Local News & Events

Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

International Friendship Club Tours Off to a Great Start in 2014

Janie Albright Blank - International Friendship Club
January 21, 2014

The International Friendship Club (IFC) has been offering Home Tours to some of the most beautiful homes in Vallarta for over 26 years.

Last year a new tour to the Botanical Gardens and Zoo was added.

Home Tours depart every Tuesday and Wednesday and the trip to the Botanical Gardens and Zoo runs each Thursday.

The tours raise money to support the IFC Cleft Palate Surgery Program here in the Banderas Bay area. Right now there are approximately 200 patients from newborn to age 18 who are being treated in the IFC program.
Volunteer Conrad Kostelecky works with the Home Tours and says the IFC Home Tours for 2013-2014 are off to a great start. Conrad says, "Our November/December tours were great! We even had two separate guests who enjoyed the tours so much that they each went (separately) on four tours on four consecutive weeks and they also went on the Botanical Gardens/Zoo tour the opening week! Amazing support for our club and our charities.

We're off to a great start in 2014 too. Our first week the tour numbers were beyond our expectations and we look forward to touring more beautiful homes every Tuesday and Wednesday through April 9th! Join us!"

The Botanical Gardens and Zoo Tour is headed up by long-time volunteer and experienced tour guide, John Lockington. John says, "ORCHIDS & TIGERS & BEARS, OH MY! Have you ever been to a petting zoo at a country fair, or smelled the roses at a botanical garden? Imagine a day trip where not only do you get to pet real zoo animals but feed them as well. Then travel on to the award winning Botanical Gardens of Puerto Vallarta for a private IFC escorted tour and time to have lunch in a fantastic hacienda restaurant on your own."

The Home Tours provide visitors to the Banderas Bay area with an opportunity they could not have on their own. These beautiful homes are not open to the public. But rather owners have been very kind and generous in their support of the IFC and its charitable mission, allowing them to bring visitors for a specially guided private tour.

The Botanical Gardens and Zoo, while open to the public, can be difficult to get to on your own. The IFC provides a comfortable, private, air-conditioned bus, guided tours and the ability to see both venues in one day. Both the Home Tours and Botanical Gardens and Zoo Tours offer those of you who love to take photographs, whether amateur or professional, a treasure trove of great shots!

Rubén Montiel Márquezhas managed tour bus transportation for the IFC for over 15 years. Rubén will often go with the volunteer IFC Home Tour Director to view a prospective home to make sure the bus can navigate the sometimes difficult Vallarta terrain. Rubén selects his drivers with care and they are trained about the IFC. Depending on the crowd that day, Ruben can usually add a last minute bus or van to accommodate the guests, however the IFC definitely recommends buying your ticket in advance or getting to the departure site close to 9:00 am to make sure you will have a seat.

The Home Tours and Botanical Gardens and Zoo tours by the International Friendship Club both leave from The Sea Monkey restaurant in Vista del Sol on the beach at the foot of Aquiles Serdan in Old Town. The Home Tours depart every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10:30 am and the donation cost is 450 pesos per person. The Botanical Gardens and Zoo tours depart every Thursday at 10:00 am and returns at 3:00  pm. The donation cost is 450 pesos for adults and 250 pesos for children 10 and under.

Admissions to both the gardens and the zoo and air-conditioned transportation are included in the price. Tickets for both tours are on sale using pesos at the Sea Monkey starting at 9:00 am the day of the tour or online using a credit card or PayPal at ifctoursforvallarta.com. You may also purchase tickets using pesos at the IFC office between the hours of 9-4 Monday-Friday.

The Sea Monkey serves a great breakfast right on the beach so buy your tour ticket then relax and enjoy while you wait to depart.

IFC members receive a 50 peso discount on their own ticket if purchased at the IFC office or at the Sea Monkey the day of the tour with current membership card.

The International Friendship Club is a registered charitable organization in Mexico listed as Club Internacional de la Amistad de Puerto Vallarta A.C. It is located at the northeast corner of the Rio Cuale Bridge above the HSBC Bank, Colonia El Centro, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico, 48300. Phone is (322) 222-5466, email is ifcvallarta@gmail.com.

  Learn more about International Friendship Club

  Learn more about Zoologico de Vallarta (Vallarta Zoo)

  Learn more about Vallarta Botanical Gardens

  Check out Timothy Real Estate Group

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