How to Select Your Mexico Wedding Venue Food Style. Hint: Go Coastal!

Wedding venue, menu, food for wedding
Showcase food stands you see all over the streets. We make them safe for your guests to try and other wise they probably would not even try them on the streets.

This is an actual real answer I gave a bride in our email exchange. I figure I should leave it as it was really emailed. You can see our style of service and also, how to select a Mexican Menu with our available chefs and ingredients. So take a look and enjoy. Email me if you have more questions of how to book a wedding or menu.

Email to Bride for January 2019 Wedding answering Danielle how to select her menu for her tasting: 

Street food snacks. Typical junk food found on the streets. We give these out just for fun to start the wedding with some shock value 🙂

Are you guys foodies? If you are then just describe your favorite food or what type of dishes and appetizers you want and what style of presentation represents your vibe the best way. If you are not too familiar with culinary dishes and verbiage, let me guide you below amigos. These points below are all based on Mexico menu. You can of course have any dish you can think of; all the classic dishes like surf and turf, baked fish, steak soups, etc. that you have seen in any nice restaurant in the USA you may like.



Serve shrimp poppers, Kbobs, taquitos dorados and guacamole for example. All foods you find on the street or beach with local vendors.

Proteins available: Beef, Pork, fish, shrimp or chicken or lamb. *For 5 dollars more per person we can do Lobster, Jumbo Shrimp or Scallops.
Passed Appetizers: For the starter course I would try to really show guests our Mexican culinary diversity. You can have a seafood, a farm, a veggie and a soup popper (shrimp popper for example which is a mini-shrimp broth shot or a cold version like bloody Mary with Shrimp or clam juice. You can do hard shell tacos (deep fried tortilla), Shrimp beach k-bobs, mini tamales (we can even dye the leafs of the tamales with your favorite colors etc. We tend to show street food vibe in the passed appetizers section. Because if you are eating standing up, you are basically eating like any other Mexican on the street food stands!

See here all the catering involved in a Martoca wedding

The dinner starter course, or second course if you do 4 courses, can be a soup or salad or appetizer:
Soups: In January you can go with even a cream milk/butter based and heavy with starch (chowders and creams are examples). Although on the coast we are more about clear broth based soups which are lighter, we call these “caldos”. A traditional soup is Shrimp, pork, beef or chicken broth soups or caldos.

You can also have a stew like dish like Pozole with heavy amounts of protein and veggies mixed in; I stron

Ceviche cones!

gly suggest if you do offer a pozole, you do a starter small cup of it or serve it as a main dish.  Pozoles are like the Stews in the US. I would love for you to try one but maybe it can be in your rehearsal dinner 🙂 Anyway, caldos or creams are available and you can decide what to go with there amigos.

Appetizers: Same as passed apps, but a bit larger and you can use fork and
spoons so we can have the traditional dishes like an avocado stuffed with ceviche and served with tostadas, or try a real Oaxaca Pork or chicken tamal, or a stuffed Poblano pepper or a stuffed guar chile, etc. I try to think of the next dish and not repeat the protein or style of dish. Grilled Nopal (Cactus) and cheese, or even stick shrimp (Kbobs)…



Salad with shaved Manchego and delicious nuts and some chiles for color

Salads: Mexican fruits and veggies and cheeses is so much better than in the USA. As far as the flavors go. So any salad I would go with would have cheese. For example a three types of cheese salad with an avocado vinaigrette or fruit (mango or strawberry etc) vinaigrette. All local. As far as a “local dish” salad is not our thing in Mexico. But cheese such as Panela and Fresco cheeses and Oaxaca cheese and others are indigenouse to Mexico. So I would showcase these in a Cactus Salad (Nopal asado con Panela o Fresco grilled cheese) or in your appetizers in the stuffed peppers (not spicy peppers)

Fish your own dinner if you have enough skills 😉 Or let us get the fresh catch of the day from 30 minute boat ride from Martoca!

Protein of choice for main dish: Beef, Pork, fish, shrimp or chicken or lamb. *For 5 dollars more per person we can do Lobster, Jumbo Shrimp or Scallops.
Cooking methods available: Baked, Grilled, Braised, sautéed or fried.

Seafood: Fish dishes that are most popular are fried or baked or grilled. Sarandeado, which is a basted BBQ style fish Caribbean or African Jerk style in case you have had that :), is very popular on the beach. Fried fish (Not US style though, just fried in butter sauces or garlic sauce. No full of breading. Not deep fried. Same with shrimp or scallops or any seafood.

