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Puerto Vallarta

Welcome to Puerto Vallarta

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- Puerto Vallarta -

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- Tips for visiting -

  • A fishing village elevated to a jet set status by Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton
  • Explore the cobblestone streets, galleries and boutiques of charming Old Vallarta
  • An already great dining scene continues to grow with new and enticing restaurants
  • Jungle clad mountains and sandy beaches offer unlimited activities and adventure
  • Puerto Vallarta villa rentals are fully staffed and include our concierge services

Guide

Destination — Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Located on the ruggedly beautiful Bahai de Banderas, Puerto Vallarta is one of Mexico’s most popular vacation destinations.  Golden beaches, surrounded by jungle covered mountains, a near perfect climate as well as a lively nightlife and hundreds of restaurants contribute to the enormous variety of activities available to visitors.   The warm and tranquil ocean teems with exotic fish and colourful corals and makes Puerto Vallarta a paradise for diving, snorkelling, whale watching and water sports.

Must Try Restaurants

Café des Artistes is situated in a century-old home on the hill overlooking the Malecon in the heart of Puerto Vallarta.   As one of the best restaurants in Mexcio, if not the world, the café offers a relaxed and casual ambience that includes a lush, romantic courtyard garden.  Many menu choices are available, including a bistro menu, where three courses are served for one price.

Trio is a casually elegant restaurant in a renovated colonial town house with an open courtyard, roof-top terrace and sandstone fountain.  Walls are decorated with murals and colorful paintings of local artists creating a relaxed, cosmopolitan ambience.  The food is a fusion of European cuisine combined with the best local produce.  Menu highlights are porcini risotto with grilled quail, chili roasted red snapper on ratatouille vegetables and wild boar on Sicilian gnocchi,

La Leche is a uniquely chic restaurant with a minimalist vibe.  A completely white interior (white walls, white floors, white chairs) includes an all-white rotunda lined from floor to ceiling with white milk cans.   A new and innovative menu is presented each night highlighting freshly purchased produce from local markets and featuring a creative fusion of Mexican and French cuisine combined with imaginative visual presentation.

Joe Jack’s Fish Shack is a comfortable, homey spot offering reasonable prices and fantastic food.  Light and flaky fish and chips, whole red snapper and great slabs of mahi-mahi as well as non-seafood items like chicken, grilled steak, burgers and salads are menu staples.  Gracious, efficient and cheerful service, classic rock music and kitschy décor offer a casual and pleasant backdrop.

Delectable Local Cuisine

One of the great Mexican comfort foods, Chilli Relleno is a vegetarian or meat inspired dish combining roasted, fresh poblano pepper stuffed with local cheeses or diced pork, raisins and nuts, coated in eg batter or corn masa flour and then deep fried.  It’s usually served in a spicy tomato sauced or with salsa.  Widely available.

Must See Local Attractions

Rhythms of the Night is a unique evening dinner/theatre package that begins with a scenic sun-set ocean cruise across Bahias de Banderas to the isolated cove of Las Caletas.  Follow a torch lit trail to a beach where tables are positioned on the sand amid swaying palms and a delicious sea-side buffet featuring fresh local produce is served.  A theatrical stage production in a nearby amphitheatre follows with music and dance that brings Mexican history to light.  Overall a distinctive, romantic and sensual evening.

Canopy Tour Extreme Zip Line Adventure is an exhilarating once-in-a-lifetime experience where participants zip through the tree top canopy on a series of zip lines in the middle of a protected tropical forest.  See the jungle from a unique perspective zip-lining from platform to platform, high above ground or enjoy other diversions like rappelling onto the forest from tree top platforms, exploring the canopy on suspended walkways and swinging through the trees on “Tarzan” swings.  For those who prefer to keep their feet firmly planted on the ground or are looking for a different type of adventure Canopy Tours also offer an ATV driving experience on groomed jungle trails.

The Best Watersports, Golf and Spas

Golf

With six world-class golfing facilities in the Bahia Banderas Bay and 3 exclusive golf resorts just a few hours’ drive south, Puerto Vallarta is one of Mexico’s leading golfing destinations.

The Pacifico Golf Course designed by Jack Nicklaus is among the top golf courses in the world.  With its spectacular views of the bay, the Pacifico offers absolutely stunning scenery from all 18 holes throughout it’s 200 acres.

The Bahia at the Four Seasons Resort is another world-class Jack Nicklaus designed course that features panoramic views of the bay with one hole on the beach.  Located next to the Pacifico course, it`s a course that will challenge even professional golfers and offers among the best views on the coast.

Vista Vallarta is a third Jack Nicklaus designed course in the Puerto Vallarta area.  Although it`s located about three miles inland from the coast the scenery is no less impressive, situated as it is in the middle of grassy hillsides, dense forests of palm, giant ficus trees amid natural creeks and arroyo.  Again, a professional-quality and challenging golf course.

Flamingos is a truly Mexican golf course designed Bucerias is a challenging but pricey alternative.   Thirty minutes north of Puerto Vallarta off Highway 200.

Beaches

The Bahia Banderas is renowned for the number of scenic beaches with their golden sand and backdrop of mountain jungle that circle the bay.  Each one has something to offer and every beach in Mexico is publically owned and open to anyone.

Boca de Tomatlan is the last beach on the bay south of Puerto Vallarta.  Located where the Tomatlan river enters the bay its perfect for snorkelling and swimming along the rocky edges of the small cove.

Playa Los Muertos is the most popular beach in Puerto Vallarta.  Long and wide, the beach has small waves that make for exceptionally good swimming.  The many restaurants and many popular bars that ring the beach make for a lively setting.

