The French Quarter of Puerto Vallarta – Lo de Marcos: Lo de Marcos reminds us a lot of Puerto Vallarta back in the early 1980’s when we first discovered the area. It’s not really as large but then, Puerto Vallarta has spread her borders from what we originally observed. Not saying that will happen in Lo de Marcos, however. There seems to be a sleepy element to this small Mexican town that defies developers and large quantities of tourists.
Los de Marcos is fondly referred to as the French Quarter; due to the many Canadians who winter here (some stay all year round and have dug in their heels.) Don’t expect directions, menus and signs to be in French. Though it’s judged that approximately 80% of expats here are Canadian, they hail from across the provinces, British Columbia to Quebec. The other 20% is balanced out by citizens from the US, mostly from the west coast.
What stood out to us in Lo de Marcos was the number of RV’s and trailers; there are five well maintained and very popular RV parks and they also allow campers with tents. These facilities are located up the small coastline and the Quebecois gather at the north end of this stretch. There’s a wonderful sense of camaraderie among these groups, especially at cocktail hour.
If you’re traveling from Puerto Vallarta, plan on at least an hour by car. You can catch a bus at the Walmart across from the airport and plan on taking a couple hours, for all the stops they make.
Saturdays are fun during high season; there is a great little tianguis (flea/farmer’s market). Local artists and artisans sell everything from bread and beads to fruits and footwear. The tianguis alone is worth the trip north of Puerto Vallarta. The location is Calle Luis Echeverria #9 and can hardly be missed.
If you want to stay in Lo de marcos for the night (or two or three) and don’t have an RV, there are a few choices, including pensions above the homes of some locals. Lo de Chata Hosteria has great reviews; clean, pretty and very friendly. You can stay here for as little as $40/night. If you have a large group, there are homes to rent, such as Hacienda Turquesa, air-conditioned with a large accommodating kitchen, three bedrooms and a ten minute walk from the beach.
Live music can often be found on the beach; it’s usually well advertised with signage. Prices at these establishments are far lower than anything you will find in Puerto Vallarta. We haven’t been disappointed in food or service. There aren’t a huge amount of restaurants but they never seem to be overwhelmed. Comida corridas and taco stands appear like magic when the town gets crowded.
We advise staying away during festivals, like Semana Santa, Independence Day or Revolution Day; nationals come from the inland during these times and it can get crowded.
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