Puerto Vallarta

Every year, I try to get three of my closest friends together and take a much-needed long weekend away, thanks to Apple Vacations. This year, we all agreed we wanted a warm vacation spot with plenty to do plus offered a good blend of beach and town. I immediately thought of Puerto Vallarta.

For a short 3-night stay, I knew I wanted to stay close to the Malecón, a one-mile long seawall promenade and boardwalk close to downtown. Buenaventura Grand Hotel & Spa was an excellent choice. It was small, comfortable, and had the friendliest staff. Since it was only about a 10-minute walk from the Malecón, we were able to explore anytime we wanted. The views of the deep blue water and the mountains were outstanding. The food was fantastic, especially the breakfast buffet. ” I can have an omelet prepared just the way I want– with bacon, fruit and empanadas on the side …and unlimited mimosas? Yes, please!”

Our first night was the perfect opportunity to walk around and partake in one of my favorite activities, people watching. I know that Puerto Vallarta has a vibrant nightlife, but I was not expecting the streets to be as busy as they were, even for a Saturday night. It was unbelievable to see. Locals and tourists alike were out enjoying the beautiful evening with music pouring out from the clubs and filling the streets. Families were walking around with their ice cream cones and admiring the incredibly detailed sand sculptures. Twenty-somethings had their mugs filled with their favorite beverage and dancing to the music. The atmosphere was fantastic and I felt completely safe.

By far, the most charming feature about Puerto Vallarta is the old Mexican culture. You get that feeling as soon as you step onto the cobble stone streets and take-in the local architecture. We spent a day just walking around town and soaking up the atmosphere. Puerto Vallarta is the ultimate shopping vacation spot with interesting boutiques and art galleries. While I wasn’t in the market for a 4-ft. tall hand-carved marble giraffe, it sure fascinated me for a good 10 minutes. After all, how would I get it home?

There is nothing better than eating authentic Mexican food and fresh-caught seafood while on an Apple Vacation to Puerto Vallarta. Be sure to check out the restaurants downtown for a great selection. Did you know you can order Coronas by the bucket?  On our last night, we ate at a fantastic place with the best red snapper, Restaurant Rio.  Here we found a cozy atmosphere and the most amazing people; which I think sums up Puerto Vallarta as a whole.