Day Trip to Las Juntas y Los Veranos

Gretchen DeWitt - PEACE Mexico
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May 22, 2012

Las Juntas y Los Veranos is a small village in the municipality of Cabo Corrientes and not part of Puerto Vallarta. Population is listed as 560 persons living in 332 homes. It is an approximate forty-minute curving drive south along the lush, beautiful coastline on highway 200, a two-lane pitted asphalt road that is currently being paved.

Passing the landmark bird-inhabited Los Arcos in the Bay of Banderas and before arriving at the Botanical Gardens, one arrives at Las Juntas y Los Veranos. The name of the town comes from the two rivers that join there ("las juntas") and because it is a place where people went and still come in the summer ("Los Veranos") to cool off.

A Don Crispin tequila sign, an "ejido" office and a few terra cotta painted stores mark the town`s location. Friends are interested in looking at property on which to build, and so the three of us drove down and turned at the town onto a dirt road. We had only gone a couple of hundred yards before spotting a long cement wall, also painted terra cotta and a sign that read, "El 5 to Sol."

Impossible not to stop. The nursery is not a large one, but is filled with beautiful and unusual plants.  I bought a Brazilian fruit tree with a strange name, two tropical cherry trees and night blooming jasmine. If there had been space in our car, I would have purchased more.

We continued up the road into the sloping countryside, passing a scattering of homes and livestock and hills covered with a mix of oak, pine, amapa, cedar and palm trees. After a half-hour of meandering, we retraced our way back to the highway and drove down towards the river to the "OK Corral" restaurant for a fajita lunch.

Crossing the street to the low river to cool off, we were entranced by the old wooden ship-like creaking from the cluster of tall, breeze-blown bamboo. The breeze also hinted of sewage, so we forewent our plans for a shallow dip and headed back to Vallarta, stopping at Punta Negra beach for a swim in the glittering bay.

PEACE Mexico is a nonprofit organization working in the areas of education, animal health, environment, and economic development. The organization works hand-in-hand with communities in the Bay of Banderas area and beyond to increase educational and economic opportunities that support an improved quality of life.

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