A glimpse into this small authentic city, along with white sand beaches and margaritas of course!
If I had to guess, you clicked on this story because you’re either exhausted with the rainy weather or you’re like me, daydreaming about the tropics. While there are many other tropical destinations around the world with white sand beaches and blue skies there’s no doubt you can find it in Mexico.
You know those places that you visit for a day and immediately want to stay forever? That’s Puerto Vallarta.
With over nine thousand kilometres of coastline, Puerto Vallarta is known for its beautiful beaches, delicious food and breathtaking sunsets. Located in the majestic Banderas Bay, a trip to Puerto Vallarta treats travellers to the pristine Pacific coastline along with beautiful white sand beaches.
But sunbathing and sipping margaritas is just one of many ways to spend your vacation in Puerto Vallarta. Don’t get me wrong I’ve been there and I’ve done that, but Mexico’s prettiest resort town is also one of its most diverse. Old Vallarta, also known as Zona Romantica and El Centro (downtown) are goldmines full of quirky boutiques and winding cobblestone streets, so ladies don’t wear 4 inch heels!
My family and I have been going ever since I could remember, therefore we’ve made it our go-to vacation spot every year. Getting to know your surroundings and becoming familiar with the area may take a few days but don’t stress, it’s all a part of the fun! For a relatively small city, you have tons of choices when it comes to accommodation in Puerto Vallarta. From 5 star all-inclusive resorts to waterfront villas, options are endless when finding a place to stay.
Many hotels can be found in the town of Riviera Nayarit, just north of Puerto Vallarta, spread across 200 miles of golden beaches, so ocean views are guaranteed! Riviera Nayarit seems to be a favourite amongst many tourists (including me!) not only because of it’s quieter atmosphere, but also because the area is smaller and easier to navigate.
However, over the years I’ve come to realize that hotels are simply overrated. They may be good for young families looking for security and easy access to everything, but for young solo travellers or couples, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend them, though hotels seem to do such a good job at convincing people why a seven day stay at a fancy resort is worth it. Is it really though? When we go to Puerto Vallarta, our family stays in a rented house which also allows us to bring our dog. By renting a house, it gives us more freedom to enjoy and plan our own activities and excursions.
For those fun and adventurous travellers seeking an enjoyable yet safe trip, I believe smaller beach towns are the place for you.
There’s a reason why Bucerias is my favourite beach town. It has become a popular destination in the Riviera Nayarit, but it has managed to keep it’s authenticity. The locals seem to love tourists, especially if you’re willing to spend a few pesos at a local bar. If you’re looking for some great seafood dishes in Bucerias, such as mahi mahi, ceviche or aguachile, I recommend Miguel Angel Bar + Restaurant. We have known the owner for many years and he’s always friendly and warm with his customers. Puerto Vallarta offers all the variety from taco stands and beach vendors, to five star gourmet restaurants. Either way, food lovers won’t be disappointed.
Locals say a trip to Mexico wouldn’t be complete without visiting a Tianguis, which is essentially an open air market. The tradition of buying and selling in temporary markets set up either on a regular basis (weekly, monthly etc) is a strong feature in Mexican culture and has a history that extends way back to pre hispanic period. Most goods sold in tianguis are small items that customers can carry away. Merchandise from these places usually vary from produce, hats, jewelry, pottery, and other small unbreakable items. So whether you’re looking for an art piece or a souvenir, tianguis is your one-stop-shop for it all!
The good food, beautiful weather and cheap prices are just the beginning of what makes Puerto Vallarta such an appealing destination. As the area continues to grow, there becomes more things to see and do. With countless other attractions to see and activities to try, Puerto Vallarta is by far one of Mexico’s top three destinations to travel. So whether it’s your first time or 10th time visiting this piece of paradise, don’t hold back, it’ll be worth your time and money.
Image Credit: Pixabay