Puerto Vallarta | Jalisco, Mexico | Last week, during my visit/stay at Four Seasons Punta Mita, I got to spend time at Puerto Vallarta. Four influences converged during the 1960s and early 1970s to launch Puerto Vallarta into its trajectory toward becoming a major resort destination, but without a doubt, the extensive coverage to Elizabeth Taylor’s extramarital affair with Richard Burton, during the filming of “The Night of the Iguana” in a small town just south of Puerto Vallarta, put them in the spotlight.
Although my final destination was Punta Mita, approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes away, in the state of in Riviera Nayarit, all flights arrive to Puerto Vallarta. Therefore being my first time I took two hours to explore it. I must say that I found the Malecon – waterfront promenade, and the Romantic district or old Puerto Vallarta, quite quaint and charming, I was not sold by the destination. Puerto Vallarta is a mystic city that harbors tradition in its plazas, in its streets, in its people. Located on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, where Jalisco and Riviera Nayarit meet, Puerto Vallarta lays in the heart of Banderas Bay and offers both: tradition and vanguard. Only a few short hours flight from most major cities in the US and Canada.
For decades now, Puerto Vallarta has been the epicenter to the LGBT scene, the gourmet happening, and although I was very happy to spend time there for my tour, I found no comparison to my experience at Punta Mita and my time exploring the small towns along Riviera Nayarit. Rapid growth in tourist volume in Puerto Vallarta has given rise to rapid growth in hotel and rental apartment construction, but to my understanding in a way that has lost in translation the spirit and heritage of this destination. Do not get confused with Nuevo Vallarta, which is a pseudo South Beach in the heart of Riviera Nayarit, and nothing has in common with Puerto Vallarta.
Photo above, the Crown of Our Lady sculpture on top of the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Visit the Mercado Isle Cuale and Mercado Municipal Cuale – there are two large public markets in the Centro along the banks of the Cuale selling a variety of artisanal and souvenir goods. Plaza de Armas and City Hall. Unfortunately I did not have time to explore Playa Conchas Chinas – Chinese Shells Beach- the city’s most secluded beach, located to the South of the headland which forms the boundary of Los Muertos beach, which it might have changed my perspective of this destination.
Restaurant wise, this came highly recommended by locals: El Arrayan and Trio. And you must do a stop at one of the Coconut stalls and have your own Tejuino and Tuba experience. I did and I will blog about this separately. Enjoy CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
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