Torta de chilaquiles. Not feasible in a wedding but for sure we can have these in your rehearsal dinner. They are deliciously messy!

From the Farm: Beef/Pork/Lamb/Chicken braised dishes or grilled are the two most popular ways to cook these proteins. A stew or braise, called birria, any protein braised in a Mole. Mole is a sauce based in multiple ingredients like a Masala in Indian food. Flavors are literally hundreds. Typical mole is rojo, negro, verde or Poblano (the Sweet chocolate one). Basically mole is a gravy or reduction based in spices and peppers.

Even a simple Half Chicken will be very special and different from a USA chicken. A locally farmed chicken grilled over charcoal and wood fire is out of this world delicious. You will see these on the streets all over the place. We use local families who grow their chickens in their own little back yard farms. I can with time, order the chickens ahead of time. Old school.

Have a burro loaded with refreshments and Mezcal or Tequila to wash down those fun appetizers!

We then marinate them a bit in their achiote brine (Paprika blend) and grill over wood and charcoal fire. That alone is awesome. It is a staple food for workers all over and we can serve this with small potatoes and tortillas and Mexican rice. It is up to your taste and style. A roasted (oven cooked) chicken is actually a very difficult dish to make properly and delicious, specially when it is a free range chicken like in Mexico that taste totally different than USA chickens.

I suggest for a one time dish for guests out side of a hotel, I would really try and showcase our local cuisine with a guajillo based shrimp dish or a pork (Mole or birria short rib) or go with a fresh fish filet either baked or capeado (egg washed and flour) like you see in “chile rellenos” as we call it. And served with rice and guacamole as in any beach restaurant. I would go with pork ribs braised until they come off the bone. We call these costillitas de puerco en salsa verde o roja. Serve these with fresh made tortillas on site. Not

Street junk food display

hing better.

My personal philosophy is not not try and impress an American with a steak 🙂 Or a hamburger, or anything they can compare or recognize from back home. I would want them to experience a mouthwatering culture shock. Without going too crazy with really crazy dishes like tongue or menudo 🙂 I know they may not be ready for that. But we have so many dishes that they can try and will find that not everything is breaded and deep fried when it comes to fish or shrimp 🙂 Or that we actually have Moles that rival any Masala or Chasseur sauce, and so on. You can always go to a french restaurant or a steak house in San Fran or Dallas. But I promise your guests will be hard pressed to find Camaron al guajillo or Costillitas en Salsa Verde. Or Grilled fresh, line caught Red Snapper or Sea Bass, without breaking the bank!


Starches: Rice and Beans of course. Roasted or fried Potatoes. Variety of rice (arborio or long grain) like cilantro, Mexican, Garlic, Corn and rice blend. Beans are varied as well: Charro, refried with pork lard or not, with pork belly lardons or not, refried or stewed, you decide. Black or pinto or even Lima Beans. Potatoes are always a classic, mashed, broiled, baked, fried, scalloped,etc.

Fruits and Veggies: Any North American vegetable or fruit you can think of I can promise we can find and grow locally. Personally I love grilled veggies tossed in a butter-achiote sauce. Like a San Francisco spice blend for example. you can have steamed veggie medley as well tossed in a butter sauce. A guacamole a la Mexicana with fresh deep fried tortillas as your side served along with Spanish rice for example or a white rice is a classic. Traditional veggies like corn, broccoli, carrots and California medley of veggies, etc. are all available. Fried or grilled pineapple for sweet sour contract to a meat dish or fishy dish for example…

Remember Avocado is cheap and absolutely delicious so don’t be afraid to impress your guests with avocado on top of rice, so good; All those veggies and fruits that are so expensive and lacking in flavor int he USA 🙂 we probably have them here locally. Coconut, avocado, limes, nopales (cactus), Mangoes, and more.

Delicious Churros are ready!

Desserts: Amigos mios, this is such a fun category. You can have a served dessert like any restaurant would. Or an action station (real time cooking/baking) with desert options your guests can go get themselves like Churros for example. Or serve a tray on the table with an assortment of Mexican special treats. Or a cup cake table. Etc.

Cup cake bar

I cannot remember if you have a designer cake in mind as a traditional cake cutting which is always fun. But if you want a dessert course that pops! I love to show guests our churro master and my homemade ice cream man, or show them our traditional tres leches cake (three milk cake), flan (a delicious custard). Or you can have coconut cocadas or a dessert bar with traditional Mexican candies and let them choose from the dessert/candie bar.

