Most of us have heard of Puerto Vallarta and it may bring images to our minds of tropical scenes and exotic travels. Maybe we remember that this was where the Love Boat made a stop once a week. But there may be a question as to what attractions and activities can be found in this coastal Mexican city.
Puerto Vallarta is located on the West Coast of Mexico, south of the Baja Peninsula. The weather all year round is beautiful and the cost of living is low, which may be why over 20,000 Americans own vacation homes there.
Puerto Vallarta may be best know as the location for the 1963 movie “Night of the Iguana” starring Richard Burton and Ava Gardner. Actually, most of it was filmed a few minutes drive down the coast in Mismayola, but walking tours can point out buildings in town where Burton stayed and had his affair (or one of his marriages with Elizabeth Taylor. – Who can keep track?) The U.S. media gave a lot of attention to the couple and to all the infighting among director John Huston and the film’s stars and the publicity put Puerto Vallarta on the map. Today, most bus and walking tours will make some mention of the film and point out applicable sights of interest.
While there are so many reasons to visit Puerto Vallarta, it is the beautiful beaches that lure most people to return again and again. Puerto Vallarta sits on 25 miles of beaches within Banderas Bay, Mexico’s largest bay. Being located on the bay is what opens the possibility of so many different types of water sports and activities. The large marina is home to an abundant population of sports fishing boats. Most of the boats can be chartered to take you to any of the hottest fishing spots, where you can try your hand at wrestling one of the large fish the area is known for.
Another popular activity is to take a tour out to the island of Yelapa where you can seem to step back in time and see small village life as it still exists in Mexico. In addition to tours, there are many programs available for swimming with dolphins, a popular resort town activity that has increased tremendously in recent years. Whale watching has also become big business in Puerto Vallarta.
Most resorts are situated right on the water and provide all sorts of activities, such as windsurfing, snorkeling, and kayaking. Of course, you may just like to hunker down under a palm tree with your favorite adult beverage and shop from all the roving vendors that carry their wares up and down the beach.
But if lying on the beach all day drinking and shopping gets a bit mundane, you may feel the need to hit the links. There are several championship quality golf courses in the immediate Puerto Vallarta area. Clubs and shoes are available to rent, so don’t worry if you didn’t bring any of your own equipment with you.
For a tropical getaway, a family vacation, or an adventure filled trip, you can bet that you will find something fun to do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.