A bi-weekly news source for the village of San Pancho, Mexico
December 15th, 2016

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año Nuevo!

We are wishing you all a beautiful holiday season and looking forward to a wonderful and happy new year together in San Pancho!
San Pancho Getaways with Candice Fulton

Time Travel Before Noon: San Sebastián del Oeste

"We want to see some more of Mexico," I hear from friends in San Pancho. Or, "The nights are too warm and muggy to sleep!"

What can be done? How about a scenic drive that will take you from sea level to nearly 5,000 feet, where warm sweaters and cozy quilts become your friends instead of things to look at and shudder. And if you leave at 9:30 you'll be there by lunchtime.

San Sebastián del Oeste, a Pueblo Mágico snuggled high in the Sierra Madre east of Vallarta, is a picturesque colonial town founded in 1605 after the Spanish began mining the silver and gold in the surrounding mountains. By 1830, its population was around 20,000 people: it's now fewer than a thousand, a quiet, peaceful and enchanting village, the perfect hideaway for a night or two.

Don't expect nightlife. There isn't any. Do expect fresh mountain air and a sound sleep under fleece blankets after a delicious meal. For that, you must go on a night when Montebello is open. Montebello is an intimate restaurant where northern Italian owner/chef Walter concocts some of the best pasta dishes you'll ever eat. His lasagna is so light it nearly floats off the plate, the ravioli divine, all dishes accompanied by his crusty homemade bread to dip in good olive oil. The wine list is rich with choices. If you're lucky, Walter will give you an after-dinner taste of his liqueurs, made with lemons and herbs from their own garden, and his charming wife Coco will be there to greet you.

There are several hotels in San Sebastián, some quite elegant, but my favorite has always been Hotel del Puente, an old one-level hacienda a block or so off the plaza. The simple rooms around a landscaped courtyard are spacious and eccentric, each with its own front door opened by a gigantic ancient key. Bathrooms are tiny but serviceable, the beds big and wonderfully cozy. The price is astonishing: about $20 US last time we visited. 

Coffee fans won't want to miss La Quinta Mary, on the right as you enter town, where you can see organic coffee growing and buy some raw or roasted beans to take home.

Take the time to visit Hacienda Jalisco, part museum and part hotel, where they still have no electricity and where, during the shooting of the movie Night of the Iguana, director John Huston helped Richard Burton arrange his secret rendezvous with Elizabeth Taylor. Outside are the ruins of silver smelters from the mining era, inside are displays of photos and artifacts. Down some spooky stairs you can still see the beginning of a three-kilometer tunnel used to transport the precious metals from the Hacienda into the armory in the town (now Hotel Pabellón) during the days of the revolutionary banditos.

San Sebastián is a photographers dream with its narrow cobbled streets, vistas of tile roofs and weathered adobe and mountains, its gracious plaza and church. The town's history is still knowable and palpable. A visit there offers a change of scenery and climate from our beach village with the treasured bonus of a trip backward in time.

Montebello - authentic Italian cuisine. Open 1-8pm, closed Tues & Wed.  
Hotel del Puente - mgr Sergio Trujillo. 322-297-2834
Hacienda Jalisco, open for tours and visits every day but Sunday. 322-222-9637 

Thank you Candice for this great info!  For those of you who aren't already fans, Candice also publishes a blog called San Pancho Vida.  When we are away from San Pancho, it is the only thing that sustains us.
Two Extraordinary Events from our friends at
La Patrona & Tierra Tropical

Polo Brunch
Surf & Turf

Don't miss this chance for an Incredible Polo Experience in beautiful San Pancho! 

Reservations (311) 258 4378

Featured Video
Here's a fun surf video from our friends at Santa Madre.
Here's a fun surf video from our friends at
Santa Madre Adventures.

La Cresta de La Ola
 Opening SOON! 

The newest hotspot in San Pancho will be opening soon!  We are very excited about this beautiful new rooftop bar above La Ola Rica! 
La Cresta de La Ola Rica will be a sweet little hideaway right in the middle of everything.  Serving hand-crafted drinks, live music and great food.  Leave it to our dear friends Trini & Gloria to create the next great thing in San Pancho.  We can't wait!!!
Tropical Onion Rings Anyone?

Have you visited our Community Bulletin Board?

If you want to know what's happening in San Pancho take a quick look at our community bulletin board.  It has all the flyers of things happening around town.  It is a fun and colorful way to plan your stay.

To view it, click on the link above, or find it at sanpancholife.com, and from the teal menu strip at the top, select 'What's Happening/Bulletin Board'.

If you have a community event we would love to post it here for you. While you can view this board, only we can post - feel free to send us any posts! 

The San Pancho Life Community Calendar is also a great place to check out what's going on in town and you can also post your events here - 
and best of all, it's all free!


        Last week San Pancho Animales  gave me one of the best Christmas presents that I have ever received. They allowed me the pleasure of working with them during the annual spay and neuter clinic. 
     This was the first time that my wife and I had volunteered at the clinic and we had no idea what to expect. We were welcomed with open arms and treated like old friends - and then put to work!
     In four days time the veterinarians from Pets For Life, Dr. Poly Lopez, Dr. Jesus Pacheco, Dr. Anthony Garcia, along with Veterinary technician Leslie Caratachea performed 92 spay and neuter operations.  Volunteers did everything else. The setup, the cleanup, the post-op recovery and monitoring the animals from reception to discharge. Each dog and cat not only got sterilized but also got nails clipped, ears cleaned, ticks removed, and a dose of flea prevention at no charge to the owner.
      The work was not easy and, once the surgeries began, very fast paced. My wife and I went home each day exhausted. What a great feeling!!

