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My Puerto Vallarta Guide

Destination(s): Puerto Vallarta

Barcelo Premium La Jolla de Mismaloya

Barcelo Premium La Jolla de Mismaloya

  • Km 11.5 Zona Hotelera Sur
  • tel:52 322 226 0660
  • Visit website
  • Puerto Vallarta, 48300

This hotel is an all-suites property located about 10-15 minutes south of Puerto Vallarta's Romantic Zone. It hosts a very small beach and there are a variety of beach palapa-style restaurants to choose from besides the property's restaurants, but nothing else really within walking distance. It's also located on the main highway, which is unsafe for walking on.

The property will appeal to those who enjoy spending much of their vacation in their hotel and like all-inclusive properties. You can easily get to the local zoo and visit the movie set of Night of the Iguana (well, what you can reach of it since it's been closed for a while), both nearby. If you plan on spending much time in Puerto Vallarta and didn't rent a car, you will find yourself paying for some very expensive taxi rides back and forth. You can catch the bus on the highway, which is a much more affordable transportation option but may not be passing by when you want to go into town.

Like most all-inclusive resorts, there is loud music playing through most of the day and well into the night as well as loud variety shows in the evening. This is a family resort so expect lots of children in the pools unless you're visiting during the off-season.
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Malecón (El)

Malecón (El)

  • Paseo Díaz Ordaz
  • Centro
  • Puerto Vallarta, 48300

Returning visitors to Puerto Vallarta long for two things – that first margarita and a visit to the magnificent El Malecón (boardwalk). This beautiful, mile long oceanfront walkway, an easy walk or short car ride from most of the city's hotels, traces the beach, running parallel to the main street. The Malecon offers stunning, unobstructed views of sand and surf and is the perfect place to watch Vallarta's magical sunsets. In 2005 the Malecon was extended to link downtown with the popular Romantic Zone, giving all visitors easier access to enjoying it. Whether you are looking for shopping, dining or music – you won't be disappointed with a visit to the Malen. Don't miss the famous permanent sculptures by local artists. On Saturday nights, you are likely to see the customary Mexican "courting" ritual as teenagers walk hand-in-hand along the boardwalk, their entire family trailing two feet behind. Restaurants, bars and boutiques selling trendy clothing, silver, folk art, Cuban Cigars and tequila abound near the Malecon. If you want to dance the night away, head for the Malecon where the music begins at 11 pm and can continue to 6 a.m. the next morning read more about Malecón (El)

Playa Yelapa

Playa Yelapa

  • Highway 200 Km 17
  • Yelapa, 48440

If you want to get an idea of what Puerto Vallarta was like in the distant past, you can hop a water taxi at Boca de Tomatlan or from the Fisherman's Pier in Puerto Vallarta to Yelapa and find out. Yelapa is only accessible by boat and only in the last few years was it connected to the local power grid. There are no cars, no massive hotel complexes or large groups of tourists here.

If you are staying for the day, hop the taxi in the morning. You can take a hike or horseback ride up to the waterfall, eat at one of few beachfront palapa-style restaurants and then spend the day sunning and swimming in the gentle waters of the cove (albeit among the fishing boats that tie up there). There are a few shops and vendors if you want to take home a souvenir and there are a few hotels/guesthouses too if you want to spend the night. The one thing you cannot miss is a giant slice of pie from the roving pie ladies of Yelapa. It's the best you've ever had.
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Boca de Tomatlan

Boca de Tomatlan

  • Highway 200
  • tel:+52 322 223 4267
  • Visit website
  • Puerto Vallarta, 48300

There may be more beautiful beaches in Puerto Vallarta, but Boca de Tomatlan still draws its fair share of visitors. Boca is the last beach, heading south, that is easily accessible by car, making it the de facto water-taxi gateway to Yelapa, Los Animas and Quimixto. Hikers also like Boca de Tomatlan because it has a rugged, but spectacular, hiking trail that takes you over high cliffs and past many tiny beaches, eventually dropping you off onto lovely Las Animas beach. Those who prefer an easier trip can negotiate a good price with one of the many small boats that shuttle back and forth between Yelapa, Los Animas and Boca. Snorkelers also like Boca de Tomatlan for its clear aqua waters and gentle surf. Don't worry about lugging all your gear, the local vendors will rent you whatever you need. read more about Boca de Tomatlan