Puerto Vallarta México Travel Tips
Travel Information - Where to stay, best restaurants, and things to do while you are in Puerto Vallarta.
By Sharon Stajda,
Puerto Vallarta It will awaken your senses, and captivate your soul. Puerto Vallarta Is a wonderful Mexican city that is fronted by the blue Pacific Ocean and backed by the lush, green tropical Sierra Madre Mountains. The people are friendly and charming, always helpful and accommodating.
The minute you set foot in Puerto Vallarta, you will realize you have arrived at a truly beautiful, and unique place. The town itself is split mainly into two sections, Old Town, and Centro, both having their own special qualities. It's my recommendations if visiting Puerto Vallarta, make sure to take full advantage of both areas. They have distinctively separate charms. Centro is the newer part of town, It consists of a wonderful boardwalk, that stretches the good length of the town, and continues down into the beach area of Old Town. At night you will find a large variety of free entertainment, to include music, magic, fireworks, and lots more. Centro also has wonderful shops and eateries. Not to mention the club's, that stays open until the last fun is had. Centro also has the town's Zocalo. (Town Square.) The Zocalo is the area that as a rule is in the center of town, where locals gather to visit and become acquainted. Old Town, is the older section of Puerto Vallarta is built up to the sand of the sea. It has a very relaxing feel and gives way to some of the most romantic restaurants, and accommodations that one can find in Mexico. The local citizens refer to it as Zone Romantica. It truly lives up to its name.
You Won't Need A Car - Getting Around
Getting around Puerto Vallarta is easy, cabs are cheap, and in abundance. After you get your bearings, you may just want to walk. It's a very easy town to maneuver on foot. Plus walking will give you the chance to enjoy the wonderful sights, and sounds the town has to offer. Not to mention the ocean, and its wonderful breezes that will invigorate you.
The Fabulous Weather!
One of the constants of Puerto Vallarta is the weather. They have a winter season, where it literally does not rain, with a very low humidity, this combination lends to spectacular weather. It provides warmth in the sun and cooling in the shade. The summer gives way to a rainy season, and hot steamy days, and nights. So the best time to visit is between November and March. What to pack for your trip? Summer clothes will do for daytime, and sleeves for the evening. Make sure to pack that sweater, the nights can be fresh and cool at times.
What To Pack For Your Trip To Puerto Vallarta?
The tone is casual... I always pack my Buxton Over The Shoulder Sling Bag, and a great pair of walking sandals. I love the comfort, and style of Ecco walking sandals.
Puerto Vallarta is a casual town. Bring comfortable shoes, there are cobblestone sidewalks in some areas. The weather is wonderful, so bring beach attire for the daytime. It's the kind of town you can live in your beach clothes, no one seems to notice? Bring a big beach bag, it helps to carry your shopping purchases. Plus, you may just want to bring a towel in your bag, you can swim just about anywhere. Remember Puerto Vallarta is fronted by sea, and you rarely are far from a fabulous beach. At night if you like you can dress for dinner, It depends on where you will be dining. But I will say, the evening wear is pretty casual even in the upscale restaurants. Always pack a sweater or jacket with sleeves, It cools down wonderfully at night. Make sure to pack suntan lotion. It's a must. With the dry air, you don't feel the sun and can burn easily.
Dining In Puerto Vallarta
Dinning is wonderful in Puerto Vallarta. There are a wide variety of restaurants. You absolutely can't go wrong when choosing a restaurant in Puerto Vallarta. It would be hard for me to recommend one restaurant over another. I do have my favorites though. One is Bravos in old town a few blocks from the beach. The staff is wonderful, and the owner always makes sure his guests have an unforgettable dining experience. Another favorite eatery I can highly recommend is La Palapas, located on the beach in Old Town. La Palapas is an upscale restaurant, again romantic and elegant, with a wide selection of food to choose from. This eatery offers up wonderful soft live music, nightly. My husband and I have a tradition; we love to spend our last night dining at atop the quaint Hotel La Siesta Hotel, at the hotel's Panorama restaurant. The hotel is located in Gringo Gulch and no better "view" can be found in Puerto Vallarta. It offers a 360-degree view of the bay and town lights.
