Vacation in Puerto Vallarta - Top Ten Reasons
By Luis Dominguez
If you want to discover the best-kept secret of Mexico, you have to read this article. What is it about Puerto Vallarta that makes it so attractive that more than 50,000 expats chose it as their home?
Warm during the winter and humid in the summer, Puerto Vallarta has the perfect location on the map; just below the desert, but not too much as to make the tropical heat unbearable. In fact it is right on the 20° North Latitude below the Tropic of Cancer, that's right same as Hawaii. Puerto Vallarta combines the lushness of the jungle with the beauty of the Sierra Madre Mountains and the wonder of the Pacific Ocean. The ocean breeze and the fresh mountain air combine with the unrivaled sunny days Mexico is known for, to create the best weather in the world. It is no wonder why Puerto Vallarta has become a favorite vacation spot. Vallarta boasts three hundred sunny days a year, some of those being hot summer days that then get a refreshing rain. If you are ever in Puerto Vallarta anytime from the beginning of November through to the end of May you will find yourself in a paradise hard to leave behind.
2. Great value for your money
While it is a commonly known fact that the peso is worth less than the dollar, be it US or Canadian, you never truly appreciate it quite as much as when you vacation in Mexico. Being on vacations and knowing that your hard earned money can buy you twice as much fun as it could back home is simply refreshing. And for those lucky enough to be permanent vacationers whose retirement dollars allow them a life equal or better to what they had back home when they still worked, it is simply incredible. Getting more for less is good on anyone's book, but when talking real estate this is simply great. One can get a beautiful home for the price of a New York studio. On top of that, Puerto Vallarta has a large array of first class real estate developments, from stunning penthouses, state of the art smart homes on the beach to rustic homes on the mountain side, many built with Americans and Canadians in mind so just make your choice and become one of those people on vacations for life.
3. Stunning beaches
Nothing new for Mexican destinations, but Puerto Vallarta has a great story to tell. In 1964 American film director John Huston, chose Mismaloya beach in Puerto Vallarta, as the location for his film The Night of the Iguana, starring Richard Burton and Ava Gardner. Huston also brought in, his soon-to-be-wife Elizabeth Taylor, putting Puerto Vallarta in the international spotlight and making its beaches world famous. But Mismaloya is only one of a plethora of enchanting beaches that offer something for all walks of life. Whether you're an adrenaline junkie looking to do some kite surfing or simply someone that likes to lay by the water being tended to, Puerto Vallarta has the right beach for you. Many of those beaches have been certified by the Mexican Government for their cleanliness and beauty. By the north end of the Bay you can find fine sand beaches that extend for kilometers. On the other end you find small island coves only accessible by water. Imagine taking your loved one by water taxi to a private beach cove and spending a romantic afternoon. Puerto Vallarta's beaches are waiting for you to come and lay by their waves.
4. Amazing mountains
This is what puts Puerto Vallarta in a completely different league from other vacation destinations. It is not the typical Mexican resort destination with exquisite beaches and luxury hotels, I mean, it does have those things, but the Sierra Madre Mountains and their tropical forests with lush jungle vegetation, give the town a completely different atmosphere, far away from the "just beach and nothing else to do" kind of destination. The beauty of this vacation destination spawns from the fact that the bay is nestled in the Sierra Madre Mountains. They surround the bay like a mother's bosom protecting it and offering magnificent views. There is nothing that compares to watching the sun rise in the mountains every day and set in the Pacific Ocean. During the summer season the rains make the surrounding mountains glow an emerald green that is difficult to explain by mere words. A hike up the mountain trails will take you to a time long before when mankind was one with nature and you to will feel its beckoning. The vegetation and the bird calls combine to the mystic feel of being surrounded by mountains.
5. Mexican Culture
You just can't get bored with it. The mixture of indigenous traditions with Spaniard customs has produced an amazingly rich culture, an explosion of color, spirituality, flavors, images and sounds that will never stop impressing you. Slowly discovering the little idiosyncrasies of this beautiful culture is one of the best rewards for visiting Puerto Vallarta and once you start to understand Mexican culture, you will only want to learn more. But don't look only for the exotic side of it, the "Día de Muertos" or the religious pilgrimages, for instance, even when those celebrations are actually quite impressive, there are is much more to discover on the day-to.day life of Mexico. You might travel for the beaches and just to have some relaxing vacations, but if you are open to it, Mexican Culture will surprise you.