We can set it up a tray in front of your guests and let them select from the assortment of local sweet breads and have hot Mexican cocoa. I mean it literally can be so much fun. Banana Flambeé with plantains or bananas fired up and served with brandy and cinnamon and so on.

What will your Mexican Culinary Masterpiece Setting look like? i.e. You Martoca Wedding 🙂

Let us know your ideas and style of food you would like. We will create a menu accordingly and in April you will sit down and try it all in person until you are absolutely sure the menu is perfect for you 🙂

I hope you like these ideas amigos. I am sorry I went off on this but it is my main passion 😉 I just know that besides the service and our venue, our culinary entertainment is your most important feature of your wedding and I want you to fully understand all your possibilities. We are much more than just a hotel or commercial kitchen. We can create, and will create, a culinary masterpiece for your guests that they will be speaking of for years to come.

Thank you and I am here if you have any other questions about the menu. About the decor that is Veronica and Maite and Marisol’s department 🙂 You do not want me messing with your table settings and flowers 🙂 haha. Just the food and bar 😉


Destination Wedding Ideas for Bucerias Nayarit Mexico: Martoca

weddings venues mexico nayarit mexico bucerias-puntamita-sayulita-area
50 guests fit beautifully in this Non-Resort wedding venue in Bucerias Nayarit Mexico. Your guests can stay anywhere they like yet, all meet in Martoca for the epic fiesta!

In a private wedding venue like Martoca Beach Garden, you can create any type of wedding you like; From an elegant wedding to a simple casual shindig. We call those “pachangas” in Mexico. It is up to you what way you decide to go. Our team of expert planners and designers will find the proper decor and props and catering you desire. If we do not have it in-house, we will find it with vendors around town. If needed, we can even import the vendors or props from other cities. Some brides have even brought their own souvenirs from USA and Canada. It is up to you. It is the beauty of having a private garden wedding: You decide. We design.

natural decor table settings classy yet subtle Nayarit Mexico wedding featured Inside Weddings Magazine
As featured in Inside Weddings magazine. This natural tones and simple classy decor was Inside Weddings Magazine worthy amigos.

We suggest you decorate your destination wedding with the following “sections” in mind in order to make your wedding flow properly. Remember to

Wedding venue Bucerias-Nayarit-Mexico Private custom bodas
Lighting is very important. You must make sure guests can see their plating and find their phones etc. yet, not kill the mood. Romantic but practical. Ask us for the right amount or type of lighting.

have a continuous theme throughout the reception. Unless you want a section to look modern and the other totally rustic. That would be weird but maybe that is just me. So, the main parts of a wedding are welcome pergola, Cocktail lounge, ceremony, dinner section, dance floor and venue props and entertainment.


The main areas you must decorate and think about for your wedding are described below. Let’s see what the venue could look like with different lighting options and table arrangements:

The Welcome Pergola:

Welcome pergola sayulita-nayarit-mexico wedding area venue
Welcome your guests with some tropical flavorful waters and punch or any other type of beverage like Micheladas or tequila poppers. Your call!
Photographers Mexico Bucerias wedding planner tips Nayarit Martoca
This is an amazing idea: Let people take a polaroid and sign a note and put it in the treasure box. Eventually all the strings you see here will have 100 pictures or more on them of all the guests. Very cool idea. And also, actual paper pictures! Not digital pics that no one can actually see without a phone 🙂

This is the first look for your guests of your wedding venue. The first impression. This is the space we created to receive your guests. Usually decorated with table seating charts or some props or photo booth. It sets the tone for the ceremony and reception. You can decorate it as much or as little as you like. Here are some samples of recent welcome pergolas we created. Sometimes we can offer drinks or snacks in the pergola. Even a welcome live band.

wedding catering Vallarta-Nayarit Mexico
I love this idea of street “botanas” the idea is to welcome guests with some junk food street style! Get them all spiced up with chile and lemon and then we cool the palate down with some blended margaritas in the welcome cocktail lounge!

