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Sleek & Beautiful

Puerto Vallarta Walking Tours

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Puerto Vallarta Cultural Walking Tours  (We are open.)

Immersing yourself in a place helps to discover its culture. Walking enhances this experience. My name is Sandra Cesca. Welcome to my walking tours. My love of photography and history has helped develop my business over the last 10 years. As you read the descriptions of my walks and view the photos in my gallery, you will get a sense of the experience you will have with me. Finally, go to my BLOG TAB where you can read stories of some of the people you will meet.

Why walk with me? Only informative small groups, visit workshops and markets, meet artisans and vendors, hear interesting history, visit places you may not find on your own. Time for questions and conversation. For customer reviews, go to Trip Advisor.

BOOK NOW!    COVID compliant. Masks still required when entering establishments.

BOOK NOW gives immediate reservations, online payment, and email confirmation. Only available up to 24 hours in advance. Book early to assure your choice is available. Walks are about three hours long except for San Sebastian and El Tuito.     All prices are in USD.

Questions?   Email me. sandra.learn.vallarta@gmail.com

Custom tours: I can organize a special tour for you depending on your desires. Email me to discuss.

Certificate of Excellence since 2013

Primary Walks

San Sebastian del Oeste Book Now

San Sebastian del OesteNew

$129Sunday, Thursday8 am - 4 pm

Join me for an adventure into Old Mexico. This tour is an all-day driving and walking tour of this once bustling silver mining town located 5000 feet up in the Sierra Madre mountains. Originally settled by the Spanish conquistadors during the 1500s, old mines were discovered and by 1605 the town of San Sebastian was founded. The town grew to have nearly 30 mines and ten gold and silver reduction foundries by 1785. At the height of its population in 1900, there were approximately 30,000 people living here. The prosperity of the city declined after the revolution of 1910 and the last of the mines shut down forever in 1921. Today the population is only about 600 people.

Time has stood still in this charming rural town. Most of the buildings are over 200 years old. With its cobblestone streets, stone bridges, and stunning vistas, it has continued to maintain its historical character and was named a Pueblo Mágico in 2012.

Begin with our first stop for Mexican coffee or hot chocolate and warm pastries. Then we cross the huge expansion bridge to the entrance of the town, passing the organic coffee plantation which we will stop at later. As we walk the narrow streets we will visit an abandoned silver mine, a small silversmith shop, the church, the plaza with its small local shops, the jail, a small history museum, an herb shop, a raicilla distillery, and the cemetery. As we walk, you will hear about the history of this town and stories that tell of its pioneer characters.

Included: lunch served family-style in one of the oldest family restaurants; RT transportation in AC van; tour guide; water.

NOTE: this walk is not suitable for those with mobility or balance issues.

Pickup Locations:  PV southside; Sports Stadium; Marina; Home Depot. You will receive times and details after booking.

See the San Sebastian Photo Gallery

Historic El Centro ~ NEW Audio Tour Option Below Book Now

Historic El Centro ~ NEW Audio Tour Option Below

$50M,W,F,S9:30 am

This is my most popular walk. If you have taken this walk before, come again. I have revised the route adding several new locations. This walk covers the oldest and most historic part of Vallarta on the north side of the Rio Cuale. From the Central Plaza, we walk the surrounding cobblestone streets with its old colonial architecture and new urban art. You will hear about Vallarta’s history, Talavera pottery, origins of chocolate, vanilla, coffee, Huichol beadwork, ancient milagros, and more as we stop in some of these specialty shops.  We will take a break at the Chocolate Factory to sit and ask questions. We visit the Guadalupe Church and some of the famous Malecón sculptures as well as artisans at work. Meet at the Los Arcos Amphitheater on the Malecon across from the downtown Central Plaza.

 

If you like to explore a place on your own at your own pace, this AUDIO VERSION is for you!  You get to walk the route I use and listen to my voice sharing the history and stories of this exciting town. Take this walk any time of day although shops typically open at 10 am. Stop to shop or eat then start again at your leisure. And once you have downloaded the app, you can purchase my walking tour and hundreds of others worldwide for under $10 USD per tour.