6. The people
You have to travel a lot in order to be qualified to compare people and cultures. Well, I have done it, and I can tell you that, there are no warmer people in the world. Mexicans always smile, they always say "please" and "thank you", they will kiss and hug you, so be prepared; they will touch you all the time, they are a happy people and they like to show it. You will have a lot of fun around them, they will make you feel at home, you just have to let go and learn from their laid-back and unpretentious attitude towards life. This way to understand life, where people work to live and not live to work, might be arguable, but for a place like Puerto Vallarta, where people travel to forget for a while about the problems of daily life, it's just perfect.
7. Things to do
There is almost everything to do, except maybe those boring winter games that include snow and cold, Puerto Vallarta offers to visitors a formidable variety of activities. Eco-tours, golf (7 courses), ATV's, scuba diving, canopy, whale-watching, swimming with dolphins or sea lions, a theater, museums, plenty of art galleries, gourmet restaurants, festivals (film, food, wine), surfing, botanical gardens, old towns to visit, a zoo, lots of discotheques and nightclubs, and much, much more. I am telling you, this place is worth the trip. Whether your dream vacation consists of lounging by the beach or zipping from tree top to tree top Vallarta has it. If you want to enjoy a five star gourmet dinner or just have tacos at a stand, this is the right place to come. The culture scene the little coffe shops in old town add to the incredible allure of this great city. Many visitors come because the large array of Puerto Vallarta tours and activities.
8. Accessibility from USA and Canada
Accessibility is not to be forgotten when planning a vacation. There are some other incredible corners in the world, but somehow they are always plenty of flight hours to Puerto Vallarta. Many cities in the US and Canada have direct flights to Puerto Vallarta, making it so easy and cheap to come down there, that it makes it even harder to invent excuses for not spending a week or maybe just a weekend in such a beautiful place. Puerto Vallarta is just a three hours flight from Los Angeles, and that is all it takes to feel like you are in a complete different world, the mountains, the rivers and the ocean make their presence felt at every corner, but you won't miss civilization a bit, as luxury hotels have everything in place to make you feel at home. On top of that the ongoing commercial relationships provided by NAFTA allow for crossing of people and goods without mayor hassles.
This point is mentioned quite a lot by the large expat community in Puerto Vallarta (nearly 50,000 and growing). One of the biggest fears of those moving abroad USA and Canada is that they might not get the same quality services at the places they move to. But that's just not the case with Puerto Vallarta, as the city has defined its identity as a perfect place for retirees and developed the proper infrastructure to please them. You will find excellent medical services, a big focus on security, a diversity of financial businesses and all kinds of information and technology services, such as high-speed internet, digital cable TV and everything to help you avoid missing home while you are on vacations in Mexico.
10. The nightlife
Especially on Spring Break, but not limited to it. The "Malecon", a beautiful boardwalk by the beach, has been called "Puerto Vallarta's Bourbon Street" because it has club after club open all night long. World famous club brands as Hard Rock Café, Señor Frog's or La Bodeguita del Medio (where Hemingway used to go in Havana), compete with local clubs such as Mandala, Zoo or Punto V, to see who throws the best party in town. There is the world famous "Foam Party" at Collage every Tuesday and many salsa discos to feel the Latin vibe. Puerto Vallarta also has its own share of electronic festivals with some of the best DJs in the world, playing outdoors till dawn, with people dancing and jumping in the sand just a few steps away from the ocean.
Luis Dominguez is the editor of Enjoy Magazine - the best Puerto Vallarta vacation travel guide where you will find everything about this gem of the Mexican Pacific. Enjoy Tours - Puerto Vallarta Tours and Activities provides a full array of leisure options, from adrenaline high activities like canopy to eco-tours like whale watching.
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Views expressed in the article are those of the author and are not necessarily the opinions of CaribbeanChoice, its staff or members.