Just A few Wonderful Eateries I can Recommend
- Le Kliff...
This is a beautiful restaurant, that is about 10 minutes south of town. The ride will give you a chance to see the gold zone. You won't find any more spectacular views in Puerto Vallarta. Le Kliffs hangs out over the bluff and has the most wonderful sunsets. The food is wonderful. It's a very romantic setting. Just the place to pop the question, and return the following year and book your wedding at the Kliffs. Remember PV is known for its endless sunny days. Makes it a wonderful place to plan that special day.
- Restaurante Barcelona Tapas Restaurant...
This is a great place if you love tapas. You feel as if you are in Barcelona. It is set high on the hill in The Centro part of town. If I made up the hill, you will. It's worth the hike. The view of the sea is wonderful. They serve dinner only. So please don't hike up that hill for lunch... Try the freshly made sangria. It's so-- good.
- La Palapa...
This restaurant is one of my favorite. It is located on the beach in Old Town. It's elegant, the food is superb, the staff wonderful. The soft live music... Must I say more?
- Archies Wok...
If you love Asian food, please do yourself a favor, and eat at Archie's Wok. Wonderful food, atmosphere, and live easy listening music.
Archie's is in Old Town.
Has Wonderful seafood, and local Mexican food. Inexpensive, Quaint atmosphere, wonderful staff, all and all I give this one five stars, and a must try restaurant Located in Centro are. Address: Josefa O.De Dominguez No. 223
Shopping in Puerto Vallarta
There are so many options...
Shopping in Puerto Vallarta is wonderful. You can find all kinds of wonderful things to buy. Whether you want to spend a little or a lot... You will find Puerto Vallarta a great place to spend some time shopping!
Just Need some Souvenirs
For the person that just wants to spend a bit of cash, visit the Flea Market. They have low prices, plus it's fine to bargain. The Street vendors and beach vendors also bargain, so don't be afraid to say no to the first few prices offered.
Oh The Silver
You will find silver galore... It's sold by weight, and you can get some wonderfully unique pieces.
Take time to Visit The Glass Factory. You will find not only a wonderful glass item's but they also have great silver art pieces. Its right in town, and very easy to walk to.
The Tile Factory-- Is right next to the Glass Factory. Stop in and watch the tiles being hand painted. You can find the unique wash bowls there, and much more. They ship and small items are packed for the trip home.
Old Town is minutes from Puerto Vallarta Centro. This part of town is the best to head for if you are a serious shopper. You will find loads of one of a kind art, jewelry, clothing, and home accessories.
The Department Store Lans
Lans is a department store. If you need a good brand of cosmetics, perfume, sunglasses, you might want to go Lans. It's a great department store comparable to a department store you would find in the states.
Where To Stay In Puerto Vallarta
Where to stay, this will depend on what kind of accommodation you desire? Puerto Vallarta offers a wide variety of accommodations, from large chain hotels to the luxury condo and villa rentals. You can also find wonderful smaller charming hotels. I always recommend one turn to the Internet, where you can research all options. My husband and I have made Puerto Vallarta a yearly destination for some years or more. If we stay in town, we prefer Old Town and renting a condo on the beach. If we stay a bit out of town, we love the south of town. It provides some of the most spectacular views, and sunsets one will ever see. As a rule, both areas are a step above, when it comes to charm, and relaxation. The hotel zone has the larger chain hotels, and they are geared toward activity. I find the hotel zone a bit overstimulating. I think this is due to the multitude of people that are under one roof? There are also adult friendly hotels. Price will vary; you can find wonderful inexpensive accommodations, along with very high-end spa hotels.