Puerto Vallarta is an old seaside city located on the Bay of Banderas which is the largest natural bay on the Mexican coast. The city has a population of over 250,000 and is growing fast as an important tourist destination. It is actually several destinations in one with many interesting places to visit in the States of Nayarit and Jalisco.
Several major highways lead to the city and major airlines from all over the world now fly into the international airport. The 450 vessel marina assures that people will be visiting Banderas Bahia throughout the year. Puerto Vallarta is located on the same latitude as Hawaii and so it enjoys a similar sun drenched tropical climate.
Fifty years ago this city was nothing more than a small village on the Mexican coast. There was some small industry here and most of the business was centered on agriculture. Then some movie makers from the United States took notice and big things began to happen to this little village. John Huston decided to make “Night of the Iguana" in the area of Puerto Vallarta and several stars began to make regular trips here. It wasn't long before Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor had purchased Casa Kimberly in Puerto Vallarta and John Huston had a home built in the in the small cove of Caletas where he lived until his death.
Many of the Mexican people began to travel to Puerto Vallarta for their vacations because of the huge protected bay and the mild weather. People from all over the U. S.began to hear of the city snuggled between the bay with palm lined beaches and the lush tropical jungle with towering trees on the sides of the coastal mountains. The city has seen tremendous growth and now is able to offer international travelers a flavor of old Mexico right next door to beautiful new hotels and resorts. We easily could have spent several days there but on a cruise you usually only get a half a day at each port of call.
Tours and Activities
If you would like to save a few dollars it is advisable to shop around for your tour arrangements. The cruise ships try to convince you that it would be safer if you book your tours through them but you will of course have to pay higher fees when you take advantage of their offers.
There was so much to see in Puerto Vallarta and our party went off in several different directions. First there was a city tour that took us through the older district near the waterfront. Then we headed out to the country to learn how tequila is made. After we finished learning about the process we were able to taste several varieties of tequila liqueurs. It sure was a great way to work up an appetite before we were served a traditional dinner and treated to local dancing and music. Everyone who took part in the tequila sampling seemed to have a great afternoon.
A more adventurous part of the group went sailing on the Pirate Boat and had a blast being entertained all afternoon by the singing and dancing pirates. There were mutinies and sword fights, plenty to eat and drink and even a little time to go snorkeling. Then I headed out by myself on the back of an open truck with 14 other people from the cruise ship we arrived on. After a 45 minute ride into the mountains all 15 of us got the thrill of our lives as we tried the Canopy Adventure and rode cables from one treetop to another as we worked our way back down the side of a mountain. I would recommend this trek to anyone and it was worth every bit of the $75.00 it cost each of us.
Opportunities abound here especially for the outdoor adventurer. Activities include horseback rides in the mountains, diving in the Pacific, swimming with the dolphins, and Interactive tours with the indigenous cultures that are in the surrounding areas. Puerto Vallarta is a world class sports fishing destination and Marina Mismaloya offers a wide range of fishing adventures in the surrounding Pacific costal waters. Puerto Vallarta tends to be a perfect blend of tropical waters and rich Mexican culture and this is certainly one of the most diverse beach destinations in the world. You find yourself close to the lush jungle vegetation with hidden waterfalls on the one hand and miles of beautiful beaches on the largest natural harbor on the Mexican coast. The perfect place to learn, relax, have fun and take in the numerous natural wonders.
Jere Moline has been a life long traveler and has enjoyed the cultures of many countries throughout the world. He has experienced several different types of travel both on his own and on planned excursions. He has recently built a web site where travelers can come together and discuss their experiences and ask questions about the next places they plan to visit. Be sure to stop by http://www.discounttraveltoday.com to pick up your copy of The Best Kept Secrets of Discount Travel