A vacation to Puerto Vallarta – Mexico

Mexico - Puerto Vallarta - Beach Hotel 4

The beach in front of the hotel in Puerto Vallarta [Mexico]

Mexico - Puerto Vallarta - Downtown - La Bodeguita del Medio México Bar

La Bodeguita Bar in Puerto Vallarta [Mexico]

Puerto Vallarta is one of Mexico tourist destination located on the coast of Pacific Ocean, about 4.5 hours flight from Vancouver. It is a popular destination for Canadian and Americans escaping the winter blues.

I arrived on Tuesday, to a relatively empty airport, the queue was short and the immigration officer was friendly and processed me quickly. Just an information for you who wants to visit Mexico, if your country is not on the visa exemption list but you have a valid USA visa, you can use it to enter Mexico, you don’t have to apply for Mexican visa.

My hotel was located at Puerto Vallarta Hotel Zone by the beach. After checking in and showered, I grab one of Stan Lee’s Jack Reacher novel borrowed from Vancouver public library and headed to the beach. To my surprise the three ladies next to me were from Vancouver as well and we became friends instantly.  That night the four of us went to downtown Puerto Vallarta and checked a Cuban resto/bar La Bodeguita del Medio México. The place was interesting, it has an open roof in the middle, writings and graffiti all over the walls and you can dance salsa to live music. One my first day in Mexico, when one of my new friend Salsa her way to the heart of the locals, I learnt a valuable lesson, CONFIDENCE IS SEXY.

I spent my time in Puerto Vallarta exploring several areas of interest.

Mexico - Puerto Vallarta - Beach Hotel - Relaxing by the beachMexico - Puerto Vallarta - Beach Hotel - Relaxing by the beach

Reading and relaxing on the beach in Puerto Vallarta [Mexico]

Mexico - Puerto Vallarta - Beach Hotel - Watching the sunset

Watching the sunset in Puerto Vallarta [Mexico]

Marina Vallarta

Marina Vallarta, is located north of my hotel, it obviously has a marina that harbours yachts and boats, but also bars and restaurant as well as several hotels. It has its own stretch of beach as well.

From the hotel, I can either walk or take the local bus, which cost around 70 cents Canadian per trip. On my first trip to Marina Vallarta, I opted to walk. From my hotel, I leisurely walk the beach up north, it was a nice walk even though the sand consistency vary along the way, some part were nice, some part were more like gravel, but the view remain consistently amazing.

Mexico - Puerto Vallarta - Marina - On the way to the Marina

On the way to the Marina in Puerto Vallarta [Mexico]

Mexico - Puerto Vallarta - Marina - Lighthouse & Sunset

The lighthouse in Marina of Puerto Vallarta [Mexico]

Unfortunately, you can’t walk the beach all the way to Marina Vallarta as along the way there is a harbour where the cruise ships dock. I had to walk on the side of the main road from there on.

The marina itself was very nice, it was not big but surrounded by several hotel/apartments and resto/bars, one of which located on top of lighthouse.

The beach on the marina side was quiet and very nice, you can access the beach but there were no local vendors offering any amenities like beach chairs or huts, only hotels have them and you need to be their guest to use them.

Mexico - Puerto Vallarta - Marina - Crocodile Warning

The crocodile warning in Marina in Puerto Vallarta [Mexico]

I strolled around taking pictures and found an interesting fact while stumbles on a warning sign; crocodiles frequent the beach and water, oops, luckily I didn’t meet any on my walk.

Downtown Puerto Vallarta

Downtown Puerto Vallarta is located south of the hotel zone and you can walk the beach all the way there or you can take the bus. It is a clean small town with shops, art galleries and restaurants. Personally for me there are 3 places of interests in the town, “Our Lady of the Refuge” church, “Our Lady of Guadalupe” church and the “flea market” which actually sells souvenirs.

Mexico - Puerto Vallarta - Downtown - Our Lady of Refuge Church

Lady of Refuge Church in Puerto Vallarta [Mexico]

Our Lady of the Refuge church is smaller church and less decorative compare to the other one, but it was closer.

Our Lady of Guadalupe on the other hand is grandeur. It is decorated with stained glass windows, frescos, paintings, sculptures, statues and even dioramas. The exterior is as beautiful and it has a bell tower with a “Crown” shape roof and at night, the church is beautifully lighted.

Mexico - Puerto Vallarta - Downtown - Our Lady Of Guadalupe Church

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Puerto Vallarta [Mexico]

Mexico - Puerto Vallarta - Downtown - Our Lady Of Guadalupe Church - Inside of the church

Inside the church of Our Lady Guadalupe in Puerto Vallarta [Mexico]

Mexico - Puerto Vallarta - Downton - Our Lady Of Guadalupe Church (1)

Things that you can see in Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Puerto Vallarta [Mexico]

The “flea market” is located deeper in the town of Puerto Vallarta; it is a complex of shops selling Mexican themed souvenirs. It is a very touristy place; the prices are inflated so bargaining is a must.

Mexico - Puerto Vallarta - Downton - Flea Market

The flea market in Downtown of Puerto Vallarta [Mexico]

The Malecon Boardwalk

The Malecon boardwalk is located on the seaside of downtown Puerto Vallarta. It is a stretch of wide cobblestone street with shop, restaurant, galleries, clubs and bars on one side and an amazing beach and ocean on the other side.  The boardwalk also showcases numerous status and sculptures. One of them, “The boy on the Seahorse”, has become an icon. At the end of the Malecon, you can find another icon, “The arches”, which surrounding I found later on also served as a public amphitheatre.

Mexico - Puerto Vallarta - The Malecon Boardwalk - Boy on Seahorse

The Boy on Seahorse statue at The Malecon [Puerto Vallarta, Mexico]

Mexico - Puerto Vallarta - The Malecon Boardwalk

The Malecon in Puerto Vallarta [Mexico]

Mexico - Puerto Vallarta - The Malecon Boardwalk - The Arch

The Arches at The Malecon in Puerto Vallarta [Mexico]

Old Vallarta & Zona Romantica

The cobblestone street continues south to Old Vallarta and Zona Romantica. Different to the beach on Marina Vallarta, at the beach of Zona Romantica you can rent beach chair or just eat at of the many restaurants that has tables and chairs setup on the beach. Further south, you’ll find a nifty shiny metal Pier resembling a sail, just like the cathedral, the pier is also lighted. The Old Vallarta is filled with nice old buildings serving as residential, hotels and restaurants. It has a friendly charmed of an old town.

Mexico - Puerto Vallarta - Old Vallarta - Mozaic behind a school 3

The mozaic behind the school in the Old Vallarta of Puerto Vallarta [Mexico]

Mexico - Puerto Vallarta - Old Vallarta - The Pier (2)

The Pier in the Old Vallarta of Puerto Vallarta [Mexico]

Kristanto Otnatsirk photo profile

– Kristanto –

This is a guest post written by my friend, Kristanto, who currently lives in Vancouver, Canada. 

He really likes photography as you can see the result in the photos above (yes, all photos are taken by him), and of course to do some adventures while he has the chance!

He can be reached at kristantosurjadi [at] yahoo [dot] com

2 Comments

  1. Kania June 25, 2014
    • timothywp July 2, 2014

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