Puerto Vallarta is an extremely popular city that is located on the western coast of Mexico along the tranquil shores of the Pacific Ocean. This city indeed offers something for everyone. Not only are the beaches here considered to be some of the best in the world, but lush tropical jungles are punctuated by luxurious shopping districts and a wide choice of restaurants and cafes. As Puerto Vallarta relies heavily upon the tourist industry, the residents are quite friendly.
The Best Time to Visit Puerto Vallarta
Due to its latitude, Puerto Vallarta can be visited nearly any time of the year. However, there can be heavy monsoonal rains during the winter. Many will therefore choose to arrive between the months of April and June. The heat has not yet reached its apex while cloudless skies will tend to dominate. Also, the trade winds from the Pacific Ocean will help to provide a cooling effect on the warmer days. This is likewise the time of the year when hurricanes are extremely rare.
The approximate flight time from New York City to Puerto Vallarta is approximately 5 hours ( this is assuming the flight is non-stop). However, other flights will normally have a layover somewhere within the southwestern United States. In these instances, durations of 7 hours or more are not entirely uncommon. The main airport here is the Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR). It is found only a few miles north of the main center within Puerto Vallarta. There are taxi services to and from the terminal while city buses are always available for those who prefer to travel lightly. Major carriers such as Aero Mexico, Delta and US Airways all support this route.
Most visitors will choose to stay in or near the Bay of Banderas. There are both luxury hotels, rental villas and condominiums here. Other properties found within the hotel zone tend to be grouped around areas including Marina Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta and Punta Mila. For those who may be on more of a budget, there are countless pay-as-you-go hotels to be found in Puerto Vallarta proper. Anyone looking to truly splurge can instead select locations such as the Casamagna Marriott, Casa Velas Hotel Boutique and the Dreams Puerto Vallarta resort & Spa. Keep in mind that all prices will increase substantially during the height of the tourist season.
Top Things to do in Puerto Vallarta
As should be expected, many foreigners will flock to this resort town due to the numerous beaches to be experienced. Surfers from around the world tend to place Puerto Vallarta close to the top of their lists in terms of the waves here. Families can likewise enjoy this maritime paradise. Snorkeling and scuba diving are quite popular and there are countless shops that will provide such gear for rental. Yacht and sailboat chartering services are also possible. Many glass-bottom boat tours will offer excellent views of the sea life to be encountered. During certain times of the year, whale watching enthusiasts will also arrive to try and spot a hump or two (along with the dolphin pods which circulate throughout the area).
The famous Sierra Madre is also located quite close to Puerto Vallarta. While some will choose to go it alone, it is always a great idea to hire a tour guide. He or she will be able to take visitors on a breathtaking excursion which includes ancient villages and subtropical forests. Truly unique ecology and wildlife can be viewed along the way. Most tours will make use of all-terrain vehicles, as there is a considerable distance to be traversed and these vehicles are very comfortable.
For those who choose to arrive here during the off season, the annual November Festival is worth experiencing. Normally taking place during the second week of the month, festivities include cooking classes, concerts, gala dinners, movie screenings and art exhibitions. Also, the majority of the local bars and cafes will offer special drink specials. Parties tend to continue until the wee hours of the morning, so this festival may not be the best option for those with young children.