The cocktail lounge

A lounge area or what I like to call the “Cantina del Amor” is the beach bar all the guys dream of having on the beach when we retire! We offer specialty his and her drinks, or tapas and other fun items and props. Also, a live Mariachi band as well may be hired to entertain guests for example. It is a place to chill. Comfortable sofas to enjoy for guests while they wait for the couple to come to the ceremony and after the ceremony, while they take their sunset pictures. It can be something simple or a classy lounge area.




bucerias weddings venue nayarit
You may have your sofas for your lounge in a colorful chic style or cocktail tables or a mix of the two. Get creative!




The ceremony.

ceremony ideas bucerias mexico wedding venue martoca in vallarta-sayulita area
Ceremony on grass or beach. You decide and we will design 🙂 You can have artificial flowers like these. Yes they are artificial! Or have natural ones or a mix. Circle arch or square or none. Everything is on the table.

So important. It can be on grass or sand. It is up to you; As most things are in a private venue. In Martoca we like to have the ceremony on the grass so the hassle of the sand is not an issue. It works well because we are so close to the sand anyway. You get the best of both worlds.

weddings beachweddings mexico bucerias nayarit
Have many amigos at your ceremony! 🙂

Dinner Section

The table settings are amazingly varied. You can do boho chic, modern, elegant, rustic, simple, themed and so on. You have tall center pieces, medium, mixed or simple. You have cross back chairs, Tiffany, plastic or wood or even metal. It just depends on you.



luxury weddings in mexico bucerias nayarit
Here are some samples of the dinner tables. With the ceremony in back ground down on the beach. Make sure all your sections of the wedding blend together in a unified theme. This makes it all come together as one perfect masterpiece.


Dance Floor Area:

Very important as well. You can have a wood floor, a lighted floor with LED either crystal or acrylic and of course covered with a plastic cover with a color of your choice or even some lettering with a message and initials. Take a look:

wedding venues mexico bucerias nayarit puerto vallarta
Acrylic dance floor with LED lights on floor are fun and give a club feel. You can also have crystal top for a bit more money. Or wood top or even vinyl covered with initials or fun images on the dance floor.



It is important to have the dance floor that goes with your table decor or the theme of the party. For example you would not have an acrylic dance floor with an elegant set up. Either wood top or vinyl or crystal top would be the right option in this case,

sayulita punta mita bucearais wedding venue large weddings welcome wedding planners


What to have for your amazing dinner? I cover this in our other posts extensively. But to say the least, catering is the heart of the weddings in Martoca because we focus on local food and entertainment dishes and action stations. We believe your menu should be a feature and not a burden.

wedding bucerias martoca mexico destination wedding
Have a plan for food that goes well with outdoor weddings. Serve food that is well received warm or luke warm. Or cold. Or covered. Outside in front of the breeze you would be surprised how cold food can get.

You can have tacos or super elegant gourmet courses. This is a crucial part of your wedding. Again, it should be consistent with the tone set for your reception from the beginning. The theme for the evening should be reflected in your catering services and presentation.

Props or entertainment and other decorations

This will make of your beach garden wedding in Vallarta-Nayarit, Mexico, an overwhelming success. Choose wisely and have fun! Here are some pictures of props and entertainment that may inspire you for your fun fiesta! Even a horse or a burro with tequila!

Have fun,

Martoca Team

Punta Mita Brides Love Martoca Beach Garden Wedding Venue’s Location

sayulita punta mita bucearais wedding venue large weddings welcome wedding planners
It is difficult to find a villa or hotel that can host 100 plus guests, that all guests can afford or like equally. It is even more difficult to find a large venue near key hotel areas and let guests meet you there for your big day! Your welcome.
wedding venue bucerias mexico near puerto vallarta and punta mita
Enjoy a private wedding in a secluded location yet close to important hotels and villas near Punta Mita and Vallarta.

Amigos, congratulations, you have decided on a Mexico wedding ! You narrowed down your wedding search to the secluded Punta Mita area. Your family and friends will stay in hotels, villas or condos in the Banderas Bay. Perhaps in Sayulita or San Pancho or Bucerias. All these are amazing beach towns that offer unique styles and features. The first major task is completed. Now we need to find a venue for you to host all your guests.

Somewhere near these points, you will find your ideal venue location. Smaller weddings can house all guests in the same hotel or villa and have the wedding on location. Yet, for those who seek a larger venue for over 70 guests (up to 280 guests) Martoca Beach Garden is the perfect Indie venue for your off-resort or non-villa wedding near Mita.

