I’m all about vacations and making memories with family and friends. So when my cousin suggested a group getaway to Mexico I jumped at the opportunity! There were a total of 7 of us who could make the journey and I was excited to begin our adventure!
Puerto Vallarta was our destination. Sun and beach were my only requirements and it definitely has both. Located on the Bay of Banderas on the west coast of Mexico it is a popular tourist spot for good reason. It offers something for everyone.
So I’m going to take you along with me on my 8 day and 7 night Puerto Vallarta holiday as I try my best to do justice to this beautiful oceanfront paradise.
Landing in Mexico and finding our way to our transportation to the resort was an experience in and of itself. I had read that there would be people who would try to get us to stop and pressure us into buying things and was told to just ignore them and keep walking to our specific van.
All I can say is WOW! There were so many people trying to get our attention, all very official looking and VERY persistent! Especially when in a foreign country it was extremely intimidating but we kept on walking and soon found our van and started on our way to the resort.
This was our first experience with driving in Puerto Vallarta. Tiny roads with numerous potholes and a traffic system that I was never able to figure out made for an exciting trip, but we just held on and trusted our driver to get us to our hotel safely.
After a long day of travel we checked in and grabbed a bite to eat at Bellavista, the open air restaurant at our resort, before settling into our home away from home for the next 7 nights.
Our first morning in Puerto Vallarta we opted for room service for breakfast. This served a dual purpose. First, obviously, we would get to eat. Second, and perhaps more importantly, this would serve as our wake up call. We had an appointment that morning to schedule any excursions we might want to take during our vacation and we certainly didn’t want to miss that!
I must say that our first breakfast in Mexico was scrumptious! And yes, we ate it all!
Scheduling our excursions was a bit more tricky than we anticipated. There were so many options! So after getting to hear all of the possibilities we decided to take the day and think about it before deciding.
So now it was beach time!. Our resort was located directly on the beach, Playa el Salado to be exact, in the Marina Vallarta area. The beach is beautiful and peaceful, but don’t let that fool you! We soon found out that this beach can be VERY difficult to navigate. The current wasn’t particularly strong, but something about the beach made getting out of the water a comedy of errors. Let’s just say that it might have involved a lot of rolling around, getting sand in every body crevice imaginable and a ton of laughter!
Later that evening we experienced our first dinner at Paradise, the Mediterranean cuisine option our hotel offered. This was very upscale, with unique food options. The food tasted great, but the after dinner cappuccino was the highlight of the meal for me.
After dinner, some of us headed over to Club Nitro, the live entertainment venue offered by our resort. While others opted for the Kansas City Chiefs game at the hotel bar. The featured show at Club Nitro was a Vegas inspired show and let’s just say we would have been better off watching the game. But it was free entertainment, so we got what we paid for. Even though the show was less than stellar, we managed to have a great time and were excited to continue our adventure!
The next morning we booked our excursion and then took a taxi to the downtown area. I was particularly excited to visit this area as I had read so much about all of the statues and architecture and numerous photo opportunities we would have. El Centro is famous for the malecon, the Church of our Lady of Guadalupe and lots of shopping! One thing I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned yet is that Puerto Vallarta should also be famous for something else, it’s ridiculously hot!!! So while I’m always up for exploring and shopping, the heat and incredible humidity made it a hot, sticky mess!
The seafood enchilada was the very best thing I ate the entire time I was in Puerto Vallarta, and that’s saying something! My aunt also tried guacamole for the very first time and now she’s hooked!
Later, after returning to our room for our afternoon siesta, we were awakened to the sound of rain. This “little storm”, as it was referred to by the hotel staff, was something to behold. It absolutely poured! Although only lasting a short time it brought down a ton of water and flooded the street in front of our resort.
The next morning there was no remnants of the previous night’s storm so we decided this would be a great day to just stay at the resort and relax. After our earlier beach debacle, we decided the pool might be a safer option.
So we spent the day working on our tans and enjoying the pool. In case you missed it the first time, let me repeat, it’s HOT in Puerto Vallarta! So in order to ensure we stayed adequately hydrated we might have also visited the swim up bar once or twice. After discovering the Dirty Monkey, we now had our favorite beach drink for the week.
We decided to give Club Nitro another try as this night promised a Latin Dance show followed by karaoke. But I am sad to say that although better than our previous experience, we still only got what we paid for. But all things considered we still had a great day in paradise.
After breakfast we opted to take a taxi to Marina Vallarta. This area offers shopping, restaurants and beautiful views of the very high end yachts that are docked in the marina.
While exploring we walked by the golf course which featured a crocodile habitat warning. Although we never saw a crocodile, and trust me we were looking, we did see some huge iguanas and crabs as we walked around the marina.
We also managed to do some shopping. I had forgotten what fun it can be negotiating prices. We managed to wheel and deal some great bargains on souviners. If it hadn’t felt like 112 degrees outside it would have been perfect!
After our morning of shopping we cooled off in the pool before returning to our room to get ready for a big night out. This night was so special in fact that it deserves a post all of its’ own. So you’ll have to stay tuned for further installments to come!
The next morning we walked the beach after breakfast looking for shells and then relaxed by the pool. The beauty of the ocean is mesmerizing and just being close and listening to the sound of the waves hitting the shore is something I absolutely love.
Later that evening we set off on our planned excursion for this trip. This included a 50 minute boatride to the south side of the bay. We set off right as the sun was setting and the view of the sun setting over the ocean was priceless.
After arriving at our beach destination we took a trek along a Survivor inspired path to our buffet dinner. If it hadn’t been so stinking hot I think we would have really loved imagining we were all on our way to tribal council, but the heat was stifling.
The food, however, was very good and after filling our bellies we were feeling much better and ready to take another trek, this time to watch Rhythms of the Night. This is a live action show that is cirque du soleil meets Puerto Vallarta. It was awesome! The performers were astonishing and made nearly sweating to death totally worth it!
The boatride back to our hotel was a party with dancing and lip syncing performances by the crew. All in all it was an amazing experience.
Ah, our last full day in paradise. A early morning rain helped make shell collecting on the beach a great success. It also brought us the best weather of the entire trip.
We spent the entire day at the pool and it was marvelous! They offered lots of different games and activities throughout the day from water aerobics to Bingo. We definitely did not participate in the exercise portion but Bingo was more our speed. In fact, the hubby was the grand champion and won a professional photography shoot for later that evening. Score!!
Later that evening we decided to return to one of our favorite places, Pipi’s. That night we will enjoyed great food, awesome company and even Mariachi singers. Perfect last night in Puerto Vallarta!
Our last morning in Puerto Vallarta went by very quickly as we packed and got ready to return to reality. We ate brunch in the open air restaurant and tried to savor our last few moments in paradise.
We also picked up our picture from our photo shoot. I love it!❤️❤️❤️
You know you’ve had a great trip when thinking about it brings a smile to your face. This adventure not only makes me grin but thoughts of some of our escapades make me literally laugh out loud! I will always cherish the opportunity to spend time with my family as we keep on collecting memories as we go.