Top 10 Things to do in Puerto Vallarta more at: www.puertovallarta.net
Puerto Vallarta MaleconWithout doubt the most popular, fun and typicalplace to visit in the city, the Malecon in DowntownPuerto Vallarta, is a seaside promenade by theedge of the ocean, a pedestrian walkway that hasrecently been completely remodeled and is a sightyou must not miss.Stroll along, enjoy the view of the ocean, thebeautiful statues along the way, admire the bay, inthe afternoon the sunsets that color everything intones of orange and red, enjoy watching Mexicanfamily life, the street artists, the vendors and if youare feeling tired or hungry, walk into one of theinnumerable stores, restaurants and bars alongthe other side.At night the malecon is also a great place to startoff the night, many of the "in" discos andnightclubs are located here too. The Malecon hastwo areas, the original version on Díaz Ordaz andwhat is called Malecón II that extends south to theCuale River (see image).
Our Lady of Guadalupe ChurchPuerto Vallartas Nuestra Señora deGuadalupe Church is the symbol of thecity, it dominates the downtown skyline andis one of the favorite icons that youll findnot only in photos and shirts, but onpostcards and souvenirs.There is no way you can miss the church,its a block from the main square and itsvery height will make it very easy to spot.The church is always active, youll hear thebells every day from early morning callingthe faithful to mass, things really becomeactive in the first 12 days of Decemberwhen the Our Lady of Guadalupe Festivalcelebrations are held.There are English and Spanish massesand you can visit the church itself most ofthe day (dont forget to be respectful).
The Romantic ZoneSouth of the Cuale River you enter theRomantic zone, also known as Viejo Vallarta(Old Vallarta), this is the busiest part of town.The streets are smaller, there are moreshops, cafes, bars and restaurants persquare foot than anywhere else in town.Here youll enjoy the famous cobblestonevillage streets that are so common in all thetypical Mexican towns. This is the realtraditional Mexican part of Vallarta.Smaller hotels, older shops, more traditionaltaco stands and markets are part of theattractions in this part of town, this place isactive all day, at night the fun never stops.So, if you fall into the claws of an all-inclusive, dont forget to escape a few nightsand really get to feel what Mexico andVallarta are all about.
Los Muertos BeachPuerto Vallartas most famous and popular beach, over a mile long and walking distance from theMalecon, in the Romantic Zone, walk along Malecon II and cross the bridge over the Cuale river.The scary name (Deadmens Beach) seems to have come from local and archeological findings whichdug up bones of indigenous tribes that used the area as a cemetery.Playa Los Muertos offers many stores, restaurants and bars, where you can enjoy local dishes, a coldbeer while you take off your shoes and dig your feet into the sand. This is the area where water taxistake off to the paradise-like beaches of the south zone, if you enjoy people watching, youll have funhere, this is it, the heart of all Puerto Vallartas beaches.
Isla Río CualeIn the middle of Puerto Vallarta, betweendowntown Puerto Vallarta and theRomantic Zone youll find the Cuale Riverand an island between two arms of theriver: Isla Rio Cuale (Cuale River Island),an extraordinary place of cobbledpassages and dense trees with largeiguanas hidden among the branches.Cuale River Island has a central walkwaylined with small shops with Mexicansouvenirs, talavera, silver jewelry, clothes,authentic handicrafts and more. On theisland youll find quite a few goodrestaurants and cafés, like the River Caféand Le Bistro Jazz Café.On the island youll also find a smallarcheological museum and statue of JohnHuston.
MismaloyaMismaloya beach is the place that started it allfor Puerto Vallarta as a tourist destination.In the early 60s Mismaloya was a smallvillage that enjoyed a pristine bay and beachwhere a small river met the sea. Access wasonly by sea, which made the place completelynatural and wild.The beach is some 900 feet long in a softcurve, surrounded by jungle and the SierraMadre Mountains.In 1963 John Huston filmed "The Night of theIguana" on a set installed at Mismaloya,Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and thedirector later bought houses in the city andthe area, which made Puerto Vallartasuddenly an attractive place to visit.Today Mismaloya offers excellentaccommodations, restaurants, palapas and allkinds of entertaining activities. There are alsosmall shops offering jewelry and local crafts.
Naval Historical MuseumAt the southern end of the Malecón, theseaside walkway, right beside the open airamphitheater youll find the Naval HistoricalMuseum (Museo Histórico Naval). TheNaval Museum in Puerto Vallarta wasopened in November 2006, it offers apermanent exposition with 5 areas thatinclude documents, charts, maps, scaleboat and ship replicas, navigationinstruments, uniforms, cannons, whaleskeletons. There are also temporaryexhibitions.If you go upstairs youll find a coffee shopthat has a great panoramic view of the bay.The Museum is open from Tuesday toSunday from 9AM to 7:30PMSaturdays and Sundays open from 10AMto 7:30PM. Access is free.Address: Zaragoza 4, Downtown PuertoVallarta, Phone: (322) 223-5357.
Marina VallartaAnother great family trip should includeMarina Vallarta, a luxurious area that islocated just 15 minutes from downtownPuerto Vallarta.The area includes many 5 star and GrandTourism hotels/resorts, that offer the bestrestaurants and spas. The areas heart is,as you would expect, a Marina, walk thesurrounding boardwalk and youll enjoyrestaurants, cafés, shops and differentstores, even a spa.The main landmark here is the lighthouse,which is an outdoor restaurant that offersdelicious dishes and a beautiful panoramicview from above.
Los Arcos National Marine ParkIn 1984, Los Arcos, the 5 small naturalgranite islets south of Downtown Vallarta,located in the bay, between Las GemelasBeach and Mismaloya Beach in the southzone, were classified as a National MarinePark.The ocean around them is very deep, up to1600 fee, which makes the waters amongthe deepest in Banderas Bay.The small islands are breeding areas for anumber of important sea bird species andsome land species too, such as parrots. Thesea around the islands is also teaming withlife and is a popular destination forsnorkeling and scuba diving trips, plus baycruises arrive here all day long.
Manuel Lepe, local artistFinally, you cant leave Puerto Vallartawithout enjoying the artwork of one of thegreater artists from this city, we are ofcourse talking about Manuel Lepe. Hismosaic mural "Fish Vendors" is displayedof the ground floor of the Naval Museum.This work was painted by Manuel Lepe inacrylic and silkscreen.His paintings of small angels, children andPuerto Vallarta landscapes can be found inthe homes of presidents and art collectors.The Queen of England, Elizabeth II, hasone of his paintings at the Royal MewsMuseum at Windsor Castle.Other celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor,Ronald Reagan, John Travolta and othersseem to have understood what JohnHouston thought of the artist: "ManuelLepe paints to bring joy to the hearts of thechild in all of us".
Puerto Vallarta Travel Guide Visit us at: www.puertovallarta.net