Saturday, January 22, 2011

Puerto Vallarta’s Los Cuatro Vientos

The temperature read 16 below zero (-26.6 Celsius), not wind chill, but actual temperature as Ted and I traveled to the airport. The snow flew and we did too.  Puerto Vallarta, Mexico sits on the Bay of Banderas along the Pacific Ocean. We stayed at Los Cuatro Vientos Hotel (The Four Winds).  This charming 14 room colonial hotel felt like a bed and breakfast.  Every morning the guests gather at their own pace to eat breakfast in the colorful outdoor vine enclosed patio. Many visitors return year after year. Indeed while we were here we met several travelers who were staying not weeks but months. Tales were told of their growing friendships and memories that included renting the whole hotel for a wedding. Longtime guests filled their days with Spanish classes, painting classes, cooking classes and some walked nearby to take yoga lessons all the while enjoying the immense beauty of an area by the sea. Ted and I went exploring! The cobble stone streets are narrow. I gasped in delight and clicked pictures of white stucco houses, red-tiled roofs and walls lined with flowering vines. There seemed to be a small restaurant, little store or gallery on every block!
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As we stepped out of our airport taxi we are greeted by this sign.  The building in the background is not Cuatro Vientos. In many places it is only a wall that separates one property from another.  Chez Elena Restaurant has been very popular since 1954. The Hotel was added later.The feel of a bed and breakfast is provided by Gloria Whiting who has owned Los Cuarto Vientos for 30 years. She is a warm and gracious hostess who greets each guest. It is not long before you feel like family

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The welcome sign marks the gate that leads up a few steps to this patio. Chez Elena is on this floor. At night the area is lit by festive lights, picturesque as can be. Puerto Vallarta Jan 20ll 311
To the right of the pool, you can see the entrance gate. The 14 rooms are on the second and third floors. This hotel attracts visitors with a taste for adventure from all walks of life and different areas of the world.
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The room at the end was ours. The locals call this vine llamadera which means “flame” vine. 
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From the third floor, steps lead up to the bar, the Nido or Nest where guests go up and see the sun set, the lights of the boats in the bay and the lights of town.

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Cuartro Vientos sits on Matamoros Street. You walk down about 100 paved steps and cross 3 narrow streets to get to the Malecon which is the wide-paved,  mile-long promenade by the ocean. This is where you find art, music, entertainment and the best chocolate-coffee ice cream cones. Ted and I had determined to eat our way through Puerto Vallarta and we were glad for the steps. They are not as bad as they sound because they are spaced by little paved patio areas. 
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On our last morning, we went up to the Nido, roof top nest and saw the moon as it was going down.
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In the distance we saw whales. Whales come to this bay to have their young.
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A bit of my heart stayed here in Puerto Vallarta, but Ted caught me a bit of the sun.


  1. Oh.... I want to be there! Looks like you had a wonderful time. :)

  2. Your images are wonderful. I was there many years ago and I do not remember it so beautiful.

  3. Take me there.... NOW!
    Bitter cold here too. 0 F when I woke up. Brrrr.
    But, your beautiful pictures warms me right up.
    Love the vine, can understand why they call it flame vine. That is a good name.


  4. Hi Kate - We did have a great time. As we were leaving, I almost cried. That is unusual, because I am usually anxious to come home.

  5. GardenWalkGardenTalk - Thank you - A compliment from you and your experise is a honor!

  6. Anneli, Yes! I want to go back. We arrived home to show shoveling! But, it looks like later this week we will have temps in the 50s and the thaw will start!

  7. What a beautiful place! I love the architecture, as well as the beautiful plantings. I just returned from a short vacation to Seaside, Florida. Unfortunately, the cold air followed me, with temps dropping into the low 20s at night! It was still wonderful, though I had to wear my polar guard pants on the beach!

  8. Gloria ... I absolutely love your last photo the best! What a wonderful thought... catching the sun!! :)

  9. Gloria, Puerto Vallarta looks lovely; it's too bad that you couldn't stay a little longer. The temps I was hearing about in South Dakota this week made -16F look balmy! But as we gardeners know, spring will come. -Jean