The best part of winter in Chicago is escaping to a place where the sun shines bright, warms you all the way through, the water shimmers while the waves crash on the beach and you are welcomed by the locals who want to share their home with you. For me, that is found within the beauty of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
As someone who has been fortunate to travel for both work and pleasure, finding a warm weather vacation spot is always a bonus. And Puerto Vallarta, or P.V. to those frequent visitors, is a small piece of heaven.
Traveling from Chicago to PV is relatively easy if you are able to grab the one or two airlines that offer direct flights. American and United offer flights with American have more scheduling options. Over the years that I have been visiting here, I have watched the PV airport grow and become more comfortable and entertaining for travelers. The message really is that this beautiful place that I love to visit is being discovered by so many other lucky travelers.
There are many things about PV that make it special. The obvious is the scenery and weather. In January and February, you will find temps in the 60’s during the evening and 80’s in the daytime. Perfect. I simply never tire of looking at the water and skyline. Peaceful.
I really want to talk about the locals and their genuine kindness. They show such respect for the tourists visiting their home. It is something that never ceases to astound me. They truly appreciate your business. While there are a few heavy marketing focused locals, (you know, those that push the time shares and tours), the grand majority are doing what they can to help you enjoy your visit to their city.
PV is broken down into neighborhoods or zones: Romantic, Hotel, Marina, Old Town, etc. Each area has it’s own feel to it. Wherever you decide to stay, try to take the time to visit the other communities to enrich your experience in PV. The Malecon or Boardwalk is the heart of the activity during the day and night. You will find restaurants, shops, theater, music, and art activities going on all day long.
If you are looking for a hotel that offers luxury, amenities and service, venture to the 4 Diamond Marriott CasaMagna in the Marina. It offers glorious views, a number of restaurants, and tranquility. You are just 25 minutes from downtown PV should you want to explore the restaurants and life near the Malecon.
On the Malecon, you will find all sorts of activities as I have shared. Here is an example of a local man who has been making purses for years now. He is friendly and so very talented. He works hard to customize his bags for his loyal customers. If you are unfamiliar with these bags, he makes them out of soda or water can tops! While you will now see purses similar to his in shops at home, supporting him locally is the best.
If you are looking for luxury, you will find many beautiful golf courses, restaurants and spas to enhance your visit. Head to the marina and you will find the Marina Club de Golf for a round of golf and a lovely breakfast or lunch. Try such dishes as the omelette with healthy avocado or the traditional chiliquiles, a glass of fresh fruit juice and a steaming cup of coffee. Now that is how you start the day off right.
This trip was a quick visit but we did dine at our favorite restaurant on the Malecon: Vitea.
Not only is the food spectacular, but the view is the icing on the cake (or the salt on the margarita glass!). You are just steps away from the crashing waves of Banderas Bay. My dish of choice is the BBQ Red Snapper with the Bistro Salad. Light, flavorful and absolutely delicious. If you are a meat eater, then you must try the Rosemary Grilled Pork Tenderloin with plantains, potatoes and spinach with the Lime and Ginger Vinaigrette with Avocado Salad. Highly suggest making reservations.
If you were waiting to see how we celebrated our first night in Puerto Vallarta, here you go. Guacamole made at your table to your taste….Bachas at the Marina all the way!
And the piece de resistance of our welcome:
If you are wondering why the glass of water is there, it is to show how LARGE the margaritas are! And icy cold with just enough tequila to remind you that you are on vacation.
As this trip comes to a close, I want to share the gorgeous evening sunset with you:
Come visit Puerto Vallarta. You will understand everything I have described all that much more. Delicious food, wonderful people, gorgeous scenery, warm, sunny weather and easy travel. And you can drink the water! Purified throughout PV. There are so many more adventures to share with you about what to do in PV but this will hopefully peak your curiosity to explore on your own. If you have visited in the past, please share where you have gone.
Thanks for stopping by. Adios!