Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Best Activities in Puerto Vallarta [Mexico]

Joe and I on our city tour

I am still blown away by my incredible trip to Puerto Vallarta last week. For anyone planning a trip or  contemplating a trip, I knew I needed to share my highlights [favorite activities]. 

Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish

City Tour: The thing that separates Puerto Vallarta from other desirable spots in Mexico is its rich history. We were fortunate enough to receive a free city tour, courtesy of our hotel [Barcelo Puerto Vallarta]. Our tour wondered around Old Town which is essentially the downtown area. We saw the Love Bridge by Elizabeth Taylor's home, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, and the boardwalk. Puerto Vallarta was originally a mining town that transitioned into a fishing town then transformed into a tourist destination. The film, The Night of the Iguana (1964), brought attention to this area [the birth of the first international airport in this city]. After our walk, we bused to an area that is still home to locals and did a tequila tasting. 

Tequila Tasting

Tequila Tasting: Puerto Vallarta has an endless supply of tequila tasting spots. Fortunately our city tour included a tequila tasting but if you wonder around town, you will find dozens at reasonable prices. I highly recommend partaking in a tequila tasting during your stay. We experienced unique flavored tequilas such as almond, chocolate, and coffee. We had to come home with the almond tequila for drinking and perhaps baking [so good]. 

Zoologico de Vallarta

Zoo: Several people recommended this zoo prior to my trip. I did my research and was excited to learn this zoo was only a 15 minute walk from our resort. We ventured to this zoo and were not disappointed. I will go into more details in another post later this week but let's just say you will have a unique experience [I've never been to a zoo like this one]. 

Horseback Riding

Horseback Riding: Initially we were under the impression that we were going for a ride on a beach [on my must-do list]. Sadly we learned we couldn't ride horses on the beach so we would be going around the town. We ended up really enjoying our experience and seeing a lot more of the true Puerto Vallarta. My advice: shop around for deals. I saw some higher rates at tourist shops [upwards of $80]. We ended up paying $10/hour/person because we settled for sitting through a timeshare presentation. Although we got a free breakfast, I would never do it again. My advice is to do some research online to find a reasonable price. 

Barcelo Spa

Massage: For my birthday, my best friend gave Joe and I a couples massage at the resort. It was wonderful. The spa at our resort was overlooking the ocean and the entire experience was incredibly relaxing [and luxurious]. Our club premium room status allowed us to receive 20% off all spa services so I opted for an eye treatment and spa pedicure as well; the prices were not outrageous. 

Playa Mismaloya

Sunset: My final suggestion is entirely free: watching the sunset. Puerto Vallarta has breathtaking sunsets every single day. On this particular day [my birthday], Joe got us a private dinner on a deck overlooking the ocean at sunset. If you visit Barcelo Puerto Vallarta, I recommend the romantic private dinners. We had a three course meal with our very own personal waiter: yellow fin tuna carpaccio, guava sherbet with tequila, surf and turf [steak & lobster with mashed potatoes], coffee with chocolate fondant, wine, & a surprise birthday cake. It was amazing and delicious!

These are my top recommendations. If you've visited Puerto Vallarta before, please leave a comment with your recommendations. Also, if you'd like any specific links or further information, I am happy to provide you with additional help! 

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