As we speed away from the port of Puerto Vallarta, the skyline could be seen. We had a 45-minute boat trip each way to the tranquil retreat of Las Caletas. It was a relaxing ride followed by a day spent at an isolated cove where we lounged on a palm fringed beach. In describing his Mexican hideaway, John Huston said, “Las Caletas faces the sea and its back is to the jungle so for some reason one thins of it as an island.”
Day of the Dead is one of the most iconic Mexican traditions because of the whole ritual around this date. It is a day for remembering and celebrating loved relatives who have passed on. Beautiful altar, decorated with candles, buckets of wild marigolds, mounds of fruits, peanuts, plates of turkey, mole, stacks of tortillas and breads called pan de muerto, are made in each home. The altar needs to have lots of food, bottles of soda, hot cocoa and water for the weary spirits. Toys and candies are left for the angelitos, and on Nov. 2, cigarettes and shots of mezcal are offered to the adult spirits. Little folk art skeletons and sugar skulls, purchased at open-air markets, provide the final touches.
Las Caletas Hideaway was once the private home of the famous film director John Huston. He came to Puerto Vallarta to film The Night of the Iguana. This brought Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, Tennessee Williams, and other celebrities to Banderas Bay. Huston bought Las Caletas and the other celebrates purchased homes as well. A tourist industry was quickly born. Save
Las Caletas is a beautiful 3/4 of a mile long beach broken up into 4 smaller beaches only accessible by boat. We arrived after a 45 minute catamaran ride, greeted by a line of waiters lining the shoreline waving, a waterfalls and parrots circling overhead. In the distance we could see five restaurants, beaches with hammocks, chairs and floating islands in the bay. Save
On the third night of the cruise, Comedy Magic of Chip Romero, direct from the Magic Castle in Hollywood California, performed. Chip came out on stage with no props and proceeded to pull out a color changing handkerchief from his pocket. As he told a childhood story of how he got into magic, he did several tricks. Chip is a well-known magician and collector, has ironically a ton of wonderful illusions including some Doug Henning originals. He is known in the magic world for his ring trick. Later in the same week, Chip presented a 45 minute close up show (with a camera projecting the work onto large screens) in the Stardust theater. All performed perfectly, a marvelous demonstration of his card and coin skills. Pure magic, humor as the tricks allow. Save