Wednesday, March 11, 2015

San Sebastian

During our first few days after our arrival here we found this company, Vallarta Adventures where we booked 3 (for the price of 2) activities. The first one on our list was Rhythm of the Night which you can read in a previous post by clicking here. Our second excursion was a bus tour to a quaint little village about 50 miles north of Puerto Vallarta. 

“San Sebastian del Oeste - Buried deep in the heart of the Sierra Madre Mountains, The very quaint, remote setting has made it one of Mexico's last remaining secrets. While this tiny mountain enclave (elevation 4500 ft) isn't far from Puerto Vallarta, it's still a world away from the usual tourist haunts.”

These trips are a full day’s adventure and we depart around 8 am from the Marina Vallarta. The downside for us is that it takes us about 3 different bus rides to get us there so we usually opt for a taxi – 80 pesos or $6.00 USD.

The upside is that we get to view the sunrise at the marina while they serve up a delicious continental-style breakfast – coffee, tea, juices, fresh fruit, muffins and loaves. They even include a toaster for their breads along with peanut butter, jams and different marmalades.

07-DSCN1333Our destination is about 90 minutes from PV but the time passes quickly as we sit in the comfort of air conditioning winding our way through impressive mountain scenery and everyday scenes of rural life and some of the most breathtaking views.


Our first stop at a rest area offered up some majestic views near a recently constructed expansive bridge. Our tour guide told us that the trip down the valley and back up the other side would have taken at least a half day before this bridge was erected. It was impossible to see the bottom of this gorge.


Our second stop, which ended up being about 11 am, was at a roadside tequila factory. Yup, another one!


The buildings and grounds were lovely – look at the size of these bougainvillea plants! These beautiful flowers are a common sight down here and are one of our favorites . . . the petals are so delicate and there are so many wonderful colors.


We found our next stop extremely interesting – Hacienda Jalisco.


“Hacienda Jalisco’s silver mining history came to an abrupt end with the Revolution of 1910 but another type of silver, the silver screen, awaited its future. Discovered and restored by the American expatriate Bud Acord in the 1960s, the hacienda was to become a favorite hangout of John Huston, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton during and after the filming of the Night of the Iguana.”

Hacienda Jalisco

“Today it happily continues to serve as a B&B. Brochures describe it as romantic. There is no electricity and rooms are lit by lantern at night. You might sleep in the same room where Burton and Taylor pursued their scandalous, extramarital affair.”

Steeped in history this property was the headquarters for the area mining industry. Sitting in the lush gardens I almost felt like Liz Taylor . . . well, if you think about it, we married the same man twice. Well, not the same man of course, she married Richard Burton twice and . . .why am I explaining this? Next stop was a coffee plantation where we learned the whole process from the bean to the pot.  This was where the Cowboy was asked to go back to the bus to sit and wait for the rest of us. He had our tour guide just shaking his head in disbelief when he asked where they grew the decaffeinated coffee beans.



We not only sampled some amazing fresh coffee but also a wonderful fruit that was a cross between an orange and a lemon called a Rangpur (I think). Incredible flavor!



The Cowboy managed to talk his way out of his ‘’time out” and was later caught here with his partner in crime picking some of the not-so-low hanging fruit.


By this time we had worked up an appetite and we hiked in to the very heart of this quiet little village for lunch at this charming bistro.

Full of antiques and artifacts with amazing food that tasted even better in the lush outside dining area. Everything tastes better when you eat outdoors!

After lunch we sauntered over to an old school which has become a museum. The tour guide there was actually a great granddaughter of one of the three founders of the town. She made the tour very personal so, out of respect, I didn’t take any photos.

“Originally settled in 1605, this secluded 17th century mining town reached its peak of prosperity in the 1700s, when over 30,000 people inhabited the area. Over the years, the town's population fluctuated wildly as gold and silver were mined intermittently between the 1600's and the 1930's.”

This post has become quite lengthy but we have one more stop at this wonderful ancient church:

This was a very busy and wonderful day’s experience being in touch with culture as well as a way of life in a most picturesque remote part of Mexico.

Thanks for coming along with us. Hope you enjoyed it too.


  1. What a wonderful tour! Looks like you had a great time.

  2. Nice to see you back and posting , you are just having too much fun !
    Love Mexico!