Vallarta-Nayarit Not Standing ‘Pat’


There’s a new way to get to the Vallarta-Nayarit region in Mexico, and the main qualifier is that you only need be named Patricia. The Mexico Tourism Board has launched a new campaign called “Welcome Patricias,” aired online and through television spots, that stars Emmy award-winning actress Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond).

In it, she welcomes all those named Patricia – or Pat, Patty, Trish, Tricia or any other variant – to roll the dice on a chance to win a trip to Vallarta-Nayarit. The list of variations on Patricia is long, says Heaton, “and they all count.”

It’s all in aid of dispelling any adverse sentiments that people might have for the region (on Mexico’s Pacific shores) in the wake Hurricane Patricia. That storm roared ashore in late October, causing no major damage to that part of the coast, including the city of Manzanillo, given that preparations were in place.

Now, Mexico wants the good Patricias to visit, says the campaign. Patricias across the Canada and the US have a chance to win an all-inclusive vacation for two to the region. They must upload a photo or video of themselves demonstrating that they are just as ready for the trip as Mexico was for the hurricane. Photos and videos can be posted on Instagram or tweeted using the hashtags #WelcomePatricias #Sweepstakes.

The Patricia participants then have a chance to be chosen as the winner of a vacation for two, including flights and accommodations to the region. Entries are valid until midnight of Dec. 31. The campaign spot is at: .

But Vallarta-Nayarit has also ensured there are plenty of other reasons to visit this holiday destination, regardless of the visitor’s name – and they don’t necessarily involve lying on sand. For instance, the environment ensures that Vallarta-Nayarit is a magnet for nature lovers.

It is a major bird-watching location in the Americas, as well as a destination for bottlenose dolphins and home to thousands of sea turtles that come to lay their eggs on its beaches each year. Islas Marietas is frequently visited by sea turtles, whales, dolphins and a multitude of fish. The most serene spot is Playa Escondida (Hidden Beach), accessible only by swimming, when the tide is low.

The region is also becoming a mecca for thrill seekers, with a growing number of activities. It is one of the few places in the Mexico that offers skydiving on a beach, snorkeling with whale sharks, and the new extreme sport of flyboarding. Sayulita, a nearby village, has been gaining popularity among surfers and was designated as a “Pueblo Mágico” this year.