Playa Bucerias is north at the town of Bucerias and offers a calmer, quieter beach experience than in the heart of Puerto Vallarta.  A beautiful stretch of clean, sandy beach where waves are calm and swimming is excellent.

Spas

Spas are very popular in Puerto Vallarta and continue to grow in number and diversity.  The competition generated by the sheer number of spas in the area ensures an ever-changing menu of unique treatments that include the use of many traditional products like sage, chocolate and aloe vera.

Punta Mita Apuane Spa is a professional and very high-end spa that includes a first-rate gym as well as a kids club to entertain children while you indulge.  All of the products featured at the spa are natural and local.  A lime tequila and salt scrub and chocolate scrub and facial are outstanding examples.

Terra Noble is a rustic garden spa that overlooks the Bahia Banderos.  The spa has a comfortable and down-to-earth atmosphere and is a bit more accessible price-wise.  One of the highlights here is a two hour temazcal sweat lodge cleansing ritual.

CasaMagna Marriott covers over 22,000 square feet with modern facilities and a high-tech gym.  The character of the spa is inspired by indigenous cultures with treatment rooms adorned with Huichol art.  Interior gardens maintain a spiritual and nature-oriented mood.

The Best Time to Visit Puerto Vallarta

If you pick the right time of year, Puerto Vallarta has nearly perfect weather: dry mid 80`s temperatures with abundant sunshine. The best weather occurs from November through mid-June.  The summer months and early fall are the rainy season, with the most rain occuring in August.  Rates are cheaper then, but the weather can be oppressive.  For whale watching the time to go is January through March.  April to Mid-June is the shoulder season when weather is still pleasant, but rates are lower.  A word of caution, Puerto Vallarta is a popular destination during March break for college students.  If you like to party, by all means, enjoy.  If not, then spring break is best avoided.

There are a couple of local festivals that are worth noting.

The Dia de Los Muertos is Mexico‘s  traditional day of the dead and occurs on November 1 and 2.   The Day of the Dead is a mixture of pre-Hispanic customs and beliefs when it is believed the spirits of the dead return to their former homes to communicate with their relatives.  The Cemetery is the sight of the sight of feasting and visiting on November 1 and Calle Agustín Rodríguez, one of the busiest streets that faces the municipal market, is closed off for Mariachi music, folkloric ballet, jineteo riding, charro, raffles, crafts and regional cuisine and fireworks.

The Festival of the Virgin of Guadelopue occurs from December 1 to 12 when the streets of Puerto Vallarta are alive with traditional costumes, festivities and processions.  The festival culminates on December 12 with a pilgrimage to Puerto Vallarta‘s Cathedral (also known as the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe) with participants coming from up to 10 miles away.  The pilgrimage is a wonderful experience with singing, floats and street food to be enjoyed.

Local Shopping and Crafts

There is plenty of local colour, markets and exploring to be done in Puerto Vallarta

The Old Town Farmers Market is one of Puerto Vallarta‘s best weekend attractions.  All vendors must make, bake or grow their own products and, as a result, is the perfect place to stock your pantry with fresh local foods.

Isla Rio Cuale is located south of Old Town and a stroll through the area makes a great walk to take in the atmosphere and watch other families enjoying the same.  Small crafts and fruit markets abound and are reminiscent of the cities not-so-distant, pre-resort past. Touristy goods are everywhere, as well as music food and restaurants and prices are good.

Bring the Family

Puerto Vallarta has such a broad appeal that anyone will find the things to enjoy, including many activities (planned and unplanned) that families can enjoy together.

  • For an unforgettable experience Swim with the dolphins at Sea Life Park.
  • Take a horseback ride and tour in the nearby mountains where the trail starts at Rancho de CharroWell-behaved, cared-for horses carry adventurers young and old along trails that wind along the river to a sparkling swimming hole and waterfall.   The trek culminates in a climbing trail to a lookout with spectacular views of the ocean and town below.
  • The Canopy Tour Extreme Zip Line Adventure will be hit with older children where they can ride a zip line high above ground through the jungle canopy.  An ATV tour through the jungle on groomed trails is also available through the same provider. 
  • Swimming and exploring for shells along the beach are popular activities and water sports including snorkelling, sea kayaking, parasailing, scuba diving and surfing are available at many beaches. 

A walk along the Malecon with its food stalls, street entertainers and general buzz is another activity the whole family will enjoy.

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- Exploring Puerto Vallarta -

Offering the ideal blend of relaxation and exhilaration, Puerto Vallarta is a land of contrasts. Imagine the sparkling depths of the Pacific against the majestic backdrop of the Sierra Madre Mountains. Whether you want to luxuriate in your private villa, explore the colonial charm of the cobblestone roads in the city center, or enjoy the bountiful water sports and activities available on the beautiful golden-sand beaches, Puerto Vallarta has it all.

The south zone of Puerto Vallarta features verdant green hills tumbling into the deep-blue hues of the Pacific. Tucked in quiet coves and providing an escape from the crowds in more central areas, LaCURE Puerto Vallarta villas are perfect for romantic retreats. Experiencing their quaint charm and stunning views is a truly magical experience.

Conchas Chinas Beach in the south zone is home to blue-footed boobies and several other species of endangered wildlife. Punta Negra Beach is famous for its tall waves that are ideal for surfing.

For a Puerto Vallarta experience with bohemian charm, check out Viejo Vallarta. With its lovely villas tucked in the surrounding hills, Viejo Vallarta is favored by independent travelers in the know. Attractions include the Huichol art galleries, which house colorful yarn paintings that symbolize the visions experienced during spiritual ceremonies. To sample international cuisine, delectable local seafood dishes and rich coffee, take a stroll down lively Caf&eacute

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