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eirekay Puerto Vallarta - A travel report by Eire
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Puerto Vallarta,  Mexico - flag Mexico -  Jalisco
5161 readers

eirekay's travel reports

Puerto Vallarta - a Good Place to Just chill

  22 votes
Page: 1 2
If opposites attract, I married the right guy. He is Mr. Nothing less than 4 stars and don't make me do much. I prefer a walk, or better yet, a hike, on the wild side. Puerto Vallarta provided a perfect compromise!


Beach Side Vendor
Beach Side Vendor
“Chill or be Chilled” as one t-shirt pronounced. Puerto Vallarta, or Nuevo Vallarta, just 20 kilometers north, is just the place for that. I’ve never been much for all-inclusive resorts, but since our compromise involved alternating days of George relaxing on the beach, doing absolutely nothing, with days that I got to choose activities for the 3 of us (our 11 yr old came), this seemed the logical choice. Like many resorts along Banderas Bay, we had 4 swimming pools, complete with swim up bars, planned resort activities (we did none of these), several restaurants on site, and a wonderful expanse of beach with palapas, lounge chairs and plenty of sun. You need never go shopping in town-the vendors come to you on the beach. Everything from sarongs to silver jewelry to hats (including spangled sombreros) is available as they parade at regular intervals up and down the sand. Women will braid hair, ala Bo Derek, a process taking 45 minutes or more, for a mere $10. The Pacific Ocean is known for being somewhat cool, but this protected bay warms to 80 degrees and the drop-off is far enough out that you can easily walk 75 meters into the ocean before going under. The surf is just strong enough for good boogie boarding but not surfing. We kayaked and sailed small Sunfish boats to our hearts content. The town of Puerto Vallarta is typical of Mexico beach towns, much like Cabo or Cozumel. The standard “Senor Frog”, “Hard Rock” and “Hooters” bars line the beach front and the section offered to tourists is a three block wide swath of crafts and t-shirts that you could find at any Mexican beach town. I was charmed however by the “Malecon Walk”, a broad bayside cobbled walkway with marvelous bronze sculptures every 25 meters or so. The works alternate between modern and traditional. An example: a seahorse ridden by a nymph was followed by a surreal tableau of sea creatures in alien dress. Along the Walk are a variety of Street Artists and, at the end, an open air market.

Favourite spots:
Kissed by a Dolphin!
Kissed by a Dolphin!
For my days, I was able to find things we all could participate in. 1st up: Dolphin Adventure. George did a 30 minute encounter in a small enclosure, petting and being kissed by three dolphin. My son & I did an hour long Dolphin Swim in a large bay tank. Highlight: RIDING A DOLPHIN! Belly-to-belly at high speed. Not cheap, but so worth it! We bought the DVD. Next up: Murietas Islands. We took an hour long boat ride each way out to Murietas, a group of 4 islands that were used by the military for practice bombings. The resulting caves and caverns are wonderful for divers and snorkelers alike. John took a mini diving lesson the day before and was able to take his 1st dive with me. George stayed on land and saw Blue Footed Boobie birds (native to these and the Galapos Islands only) and Frigates. Next, off to a private beach where I was able to do a deeper dive while they played in the sand. On the boat ride back, the crew entertained us with Rock-n-Roll lip sync and dancing.

What's really great:
Baby Turtle upon release
Baby Turtle upon release
Turtle Camp: This is an environmental site that protects the Oliver Ridley Sea Turtles that nest just north of Nuevo Vallarta from July to December. In the evening, after an educational video and talk, you patrol the beach for nests, recover the eggs and relocate them to safety. If lucky, you get to see an egg hatch. The baby turtles that have hatched during the day then need to be released. You get to name your baby turtle and then take them down on the beach and see them safely off into the warmth of the ocean. The whole process takes about 3 hours, but is wonderfully uplifting. You need to call ahead over a period of several days because the turtles swim up in groups every couple of days and are not always laying.

Sights:
Angel Fish
Angel Fish
We used Vallarta Adventures to book our tours (on-line) and were very pleased. They offered a broad range, run themselves, and the ones we choose were very well done. The boats were large and well equipped. The breakfast and lunch offered on board was tasty. The dive equipment (always a concern) was fairly new and in good shape. The dive masters were terrific and the staff was fun. With respect to the Dolphin Adventure, the holding areas are in the bay and not a pool. The dolphins have large swim areas and care is taken to protect them.
We were tempted by the Canopy Tour which has you swinging Tarzan like through the rainforest canopy. We would have liked to have done the Fiesta night on a local ranch buit it was rained out.

Accommodations:
View from our Balcony
View from our Balcony
We stayed at Grand Club Marival. Everything, and I mean everything, was provided, including drinks, snacks, mid-night nachos, the works. The room was traditional and nothing special but the view from the balcony, looking over the ocean was beautiful. We had three fine dining restuarants to choose from, along with a wonderful buffet, and the food, on the whole, was pretty good, but not extraordinary. All "non-motorized" water sports were included and we never had a difficulty getting kayaks, boards or sail boats - there were plenty. Parasailing and jet skiing were both available from our beach, but at a fee. From what I saw kayaking around, we had the nicest beach front of the resorts in Nuevo Vallarta and the cost, at $160 a night for all three of us, including all our food, seemed like a deal!

Nightlife:
BEach Front Malecon Walk
BEach Front Malecon Walk
Both Montizumas and Zoo, which are right next door to each other along the beach front, were jumping. The crowd was a little young for us, but then we are pretty old....Most of the clubs and restaurants along the Malecon Walk seemed to be buzzing with activity.

Published on Saturday August 20th, 2005


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Wed, Feb 21 2007 - 05:44 PM rating by travler

I've visited here and your review gave a great overview of this town.

Sat, Oct 29 2005 - 08:38 PM rating by toribio

YOU ARTIST

Fri, Sep 23 2005 - 01:05 PM rating by isaacmolina

I love your report and your pictures.
GRACIAS !

Mon, Sep 05 2005 - 11:44 AM rating by alexandre

Hi,
This is the report I appriciate the most.
Usefull, and as I told you the tone shows that it is obvious that you enjoyed this trip.
Alexandre

Mon, Aug 29 2005 - 12:40 AM rating by picasso

Wonderful report.I had visited Club Marival about 5 years ago,and only for one hour,when we had stoped in PVR on our cruise ship.Great ocean front resort!Last year we had stayed at Riu Jalisco-5 star also located in Nuevo Vallarta.It has exelent service and has very good programms for childrens as well.

Best wishes

Boris

Tue, Aug 23 2005 - 08:23 AM rating by gloriajames

well-written report, and reminds me of the lovely pink dolphins here in singapore. 5*

Mon, Aug 22 2005 - 01:24 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

excellent report

Sun, Aug 21 2005 - 11:51 AM rating by christianj.

Hi Eire,

somtimes it's a good choice to do the one thing and not to leave the other. Your report is good example for that - and from today I also want to be kissed by a Dolphin...

Regards, Christian

Sun, Aug 21 2005 - 06:02 AM rating by davidx

Another excellent report.

Sun, Aug 21 2005 - 03:46 AM rating by downundergal

I love the old town of Puerto Vallarta with it's cobble stone streets. Never been an all inclusive resort girl myself but a well written report.
Cheers,
Kerrie

Sat, Aug 20 2005 - 11:40 PM rating by rangutan

More than just a chill out, a totally new comfortable environment i'm sure! Some need the all inclusive club experience, myself also less. A dolphin experience at least once I vouch as unforgettable.

Sat, Aug 20 2005 - 04:23 PM rating by bear495

Nice.

Russ

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