Off the Beaten Path Puerto Vallarta



Description:

A great thing about Puerto Vallarta is that several small towns, full of local culture and flavor, and beautiful nature areas are just minutes from the city, so you can easily get away from the tourist circles and experience the real thing.

Author: JennyMM


Day 1 - Puerto Vallarta


Casa Cielito Lindo is slightly north of PV in the quaint town of Bucerias, away from the tourist commotion of the resort zone. This sweet bed and breakfast is run entirely by a local couple, and the personal attention (and incredible cooking) will make you feel like you're right at home -- except you're on the water of the Banderas Bay. Take a walk around Bucerias once you get in for a feel of this small fishing community. There are some little art galleries, delicious restaurants, and a few shops that are much less expensive and souvenir-y than much of the places in PV. Stop in for lunch at Senor Iguana's, a little family-owned and -run cafe that serves up fresh shrimp quesadillas and delectable margaritas. Then, hop on a bus and continue further north from Bucerias to the sleepy surf town of Sayulita. You can just head down to the main beach here to rent some boards and hire a local surfer for some fun lessons in the gentle rollers off the beach. When you've had your fill, paddle back to shore for some dinner. The seafood is off the charts at Don Pedro's, a Sayulita beachside institution, but the pizzas and juicy steaks are legendary, too. You can't come to Sayulita and miss out on the Pedro's fare. Get back on the bus or hail a cab south back to Bucerias.


1

Casa Cielito Lindo

Location:

Calle Fibba #12 Bucerias
63732 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Contact:

visit website


Day 2 - San Sebastian del Oeste, Puerto Vallarta


Grab some grub from Panaderia Munguia, a sweet bakery that's now been in the family for three generations. Their recipes are still the same, and you'll be able to see why they haven't changed anything when you try their sweet bread. Take some extra with you and hire a driver or rent a car for a trip out to San Sebastian, a historical little mining town in the mountains east of the coast. A remnant of the gold and silver trades of the past, this is site is on the tentative list to be designated a UNESCO world heritage site. There are buildings here that are hundreds of years old, such as the Temple of San Sebastian, in the town square, and a restored hacienda. Drive or ride back into PV, and take some time to explore the area downtown and around the central square where the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe is. There are some interesting smaller galleries to explore, filled with local and traditional art. Start walking toward Mariscos 8 Tostadas before sunset, as the ceviche and other fresh seafood is so popular among the locals that it runs out early. La Cantina is the best spot to hear some local musicians, and to wash down the great fresh guac and pico de gallo with a cold beer.


1

San Sebastian Expeditions

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expert pick

Location:

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


2

Panaderia Munguia

Location:

Avenue Juarez 467
48380 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 52 322 2 2090


3

Cooking Classes

Location:

Av. Juarez 867
(Col. Centro)
48300 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico


4

Artesanias Watakame

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Location:

Libertad #327
48300 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 322 223 0773


5

Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe

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expert pick

Location:

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

Contact:

tel: +52 322 222 1326


6

Mariscos 8 Tostadas

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expert pick

Location:

Proa 28-29
(Marina Vallarta)
48354 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 52 322 221 3124


7

La Cantina de los Remedios

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expert pick

Location:

Morelos 709
at J.O. de Dominguez
48300 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 52 322 2 1734


Day 3 - Puerto Vallarta


Get up early to set out on a hiking expedition with Eco Tours. Small and led by biologists who know the region well, this is a wonderful way to explore the tropical forests that grow along the Sierra Madre and glimpse some of the colorful bird species that inhabit them. There's also a stop for a swim in a clear pool and a walk through a small village, so wear good hiking shoes but also bring along a bathing suit and a change of clothes. Lunch is included in the tour, but you may want to bring along some extra water. You'll be brought back to PV in the early afternoon, perfect timing to set out toward El Moro, a national park right offshore. Ecotours offers individual tours, or you can just rent some snorkeling gear and rent a boat at one of the marinas in town. The best way to see the sanctuary is to cruise around the islands to see the natural rock formations and look for more rare birds like the several types of boobies that live here, and then stop along the way for some snorkeling. There are lots of dolphins and sea turtles around the area, as well as corals and fish and eel species. For a relaxing end to the evening, stop by Los Muertos beach in PV, where the setting is casual, but the crew at El Dorado take the authenticity of their Mexican cuisine seriously. Try the tortilla soup.


1

Eco Tours

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expert pick

Location:

Ignacio L. Vallarta 243
Col. Emiliano Zapata
48380 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 322 222 6606
visit website


Day 4 - Puerto Vallarta


There are plenty of spas in PV, but none like Terra Noble. Instead of the usual offerings, Terra Noble is unpretentious and untouristy, and emphasizes Aztec rituals, such as the temazcalli, a spiritual sweat lodge ceremony that dates back thousands of years and was traditionally used for healing and purification. Although not strictly traditional, of course, this ritual at the center overlooking the city is quite the experience. Stay for lunch and sip tea on the serene patio here. Make sure to rehydrate for an active afternoon with an off-road bike expedition with Natura, Vallarta Bikes, or Eco Rides, all helpful and professional bicycle tour companies that provide nice bikes and gear for rides through the Sierra Madre forests. Vallarta Bikes in particular is private and personal, and they offer several unique rides such as the San Pedro ride up a mountain to hot springs, the perfect way to relax after the ride. For your last PV dinner, try Cafe de Olla, a local gem known for its garden setting and amazing grilled specialties.


1

Terra Noble Art and Healing Center

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expert pick

Location:

Tulipanes 595
Fraccionamiento Lomas de Terra Noble
48350 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 322 223 3530
fax: +52 322 222 5400
visit website


2

Natura Bike Expeditions

Location:

Playa de Oro 109, Interior 2
48321 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 322 4 0410
visit website


3

Cafe de Olla

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expert pick

Location:

Basilio Badillo 168
Romantic Zone
48380 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 52 322 22 3 1626


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