HAVING FUN IN PV
Over my many years in Puerto Vallarta, many things have changed; most for the good, a few for the bad, but overall Puerto Vallarta just gets better and better every day.
Before most of my guests arrive they ask me what to do and where to go. I have developed my own lists of what I consider the “Must do in PV”. Although most people come on holiday to do a bit of partying, I encourage everyone who stays in my homes to get out and explore this town. There is so much to see and so much to do.
So here is a preview of some of my best suggestions on how to spend your time here. Once you make a reservation we can help you with other suggestions to make this a very special vacation.
HIT THE BEACH
Puerto Vallarta is a big beach town. In high season Los Muertos beach can get very busy. It’s fun and exciting. In low season it’s a bit more relaxed. No matter when you come, spend some time on the beach.
Los Muertos beach is the closest beach to my homes. If you walk down and land on the beach somewhere between the river and the south end of the beach you are in the right place.
Here’s how it works. You will find many bars and restaurants all up and down the beach. At most of them you don’t pay anything to use their chairs. You simply find a place you like, pick out your chairs and umbrella and you are set. All you really have to do it buy a few beverages or lunch and you can hang out for the day. The waiters work very hard in the hot sun and hot sand so a tip of at least 20% is usually what I do. It’s still a fairly inexpensive way to hang out at the beach.
You will also find some areas where you can just bring your towel and your own lunch and hang out. Most of the beach is very mixed. You will find people from all over the world. You will find young and old, brown and white, gay and straight, families and friends. If you go to the far south end (away from the downtown area to your left as you are facing the water) you will find the gay beach. Puerto Vallarta is one of the most popular destination spots in the world for gay and lesbian travelers. Blue Chairs is the gay place with the name, however, many prefer the “green chairs” (not really all green anymore) at Ritmo’s Beach Café. There is much more room and you can actually get into the sun. The Blue Chairs is a very small space and very crowded with chairs.
If you go beyond the gay beach you will find the last block or so there are no bars or hotels. That’s a good place if you want to hang out with less people around. If you cross the rocks at the end of the beach you can keep going and find smaller beaches. Keep going. Explore. That’s what PV is all about.
Almost anywhere on the beach you will find the “beach vendors”. They are selling everything from necklaces to ceramic pots, silver jewelry, rugs, muffins, pies, fish and anything else you might or not need. I have great respect for these people. They work very hard and this is their living. Don’t be afraid to talk to them. If you see something you are interested in take a look. They can be a bit expensive to start but you can usually get things for about 50% to 75% of their initial asking price. Bartering is part of the game. I believe in being respectful and paying a decent price. Sometimes an extra 5 bucks doesn’t mean all that much to me but it might mean a great deal to them. Spend time getting to know them. You might make a new friend. They are good people. If they are hanging out with you for 30 minutes or so while you shop, buy them water or a coke. It’s a nice thing to do.
Also on the beach you will find guys selling Jet Ski rentals, Banana boat rides, Para-sailing, etc. Do it. You can bargain a bit there too. If you want to see all of PV go Para-sailing, the view and experience is wonderful. I think they quote anywhere from $500 pesos ($50 bucks to $40).
Go Swimming. The water is fun. In winter season it’s a bit too cool for me. In summer it’s perfect. The waves can be great fun. Sometimes they can be a bit wild. Just be careful. When you go in the water just ask your neighbor on the beach to keep their eye on your stuff. I’ve never had anything happen, but we should always be cautious.
All of my homes have beach towels or pool towels that you can take to the beach. That’s all you need besides your sunglasses, your bare feet and few bucks in your pocket.
WALK, WALK, WALK
If you want to experience PV, you have to walk. There is so much to see and you will miss it if you take cabs everywhere.
Here are some suggestions:
Walk the Malecón (boardwalk). One of my regular walks is the Malecón. Just head down and toward the water. Head toward downtown to your right along the water and you will come to it. It’s probably 15 blocks long. You can walk on the water side or the shopping side. There is a wonderful sculpture gallery all along the Malecón. Take your camera.
When you are on the Malecón, look up away from the water, there are hills up there. Take off and head up. If you see a staircase, go up. If you can go right or left just go whichever way looks most interesting to you. You will be walking in the local Mexican neighborhoods. It’s safe anywhere in PV. Don’t be afraid to keep walking. It’s such a great adventure.
You can really get lost. Just walk down and toward the water and you are found again. If you do get lost, ask for help or grab a cab. Again, it’s all safe.
GO OUT SUNDAY NIGHT
Sunday is family night on the Malecón. If you go early at about 6 to 6:30pm they have a band (not very good band but) on the square. Many of the older local people come to dance. It’s actually very sweet. If you come down or stay down later it gets very busy. You will find many Mexican families, food vendors, artists and just people. If you walk behind the white sails that are behind Los Arcos (the cantera arches) you will find a whole row of food vendors.
This might be a good night to go to El Arrayan for Dinner. Walk up a block or two from the water and go to your left. Walk to Allende (maybe 8 blocks or so), turn right up the hill a few blocks until you come to the bright pink building on your right. That’s El Arrayan. Tell them Jeffery sent you.
TRY A LITTLE ADVENTURE
There are many tours and activities to do in Puerto Vallarta. Get out and try something new. You can spend the day flying through the jungle on a zip line through one of the canopy tour companies. You can swim with dolphins, go whale watching (seasonal), snorkeling, horseback riding, or even take your first scuba lesson. Once in town you will find plenty of places where you can sign up for tours or simply plan your own with the help of my staff.
TAKE A DAY TRIP
It’s fun to get up early one day and head out of town. My two favorite trips are Sayulita and Yelapa.
Sayulita is a small village about 40 minutes to an hour north of town. You can take a bus, hire a cab or rent a car. You can spend the day exploring the little town, walking the beach, learning to surf and having lunch. It’s just a fun day in a very quaint Mexican village.
Yelapa is about an hour south of Puerto Vallarta by water taxi. You can catch the taxi at the pier on Los Muertos Beach or you can hop the bus to Boca de Tomatlan and take the boat taxi from there. Either way it’s a nice adventure. The beach is covered in a blanket of golden sand, and is a superb place to swim, snorkel, or para-sail. If you are not that energetic you can just relax in one of the numerous beach chairs, soak up the sun, and enjoy a a nice lunch. Walk up to the waterfall and see the small town.
Most of all, enjoy your stay. If you have something specific you want to do or need to plan a special event or evening, let me help. Email me in advance and let me know what your interests are.