There are many fantastic destinations for a vacation across the world, and as we are now in the age of genuinely cheap air travel, places that were once largely inaccessible are now regular tourist spots. The world has opened up a great deal in the past few decades – even cruises are now more affordable than ever – and we now travel to places that we might never have known existed before. While choosing a holiday is fun, the range of options nowadays makes deciding where to go even more difficult!
What do you want from your holiday? For some, a vacation is about taking in the sun on a glorious beach; for others, it’s about exploring new places and investigating local culture and history. Then there’s what to do in the evening – if you’re looking for nightlife, you want a town or city that offers you that opportunity. Puerto Vallarta, in Mexico, is a stunning place that offers you all of this and more, and the great thing is there is a wide choice of accommodation in the form of vacation rentals in Puerto Vallarta and the local area.
Located on the Bay of Banderas, a stunning stretch of coast on the Pacific Ocean, Puerto Vallarta has become established as one of the most prestigious and popular resorts in Mexico, yet you do not get the feeling of being over-run. This is a small city with a lovely, friendly atmosphere, and one with plenty to offer the visitor.
The Beaches of Puerto Vallarta
For many people, it is the beaches along the bay that make Puerto Vallarta very special; there are various sizes of beach to choose from, and some are secluded with quaint coves to explore. The main beach, the oddly named ‘Beach of the Dead’ – it comes from a legend about pirates and local fishermen – is a vast expanse of beautiful sand where you can relax and watch the world go by. In direct contrast is the almost totally private Playa Las Caletas, once the private retreat of John Huston, the film director, and now a beach and nature reserve that is as secluded as it gets.
Whichever beach is local to you, you will have the benefit of glorious clear waters, so swimming and diving are both a must. The spectacular rock formations that you see rising from the water provide a perfect habitat for a wide variety of sea creatures underneath, and there are loving reefs off many of the beaches so you can view the most exotic fish and other animals in the clear waters perfectly.
Fishing is also a popular pastime here – indeed, the local cuisine is largely seafood oriented – and you can try your hand if you wish on one of the many charter boats along the bay. Or, you could try one of the surfing spots, or watch the whales that visit the bay in the season. It’s a wonderful place to simply enjoy the coast, and a perfect place for both adults and children looking for a beach holiday.
Where to Eat
As with all of Mexico, food is a large part of life in Puerto Vallarta, and you will find good restaurants throughout the city, and along many of the beaches. Take a walk along the beautiful paved walkway, the Malecon, and you will see fine places to eat, and the Old Town of the city is also a great place to find local food. It’s not really where to eat that concerns you, but what you should eat when you get there!
Of course, you want to try the local specialities; have a look at any menu and you will undoubtedly be offered Ceviche; this is a raw fish dish, so may not be to everyone’s taste, but it is certainly worth a try. You get a selection of fish, plus scallops and shrimps, all served with onions and peppers, in a lime juice sauce. This gives the fish a chewy texture, and it is rather delicious too.
If raw fish doesn’t appeal, try the grilled red snapper, marinated in a sauce of peppers garlic and spices, or check out the local Mahi-mahi, which is a skewer of meat grilled over coals and served with a local hot sauce, and often sold by street and beach vendors. Also, pop into one of the local bars and sample the real tequila – you will enjoy it, perhaps too much!
Check Out the City
As much of Puerto Vallarta is dedicated to pedestrians, it is an easy city to explore on foot, and with plenty of interesting architecture – especially some very charming churches – there is much to see. There are also some fascinating galleries and museums, so you can catch up with the local history and culture, and you might want to sit down in a street café, and watch the world go by for a while. You should also visit the Plaza de Armas, the central square in the city, where you may be lucky enough to catch a live concert or simply enjoy the relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
After a fun day, you can retire to your luxury villa, where you may cook for yourself or, if you have chosen, have a meal made for you. With stunning furnishings, a pool and a relaxing outdoor area, you have a genuine home from home, so check out the available vacation rentals now, and you will be surprised how affordable it can be to book a family holiday or romantic break in this truly glorious city.