spare rooms surrounding a sparkling courtyard pool. Originally slated to be condos, the hotel was finished in late 2009. A room with kitchenette goes for about 200 pesos more than the standards, with one or two queen beds. There's a large underground parking lot, and a courtyard café serving breakfast until noon. It's on the south side of town.
Places to Eat - Click here for price key
Many places reduce hours (sporadically or according to a schedule) or close for vacation during the hot, slow, summer months. At that time it's best to call ahead to confirm opening hours.
Aside from the eateries described below, the street facing the beach on the north side of town, Avenida Pacífico, has a string of eateries specializing in seafood. Quality and attention to service and other details waxes and wanes, making recommendations difficult, but among our readers praises have been sung for Aduato's (Av. Pacífico 11. tel. 329/298-2790) and El Brujo (Av. Pacífico 202, tel. 329/298-0406). These and the others have tables on a patio overlooking the sea and below, right on the sand.
Rincón de Ensenada ($-$$, Calle Juárez between Av. Lázaro Cárdenas and Francisco I. Madero) is a friendly place. Outside high season (December through Easter), hours can be erratic, but it's generally open daily 10am to 8pm, except Wednesdays, when it's closed. Service isn't terribly fast, but you can munch on chips and homemade salsas as you wait for your super economical and yummy fish or shrimp quesadilla or taco, a shrimp plate so big it can be shared by two people, or another good seafood dish. The tortillas are made by hand when you order.
For good pizza and pasta, visit Toscana Mía ($$$, Calle Hidalgo 25, Centro, tel. cell 322/149-1281, closed Sunday). It's a popular Italian restaurant on one of the main streets north of the church. From the main road, Highway 200, the giant Chinese "palace" is a good landmark; Calle Hidalgo is the street just to the south.
On the north end of town, Panino's ($$, Av. Mexico at Calle Josefa Ortiz, tel. cell 322/156-4341) makes all of their own sweet and savory breads, cookies, and croissants. Excellent espresso-machine-made coffee comes with a refill; there are uninspired and expensive breakfasts and for lunch, salads and grilled Panini (sandwiches on baguette).
La Quinta di Francesco ($$, Constituyentes between Calles Agustín Melgar and Javier Mina, tel. 329/298-3919, www.laquintadifrancesco.com) closes in summer but is open daily in high season. The chef-owner creates homemade pastas and pizzas as well as Italian-leaning chicken and meat dishes.
For a classy and upscale experience, people drive from as far away as Puerto Vallarta or Sayulita to eat at Mark's ($$$$, Av. Lázaro Cárdenas 56, tel. 329/298-0303, www.marksbucerias.com). It is elegant and expensive and the food is international.
For sweets and high-end cakes and pies, visit American-run Pie in the Sky (Héroe de Nacozari 202, tel. 329/298-0838). It's on the east lateral road at the south end of the city. They have free Wi-Fi for customers so you can have coffee and dessert as you cruise the Web.
Also on the east lateral road, north of Pie in the Sky, Los Chatos (Héroe de Nacozari 112, tel. 329/298-2927) is locally owned, less expensive, and makes wonderfully light and fancy desserts, from pies and cakes for a dinner party to individual portions. They also sell many flavors of ice cream, their own brand.
Sweet Thing (Lázaro Cárdenas 64, tel. cell 322/278-6960) has expensive but very popular cinnamon rolls as well as cookies and other sweets. The restaurant serves full breakfasts and early lunch. Open 8:30am to 3 pm except Wednesdays.
Things to Do & See
New World Gym (Plaza Los Amores, off Highway 200 at the north end of town, tel. cell 329/147-5425) is a huge gym that opened in late 2009. It has modern equipment and classes in Zumba, pilates, spinning, and yoga. Classes and gym access by the day, week or month.
Sunflower Massage (Calle Hidalgo 3, Centro, tel. cell 322/110-1082) offers massage, manis and pedis, waxing, and facials.
Scott's Bucerías Tours (Av. Lázaro Cárdenas near Puente del Beso, tel. 329/298-1312, www.vallartatraveladvisor.com) sells all types of tours.
Encore Restaurant & Lounge (Av. del Pacífico 15, near Calle Hidalgo, tel. 329/298-0250, (www.encoreonthebeach.com) features the jazzy standards of its singer/owner, Armi Grano, and her trio. The dinner music generally starts at 7:30pm and is done by the time the restaurant closes, at 10 or 10:30. Food service ends earlier.
The streets between the town square and El Puente del Beso (Bridge of the Kiss) are lined with booths selling bright ceramic ashtrays and knickknacks, breezy beach clothing from Indonesia, carved wooden statuettes, and other souvenirs. On both the north and south sides of town, small boutiques on the two streets near the beach and perpendicular streets sell clothing, glassware and decorative pottery from Guadalajara, and other typical vacation prizes.
For a glimpse of the non-touristy side of Bucerías, visit the weekly Sunday market, held between about 9am and 2pm. A few vendors sell handcrafts from Oaxaca and elsewhere, but the majority hawk fruits and veggies, piles of polyester panties, kitchen utensils, and other essentials of daily life. Follow the arroyo (dry creek bed) east and you'll not miss it.
Jan Marie Boutique Gallery (Av. Lázaro Cárdenas at Calle Galeana, Col. Las Palmas, tel. 329/298-0303, www.janmarieboutique.com) sells lovely higher end vases, paintings, settees, and other home furnishings.
A block to the south, several galleries and shops are found in and around Art Walk Plaza (Av. Lázaro Cárdenas 68, tel. 329/298-2506).
How to Get There & Away
The closest bus station is that of Puerto Vallarta, just north of the international airport and the marina district. It's called Central Camionero (tel. 322/290-1009). The main bus lines serving the area are ETN (www.etn.com.mx, tel. 322/290-1001), Primera Plus (tel. 322/290-0715) and TAP (tel. 322/290-0119). Make reservations and purchase tickets ahead through Ticketbus (tel. 01800/702-8000 anywhere in Mexico, www.ticketbus.com.mx). Transportes Cihuatlán connects PV to Barra de Navidad and the Costalegre.
At this time (January 2009, a taxi from Bucerías to the Central Bus Station costs about 130 pesos. It usually costs slightly more when you catch a taxi at the bus station, unless you drag your suitcase out to the main road, Highway 200, and hail a cab there.