Mexico’s Independence Day

While Christmas and Easter are two of the most cherished holidays here in Mexico, Día de la Independencia, Mexico’s Independence Day is without a doubt the largest fiesta. Here’s what you need to know.

Mexico’s Independence Day-Miguel Hidalgo

Miguel Hidalgo

Mexico’s Independence Day is celebrated on September 16. On this same day in 1810, the revolution was sparked after the inspiring speech El Grito de la Independencia (The Call to Independence) delivered by Priest Miguel Hidalgo of Dolores, Mexico—in the state of Guanajuato. Independence from Spain was not achieved until July 30, 1811, but the holiday is celebrated on the day that the revolution began. Hidalgo was captured and executed about a year after his speech but Mexico continued to fight until they achieved their freedom.

Mexico’s Independence Day-Mexican Flag

What To Expect

If you will be in Mexico the week of Independence Day you will notice that the fiesta begins several days beforehand—with the celebration getting bigger and more fun each day until the 16th. Expect lots of processions, live music, fireworks, out of town street vendors, horns, whistles, and chanting of ‘Viva Mexico’ and ‘Viva la Independencia’. Public transportation will be limited, many restaurants and businesses will be closed—as well as all government buildings. Here’s the list of road closures in Puerto Vallarta the 14, 15, and 16. With all the pop-up food stands and out of town vendors it’s the perfect day for street food!

Mexico’s Independence Day-Bagpipe Band of the San Patricio Battalion

Why Many Mexican’s Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

Although independence from Spain is celebrated on September 16, the Mexican War (also called the American intervention in Mexico) once again threatened Mexico’s independence. The war lasted from 1846 to 1848 and did not end until Mexico signed a treaty giving up several of its northern territories. However, not all United States soldiers agreed with the takeover—leading to approximately 175 U.S. soldiers defecting and joining the Mexican army.

The defectors were known as the Saint Patrick’s Battalion (Batallón de San Patricio)—due to the fact that most of the soldiers were of Irish-Catholic descent. The battalion also had soldiers who were expatriates and immigrants from Germany, Canada, England, France, Italy, Poland, Scotland, Switzerland, and Spain.

The battalion fought some of the toughest battles of the war. However, the soldiers were captured in battle and sentenced to death or hard labor. Many Mexicans continue to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in honor of the Saint Patrick’s Battalion. Mexico City even has a globally revered Bagpipe Band the San Patricio Battalion who travels Mexico and the world performing in honor of the battalion.

If you’ll be in Mexico for Independence Day be sure to head out and partake in the festivities!

Top 7 places for Margaritas in Puerto Vallarta

Margaritas are undeniably the most common tequila-based cocktail in the US and worldwide. It’s served shaken, blended and straight up.  So omnipresent in the world of cocktailing that it merits its very own glass. Even though we cannot get enough of this refreshing drink, what do we really know about margarita?  What’s the history behind this famous drink? As with many popular cocktails, the exact origin is not verifiable.  Perhaps because of this fuzziness, many have taken credit for its invention.

Many believe that Francisco Morales created the margarita on July 4, 1942, in a local watering-hole, Tommy’s Place in the El Paso-Juarez area.  The story goes that a bar patron asked Morales to make a magnolia – a drink that he wasn’t familiar with.  Not wanting to appear ignorant, he improvised and whipped up a drink.  The customer absolutely fawned over it and the margarita was born.According to the LA Times, “over the years, several people claimed to have invented the drink; but  Mexico’s official news agency Notimex and many experts say that Morales has the strongest claim. ”
Puerto Vallarta holds the margarita in high regard.  Understanding its place in the pantheon of fabulous cocktails with Mexico’s favorite spirit.  There are plenty of establishments making margaritas.  This is our list of the best:

1) La Playa‘s Jalapeno margarita is among the best in Vallarta.  Mixologist Alex carefully crafts a sweet and spicy mix that will have you hankering for more.   La Playa is located in Old Town next to Lazaro Cardenas Park.

2) Joe Jack’s Fish Shack- Cadillac margarita. Tank, or Tanque, is a gifted bartender whose Texas Cadillac margaritas find few rivals.  These Grand Marnier-laced margaritas pack a punch, but boy do they go down easy. Joe Jack’s Fish Shack is located in Basillo Badillo 212


3)Solar– Our favorite dive beach bar has some some amazing cocktails.  Start with a fresh cucumber/jalapeno cocktail with your choice of tequila or mezcal. You won’t regret it!

4) Patio de mi Casa–  With a bohemian ambience that will have you relaxed, Patio de mi Casa pairs up a classic margarita with some jazz in the evenings. Marco knows his way around the bar. Don’t take our word for it. You will not be disappointed!. 

5) La Palapa–  Puerto Vallarta’s oldest elegant beach-front restaurant has an extensive drink menu that will impress just about everyone. With more than 10 flavors including tamarind and cucumber, La Palapa is a spectacular location, day or night.

6) Gaby’s – One of the cutest courtyards in downtown Vallarta, Gaby’s dishes out delicious mole perfectly washed down with a hand-crafted margarita.

7) Cafe de Artistes- Upping the cool quotient, this beautiful and revered restaurant, is well-known for their mezcalinis. Served like martini, mezcalinis are margarita’s favorite cousin.

Many of these margaritas can  found in our Mexology Tour and our Original Downtown food  tours. Remember the old adage: Drink tequila because no good story ever started with drinking milk. SALUD!

Top 5 Puerto Vallarta Excursions

From relaxing on the golden sand beaches to wandering the historic cobblestone streets, there is no shortage of things to do or sites to see in Puerto Vallarta. (Check out our post, Top 10 Things to do in Puerto Vallarta) But, if you really want to make the most of your time in the state of Jalisco, we’ve put together five of our favorite Puerto Vallarta day trips. Let’s do a little exploring!


1) Sayulita- A picturesque little beach village 25 miles north of Puerto Vallarta, this surfing mecca has a laid-back, bohemian vibe. Spend a day surfing, sipping tequila or just soaking in the local color. A must-see, Sayulita has a unique magic all its own.


2) Yelapa- Looking for a place to completely unplug and get away from it all? Yelapa is a tiny fishing village and a peaceful haven for lovers of the sun and sand. There are no cars in Yelapa, so you’ll travel by boat from Puerto Vallarta. You can depart from Los Muertos Beach or Boca de Tomatlán. Getting to Yelapa is actually an adventure in itself, and the reward is absolute tranquility.

puerto vallarta trips

3) Tequila- Tequila is more than a beverage. It’s a region, a town, a culture and a history. There is no better way to properly experience tequila than to visit the place where it’s actually made! We recommend taking a tour of the factories. It takes approximately 2.5 hours to get to Tequila by bus or car.

San Sebastian

4) San Sebastian- A ninety-minute drive from Puerto Vallarta and deep in the Sierra Madre Mountains, visiting this former mining village will make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time. Wonder the Mexican colonial streets that seem untouched by time and enjoy the culinary tradition that San Sebastian has to offer. Be sure to try the Chocoraiz, which is a chocolate drink spiked with Raicilla, aka local moonshine.


5) Mayto Beach and Tehuamixtle– Ever wonder where the locals go to “get away”? It’s about 2 hours south of Puerto Vallarta and its one of our favorite places! Lay on a hammock and enjoy miles and miles of virgin beaches. Stay at our favorite little rustic hotel, El Rinconcito and tell Fernando we sent you! Our must-have meal, an oyster and seafood lunch, can be found about ten minutes away at Tehua.

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