Punta Mita Puerto Vallarta Bucerias Map Driving distance Sayulita wedding venues
As you can see Martoca is very well located and easy access to all hotel and villa areas in the North Shore. 30 minutes from Sayulita and Punta Mita and just as far from Puerto Vallarta Marian area. Right in the middle for easy access.

Large destination weddings require a special venue with practical amenities and  logistics, like ample parking and turn around area for vendor trucks, toilettes for guests and staff, professional cooking equipment and other features. Couples, understandably, usually neglect to think of these factors until it is too late.

bride in sayulita getting ready for martoca wedding in bakeries
Stay in Sayulita, or Punta Mita, or Nuevo Vallarta hotels and get ready there in the room; Then come to Martoca for your final dressing portion and party!

However in this blog post we are only only going to detail why location logistics are important as seen below:

  • Central Location: Your wedding venue should be about 30 minutes away
    location is perfect for Punta meta weddings venue
    Use this map and see how well located your venue is to hotel zones and beach towns.

    from the guests accommodations (hotel or villa).

  • Near Budget Friendly Hotels: Hotels and villas in Punta Mita tend to be expensive. Yet only 30 minutes away in Bucerias (even next door to Martoca for example) there are more affordable all-inclusive  hotels for those guests who cannot afford 400 dollars per night yet are your family or friends who would love to attend your wedding.
  • Martoca Transportation: Arrangement of vans or buses are easy and comfortable for all guests and bridal party. Bus friendly parking.
  • Minutes to Hospital: Easy access to emergency room. It is great to be in a secluded area. However 5 minutes can be the difference between saving a life of a heart attack victim. In a large group with all ages and sizes involved, a little extra safety is a plus.
  • Handicap or Elderly accesible: In a large group you will have elderly or handicap guests. Also do not forget someone may have had a knee surgery or hip replacement. So, consider easy access and walking distance to buses.
Private wedding venue bakeries-puntamita-vallarta-nayarit area
Private wedding venues give you large spaces to have your wedding and not be tied to hotel regulations and prices

For this reason Punta Mita Brides love Martoca. We can accommodate up to 250 guests if needed. We pass the logistical tests of any rigorous bride or wedding planner who needs a large wedding venue in the ideal setting.

bucerias martoca beach mexico
Create your own wedding style and ceremony and reception ideas. Many brides only have the reception and after party in Martoca. So that is also an option.

Did we mention Martoca is not only perfectly located but we are also beautiful? 🙂

Email us if you want us to help you plan your Martoca Wedding:







Punta Mita’s Favorite Wedding Venue: W Hotel, Fours Seasons and St Regis’ Brides

Martoca Beach Garden hosts only one or two weddings per week. That is very important as far as personal attention goes. Do you want a newbie hotel staffer to take care of your most important week in your life? The top hotels in Punta Mita have excellent service. So treat yourself and guests to excellent personal attention in your rehearsal dinner or wedding reception dinner as well.

Martoca Weddings is all about personal attention and cultural experiences. Authentic Mexico weddings and private customized wedding venue receptions are our specialties. Many brides from Punta de Mita have had their reception in Martoca. Since we all know that the hotels do not let you party like you wish to do amigos! So come over to Martoca, only 20 minute drive.

Bride happy Martoca Wedding venue Punta Mita Bucerias Mexico weddings
Have some tequila shots with your bridesmaids!
boho chic weddings martoca venue bucerias vallarta nayarit sayulita bodas
Create your own table settings! Colorful and classy

Wedding Venue For Custom Private Weddings in Bucerias Mexico

Weding venue in Bucerias MExico Martoca
Wedding decorations in Martoca Beach Garden in Bucerias
Table decorations are important and tend to blend well if you choose a natural boho look

Congratulations amigos! You are on your way to wedding planning in Mexico. We assume you already have your budget range decided, location options, dates and guest count in mind: this is the pre-checklist. Having had this, it is now time to move on to phase two for which you will need a second list of or ideas, for what to search for in order to achieve your dream wedding in Mexico.

Puerto Vallarta Wedding Venue close to Bucerias

Popular Wedding Services that our couples enjoy in their weddings are varied. They depend on their budget and guest count and style. Even the date plays a role; For example you would not have a tent necessarily in March however in June you are more likely to have to have a tent. Like this example there are many others as to what services you may need or want in your wedding. Here is a list of the most requested services and items or vendors you can request for your original custom wedding in Martoca Beach Garden. Remember since we are not a hotel; So, we do not have so many restrictions and we do not have a large staff so we subcontract many services from local vendors. Therefore you are much more free to choose vendors of your liking.

