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What is Your Ideal Vacation to Puerto Vallarta?

by Craig Zabransky on April 18, 2011

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Puerto Vallarta offers a multitude options for the traveler. From total rest and relaxation to loads of adventure and activities available daily.  And each person I speak with about the destination tells a different tale, has a different favorite experience or must do. and even for myself, my most recent trips there created different experiences, from a romantic getaway to a culinary adventure. Yes, the seaside town provides plenty of ways to enjoy a Mexican vacation.

Then after reading  What is Your Ideal Cabo Vacation, I decided to ask All About Mexico staff similar question about Puerto Vallarta.

I got some great answers – and we would love to hear about your ideal Puerto Vallarta Vacation as well.

Where Would You Stay in Puerto Vallarta?

Location, location, location. Sometimes, where we stay clearly sets the stage for the type of vacation we want to have. Here is where the staff would stay (or want to stay next)

the view of the pool from my Suite at the Sheraton

Laurie Gourley (Partner and Travel Addict - @allaboutlaurie) – When I travel I prefer to stay in a Villa but in this case I have always wanted to stay at the Four Seasons in Punta Mita. I have head rave reviews and really could use the relaxation that it is rumored to inspire.

Aleasha Stephens (Director of Marketing - @allaboutaleash) – I would stay in a private beach bungalow tucked away from it all.

Jeanne Garland (Interior Designer and Partner) The Marriot at the Marina.  Great location and in walking distance to a variety of restaurants, shops and spas.  We definitely had a great day at the spa and enjoyed our 1 1/2 hour massage and the 1 hr facial. A great deal and very relaxing on  a rainy day.

Marivic Brook (Social Media Manger - @allaboutmexico) – El Presidente

Craig Zabransky (All About Puerto Vallarta Blogger and self proclaimed “Mexico Afficinado” - @stayadventurous) – I love staying close to the action of downtown, but on my next visit I might try to spend a few days in a resort along the Riviera Nayarit.

Cara Gourley (Director of Web Content - @allaboutcara) – I love the marina in Puerto Vallarta so I think I’d probably rent a condo above the marina.

Carla Fiorito (All About Cancun Blogger) – Casa Velas Boutique Hotel.. it looks amazing.

What Would You do in Puerto Vallarta?

With so many activities available, I asked the staff how they’d spend their day. Here is what they said.

a remote beach south of downtown Puerto Vallarta

Laurie Gourley – I would rent a yacht with crew and spend the day cruising on the beautiful banderas bay. It’s a great way to experience Puerto Vallarta. We would go whale watching, fishing and stop in Yalapa for lunch and of course have some Pie. There would definitely be a bit of snorkeling and beach hopping. The staff would make fresh made margaritas and guacamole to make it a complete day.

Aleasha Stephens – Beach-hop all day, every day! (Not a bad call as Puerto Vallarta has over 40 beaches to choose from)

Jeanne Garland- My favorite thing to do at all beautiful tropical resorts is to enjoy the beach.   It is so therapeutic and I am always in awe of the incredibly beautiful ocean.  It is magnetic to me.  Having the hotel and a pool there next to you completes a fun filled day for me.

Marivic Brook - Dive the Los Arcos marine park, zipline and  many other adventure tours

Craig Zabransky - spend a Sunday afternoon on the Malecon and definitely spend a Wednesday night on the Art Walk.

Cara Gourley -  Anything out on the water – sailing, cruising or snorkeling.  I love all the fish, porpoises and even whales you can see while out in the bay!

Carla Fiorito – Anything with the local culture, or the beach. (Don’t worry, in Vallarta the beach is part of the culture)

Where / What do you eat?

Since Puerto Vallarta is widely considered the best “foodie” in Mexico outside Mexico City, a question about food needed to be asked. Plus it is often what people remember most from their travels. Yum.

my appetizer at the Hot Listed Cafe Des Artistes

Laurie Gourley -  This is a really hard one because Puerto Vallarta offers so many beautiful and unique restaurants to choose from. I love Le Kliff for the ambiance and Artistes has great food and a killer outdoor patio. I can’t forget the Happy Lobster boating the best sea food platter in town.  Since you are making me choose I would go with La Palapa for a romantic evening.  They will let you reserve a private table on the beach.  You follow a short path lit by candles and torches to your private table almost at the foot of the waves. Watching the sunset with a great glass of wine is the main course. I love the food and its a great restaurant for couples and big groups as well.

Aleasha Stephens – I always like to experiment with local specialties I can’t get at home. In Puerto Vallarta, I couldn’t leave with out trying some esquites and local seafood dishes.

Jeanne Garland - The food was great everywhere we went and ambiance is so different in each restaurant.  Our concierge helped suggest restaurants, although I wouldn’t rely solely on them.  Ask others and compare notes!

Marivic Brook – Seafood, lots of seafood.

Craig Zabransky – I would return to Cafe Des Artistes and finish my meal. I enjoyed the appetizer there, but I still need to entertain a main and of course dessert.

Cara Gourley – Just outside of Puerto Vallarta I like the Le Kliff. Great food, beautiful views and friendly staff. Not to mention fantastic sunsets!!!  As for in town – La Dolce Vita is right on the Malecon and makes for excellent people watching. And yummy pizza.

Carla Fiorito – I am not that familiar with Puerto Vallarta, but I would hear there are many amazing restaurants and I’d enjoy them as much as I can. (You’ll definitely find that in Vallarta)

So what’s your ideal Puerto Vallarta Vacation?

photos: All photos by Craig Zabransky


Craig travels around the world to write tales of travel aimed to encourage and inspire others to take and make adventure in their life. And after calling Mexico home for over a year, it secured a special place in his heart. He continues to return often and often considers it his second home. You can find more of his travels on his Stay Adventurous site and follow him on his Twitter: @stayadventurous..
Craig Zabransky
View all posts by Craig Zabransky
  • http://www.traveldesigned.com TravelDesigned

    I love the views and the pools at La Jolla de Mismaloya. It’s fun to watch the fishermen there. I’ve also stayed at the Embarcadero where you can watch the yachts come and go.

    We always go to La Chata to eat. It’s on the Malecon and not real expensive. It is especially nice to get a table on the balcony to people watch.
    If you go in the winter, it is fun to go whale watching.

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