First Time in Puerto Vallarta



Description:

Puerto Vallarta is one of Mexico's top tourist destinations, but it retains much of its individuality with the bustling art scene and the friendly, laidback atmosphere. There are also some historic locations and incredible natural sights within a short distance of the city.

Author: JennyMM


Day 1 - Puerto Vallarta


You can't get any better in Puerto Vallarta than the Hacienda San Angel. One of the most luxurious resorts in town, the Hacienda also manages to maintain an air of originality and tranquility. Each of the suites is individually and beautifully decorated, and the pools, grounds/gardens, and restaurants are all first-rate. After you check in in the morning, head out for a walk around downtown PV to get a feel for the city. Take a stroll down the Malecon, and check out the street vendors and performers and the fascinating sculptures and other artwork all along the boardwalk. This is definitely the most touristy part of town, however, so keep in mind that souvenirs and dining are priced accordingly, and may not be the most authentic. An exception to that is La Bodeguita del Medio, a lovely Cuban cafe with great pork dishes and exceptional mojitos. Also take some time to walk around the town square, or zocalo, that surrounds the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The site of a yearly pilgrimage for thousands of Mexican and international Catholics, this church is one of Puerto Vallarta's most well-known and loved landmarks. If you're in the mood for some beachtime, walk south from the Malecon to the Playa de los Muertos, one of the city's more popular beaches. There's beautiful sand for sunbathing, swimming (best near the pier), parasailing, beach volleyball, and lots of little cafes and shops to explore here. The Playa is also a lovely place to watch the sunset, particularly over a cold beer at one of the beachside cafes. Afterwards, take part in one of the city's most enjoyable evening activities, the art walk. There are dozens of locally owned and run art galleries around the downtown area, and many open their doors in the evening for fun, informal cocktail open houses. There is one large organized walk per week, but plenty of other smaller events going on throughout the week as well. Visit as many or as few galleries as you'd like, but this is a great way to get to experience some of PV's less touristy local culture. When you get hungry for dinner, walk over to the Rio Grande restaurant. As you would expect, PV has access to some incredible seafood, and it's best showcased in the grilled entrees at Rio Grande.


1

Malecón (El)

user rating

expert pick

Location:

Paseo Díaz Ordaz
Centro
48300 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico


2

Bodeguita del Medio (La)

user rating

Location:

Paseo Diaz Ordaz 858
48380 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 52 322 223 1585


3

Art Walks Downtown

user rating

expert pick

Location:

Old Town Art District
48310 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico


4

Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe

user rating

expert pick

Location:

Calle Hidalgo
(One block east of Zocalo)
48310 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 322 222 1326


6

Rio Grande

Location:

Avenue Mexico 1775
48330 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 52 322 2 0095


7

Hacienda San Angel

user rating

expert pick

Location:

Miramar 336/ Col. Centro
PUERTO VALLARTA MX 48300
48300 Puerto Vallarta, MX

Contact:

tel: 52 322 222 2692
fax: 52 322 223 1941


Day 2 - Puerto Vallarta


Getting the chance to swim with dolphins is an incredible experience, but it is too often only available in an enclosed setting. Not so in Puerto Vallarta -- try the ocean Eco Dolphin tour with Wildlife Connection. This is an all-day tour, and is most appropriate for good swimmers. The guides that take out tours for Wildlife Connection are all professional marine biologists, so they're ecologically responsible and amazingly knowledgeable about the PV sealife. They're currently conducting studies about the dolphin pods in Banderas Bay, so are familiar with the dolphin families and their behavior. From December to March the tours also include whale watching, and the boats are always equipped with hydrophones to listen to the animals underwater. You'll get back to town just in time to swing by the hotel to change and grab something to eat, then set off with Vallarta Adventures for their Canopy Tour. There are hundreds of birds species alone, and tons of other amazing wildlife in the tropical forests around PV, and the zipline Canopy Tour is a great way to get an aerial view of the diverse flora and fauna. The guides here are fun and very focused on safety, too. After such an active day, spoil yourself with dinner at Cafe des Artistes back in town. Don't be put off by their claims to grandeur - they live up to the hype. Run by PV's best chef, you can sit back on the patio and bliss out on Thierry Blouet's Mediterranean delicacies.


1

Wild Dolphins and Snorkeling Day Tour from Puerto Vallarta

Location:

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico


3

Cafe des Artistes

user rating

expert pick

Location:

Guadalupe Sanchez 740
Centro
48300 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 52 322 22 2 3228
fax: +52 322 22 2 3229


Day 3 - Puerto Vallarta


There are a number of horseback riding in and around PV, and one of the most beautiful rides you can take is up to the Cuale waterfalls. The ride is through several miles of light forest and along several secluded beaches, and you're well rewarded once you get there with crystal-clear pools to take a dip in and magnificent scenery. Remember to bring a change of clothes for the ride back, and some bug repellent! There should be plenty of information about this trip around the hotel, as most of the local tour companies are able to arrange horses and a bilingual guide. Take the rest of the afternoon to relax beachside when you get back at Playa Mismaloya, south of the city. Rent a snorkel to check out some of the corals and sealife right off the beach, or just swim in the clear waters and relax on the sand. There was a movie filmed here some years ago, and so there are occasional tour groups coming through, but most of the time this beach is serenely quiet. There are several nearby restaurants to grab a snack and a drink, too. Take a cab or bus back into town in the evening for another great dinner, this time at Trio, which is one of PV's up-and-coming restaurants but its cuisine is already some of the area's best. Sit on the rooftop terrace to make the most of the cozy ambiance here, and try the incredible rack of lamb.


