Written by Erin Cardwell.
I would unquestionably consider myself an adventurous soul. I am the type of person who will order the least appetizing menu item at a restaurant before I order the same thing twice; the type of person who gets lost driving more often than not while trying to find a new “scenic route.” That being said, I have to admit that I was skeptical when I first heard Puerto Vallarta’s tourism motto, “Live it More than Once.”
Live it more than once? Travel to the same place instead of seeking a new adventure? The concept was completely beyond me. That is, of course, until I visited the beautiful Banderas Bay and got a small taste of the countless attractions the area has to offer.
Puerto Vallarta really is a destination for nearly any type of traveler. The area is such a welcoming one that you cannot help but immediately fall in love. It is a truly hospitable destination where you can tell that every resident is glad you have chosen to spend your limited vacation time with them. This is a great draw for every kind of traveler: no matter who you are or where you come from it is nice to be welcomed with a smile and kind greeting.
If you’re an active vacationer looking for a little adventure Puerto Vallarta is the destination for you. You can ride a mule into the jungle and zip line through the trees, go off-roading through remote villages to the heart of the Sierra Madre, or swim with a bottlenose dolphin. Still want more? How about a sea safari that includes horse riding, sea kayaking, and snorkeling all in a one day adventure. And let’s not forget one of the most exhilarating adventure options; an ATV ride through the jungles, villages, and even rivers of the state of Jalisco. Puerto Vallarta is the perfect destination for an active vacationer looking for a thrill.
If you’re looking for something a little more relaxing you might want to try one of the area’s award winning spas, or just spend time relaxing on a golden beach, listening to the waves roll onto the shore. With so many luxury resorts to choose from to get pampered at, an all-inclusive stay in Puerto Vallarta is the perfect escape from reality.
If you fall somewhere between thrill seeking and total relaxation: don’t worry, you are not forgotten on the scenic Pacific Mexican coast! Unlike tourist destinations like Cancun that were created for the purpose of tourism, Puerto Vallarta blossomed into the tourist destination it is today from a charming fishing and farming village. The traditions and culture of the original fishing and farming families can be found in many of the shopping areas found along Banderas Bay. Take a stroll down the Malecon during the day for shopping, cafes, art and sculpture, or arrive in the evening to find a bustling night-life with several clubs full of drinks, dancing, and DJ’s. Take a tour to ayulitas, a quaint artisan town and surfing destination that has won the hearts of artists and surfers from all over the world who have now made it their home, or catamaran to Las Caletas for beautiful natural scenery including Los Arcos, unusual arched rock formations reaching out of the ocean. See the area in style aboard a luxury Beneteau yacht while observing wild dolphins and sipping an ice-cold beverage in the tropical sun.
After having been to Puerto Vallarta, it is very clear to me why the same vacationers return year after year. From the jungle, to the sea (which is not much of a distance in many areas of Puerto Vallarta), to the friendly people, to the wide variety of activities available, the area has a magnetism that is difficult to convey. A magnetism that emanates from the stimulation of all of your senses; the sight of the sun rising over the jungle and setting on the sparkling ocean, the scent of the cool lavender towels greeting you at the entrance of a luxury hotel, the feel of the warm wind on your face as you speed through the trees of the jungle on a zip line, the sounds of laughter and music spilling from each club of the Malecon boardwalk as you walk by, and the tastes- oh, the tastes! I ate more food in the 4 days that I was in Puerto Vallarta than I usually do in a week. From 3 course breakfasts including crab cakes Benedict, to ricotta cheese balls dipped in dark chocolate, to drinks that were so extravagant they could be considered a meal, my taste buds were never bored. I would go back to Puerto Vallarta just for the food!
So, despite my skepticism, the once small fishing and farming village on the Pacific coast has won my heart and is calling me back again, and I hope for the opportunity to “live it more than once.”