Mexico’s Pacific Coast is accustomed to tourists ramming its shores with tequila shots and ‘Despacito’ till 5 am! But, Puerto Vallarta has more to offer than just ‘fun in the sun’ or rave parties. (By the way those gatherings at start at your usual bedtime back home.)
Before it became the ultimate go-to vacation spot for spring breakers, Puerto Vallarta was idyllically a historical work of art. But, thanks to Hollywood’s blossoming romances and affairs, we bring you to Puerto Vallarta. Now, it’s the Chaotic Tourist Destination!
When can you Visit Puerto Vallarta?
To be honest, whenever you have enough credit in the bank. But winter and spring are considered ideal for visiting Puerto Vallarta’s assortment of beaches. Around 2 million tourists declare themselves ‘crazy’ over Puerto Vallarta throughout the year. However, the city hosts only about 250,000 are natives.
They say that Puerto Vallarta is a bit edgy and chaotic due to its ratty old infrastructure. But ex-pats and tourists do not seem to care. As long as you stock on the margaritas, tequilas, Pina Coladas, and rave music, you can give the tourists a time of their lives and the chance to step out of their boring comfort zones.
Puerto Vallarta is also highly accepting of diversity. With the Mexicans learning how to think ‘beyond the wall,’ the city practices inclusivity in practically all languages and behaviors. Declared to be quite safe for LGBTQIA travelers, Puerto Vallarta welcomes tourists all year round, even during summer. But, if you are heading out to enjoy the seaside, we recommend going during winter or spring when the breeze is the perfect kind of balmy!
4 Utterly Happening Places to Visit before your Vacation runs out!
We love Puerto Vallarta for mainly three reasons. One, it is home to some of the prettiest beaches we have seen. But you have to look pretty hard for the tranquil, empty ones. Two, it dwells in parties and drinks. Three, it worships folk art with its ceramics, crafts, galleries, and boutiques like no other.
Beaching at the Playas!
With Playa Las Gemalas, Playa Las Animas, Playa Camarones, Playa Los Muertos, and Playa Mismaloya scattered within Puerto Vallarta’s adventurous stretch of beaches, there is no way you are running out of shores to soak your skin under the sun. Las Animas begins its adventure before you reach its thick stretch of sand and margaritas.
If you are starting from Zona Romantica, you can directly take a boat ride by boarding a water taxi and get out at Los Muertos Pier. Since you are in Zona Romantica, you can also board the orange line bus for 8 pesos, which will take you to Boca de Tomatlan within 20 minutes. With water taxis readily available, you can take a boat ride to Las Animas for 50 pesos and call it a day.
But the best is yet to come! If you plan on getting the most out of your beach visit, you can ditch the boat ride after reaching Boca de Tomatlan. Instead, you can hike for an hour and a half to Las Animas so that soaking your feet on the beachfront has some pride.
Almost all of the Playas consist of beach bars and boardwalk galleries, but if you want to minus the fun and enjoy the peace, we have something remote for you like Yelapa. Yelapa consists of a quaint beach community that takes pride in few beach bars but idyllic waterfalls.
Puerto Vallarta is a Sight for Sore Eyes
When you have had enough of sun, wrap your tootsies in a pair of flip-flops and cover your head with a beach hat or a bandana.
First up on our list is the Malecon or a paved promenade that greets the public with open arms as well as an affair of arts and crafts. The Malecon extends right from Banderas Bay, so it might be the first thing you see when you land at the airport. The Malecon consists of two of the oldest, historical landmarks known to the Mexican city. The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Los Arcos are two of Puerto Vallarta’s preserved landmarks that scream local art, sculpture, and culture collectively.
Next up is the Isla Rio Cuale, an open bazaar that features a display of local arts and crafts consistent with Puerto Vallarta’s rich heritage, culture, and tradition. You can find the Isla Rio Cuale while you are walking along the Banderas Bay. Isla Rio Cuale is also thriving with street art, pottery, and souvenirs that you can get at a steal price as compared to those for sale on the beachfront.
Eating at Tony’s
Enough shopping and playing on the beaches already! We are famished!
Tony’s Hideaway, situated in Mismaloya Village, is hidden from the world as a quaint eatery right along Calle Vigente Guerrero. The best part about Tony’s is that unlike every other Tony’s in the world, you do not get to choose from a menu as they do not have one, to begin with! Plus, this Tony’s serves customized seafood (no pizza, we swear!) that you can choose from a platter when brought to you.
Do not even think of avoiding tacos when you are in Mexico! When in Puerto Vallarta, you can treat yourself to rich street food such as tortillas and quesadillas till you bleed Mexican out of your nose. Both the Zona Romantica and Cinco de Diciembre consist of food trucks that will sell you tasty Mexican food on pita bread or shrimp burgers that you can marvel till your vacation is over!
For the most delicious fish tacos in the coastal city, you can go to Joe Jack’s or go to Panchos de Takos for an assortment of killer Mexican seafood.
For dessert, take your sweet tooth to the Choco Museo and build up an appetite as you engage in a 45-minute workshop of chocolate-making! You can learn the art of cacao and truffles as well as take the rich recipes back home by getting your hands deep in chocolate for 2 to 3 hours too!
Partying your Guts out – Literally
Puerto Vallarta’s rave parties are incomplete without heading to a couple of notorious bars before. Both Bar Morelos and Barracuda Bar provide you with exactly what you need to get away from it all. If you are peace-hunting, go to Bar Morelos at Centro and relax with laid-back millennials (or boomers) to mellow tunes.
If you want a more happening crowd, stick to the Barracuda Bar or the El Solar and let the late-night DJ turn up the heat. Both of these neighboring bars serve the coastal city’s most popular and delicious seafood treats, so one thing is for sure. You are going to have a pretty tough hangover in the morning but on a full stomach!
There are a few bars that are exclusive to the LGBT community for safety purposes. But others like Mr. Flamingo welcomes the straights and cishets without any discrimination. Not only does the music stop before 3 am, but the crowd also knows how to party by including the entire street in their jam!
Final Thoughts: Puerta Vallarta is Trendy and Happening…right now!
Do you remember how visiting the Bahamas and the French Riviera used to be such a pedestal for annoying country club goers? But for a few decades, Puerto Vallarta has dethroned every other destination in terms of providing a balance of enjoyment and relaxation to all ages.
Puerto Vallarta is like any other Mexican city – only better. Apart from its lively beaches, it’s built around the thriving city with white-washed buildings, Terracotta roofs, cobblestone streets, and purple blossoms clear of hay fever.