I have been fortunate to have travelled to Puerto Vallarta a few times… my love for this slice of paradise grows more each time I am there, it is truly my happy place. And even though I have been there a few times … I learn more about this paradise every time I go.
Something that has never been a secret…I have never been a cold weather person – I attribute this to the fact that I was born in South America, just south of the Equator ( whether this is true or not , I am going with it…).
1. The Warmth of the Sun on my Skin
The number one reason I love going back to Puerto Vallarta is the weather, even when it seems to start out like a cloudy day , it opens up and is absolutely beautiful. The rainy season itself lasts June to September. Although it can rain almost daily, it gets late afternoon or evening showers, leaving most of the day open for activities.
With near constant temperatures, Puerto Vallarta usually experiences 322 days of sunshine a year and average temperatures between 20° C and 30° C.
It is a tropical paradise…and it can be hot, but you will not hear me complaining… I usually have to go back to the cold.
2. The Water
I had never realized this before, but the water has such a calming affect on me…it wasn’t until we moved back from Vancouver, that I realized how much I missed it and its effect … and this from someone who does not swim, but put me on/in a boat and I am a happy camper!
Banderas Bay is situated along the coast of Puerto Vallarta, here you will find several varieties of fish and amazing water sports, even if you aren’t big on water sports, you will want to try them here.
3. The People
Always so friendly and welcoming, they are so willing and go out of their way to accommodate. You also don’t have to worry much about trying to communicate in Spanish… you would be surprised how many people here speak English, but it is nice for me that I can practice my Spanish. Even Conde Nast Traveller has rated Puerto Vallarta as the world’s friendliest international city.
4. The Food
If you thought Puerto Vallarta was all about tacos… well, it is that but so much more! If you are a seafood lover, you will think you have gone to heaven here. The ceviche and aquachile are so incredible, absolutely delicious! Believe me when I say you will crave it when you go home!
Puerto Vallarta’s gastronomy appeals to a wide range of culinary tastes. From family-run taco stands and sidewalk cafes to award winning restaurants, there is something for every palate to experience and enjoy in its magical surroundings. You can’t help but be taken in by all the variety and tastes!
If you are looking for a true gastronomic delight, make sure to visit during their International Gourmet Festival in November. The festival features the talent of over 30 world renowned Chefs representing National and European restaurants from all over the world that create delicacies for every palate and boasting the latest in international dishes.
5. The Beaches
Bahía de Banderas (Banderas Bay) is considered to be one of the most beautiful bays in the world. It also offers over 40 km of golden beaches, with an abundance of things to do on the beach and in and around town. Voted “Favorite Beach Destination in Mexico” by About.com in 2012, and Playa Mismaloya was also made famous by John’s Huston’s “ NIght of the Iquana” .
There are so many activities to do in and around the beaches; you can snorkel, swim with the fishes, dine on the beach and enjoy a spectacular sunset. Or enjoy one of the many activities they have along the beaches including parasailing and tubing.
Some of these beautiful beaches are isolated and are still only accessible by boat, the perfect getaway!
6. The Mountains
Puerto Vallarta is nestled between Banderas Bay and the Sierra Madre mountains with its beautiful lush jungles and flowing rivers… creating an incredible backdrop for the entire city.
If you truly want to experience the rainforest, this is the place to do it.
In the morning you can go horseback riding and explore the lush vegetation on the jungle and mountain trails around Puerto Vallarta. Typical routings take you along rivers, waterfalls, canyons and picturesque mountaintop villages and offer spectacular views of the bay and the town of Puerto Vallarta below.
Or try the canopy tours which allow thrill-seeking adventurers to ride pulley lines between platforms high in the trees – glide from tree to tree checking out the rainforest’s extensive ecosystem and see interesting species; a bird and animal watcher’s paradise.
7. The Culture and Art
Its charming historic downtown is a collection of impressive colonial architecture, white-walled houses, wrought-iron balconies, red-tiled roofs and cobblestone streets. My favourite place – the Malecon, is a beautiful boardwalk that runs from the Romantic Zone to the start of the Hotel Zone. You’ll find a great collection of bronze sculptures here, including the town’s iconic Seahorse. At night, head there before 6pm and you can catch the VOLADORES DE PAPANTLA (FLYING RITUAL), they are pretty incredible to watch.
Along with its many public sculptures, Puerto Vallarta has one of the most vibrant and dynamic art gallery scenes in Mexico; offering a wide variety of works by local and regional artists. This includes indigenous handcrafts from the local Huichols; whose work is inspired by the mix of romance, history and the beauty of the town and the people.
8. The Sunsets
I love sunsets, and I have seen many in my lifetime… but there is something magical about the sunsets in Puerto Vallarta. The sky can be dark and gloomy, and then open up to the most glorious of colours as the sun sets. Quite spectacular.
9. The Raicilla
Everyone knows about Tequila, but not many know about Raicilla, a lesser known cousin also made from the green agave plant. If you are a fan of Tequila at all….wait until you try Raicilla, its sweet, smokey smoothness will definitely keep you coming back for more. It is also one of Puerto Vallarta’s best kept secrets.
There is always so much going on in Puerto Vallarta, and depending on when you go, there is always some type of festival happening. I was just there during the Day of the Dead festivities and the entire city gets together to transform itself and celebrate their dead. It is quite beautiful to see.
If joining in on cultural activities is not your thing, then there is so much more to enjoy in Puerto Vallarta.
You can enjoy zip lining in Mexico’s longest line, to ATV, to swimming with the dolphins or releasing turtles ( still on my list for next time), mountain climbing, boat trips, horseback rides, diving trips and day trips to the interior.
Or you can just relax on one of its many beaches, shop along the historic Malecon or dine in one of its many gourmet restaurants. Something for everyone! Vallarta Adventures has some amazing experiences!
A great time of the year to explore all Puerto Vallarta has to offer is between Sept and March – there are so many festivals and celebrations going on and you may also get the opportunity to release turtles or catch a whale sighting! 🙂
Thank you again to Puerto Vallarta Tourism for hosting me, and allowing me to experience this paradise so many times. I look forward to more exciting adventures here!
Have you ever been to Puerto Vallarta?