Commonly Requested Services

Below is a list of the most (not all) requested services for Mexico weddings when you have a private wedding venue location.

Dance floor pool area in martoca weddings venue bucerias mexico
Dancefloor over infinity pool
Photo Booth Martoca style Bucerias Mexico
Photo Booth Martoca style

Wedding planner
Make-up and/or Hair Stylist
Bridal party florals
Welcome pergola (hostess area and table assignment)
Welcome drinks and snack
Cocktail lounge with his and her drinks
Passed Apps in Lounge
Open Bar unlimited
Entertainment Music and Shows ( Mariachi or live band for the dancing or other shows like fire dancers)
Decorations of all kinds (ceremony

martoca brides have amazing boquets and florals
Get your flower designs with our in-house design team

Ceremony (on beach or grass)
Cocktail Lounge (sofas on garden)
Catering and bar
DJ and Dance Floor, venue, lighting, flower walls, souvenirs, etc)
DJ and Dance Floor
Taco Stand
Churro Stand
Coffee Stand



wedding planning puerto vallarta
Well done amigos Edem and Andrea

When we create your wedding, we will basically select the “must have” services from this list according to your taste and budget. Some items and services are unavoidable such as venue and wedding planner and decor of some sort. As well as catering and bar services. After confirming your must have services (more on this in other posts here on this blog) you then may proceed to add to your list of services and make your wedding more fun and more decorated.

flowers centerpieces decorations mexico wedding
Your designer can decorate as much or as little as you like. We can help if needed with our own in-house designers
Lighitng structure is key for high quality weddings
High quality glass top dance floor makes a difference

Like I mention in our mexico wedding tips, it all depends on your taste and budget. The more budget you have to play with, the more services you will be able to include. If you need to cut back to adjust to a tight budget, we of course would not recommend having a string quartet for example. Dj will do just fine. However, if you love Jazz and have the budget, then you probably will request a jazz band and a lot of fun vintage props. Does this make sense?

If you simply had the above services then you would have enough for a fun wedding that anyone would love and enjoy. Of course, all brides and want at least some entertainment like Mariachi band or fire dancers for example. Many need transportation. Some want hair and make up and bouquets assistance.

Fireworks in Wedding venue Mexico
Fireworks inside and out!

I hope this helps you for planning and building your wedding. If you want our help just email me to and I would be happy to send you a proposal for the services you request. Just list the services you believe are a “must have” for your custom wedding and we will get to work on a quote for all the services and the venue. Remember to have a budget in mind and a guest count and a date in mind first.

We look forward to helping you create a magical Martoca Wedding amigos,

Martoca’s Beach Wedding Garden: Our Casa es su Casa

Wedding venues in Puerto Vallarta
Martoca family fun in the pool area: When the bride is away the Martoca family will play!

La Martoca Beach Garden: Where the Sea Touches
By James (Edit)



weddings in Mexico Puerto Vallarta area near Sayulita
String lighting looks amazing on grass near the beach

In the “Our Story” page on this web site, we describe how our family’s La Martoca Bungalows eventually became Martoca Beach Garden; I also promised to describe how we came up with the name Martoca for our slice of paradise. So without further delay let me tell you how we came up with the name. Well, I say we, but it was my mom that came up with the name. In our family it is well known that my mama is the creative and “artistic” guru and my dad is the analytical/doctor/logical type. Thankfully they blended their personalities smoothly enough to create a B&B, back in the 1970s, which later became the amazing wedding venue we share with you today here in Bucerias which is close to Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita area.

Puerto Vallarta Wedding Venue
La Martoca just being Martoca. Circa 2010
La Martoca:

/Lah marr-toe-kah/

Proper Name

Definition: A compounded name combining 3 Spanish words: “La” (Lah) meaning the, with “Mar” (Rhymes with car) and means sea, and “toca” (toe-kah), meaning to touch. La Martoca is pronounced “Lah-marr-toe-kah” and as you may have guessed means “The sea touches” literally. It is not one word though, it is a combination of real words in Spanish that my mother created. She loved the sound of it. So she went with it and here we are 39 or so years later.

