Our spring break cruise stopped in three Mexican cities during our one week holiday. By far, Puerto Vallarta, was our favorite port of call. It had been over 25 years since my last visit to what was then a sleepier seaside town. Today, Puerto Vallarta is a bustling and busy tourist center that regularly tops ‘Best or Most Romantic or Favorite Beach Destination’ lists from Conde Nast, About.com and Trip Advisor.
The charming resort town of Puerto Vallarta is located in the state of Jalisco on Mexico’s Pacific coast. The majestic Sierra Madre mountains frame the historic town. The French organization, “The Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club” and UNESCO consider Banderas Bay to be ‘one of the most beautiful bays in the world’.
Why Puerto Vallarta
The city offers 40 km of golden beaches along the Mexican Pacific. It is characterized by its impressive colonial and modern architecture; with picturesque cobblestone streets and the enticing Malecón (beachside walkway) adding to its charm.
Puerto Vallarta’s renowned Malecón runs from the Romantic Zone to the start of the Hotel Zone. You’ll find a great collection of bronze sculptures here, including the town’s iconic Seahorse as well as being able to catch the VOLADORES DE PAPANTLA (Flying Ritual) every night.
There’s an abundance of great things to see and do both on the beaches and around town. Aside from its relaxing beaches, five star resorts, world-class shopping and gourmet restaurants that will satisfy even the most sophisticated traveler, Puerto Vallarta also provides the latest in ecotourism and extreme adventures.
The lush jungles and sparkling waterfalls offer many opportunities for the adventurous. Visitors can enjoy zip lining on Mexico’s longest line, or take to the off-roads on an ATV. Swimming with the dolphins or releasing turtles is extremely popular, as are boat trips in search of elusive big fish, horseback rides, diving trips and day trips to the interior.
Take a Food Tour
Popular Beaches in Puerto Vallarta
Playa Los Muertos (Beach of the Dead) – The city’s largest public beach.Playa Mismayola – The 1964 movie The Night of the Iguana in Mismaloya, directed by John Huston was filmed at Playa Mismayola. Just 20 min from the Puerto Vallarta town center, at the mouth of the Mismaloya River. The main set was located on hillside to the south of the beach. There are a number of restaurants to choose from at the beach.
Islas Maristas – Great place to snorkel, dive and swim in an aquatic wonderland. You are surrounded by volcanic formations and lush tropical jungle. Get a chance to visit Hidden Beach.
Playa Las Caletas – A secluded beach that is now a wildlife preserve; there is a living natural reef close to shore, which makes the beach a popular destination for snorkelers. It was once the private retreat of film director John Huston.