Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - The IFC Home Tours, run by the International Friendship Club (IFC), are a great way for visitors and residents of Puerto Vallarta to see new places, explore spectacular homes and know that all of the profits made from the tours are used to make the lives of Mexicans living here a little better.
Tickets ($600 pesos) for the tours are limited and it is best to book in advance by visiting toursforvallarta.com or buying the tickets from the office (9:00 to 1:30 Mondays to Fridays), located upstairs of the bridge where Insurgentes crosses the River Cuale. Tours run on Tuesdays and Wednesday mornings and start at the Sea Monkey Restaurant, located at the foot of Aquiles Serdan on the beach. Tickets are also available at the Sea Monkey at 9:00 am on tour dates.
A great way to start the day is to have a delicious breakfast at the restaurant before boarding the bus at 10:30 am. Each tour lasts about three hours and is guided by two docents who describe the homes you will be visiting and are available to answer your questions about life in Puerto Vallarta and details about the IFC. Cobblestones and stairs are a fact of life in PV, so mobility should be considered.
Trip Advisor reviewers rate the tours as "Excellent." A couple of reviews posted in December are:
"My husband and I REALLY enjoyed this tour. Our guides was friendly, informative, and so outgoing. If you want a good idea of life in PV for Americans and Canadians, take this tour. You'll learn about health care, cost of living, PV experience, etc. We saw five homes, three in Mismaloya and two in Old Town. Finding the Sea Monkey was easy and the IFC volunteers made us feel quite at home. Best of all, proceeds from the tours really help the needy in PV. We rode in luxury buses from the Sea Monkey Restaurant to the various houses. The bus driver was MUY GUAPO."
IFC provides financial support to its own cleft palate program. It bring surgeons and their medical staff from Guadalajara every three or four months to provide free treatment to children with cleft palates and cleft lips. The club also provide much-needed financial help to many organizations in the education, health, cultural and social services fields. Government support for many services is either stretched very thinly or non-existent and the help that they get from IFC is vital for them.
The bedrock of the IFC Home Tours is, of course, the homeowners who, very generously, open their homes to IFC during the season, maybe just once or twice or, sometimes, once or twice a month. Without them the Home Tours would be unable to run and IFC would be unable to deliver the help they do to people in need. IFC is always looking for new homes to show for a couple of hours on Tuesdays or Wednesdays mornings so if you have a home that you think would be of interest to visitors and residents please contact Ann Boughn at aboughn(at)yahoo.com. She would greatly appreciate that help.
For a unique view of Puerto Vallarta, and to help support good causes, please take an IFC Home Tour any Tuesday or Wednesday starting Tuesday, January 3, 2017.The International Friendship Club is a registered charitable organization in Mexico listed as Club Internacional de la Amistad de Puerto Vallarta A.C. It is located at the northeast corner of the Rio Cuale Bridge above the HSBC Bank, Colonia El Centro, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico, 48300. Phone: 322-222-5466. Website: ifcvallarta.com Email: ifcvallarta(at)gmail.com