Saturday, February 3, 2018

Three Must-Do Things in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is said to be the safest place in Mexico for tourists and a city I'm visiting for the first time. Jungle, mountains, ocean - pick your poison. Or don't; in PV, you can have it all.

On the beach with a Dos Equis, Santana blares through the speakers - a dance version of Black Magic Woman. With an hour to waste before kayaking, I sit with a copy of Patti Smith's Just Kids in my lap, wondering how I got so lucky.

This is a resort town. There are still guys that walk the beach selling artisanal jewelry and blankets. "Hola, no gracias," I say, before turning back to my book. It's hot out and a grueling job, I suppose, to drag a bag of tchotchkes up and down the sand. I ponder if it's enough to make a living. But it seems like, in PV, locals have living all figured out. It's about experiences, not things, and I get it.


Three highlights of my trip:

Spending a night out on the town. Downtown PV (cobblestone streets, ocean breeze) has a weekly art walk that I'd highly recommend working into your itinerary. Local galleries stay open a little later than usual and some have free snacks and drinks for visitors. Art walk is also close to the Malecon, so strolling down this 11-block seaside promenade and maybe dropping into a bar or restaurant for cocktails and dancing is a must. Both locals and tourists hang around this part of town. 

Observing an assisted sea turtle release (those cute little suckers have a 10% chance of making it on their own, but the odds of survival go up to 30% in an assisted release) at the hotel. Mexico has developed one of the most advanced sea turtle protection programs globally, and I think that's pretty cool.

Tasting tequila at the top of a mountain. Rancho Verano is the one and only tequila distillery in Banderas Bay and drinking, I mean learning, about tequila is always a good time.

Though I'm sure I've said it already, I'll say it again: I am so in love with Mexico and everything it has to offer. More about my trip to PV and the stellar Hyatt Ziva hotel experience here.


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