Have you ever wondered what lies beyond Mismaloya and Boca de Tomatlan? Well, the answer is a whole lot; beyond these places there are beaches, coves, and islands to be discovered throughout Banderas Bay, and a whole world of mountain life beyond this bay in the Sierra Madre mountains.
If you head south of Puerto Vallarta for around 45 minutes, however, you can begin your exploration with the quaint and traditional town of El Tuito.
In Nahua (the Aztecan language) El Tuito means “the Divine Place,” and if you take the time to see it you will know why it has received such high praise! El Tuito is a 500 year old town which houses only 3,600 people (mainly farmers and small business owners), though soon it may have its first bank! Though this town is moving forward in terms of technology and health care it is still very traditional; recently this town was named a Pueblo Mágico by the Mexican Federal Government. Pueblo Mágico means “magical village.” In 2001 the government launched a program to designate certain cities and towns in Mexico that have historical and cultural significance, traditional art, cuisine, festivals, folklore, and other characteristics that make these cities distinctly Mexican, and places that tourists would like to visit. You can read more about Pueblos Magicos here.
The Main Plaza
The Zocalo (main square) in El Tuito is particularly charming and is commonly used as a meeting point for people in the town. Because it’s a very small town, you can easily meet up with friends in the plaza without needing to be too specific about where. “Meet me at two o’clock at the plaza” is all the arrangement needed, and you will easily find each other! If you’re here at the right time you may even see children practicing their folkloric ballet; this town is a hub for many people on their way to the coast of Cabo Corrientes. Tuiteños (residents of El Tuito) have a lot of pride in their plaza and their town; the stunning tree on the plaza even has its own name. She is Maria, and she provides shade to the front of the municipal plaza and library.
There’s a small population of foreigners who have chosen to stay here, away from the bustle of the tourists traps. Walking through this town is tranquil and interesting; you will find stores which sell raicilla (Mexican moonshine), panela cheese, and fresh bread.
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If you’re vacationing in Puerto Vallarta and you would like to see El Tuito, you can take a bus from outside the Garza Blanca resort, or rent a car or taxi to get you there. You could even book a tour through the onsite travel agency at Garza Blanca! However you get here, it will be well worth the trip.
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