With three marinas and two more under construction, Vallarta is
fast becoming a major international sailing destination. Yet
Banderas Bay the third-largest bay in the Americas is still
amazingly free of those triangular white sails that dot the
horizons of so many waters around the world most of the year.
However, during the entire month of March and early April, the
Festival Nautico sails into town. During the month-long series of
events, locals and visitors enter regattas, races and other
competitions that keep the water roiling with activity.
Sailboats, sloops and yachts ply the waters of the bay,
anchoring off private sandy coves where snorkeling and diving are
favorite activities. Marine life is in its plenitude, especially in
the mouths of the rivers where shrimp flourish. While bottlenose
dolphins and giant manta rays inhabit the pleasant waters
year-round, the bay is also the winter home of the humpback whale.
Natural reefs and islands are not only favorite places for
sailboats to anchor, but they also provide great diving.
The region has a long history of sailing as a pirate hideaway
centuries ago, and the many hidden coves and caves are still
rumored to conceal treasure. Darting out in their fast sloops to
capture and divest the larger, slower ocean-going vessels, pirates
fought for their ill-gotten treasure. In fact, legend has it that
Puerto Vallarta’s Playa los Muertos (Beach of the Dead) received
its name due to bodies littering the beach after such a battle.
Sailing in Vallarta couldn’t be easier. The natural crescent
form of the bay, ringed by the Sierra Madre Mountains inland,
protects the area from most storms, even during the summer. Marinas
provide necessary services, such as prompt and simple revamped
immigration and customs procedures, and easy access to gas and
water. Shopping, restaurants, cafes and Internet services are also
available for clients who plan to sail into town.
For those new to sailing, J-World offers sailing charters and
instruction to clients vacationing in the area. The San
Francisco-based company is consistently named best in the business.
Not only can they respond to every level of experience, but their
modern top-quality fleet includes J780 Sportboats with coaches
guaranteed as certified international-level instructors, U.S. Coast
Guard licensed. What’s even better for agents is that they
commission bookings for boats and classes at 10 percent.
Another option for sail-bound travelers is private instruction.
With more years under her belt at sea than most salty dogs, Pat
Henry offers up-close-and-personal classes on her boat, the
Southern Cross. Classes include bare-boating captain classes after
which you’ll be ready to go out and buy your own boat to basic
sailing classes for small groups that are also commissionable to
Whether clients arrive by boat or rent one while visiting,
they’ll come home ready to return to Puerto Vallarta before you can
Ask for the commission listing at time of booking. See
www.sailing-jworld.com or call 800-910-1101 (Mexico: 322-226-6767)
for more information.
See www.coming-about.com for more information and rates.
And when making the reservation, mention your agency information
for rapid commission payments.