Last month I had the great fortune of enjoying a trip to Puerto Vallarta hosted by Travel Weekly magazine and Mexico Tourism. Honestly, it has been a couple of years for me, and in the past I had been so busy with hotel site inspections I hadn’t had time to fully experience the destinations’ local offerings.
But on this trip I was in for a treat. The first day we were whisked away to Las Caletas Beach Hideaway, which included a 45 minute scenic catamaran ride en route. The beach here is gorgeous and unspoiled, and you can pick your pleasure, whether it is snorkeling, exploring the jungle nature walks or just vegging out in a hammock. And the food was tasty, mmm!
We also enjoyed a late afternoon stroll along the city’s Malecon, which is a picturesque boardwalk among fun art sculptures and eclectic shops. This is a great place to watch a sunset, and the dining venues are sophisticated and varied.
On day 3 we explored the northern end of Banderas Bay, going into the quirky surfing village of Sayulita. I skipped the surfing lesson (because I value my life) and opted instead for the zipline, horseback riding, and ATV adventure. The zipline course was safe and expertly run (two important elements in any zipline operation) and we were all wet and muddy and exhilarated in the end. Fun!
December marks the start of the humpback whale watching season (which ends mid-March), and is a great experience if you happen to be traveling during this time period.
All-inclusive is the way to go here if you are looking for the best bang for the buck, even if you decide to dine downtown on one of your evenings out. Luxury clients will love the Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit and the adults-only Secrets Vallarta Bay, both of which are all-inclusive. Or, for true luxury there’s the Four Seasons and St. Regis in trendy Punta Mita (meals not included). For my upscale clients, Now Larimar is all-inclusive, family friendly, and with easy access to the downtown area. Or, in the Riviera Nayarit area there are the Riu and Marival Resorts. And, the brand new Iberostar Playa Mita opens this week, promising to be a great resort option for those looking to stay on the northern edge of Banderas Bay.
Secrets Vallarta Bay
Something new in the area (since I’ve been there) are casinos. I didn’t visit, but I’m curious to hear reports, since Mexico has traditionally been a “no casino” sort of country.
Flights are offered to Puerto Vallarta year round. For my Dallas area clients, we have charter service in the summer season, which equals the best pricing out of our market.