      The people that we met from San Pancho Animales Spay & Neuter Clinic - both on the front line and behind the scenes - are dedicated to making life better for the animals of San Pancho and it was a great pleasure to meet and work with them all. 
      The work that San Pancho Animales does is year-round. Please visit www.sanpanchoanimales.org to see all the great work they do, and give them an early Christmas present in the form of a donation.

Paul Clem

Thanks, Paul, for your wonderful contributions to our newsletter and our town!  


"Have a Heart", the on-going fund-raising campaign for Escuela del Mundo enables the school to flourish. This campaign is critical to the success of the school, providing for the well-being of the Escuela del Mundo family. The funds support scholarships, educational resources, infrastructure expenses and exploration of teaching techniques - all in the pursuit of enhancing the educational experience that is the bedrock - it is an investment in the future of the San Pancho community.
The school invites you to come and share a Christmas program on Friday, December 16th at 12 noon. This is a splendid opportunity for you to experience the warmth and enthusiasm that is generated by the students, not to mention getting filling yourself up with holiday cheer!
Students are around town now selling Rifa De Los Buenos Deseos for 50 pesos. There are so many wonderful prizes and the lucky winners will be announced at the noon event. If you want to buy raffle tickets please call/contact   322 193 0718 or 322 258 4441
We are also excited to announce "Have A Heart" boutique, opening later this month at Gallo's restaurant on Tercer Mundo. More details will be forthcoming soon. We expect the boutique will be a godsend, providing ongoing income for the school, year round. Please be sure to stop by.
Last but not least - SAVE THIS DATE! January 28th, 2017. Escuela del Mundo's annual fundraiser event, "Have A Heart Baille", will be held from 7:00 - 11:00 at the Circo Bodega Danza. There will be no tickets in advance, nothing printed (in keeping with our core teaching priorities as we honor the environment). Admission to "Baille" will be $300 MXN at the door.  Dust off your dancing shoes and join us!

Adventures with Mexitreks
Mexitreks offers a variety of adventure tours that are suitable for the whole family. From hikes through lush tropical forests to kayak tours along rugged volcanic coastlines to secluded beaches; Mexitreks gives you a break from the beach to explore the various wonders of the Riviera Nayarit.
Mexitreks offers a number of hikes for all levels of hikers. If you're looking for a challenge, join us on our hike up Monkey Mountain (Cerro del Mono). This hike traverses through lush forest under a thick canopy up to a vista view that offers 360 degree views of the Bay of Banderas. Along the hike, your naturalist guide will stop and talk about the natural life that you encounter as well as explain about the significance of this sacred mountain. The trail is challenging but not impossible and your guide moves at a reasonable pace for all hikers to enjoy. 
The Alta Vista hike allows you to step back in time as you follow a trail along the Piletas river and observe ancient petroglyphs (rock carvings) left by the indigenous people who once inhabited the region. This archeological site consists of over 1,000 petroglyphs and your naturalist guide will help point out a majority of these carvings and explain about their significance and how they related to the indigenous way of life. The trail leads to a sacred arena where indigenous religious ceremonies still take place today. There, you will be able to relax and take in the spiritual beauty around you while utilizing the option of cooling off in the sacred pools.
The San Pancho to Sayulita hike takes you from the outskirts of San Pancho along a forested trail to the town of Sayulita. Along this trail your guide will point out rare tropical birds and native vegetation. Enjoy beautiful vista views and the tranquility of hidden beaches. This hike is rated as good for beginner hikers and great for families. 
The Paradise beach kayak tour begins in a small coastal Mexican pueblo about 30 minutes up the road from San Pancho. From there, you will kayak along volcanic bluffs in humpback whale territory, while watching pelicans and blue footed boobies fly overhead. Your destination is a picturesque secluded cove with a great beach to hang out on and enjoy your day snorkeling in the turquoise clear water, and enjoying the scenery around you. The paddle is not difficult, therefore this tour can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. 
Our newest tour showcases Isla Coral located in the Bay of Jaltemba just 30 minutes north of San Pancho. You will depart from the sleepy pueblo of Los Ayala in your own private boat to search for migrating humpback whales and other mammal species that frequent this area. After you will be taken to Isla Coral for an afternoon of beach time and snorkeling in the calm clear waters of this marine reserve. Observe one of the last black coral reefs left in the Nayarit region, as well as snorkel around sunken statues placed to help reforest the coral reef.
As safety is our number one priority, Mexitreks focuses on training all guides, not only about the ecology of the area but also on back-country, first-aid safety techniques. Our guides are certified naturalist guides who are trained to identify local flora & fauna, as well as to explain natural and cultural history of the area. In staying true to the ideology of ecotourism, Mexitreks donates a portion of each booking to local non profits & projects that work towards conservation of local habitats and improving our local communities. 

Christmas Eve & New Years Offerings

Christmas Dinner at La Ola Rica

Christmas Dinner at Cielo Rojo
Bistro Organico
Photos of the week 
Thanks Earl Miller for all of your beautiful photo contributions!

And please indulge us as we share with you a photo of our 6-month-old granddaughter, Allie, on her first visit to see Santa!

San Pancho Life is your source for all things San Pancho!  What to do, Where to stay, What to eat,  Where to Play!

We welcome contributions to our newsletter! If you have photos of San Pancho or If you have a good story to tell about our beautiful town we would love to share it!

Remember to post your events on our Community Calendar - It's free!

Thanks for reading!