I just spent the last week relaxing in Puerto Vallarta (PV), Mexico. It was a rather last minute vacation. Our last major vacation was back in March (Bali). We had little mini trips throughout the summer to NY, Miami, New Orleans, etc, but I was just itching for a week long trip somewhere...anywhere warm! Given the state of the economy, swine flu scares, and "current events" in Mexico, we ended up getting an amazing deal at a Westin timeshare in PV. I don't get scared off too easily from traveling :)
This is the first trip where we didn't plan out anything or do activities. We literally just lounged by the pool all day, got up to grab lunch, late afternoon 2 for 1 margaritas, lounged some more, then got up again for dinner :) Not really my style of vacation, since I love exploring and having constant activity, but we just decided to try something new. It was a welcomed change, and Neil was happy not to be dragged around everywhere. But, if you are an activity person, there's still tons to do in PV. They have several canopy tours to choose from along with typical ATV, snorkeling, diving activities, sunset cruises, etc. You can make it as relaxing or active as you desire.
The weather was fabulous for me, but scorching for Neil...about low 90s everyday. You won't find me complaining in the warmth :) The town was fairly quiet. Besides people's weariness to fly to Mexico right now, it is low season, and the town was primarily populated with Mexican tourists. They like to come out before the town is bombarded with American tourists.
We got to eat some great food, see fabulous sunsets, and always got prime spots at the pool. Besides the pool, we mostly hung out at the Malecon area in PV. This is a pedestrian friendly zone at the beach, with several restaurants, bars, and nightlife. There's also some live shows along the bridge that occur at night. Another area is the Marina, also abundant with restaurants. Our resort was right next to the Marina. Due to the low season, most tourists were in the Malecon versus the Marina. The Marina is about a 15 minute drive from downtown (Malecon), so we rented a car for the week. However, there's a convenient bus service as well. Below, I listed some places that we went to and others that were recommended to us.
It was the perfect little getaway, and should keep me put for the time being. Anyways, the holidays are right around the corner!
Le Bodeguita del Medio- Malecon area; the food was very average and lacked flavor, but the place is always packed. The have a live band and very active salsa dancing. You have to go after hours just to see the locals do salsa. They are amazing.
Barcelona Tapas- Malecon area; excellent for sunsets and fun spanish tapas. Need a reservation.
Si Senor- Malecon area; Mexican restaurant with fabulous mole sauces.
Las Palapas- Malecon- at beach; Ecclectic with mexican influence; outdoors; nice view of beach and sunset. Reservation recommended for beach front.
El Fogon- Marina area- fun Mexican food; great fish tacos
Caio- Malecon area; highly recommended; Mexican fusion
Astair- Malecon area; highly recommended, high-end French fusion
PiPi's- Malecon area; Mexican/Tex Mex; frequented by a lot of locals; very casual
El Aryan- Malecon area; Modern mexican
Pepes- Malecon area; good for tacos; very casual
El Coleguita- Marina area- fresh seafood; good for lunch because they close around 7pm once they run out of fresh seafood
Marismos- Malecon area has a taco stand, but Marina has a restaurant- best fish and shrimp tacos in PV; it's a dive, so better for lunch
8 Tostadas- Marina area; frequented by a lot of locals
Coffee Cup- Marina and Malecon areas- great coffees, pastries, and sandwiches if you want something light; good for breakfast and lunch
Punto V- Malecon area; This place was our favorite after hours place. They played great 80s and 90s music. On nights when they have a Mexican crowd, they play a lot of spanish music. We had a blast on all nights. They serve a decent lunch as well with a nice view of the beach.
Malecon Beach Bars- you'll find random beach bars along the Malecon beach serving drinks, barbeque, and mexican food. I enjoyed sitting at the beach during the afternoon for a drink and chips/guac.