Why We Love Puerto Vallarta And You Should Too!
Because it is not the typical Mexican resort town, where the last thing you actually feel is Mexico. Yes, Puerto Vallarta has its good share of top-notch hotels and some world-class villas, but there is life outside of the hotel zone. No other of the top Mexican beach destinations have such a beautiful old town and promenade walk. Here, you can still breath the true Mexico, not just a distilled version for tourists.
Maybe Puerto Vallarta best-kept secrets are its outstanding gourmet and cultural scenes. Vallarta’s not only has a wide array of extraordinary restaurants such as Café des Artistes, La Leche or El Arrayán, but it also goes the extra mile to provide locals and visitors alike with a diversity of culinary events that bring renowned Chefs and Sommeliers to town. Festival Gourmet, Restaurant Week and Wine Fest are just some examples.
Then you have that impressive cultural life in a place where there is supposed to be none. I mean, a tropical beach town? These places are better known for their party scene or its outstanding diversity of tours and adrenaline-filled attractions. Don’t get me wrong, Vallarta has lots of that too, but here we are talking about what makes it different from the rest, what puts it in a whole different level, a level that has convinced many expats to make of it its winter or retirement home. Every Wednesday at downtown you have the opportunity to walk from an Open House art gallery to another, with complimentary drinks at each stop and great vibes. Then, there is a big-city theater in Teatro Vallarta, which provides an excellent program all year long, but especially during high season (winter). Los Mangos Library and the Oficina de Proyectos Culturales (OPC), offer cultural gatherings and modern art exhibitions respectively.
One of Puerto Vallarta’s less talked-about assets is the great balance it has achieved between being a small beach town, but not lacking any of the comforts of big cities. It’s not only about having great restaurants and an interesting cultural life, but we are talking also about excellent healthcare services, great connectivity, fine shopping malls and main retail stores such as Costco and Home Depot. This may sound shallow, but anyone that has lived in a small town will recognize the importance of having at hand all that modern life actually requires. One could say that Puerto Vallarta is a small town without the troubles of big cities, such as traffic jams and insecurity, but with all the advantages. Also, being near to the second largest city in Mexico is always a plus.
Last but not least, you have Puerto Vallarta natural wonders. One of the largest bays in the world, the gorgeous Banderas Bay, provides a magnificent contrast with the Sierra Madre mountains on the background. These mountains give to Vallarta its distinctive personality and the perfect protection against hurricanes and tropical storms. You also have a wide array of outstanding beaches, some only reachable by boat, and a couple of National Marine Parks with stunning biodiversity in Los Arcos and the Marietas Islands, very popular among divers and snorkelers.
Luis Domínguez is a freelance writer and independent journalist. Interested in travel, art, books, history, philosophy, politics and sports. He has written for Fodor’s, Yahoo!, Sports Illustrated, Telemundo, Villa Experience, MexResorts, ONE Magazine and PV Pulse, among other brands of print and digital media in Europe and North America. Luis has a Master’s Degree in Humanities from the Universidad Francisco de Vitoria from Madrid, Spain; and a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from the Tecnológico de Monterrey. A global citizen, Luis has lived in some of the largest and most vibrant cities in the world, including London, Madrid and Mexico City. Currently lives in Playa del Carmen, México, where he is the Middle School Director of an International School and writes in English and Spanish for different media around the world. He defines himself as a humanist, liberal and rational.