1

Cuale Waterfalls

user rating

Location:

Aquiles Serán
(next to Hotel Molino del Agua)
48300 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico


2

Playa Mismaloya

user rating

expert pick

Location:

Highway 200 Sur Km 11.5
48300 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico


3

Trio Restaurante

user rating

Location:

Guerrero 264 Col. Centro
48330 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 52 322 22 2 2196
fax: +52 322 222 4228


Day 4 - Puerto Vallarta


Of all the restaurants in PV that feature local cuisine, Las Palomas is the most famous breakfast/brunch place. Right on the Malecon, the breads and coffee here is a delicious and energizing way to start your day. There are several good tour groups that take day trips to Las Marietas, including Vallarta Adventures and Geronimo (by catamaran!), both of whom feature tours by naturalists or biologists. The Marietas islands are a marine reserve, with hundreds of bird species, some of which are only found on these islands, and some amazing snorkeling sites, with jellyfish, rays, eels, sea turtles, and of course tons of brilliantly colored fish. Most tours, including those mentioned above, provide lunch, snorkeling equipment, beverages, and equipment for other activities to enjoy on the islands' beaches such as kayaks. You'll be starving by the time you are ready for dinner after stopping back at the hotel, and if there's one thing you can count on at an Argentinian restaurant, it's fabulous steaks, and Los Pibes is no exception. Choose your steak and have it seasoned and cooked however you want, and there's a wide range of delicious side dishes to complete your meal.


1

Palomas (Las)

user rating

Location:

Paseo Diaz Ordaz No. 610
48300 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 52 322 222 3675
fax: +52 322 223 0554


3

Pibes (Los)

Location:

Basilio Badillo 261
Romantic Zone
48380 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 52 322 3 1557


Day 5 - San Sebastian del Oeste, Puerto Vallarta


One of the best day trips you can take from PV is to San Sebastian, a town that was previously at the heart of Mexico's mining industry. Now, it is a sleepy, peaceful little village which doesn't appear to have changed much over the last couple of centuries. You can rent a car to get out to Sierra Madre and San Sebastian, or can go with several tour companies, which either take buses or even planes, which is nice and quick, although obviously more expensive. It's preferable to make the trip with a tour company, since they frequently have tour guides that grew up in the area and are passionate and well-informed about local history. Lunch is usually included on these tours, but there are also a couple good small restaurants in town if you go on your own. Full of history and local flavor, this trip is a memorable journey into the non-tourist PV life. Get some more beach time in after you get back to the city with a visit to Playa Conchas Chinas, just far enough away from downtown and the Malecon for there to be little or no vendors and other hecklers to interrupt your beach bliss. Stay until the sun sets, and then stop in for dinner at the Red Cabbage Cafe. Meals are always an interesting cultural and culinary experience at this restaurant, which features recipes created by two of Mexico's most respected artists, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. A bit off the main tourist track, this is definitely worth the journey, as the food (such good mole!) is gourmet Mexican at its best.


1

San Sebastian Expeditions

user rating

expert pick

Location:

A top the Sierra Madre
46990 San Sebastian del Oeste, Mexico


2

Playa Conchas Chinas

user rating

expert pick

Location:

Highway 200 Km 3.2
48300 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico


3

Red Cabbage Cafe (The)

user rating

expert pick

Location:

Calle Rivera del Rio 204A
Across from Río Cuale
48350 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 52 322 3 0411


Day 6 - Puerto Vallarta


Try some more snorkeling on your last day in PV in Los Arcos, a marine reserve filled with undersea flora and fauna. Named after its spectacular underwater arches, trenches and caverns here are filled with fish, corals, turtles, and rays. There are a number of good dive shops that take trips here, including Ocean Quest, a small, fun and ecologically responsible PV outfit. Dry off after and take a late afternoon/evening walk around Marina Vallarta, which is less touristy and crowded than the Malecon, to enjoy the views of the ocean and the mountains. Stop in for a sunset drink at the lighthouse bar (El Faro), and walk around to see some of the interesting little shops and live music/dancing which is frequently going on in the evening. For a fitting end to the trip, head to Los Xitomates for dinner. Respected as one of PV's finest restaurants, this place is also one of its coziest. Sit on the terrace with an expansive view of the ocean, and try one of the chef's innovative dishes, mixing Mexican and Mediterranean cuisine. There's a nice wine list, but the margaritas are the best.


1

Arcos (Los)

user rating

expert pick

Location:

Highway 200 Sur Km 12
Near Mismaloya
48300 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 322 223 2500


2

Plaza Neptuno (Plaza)

Location:

Boulevard Francisco Medina Ascencio Km 7.5
Entrance to Marina Vallarta
48314 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 322 223 2500


3

Los Xitomates

Location:

Morelos 601
Corner with Aldama
48300 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 52 322 222-1694


© 2014 NileGuide.com   ·   Blog   ·   Facebook   ·   Contact Us   ·   About Us   ·   Privacy Policy   ·   Terms & Conditions