The AUDIO VERSION will take you directly to my walking tour page on VoiceMap. You can review the tour first. Then follow the directions to download the app and purchase the tour. You can use this app on either your cell phone to take the actual walk or on your home computer if you just want to take the walk virtually.

See the Historic El Centro photo gallery

Gringo Gulch Book Now

Gringo Gulch

$45T,T,S9:30 am

See colonial architectural homes and villas including those of actors Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Learn how the movie “Night of the Iguana” changed the destiny of Vallarta forever! Listen to the entertaining stories of famous people from the past who helped to settle Gringo Gulch. Imagine yourself in this former fishing village while walking charming cobblestone streets with views of both ocean and jungle. End up at the famous Cigar Factory where the well known products of Mexico such as tequila, chocolate, vanilla and coffee are available. Meet at the Los Arcos Amphitheater on the Malecon across from downtown Central Plaza

NOTE: numerous stairs and some moderate hilly cobblestone streets.

See the Gringo Gulch photo gallery

Emiliano Zapata Neighborhood Book Now

Emiliano Zapata Neighborhood

$45T,T,S9:30 am

From the River Cafe on the Rio Cuale Island, we head for the Emiliano Zapata Colonia on the Southside over the swinging Rio Cuale bridge, through local cobblestone neighborhoods that are a mixture of old homes and new rentals. Visit Vallarta’s largest central produce/fish market; meet the chicken lady; taste tortillas hot off the cooker or a chocolate truffle that melts in your mouth; see a stained glass shop, pinata maker, Oaxaca tapestries,  renovated eclectic historic hotel, Banderas Bay’s largest ceramics factory where artists create colorful tiles, find old-world antiques, folk art, and hand-made leather in Alfonso’s museum where over 40 mannequins display historical clothes and headpieces all sewn by Alfonso.

See the Emiliano Zapata Neighborhood photo gallery

Rural El Tuito ~ Not Available Yet Book Now

Rural El Tuito ~ Not Available Yet

$70 or $100M,TH,S9:00 am - 3:00 pm

This tour has been revised to include several more interesting stops. El Tuito is a 500 year-old rural pre-Hispanic mountain town one hour south of Vallarta nestled in beautiful agricultural and ranch country. Our first stop is the famous family-run panaderia where we sample empañadas baked in a wood-fired brick oven. Then across to Mi Pretexto, a small family raicilla farm started 20 years ago, to observe how raicilla is made. Next several stops include the brickyard where hundreds of hand-made bricks are made daily and fired in their two-story kiln; the plaza; 200 year-old church; local pottery studio; coop art gallery; behind the scenes in a tortilla shop. Hear the history of this town since the days of the Spanish conquistadors. We end with lunch (fee not included) at local family restaurant.

$70: RT transportation on Vallarta bus; local private car in Tuito
$100: RT transportation from Vallarta in private car

NOTE: this walk is not suitable for those with mobility or balance issues.

See the Rural El Tuito photo gallery

Other Tours

Introductory Milagros Workshop Book Now

Introductory Milagros Workshop

$40 $44 $50M, TH10 am

The history of Milagros goes back 4000 years to Spain. Milagro means miracle and indigenous people used them to express gratitude for health, home, and food, for blessings and answers to prayers. They would pin these small figures onto church statues praying for a miracle. This tradition was brought to Mexico in the 16th century by the Spanish Conquistadors. Today you can make your own Milagro with the symbols that have meaning to you. Francisco and Lupita have been Milagro artisans for over 30 years and are conducting this workshop in the private garden of their home. These make beautiful gifts for family and friends as well as yourself. Or as a blessing to hang in your home. This is a hands-on 3 hour workshop.

Price of the workshop is based on the size of the Milagro figure you wish to make: small, medium, or large. Includes all materials, your guide Sandra, and a personal interpretation by Lupita about the relationship and meaning of the symbols you have chosen. After booking, you will be sent a photo of the figure choices in the group you have selected so you can decide which one you want to make and the color of the background.

See the Milagaros Workshop photo gallery

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