MASCOTA TRAVEL GUIDE
Where to Stay- Click here for price key
Although steadily increasing in popularity and more accessible than ever, Mascota has traditionally been the destination of rural ranchers and families heading to town for supplies, and inexpensive hotels can be found. Prices of restored old mansions are higher, but still reasonable when compared to Guadalajara or the Pacific Coast.
Humble but hospitable Hotel Copa de Oro ($, Calle Ramón Corona 75; tel. 388/386-0016) has rooms for around $30 a night.
Meson de Santa Elena ($$, Calle Hidalgo 155; tel. 388/386-0313, www.hotelmesondesantaelena.com) has two floors of rooms surround a central courtyard. An 18th century mansion turned quaint country hotel, it is two and a half blocks from the town plaza.
Where to Eat - Click here for price key
Both Meson de Santa Elena (see above) and on the same block, Mesón de San José, serve a large Sunday brunch ($$). All of the following restaurants are inexpensive.
Café Napolés (corner of Hidalgo 105, tel. 388/386-0051) is a popular place for sweets and coffee; they also serve a full breakfast on the outdoor patio or in the tiny dining room. Closes for siesta between 2 and 4:30 pm.
Near the bus station and the market, El Cholo (Calle Corona 70 at Prisciliano Sánchez, tel. 388/386-0071) is open for breakfast and lunch til 4PM. It’s a truck-stop atmosphere, with wooden booths serving many different juices as well as sandwiches, burger and fries, quesadillas, chicken-fried steak (called milanesa) and molletes (bread rolls topped with beans and cheese, and then grilled.
Navidad Restaurant Bar (Calle Juan Diaz de Sandi 28; tel. 388/386-0469, Serves pizza, wine, and standard and unusual Mexican dishes in a cavernous space that often hosts tour groups. Open daily 7 AM til midnight.
By bus: From Puerto Vallarta, buses leave from the ATM station (Calle Lucerna 128, Col. Versalles, tel. 322/222-4816) three times or four times a day at around from morning to late afternoon. It’s a distance of around 100 km (60 miles). The bus stops first at La Estancia, where passengers bound for San Sebastián (11 km [7 mi] away) disembark, completing the trip by taxi. The ATM bus continues to Mascota, and finally Talpa. The ride takes a little under three hours. The Mascota bus station (tel. 388/386-0093) is on Calle Corona near the town market, and you can easily get a bus between Mascota and Talpa, a distance of about 17 km (10+ miles).
Buses also connect several times a day from Guadalajara. The new bus station is located at Entronque Carretera Libre a Zapotlanejo; tels. 33/3600-0588, 33/3600-0098. It’s approximately 195 km (117 miles) and 4.5 hours by car to the outskirts of town; add an hour for the bus.