Vallarta Wedding venue
Mom and dad and my wife and my dear friend Kat and my brother on inauguration day of Martoca Beach Garden as a wedding venue. 2010. Bad pic, I know. Sorry. I am getting more.
Origin: Carol, my mom who at the time was about 35 year old, was sitting on one of the balconies of nameless fledgeling bungalows my parents were about to open to the public for the first time in ’79. She was contemplating their future. Their hearts, small kids and savings all hanged in the balance. She was scared and excited at the same time yet, confidently calm as well. She observed the blue ocean that was only a stone throw away. Then, it hit her; She realized just how close the sea was to the garden. The waves occasionally literally touched the beachfront garden when the ocean was “bravo” as we say in the coast. Bravo means angry or aggressive, so when the waves are high we say the ocean is “bravo”. In her own sweet yet excited way, while having sunset margaritas, she looked to my dad and whispered as if she had discovered the greatest secret in the world, in an “Aha!” moment she blurted out-“La Martoca!”. As she explained, even to dad, what La Martoca meant and why it was to be our name, my brother and I also slowly digested and practiced pronouncing and even doubting the strange new name. But mama Carol was right. This name would then go on to represent our family’s business for years to come. and become part of our life story. We would introduce our beachfront Bungalows and garden to all our new guests and friends from then on as La Martoca, where the sea touches.

Dad and I mom took pic June 14, 2017
My dad recently hanging out with me in our taco place. Love you dad
Funny story: When we were trying to recover as a family business from losing our beloved bungalows to the structural damage by the storm back in the 2000’s, we decided to create a wedding garden for those who wanted a wedding in Puerto Vallarta. Wait, that is not the funny part, the funny part is that when we came up with some alternate new names and I took them to my peers for feedback, they all said they loved the sound of Martoca and said we should keep it! We had tried more traditional names like “Hacienda la Iguana”, since we have so many iguanas; Or, “Beach garden Los mangos” since we have a couple of mango trees on the garden, and so on. But our friends, kept saying they liked La Martoca Beach Garden. The kicker is they did not even know what Martoca meant. Some even thought it was our last name!

So, as you can see, even Mexican natives speakers don’t know what it means. Unless we say in slowly and emphasize the space between the 3 separate words, “La”, “Mar” and “Toca” of course. Then they inevitably say- “Ah, si claro”- (Oh, yes of course). If you think about it, we are not the only ones with a funny name, how about Yahoo, or Yipit, or Apple computers; Can you imagine yourself naming your computer company after a fruit? Me neither. But it worked. Or, how could any one have guessed that Google’s name originally was going to be “Back Rub”? Many stories of the naming of companies are very interesting and you can read about some in this link here if you like.

La Martoca near Puerto Vallarta

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A picture I found from a photographer named Ivan Jimenez of Martoca Beach Garden’s pool. I love this pic.

But, I like our name’s story best of course; Born from my mom’s inspiration as she felt the vibe come from he ocean tide on that special day back in 1979. So after 35 plus years of serving many couples as a Bed and Breakfast, we decided to keep our original funny sounding name. I hope it is not too much trouble to pronounce. We figure we may upset some experts in advertising by keeping our hard to pronounce name but hey; We love it and we are proud of its origin.


In the end we believe, as a service oriented family business that has grown organically over the years, that if we provide love and passion and make people happy with our hard work, our guests will prove the advertising gurus wrong, and will forgive our name’s pronunciation challenges. In fact, we hope you love it and will proudly embrace it as your own. Like when you proudly take your date to a hole in the wall Mexican restaurant that may be hard to find or has a funny name. Maybe it doesn’t even have a name. Yet, you feel so at home when eating there, that you need no menu and the owner is now a good friend. Maybe you even get the special family meal once in a while. That special recipe they cook only on a special occasion and they save for family after all the normal clients are gone. That is our goal as a family business and our promise to all our guests: Absolute trust and comfort during your wedding. We want you to feel like family that is simply gathering in our backyard in Mexico and hanging out with friends in a perfect setting.

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Have a piñata or anything you like. Our backyard is for you to enjoy.

Perhaps, the name “La Martoca” or Martoca for short, may be forgotten or “butchered” by a few of your guests, but their memories of our garden on your wedding day will not be unclear at all. The intimate epic time they have with us will be fluently pronounced in their joyous memories. Clearly remembered. Repeated at the Christmas tables year after year; That is what we are all about in La Martoca amigos, we want to be part of your life story, and we would be honored to share ours with you. On behalf of our family: My mom Carol, my dad Javier, my brother Frankie and my nephew Eric as well as my wife Vanessa and I, we say: Bienvenidos to La Martoca Beach Garden.