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 Introduction to Puerto Vallarta

 

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Puerto Vallarta Art & Culture

History of Puerto Vallarta

Introduction to Puerto Vallarta

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Puerto Vallarta Historical Sites

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Inside Puerto Vallarta: An Introduction to the World's Friendliest City

 

by Sharon Stajda

Puerto Vallarta Is a wonderful Mexican city that is fronted by the blue Pacific Ocean, and backed by the lush, green tropical Sierra Madre Mountains. The people are friendly and charming, always helpful and accommodating. The minute you set foot in Puerto Vallarta, you will relies you have arrived at a truly beautiful and unique place.

The town itself is split into two sections, Old Town, and Centro, both having their own special qualities. It is my recommendations if visiting Puerto Vallarta, make sure to take full advantage of both areas. They have distinctively separate charms.

Centro being the newer part of town, consists of a wonderful board walk called the Malecon (see the Malecon Guide ) that stretches good length of the town, and continues down into the beach area of Old Town. At night you will find a large variety of free entertainment, to include music, magic, fireworks, and more. Centro also has wonderful shops, and eateries. Not to mention the clubs, that stays open until the last fun is had. Centro also has the towns Zocalo. (Town Square.) The Zocalo, is the area that as a rule is in the center of town, where locals gather to visit, and become aquatinted.

Old Town, being the older section of Puerto Vallarta is built up to the sand of the sea. It is very relaxed, and gives way to some of the most romantic restaurants and accommodations one can find in Mexico. The local citizens refer to it as Zone Romantica. It truly lives up to its name.

Getting around Puerto Vallarta is easy; taxis are cheap, and in abundance. After you get your bearings, you may just want to walk. It is a very easy town to maneuver on foot. Plus walking will give you the chance to enjoy the wonderful sites and sounds the town has to offer. Not to mention the ocean, and its wonderful breezes.

One of the constants of Puerto Vallarta is the weather. They have a winter season, where it literally does not rain, with a very low humidity, this combination lends to spectacular weather. It provides warmth in the sun, and cooling in the shade. The summer gives way to a rainy season. So the best time to visit is between November and March.

What to pack? Summer cloths will do for day time and sleeves for evening. Pack that sweater, the nights are fresh, and cool.

Where to stay, this will depend on what kind of accommodation you desire? Puerto Vallarta offers a wide variety of accommodates, from large chain hotels to luxury condo rentals, to charming smaller hotels. I always recommend one turn to the Internet, where one can research all options.

My husband and I have made Puerto Vallarta a yearly destination for some 16 years or more. If we stay in town, we prefer Old Town, and renting a condo on the beach. If we stay a bit out of town, we love south of town. It provides some of the most spectacular views and sunsets one will ever see. As a rule both areas are a step above, when it comes to charm, and relaxation. The hotel zone has the larger chain hotels, and they are geared toward activity. They can be over stimulating. I think this is due to the multitude of people that are under one roof. There are also adult friendly hotels. Price will vary; you can find wonderful inexpensive accommodations, along with very high end spa hotels.

I have actually toured many of the smaller hotels in Old Town that were downright cheap. I've found that the staff goes out of their way to accommodate their guests. The rooms are pleasantly decorated, and very clean with lots of Mexican flair. One such hotel is Torre De Oro. Hotel Torre De Ore is located 1/2 block from the beach in Old Town. This hotel is very clean, and has an authentic old Mexican flair. Most rooms have ocean views, and small kitchenettes.

The beaches are a plenty, vendors are abound, but they are not overly aggressive, and you can actually pick up some wonderful deals. Don't miss spending a day on the beach in Old Town. It has an energy all its own.

If you have opted to stay south of town, I can recommend is an all-inclusive spa hotel, the Intercontinental El Presidente, this wonderful small boutique hotel is locate in the Gold Zone south of town. The rooms are large and well appointed. The beach is secluded and very nice, with light soft sand, and very private. This Hotel is approximately 15 minutes from town. One can take the bus very cheaply, or simply take a cab from the front door. Dinning is wonderful in Puerto Vallarta. There are a wide variety of restaurants. You absolutely can't go wrong when choosing a restaurant. It would be hard for me to recommend one restaurant over another.

I do have my favorites though. One is the El Dorado on the beach, in Old Town. El Dorado’s is a romantic, rustic beach restaurant that offers a good selection of fresh seafood dishes, and more. The staff is wonderful, and has a way of making an evening unforgettable. Another favorite eatery I can highly recommend is La Palapas, also located on the beach in Old Town. La Palapas is an upscale restaurant, again romantic and elegant, with a wide selection of food to choose from. The owner offers up wonderful soft live music, nightly, via the group Pacific Nights.

If jazz is your thing head to the Bistro, located in Centro part of town. The Bistro has an elegant dining room, with many gourmet dishes to choose from, along with nightly jazz. The decor is elegant, and dreamy.

If you lean toward natural healthy food, try Papaya. This is one of Gringo Gulches best kept secrets. They offer a great selection of healthy, freshly prepared foods, along with healthy Mexican dishes. If one morning you crave pancakes, head to Memo's Pancake House in Old Town. You will love these pancakes, served in a garden atmosphere.

There is no shortage of great sea excursions in Puerto Vallarta. You may choose to take a cruise along the wonderful Bay of Banderas for a sunset cruise or an ocean fishing excursion, not to mention the booze cruise. There are many fun boating excursion to enjoy.

Perhaps you're a movie star buff? If so, visit Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Button's former Puerto Vallarta home in Gringo Gulch. The home is open daily for tours, and is also a Bed And Breakfast. You may just want to spend the night, and capture the romance the Burton's found in the beautiful home overlooking the bay?

Perhaps you would like to stop in at Richard and Liz's favorite watering hole? Tequilas, located in Centro you can't miss it. Make sure to sit upstairs on the balcony, the waiters will point out Liz and Dick's favorite table. The view is great, the drinks strong. So be careful...

If you are a shopper, you will enjoy a large variety of shops Vallarta has to offer. One such store, "The Tile Factory" makes hand-painted unique Mexican tiles. On any given day you can stop in and watch tiles be painted by the stores artists. You may just want to buy a few. They are very inexpensive and make wonderful colorful sturdy coasters.

My husband and I have a tradition; we love to spend our last night dinning at atop the quaint Hotel La Siesta Hotel, at the hotels Panorama restaurant. The hotel is located in Gringo Gulch, and no better "view" can be found in Puerto Vallarta. It offers a 360 degree view of the bay, and town lights.

This outstanding restaurant was architecturally designed with an Arabic flavor and marble floors. Its elegant dining atmosphere is enhanced by strolling entertainers, for the dinners to enjoy. The food at the Panorama restaurant is excellent; many dishes are prepared right at your table side. If you dine around 9:30 PM you be able to enjoy the fireworks that are displayed off the Buccaneer Ship in Banderas Bay. It is a spectacular! Add the Sunset, the fresh night air, the delicious food, down to to the glorious fireworks. It all adds up to an evening you won't soon forget.  Puerto Vallarta Dining Guide

Puerto Vallarta---- it awakens the senses, and its beauty and charm is sure to captivate the soul. Once you have visited the Bay it will beckon you back, time and time again.

 

 
     
 

 

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