Beat the Heat in Mascota
When it gets too hot in Puerto Vallarta, we head for the hills. It’s amazing how cool the mountains are compared to the dense heat and humidity of Puerto Vallarta. It’s a short hour’s drive! Along the way to our destination of Mascota, there are many lovely places to visit. Las Palmas is likely our first stop where we love to experience whatever small café strikes our fancy. Some of the old ones remain, while new ones crop up every year in an effort to grab some of the business of traveling tourists. San Sebastian might even stop us in our tracks and entice us to spend a night or two, if we can find accommodations. Steeped in agriculture, which replaced the main commerce many years ago, San Sebastian is a magical little settlement.
Mascota is a beautiful village in the mountains above Puerto Vallarta and it’s our favorite place to head in the summertime to escape the heat when it gets overpowering on the coast. At 1200 meters above sea level, it’s a refreshing break about this time of year. With approximately 15,000 people, Mascota still has that small town feel and everyone is friendly and cordial. The municipality of Mascota encompasses smaller villages such as Tecuani and La Plata, which are also worth a visit but not quite as tourist oriented. There are great lodging choices with several motel/hotel locations to choose from, plus we have recently discovered quite a few Airbnb’s in Mascota, which we love for the chance to meet and get to know the locals.
We’re accustomed to the well planned streets of Puerto Vallarta so when we drive or walk around Mascota, it’s fun to experience the hodge-podge layout of the streets and roads. When it was originally settled in the late 1700’s, people chose a spot to build their homes wherever they wanted. This resulted in a very inconsistent design once development and urbanization came to town. Since the town isn’t too big, it’s not really possible to get lost but it does make for interesting touring.
A newbie might think there should be animal sanctuaries in this little town because in Spanish mascota means pet, however it’s not a Spanish name. The indigenous group of Teco Indians named the town Amaxacotlán Mazacotl, which translates to “the place of deer and snakes.” The Spaniards referred to it as the Valley of the Deer, but today it remains Mascota. Just a note: we have never seen a snake in Mascota.
We highly recommend a visit to this lovely municipality where the annual temperature is around 71 degrees F (21.8ºC). Be prepared for rain in the summer months, as the storms that pass through Puerto Vallarta often find their way into the mountains.
Thanks to our Guest Blogger Adam Garcia for this great article! (Opinions expressed are his own…)
About Vacation Villas of Mexico Founder, Vanessa Cole
The founder of the company, Vanessa Cole, lived in Puerto Vallarta for 10 years and in Cancun for 2 years. She has worked in Luxury Vacation Villa Rentals since 2001.
Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Vanessa earned a degree from the University of Texas in Austin, majoring in International Business and Latin American Studies. Fluent in Spanish, she has worked and traveled all over Mexico and South America.
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