Nestled on the Pacific coast of Mexico, Puerto Vallarta is a destination that seamlessly blends natural beauty with cultural richness. From the moment I arrived, it was clear that this city is a vibrant tapestry of experiences. In this blog, I'll take you through my journey, offer practical tips, and share personal anecdotes to help you plan your perfect Puerto Vallarta getaway.
Unveiling the Charm of Major Tourist Attractions
Puerto Vallarta is a treasure trove of sights and sounds. The iconic Malecón, a seaside promenade, is lined with contemporary sculptures and offers stunning ocean views – a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll. Meanwhile, the historic Our Lady of Guadalupe church stands as a testament to the city's rich heritage, its elegant crown visible from various points in the town.
One can't miss the Los Arcos Marine Park, a group of granite islands protruding from the sea, offering some of the best snorkeling and diving experiences. For nature enthusiasts, the Vallarta Botanical Gardens provide a lush escape with its unique collection of native plants and birds.
Culinary Delights: Top-Rated Restaurants
Being a foodie myself, I love that it is a haven for food lovers. I had the pleasure of dining at some of the top-rated restaurants that left an indelible mark on my palate. Barcelona Tapas, perched high with a panoramic view of the city, serves an array of delectable Spanish dishes. The shrimp in garlic and the patatas bravas were simply divine.
At Opa Greek Bistro, the authentic Greek flavors transported me to the Mediterranean with every bite. The lamb gyro and moussaka were standout dishes. Chillis Restaurant offered a more casual vibe, perfect for enjoying a relaxed evening with friends.
However, the highlight was La Palapa Restaurant. Dining right on the beach, with the sound of waves accompanying a delicious meal, was an unforgettable experience. The coconut shrimp and the lobster tacos were exceptional.
The Serene Casa Velas Hotel
Our stay at Casa Velas Hotel added a layer of luxury to our trip. This adults-only boutique hotel is a sanctuary of peace and elegance. The attention to detail in their service, the beautifully landscaped gardens, and the exquisite cuisine at their on-site restaurant made our stay delightful.
Evening Entertainment at Casa Velas
It is a nice all inclusive hotel. You can take the full package that includes the F&B but for me it was not that impressive. I would much rather take just the rooms and have the flexibility of eating outside in various different restaurants vs being restricted to only the restaurants in the hotel. I took the F&B package but did not use it much.
1. Embrace the Local Culture: Take time to wander the cobblestone streets of Old Town, engage with local artisans, and enjoy the vibrant nightlife.
2. Adventure Activities: Don’t miss out on activities like zip-lining in the Sierra Madre Mountains or whale watching (seasonal).
3. Currency Exchange: While many places accept credit cards, it’s handy to have some pesos for smaller shops and tips.
Best Time to Visit
Puerto Vallarta shines brightest from November to April, with comfortable temperatures and minimal rain. This period is ideal for enjoying outdoor activities and exploring the city's many festivals.
One of my most cherished experiences was a simple evening watching the sunset at Playa de los Muertos. The sky turned into a canvas of oranges and pinks, reflecting off the water – a moment of pure tranquility.
Another memorable day was spent exploring the Rio Cuale Island flea market, where I found unique handmade crafts that now adorn my home, reminding me daily of my travels.
Puerto Vallarta, with its blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and culinary delights, offers a travel experience like no other. Whether it's your first visit or your tenth, this city has a way of capturing your heart and leaving you longing for more.
Some quick links to help you.