Goodness gracious, what a pleasant surprise! This area and city has so much natural beauty and charm with its beaches all surrounded by the massive Sierra Madre Mountains. Here you will also find history, culture, traditions, hospitality and endless adventures, all the while feeling very safe.
Culture Tour: This is certainly a destination that is rich in history, traditions, art and culture. Puerto Vallarta, as a town, has so much to offer with its unique cultural and artistic heritage. There are so many options: enjoy art performances, shows, music and festivals. That is how this pacific coast destination has been placed on an international cultural level.
Puerto Vallarta seems to captures the heart of everyone who visits, and proof of this is that Bandaras Bay has become a favorite inspiration site for many professional artists around the world!
Iconic Malecon: This vibrant area has been the town’s spirit for decades. The iconic ocean view boardwalk is one mile long winding through the Malecon area where you will see countless sculptures, art and crafts galleries, shops and international restaurants. Have your camera ready because here you can easily find a front row seat to savor one of the many sensational sunsets.
Romantic Zone: This name describes it well, by day or night. The Romantic Zone was one of our favorite hanging out spots to just stroll around, enjoy a great meal, or just sip on a cocktail by the outstanding Los Muertos Pier. The views of the bay from here are just stunning!
Marina Vallarta: Here you will find some of the best hotels, shops, boutiques, cafés, art galleries, restaurants and bars around. It’s a busy and important commercial, residential, and maritime area where there’s a famous Lighthouse and a harbor dock full of yachts and boats.
Botanical Gardens: The Sierra Madre mountain range has so much diversity and the tropical forests there makes an enchanting place way beyond its beaches.
The Vallarta Botanical Gardens has a perfectly traced plan for you to explore different sections: the Cactus Garden; the Tropical Fruit Orchard; the Conservatory of Orchids and Native Plants, with over 300 species all native to Mexico
After visiting the greenhouses and gardens, be sure to walk deeper into the forest, cross the hanging bridge and check out the magnificent trees that inhabit the area. And be sure to stop in at the restaurant here – it has amazing views of the Sierra Madre.
Eco Adventures: This is one reason that I like this area so much. It is home to so much stunning natural sceneries that has endless beauty and biodiversity. Our tour was one highlight of our trip. How wonderful that they have so many protected sites and ecotourism areas.
One of the most unique is The Los Arcos Marine Park. It’s a natural paradise where you can scuba dive and snorkel, day or night, while discovering an abundant of marine life.
Los Arcos is also an ideal place to paddleboard and kayak, even explore the caves formed around the huge granite rocks that emerge in the middle of the ocean. It’s really fantastic!
Hotel Mousai: There are so many fantastic hotels here…but Hotel Mousai is definitely one of the best being very new, chic and luxurious! This hotel sets the pace for a new generation of designer hotels for “adults only.” It sits in the jungle on the edge of the mountain with endless panoramic views of Banderas Bay and Puerto Vallarta. I was very inspired by the contemporary design, artistic appointments and dazzling personality.
And to top it off, Hotel Mousai has a world class spa and each of their gourmet restaurants…which are all included. It’s no wonder it’s the only 5 Diamond Hotel in Puerto Vallarta!
Hacienda San Angel Gourmet: Nestled high above the narrow cobblestone streets of Puerto Vallarta, this is one of Mexico’s most elegant and beautiful boutique luxury hotels and restaurant. Hacienda San Angel is a hidden gem with the genteel charm of Mexican Colonial architecture and turn-of-the-century furnishings.
We selected this romantic restaurant to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary and were beyond pleased with our choice. World class dining at Hacienda San Angel has upscale Mexican and international meals. This is a full-service, rooftop restaurant. It was a superbly elegant, romantic and scenic. We truly enjoyed the 180-degree views of the town, azure Banderas Bay and even a first-class traditional Mariachis Band performs.
Puerto Vallarta: Now you understand why this seaside, colonial city attracts visitors. With its authentic Mexican style, cobbled streets, picturesque facades and warm hospitality, Puerto Vallarta is absolutely a dreamy destination!
Terri is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers.
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