As the sun sets on the horizon, the city of Puerto Vallarta closes another day in paradise along Mexico’s stunning Pacific coast, but the day started a little something like this..
“Tourists drop their lines into the water, prop their poles on the side and pop open a beer,” shares travel writer Carolyn Bass for the Huffington Post. “A catamaran, its bronzed passengers gripping the sidelines with one hand and a drink in the other, rushes along the coast.”
Puerto Vallarta offers some of the best ocean fishing in the world and its waters are teeming with dorado, bonito, yellow fin, mahi-mahi and marlin. And the town itself has become a favorite destination among international travelers ever since Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor were together in Puerto Vallarta during the filming of Night of the Iguana here back in 1963. Still, Puerto Vallarta offers something for everyone, including everything visitors and expats need to enjoy supreme relaxation, exciting adventures and the experience of a lifetime.
“Puerto Vallarta is an ideal blend between the old and the new, the trendy and the traditional, the cultural and the cosmopolitan,” writes the Huffington Post. “One of the top three resort destinations in Mexico – the others being Cancun and Cabo San Lucas – Puerto Vallarta has managed to maintain its Mexican identity, while also providing a net of friendliness and security for international travelers.”
In fact, the term “local” in this region now includes the many genuinely cordial and warm individuals who were born and raised here, along with a growing community of expats and retirees, who have discovered that living in Puerto Vallarta offers affordable luxury in paradise. Here, international transplants work side by side with the Mexican-born population to share the best this dynamic city has to offer with visitors from around the world.
The cobblestone street and boardwalk on the beachside strip known as the malecon in Puerto Vallarta offers easy access to everything from shops and restaurants to art galleries and nightclubs. Here, you’ll find many recognizable brands, such as Hard Rock Café, Senior Frogs and Carlos O’Briens, along with local favorites like La Palapa, which serves haute cuisine right on the beach, and upscale offerings such as Café des Artiste, Trio and the Vista Grill, which serves world-class gourmet cuisine from atop a hillside overlooking Banderas Bay.
Places like Marisma Taqueria offer an authentic experience at an unbeatable price. Located just a few blocks from the malecon on Calle Naranjo, this taqueria has been serving up fresh fish tacos on fresh corn tortillas featuring your choice of shrimp, crap, batter-fried fish and calamari for almost 20 years. And at about $1.30 each, the value is tough to beat.
“If you’re wanting authentic Mexican food, don’t be afraid to try some of the streetside vendors or taquerias,” writes the Huffington Post.
(Inside Scoop from Vallarta Daily: Look for streetside eateries where the locals gather.)
Other delights found in the streets of Puerto Vallarta include the usual array of tourist shops featuring a variety of trinkets, along with cantinas serving up the best tequila and cerveza. Cigar aficionados will enjoy the variety of shops featuring hand-rolled cigars made with Cuban tobacco, while art lovers will thrill to the amazing array of art and hand-painted tiles available in the marketplace.
Of course, the waters of Banderas Bay offer their own unique set of offerings, including a protected marine park surrounding Los Arcos (The Arches), which is a stunning rock formation located just off the south coast of Puerto Vallarta. Here, divers enjoy easy access from the malecon and the local marina to a mesmerizing world of underwater grottos that is home to a wide variety of sea life.
“It’s not unusual to spot giant mantas, eagle rays, sea turtles, butterfly fish, parrot fish, puffers, angelfish, needlefish and damsels,” writes the Huffington Post. “The waters are also home to the Pacific bottlenose dolphin and the loggerhead, hawksbill and Pacific black sea turtles.”
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I have been going to Vallarta for 27 years so far and this article gives you a brief glimpse into the wonderful vacation spot that Vallarta truly is. The people are the warmest people you will ever meet, the food, the culture, the beaches are beyond description. This area of Mexico is very safe and is an easy town to navigate through. I recommend this vacation spot for anybody wanting to experience the real side of Mexico with enough modern conveniences to make you feel totally at ease and comfortable.
A comment on your upscale restaurant recommendations. As a local full time resident I get so tired of seeing La Palapa, Trio, Vista Grill and Cafe des Artistes touted in travel articles. Why those four get so much free press is amazing to me as well as to many other expats. I’ve seen many a taxi coming all the way from the Four Seasons in Punta Mita to go to one of those overrated cliches. They are NOT the only places in town….. branch out guys! please….
We just want you to know that this is from Huffington Post, these are not the recommendations of Vallarta Daily. We do Foodies Friday where we feature one local restaurant and people who follow us know that we only feature the less-known places. The other places you mention are probably paid to be included in these articles, or offer free meals to be included. Also, taxi drivers are paid a commission for bringing customers to those restaurants. In fact when I first moved to Vallarta I was looking for a restaurant and took a Taxi to the restaurant, I don’t remember the name now, but once we started going the taxi told me the restaurant I was looking for was out of business but he could take me to a place similar. I agreed and he dumped me at La Palapa. I did enjoy my meal but when I left and was walking around the romantic zone I saw the restaurant that the taxi told me was closed. Even though I enjoyed my meal at La Palapa I felt ripped off by the Taxi driver but also by La Palapa for creating an environment where paying people to deceive tourists (or lost newbie locals) is a business practice, so I have not been back. Yeah, my meal was great but I cannot support that kind of business marketing, and it’s common in the big name restaurants.
And the weather is almost perfect during the winter months, Oct. thru April..80-85 f daily, 65-70 f at night. The price for a condo rental is very reasonable during this time as well, usually well below $1000 per month for 2-3 bedrooms, much less in some locals depending on your needs. For the past seven years my wine and I have been enjoying this paradise, and hope to continue for many more..
We will be visiting Puerto Vallarta for the tenth consecutive year in December 2014. We LOVE this city and the welcoming, very friendly people of it!
The food is, I think, some of the best in the world! I’ve had a pablano pepper not agree with me one time but have NEVER been sick off any food. I have on the other hand been sick many times from a few too many awesome drinks.
Best food: Pancho’s Takos , La Palapa and Teatro Limon, but seriously there is AMAZING food on every corner of this unique destination.The worst drink: Margarita’s at Blue Chairs by far! They really need to work on that. Never tried the “crap” tacos mentioned in the article above but that typo is funny!
We highly recommend visiting Puerto Vallarta over and over. We find new treats every year!
Unless of course, you are out at set looking East. Then I guess it would kinda rise over the bay!
No the author is wrong and we are waiting for the person to fix our story. It published on FB automatically before the edit is caught… maybe not a good system hahaha
Just one more reason to never trust the media! ;)
Exactly, they are right up there with the weather people :-/
Very true! We didn’t get much rain at all considering they said it would be 5″ or more.
Yeah, actually the sun sets over Banderas Bay…….
and be sure to have a very good doctor!
If you are looking for a good doctor you don’t have to look too far in Puerto Vallarta. Our doctors are top notch… but that’s another story ;-)
this I know….I was refering to tourists eating of the street vendors!
lol not i have been here a decade and love the food. not once have i been sick. :P
you are very lucky then…I have seen so many people get ill Mexicans alike during the years..especially in this epoque
I think it’s more of a bacteria difference. people are more likely to get sick in a foreign country not because of the food but different bacteria.. but i have always been very risky with food so my stomach can take anything hahahaha