Just when you think you have experienced everywhere in Latin America, a place comes along that breaks every trend and rule you thought was standard. That place is Puerto Vallarta. Located on the Pacific coast, this hot Mexican destination has many of the experiences you would expect from a Latin American vacation, but in a completely different context. Its unique position in the Western portion of Mexico means that while it offers all of the ‘standard’ adventures one may expect, there is always a new delight to discover in this hidden paradise.
Puerto Vallarta has seen considerable development in the last few decades that have transformed it into an ideal destination for tourists. All of these upgrades, however, have not diminished the character and integrity of the original destination. Now, Puerto Vallarta offers the tourist a comfortable stay in an amenity filled area while maintaining the charm and friendliness of a smaller Mexican town. Often called the most welcoming place in Mexico, Puerto Vallarta is a one of a kind experience on the Western side of the country.
Having been a tourist destination for Western Americans, Canadians and Mexicans for decades, Puerto Vallarta has a developed tourist service industry with many options for excursions, public services, transportation and accommodations. It is a good idea to do some research before your trip in order to ensure you get the best deal that is suited to your own needs, as many resorts and hotels will only promote selected tours. Accommodation research is also essential as the area has a number of different options to suit everything you are looking for. Competition in the area remains high, so with a little bit of research, you should be able to find the perfect places to stay and play.
Whether you are staying in town or in a nearby resort area, be sure to visit the town centre. You have the unique chance in Puerto Vallarta to visit an authentic and thriving Mexican town within the comforts of the tourist industry. A quick taxi or bus ride will get you to the centre, where you can visit the various markets and quaint shops in the middle of town. While tourism has begun to shape the area, the town centre still offers an authentic Mexican cultural experience that is rare in most resort areas. Try some local restaurants while you are in town and experience true Mexican cuisine. This is also an excellent place to find local artisans where you can purchase authentic Mexican arts and crafts.
Puerto Vallarta is one of the top sport fishing destinations of Western Latin America. The avid sportsmen should be ready to experience an unforgettable water adventure while fishing for blue marlin, sailfish and tuna. More experienced fishermen should prepare for the more expensive excursions as they offer the best chances for the ‘big catch’; however, the more casual fisher can still enjoy the deep blue Pacific on beginner trips. Whatever you choose, do some researches before you leave to ensure you get the fishing package that is best for your experience and budget.
If you would rather view the fish in the sea, consider a scuba or snorkeling excursion. A variety of companies, many of which are connected with local resorts, offer a number of hourly or full day options. From quiet bay cruises with off the boat snorkeling, to deep sea scuba diving, the ocean around Puerto Vallarta is perfect to discover the underwater world of the Pacific. If you are used to the Atlantic and Caribbean side of Latin America, you will be pleasantly surprised at the different species you will encounter in the Pacific. A ‘must-do’ for even the most experienced water adventurer.
For all of the land lovers, Puerto Vallarta has plenty to explore. Most of the area is surrounded by dense tropical forests that can be discovered on your own or as a part of your group. If you have not hiked through the tropics before, it is highly recommended to join an excursion group or hire a local guide, both of which offer a number a options to suit your individual needs. Whether you want to discover the unique birds of Puerto Vallarta, uncover a hidden waterfall, or horseback through the tree lined trails, this area has a number of affordable and unique experiences.
Puerto Vallarta is the place that breaks with the ordinary that shows you the diversity of Latin America, and really offers the unique experience the avid traveller may be seeking. With it’s positioning on the Pacific Ocean, the flora and fauna in this area is unique to any other destination in Latin America. The area of Puerto Vallarta offers the same experiences and amenities you have come to expect, but with a unique twist that is simply not found anywhere else.