A Visitor Paradise!
Article & Photography by Michael Morcos
The first time I heard of this wonderfully accommodating Mexican town was during the 1970’s Love Boat show, where the Pacific Princess, a cruise ship, traveled between Los Angeles and Puerto Vallarta.
Visiting the actual town in person provides visitors with a delicious mix of beautiful beaches, wonderful attractions, exotic flavors and scintillating smells!
Though still tourist-centric, Puerto Vallarta has kept an old Mexico feel and is very laid back, with friendly locals and street vendors who know how to welcome visitors!
Of course, as with most southern destinations, the main draw is the beautiful beaches. Many different adventures await the visitors on this city’s paradise-like beaches, including horseback riding along the waterfront, going for long swims in the warm water, shopping at some of the many boardwalk stores or enjoying sunbathing on one of the many long, sandy beaches within the city limits.
My personal favorite beach lay at the foot of the lush, tropical mountains, where the deep greens of the mountains blend into the white sand, and the blue sky connects with the azure water. I have that image burned into my memory and think of it often.
On top of that, if you are lucky, you can find a lovely private beach or isolated rocky cove to enjoy a romantic interlude or a quiet, reflective moment of meditation in a spectacular environment.
Aside from these beaches, the city offers exquisite botanical gardens for lovers of everything green. The gardens are absolutely beautiful, with incredible views of the mountains you can appreciate with hikes on the many trails offered. Visitors can watch hummingbirds feed, enjoy a guided tour and discussion, view an immense collection of bugs from all over the world as well as eating at the Garden’s lovely restaurant with great food, prompt service and a spectacular view of the gardens.
Puerto Vallarta has many restaurants available to visitors. Foods of all sorts, from fancy and family restaurants to street vendors are just waiting to accommodate visitors.
One of the best places in town is the La Leche restaurant. If Chef Alfonso Cadena (who looks like a refined, former rock star – because he is one!), isn’t cool enough, then La Leche’s main dining room, an all-white room lined with shelves of milk cans surely is.
The Chef personally presents a different menu on his “blank canvas” chalkboard every meal. Choices include a seafood bisque, exquisite mahi-mahi with citrus and other amazing, rich and refreshing offerings. Visitors are treated to unique gourmet meals as unique as the surroundings.
The Twisted Palms rooftop lounge is a nice little spot to enjoy delicious martinis and other cocktails, with the added bonus of having great movies projected on the far wall of the lounge. Theme nights, like James Bond Night Martinis, are a regular occurrence. A lot of fun!
Food is a object of pride in this part of the world, and the city offers a fun tourist adventure that is a must for all families and visitors, the Taco tour! This tour is a visit to seven different restaurants and street food-stalls to taste the many different styles of Tacos from around the city. The hours-long tour also offers a local’s view into Mexican culture through its cuisine and rich history. Most tours are family-friendly, but our group of adults stopped at a bar for a nice Mescal drink. It was a wonderful four hours with a great guide and we learnt plenty about Mexico’s favourite food and the city.
Speaking of adult-oriented experiences, a visit to the Viva Tequila Experience, is not only a , wonderful way to learn about Tequila but enjoy a night of friendship with lots of samples and a great Mexican dance show at the end!
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