Mexico is one of my very favorite places to travel. The overall service and hospitality is in my book of top 3 in the world. Personally, Caribbean Coast of the Yucatan Peninsula boasts best beaches and amazing scuba diving, but there is something very special in Puerto Vallarta that keeps it very close to my heart.
The flight from Los Angeles is under 3 hours, so for us on the West Coast that’s a snap. But unlike Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta has a charming story and lots of culture. It all started in the 1960s when the director John Huston decided to film ‘The Night of the Iguana’ with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor there. That was in the very middle of their whirlwind romance while they were both married to other people. Both Richard and Elizabeth decided to buy homes there, across the street from each other, and built a bridge (painted it pink) that connected their 2 houses. The tile below is where Richard Burton’s house used to be it shows a picture of the bridge.
The houses are in the area that the locals call the Gringo Gulch, where there are homes of many Americans who decided to make Puerto Vallarta their home. Right below Gringo Gulch is the shopping/part area, what has a statue of John Huston erected usually with a cat sleeping right below his director’s chair.
The beautiful cathedral is the pride and joy of the residents of Puerto Vallarta and very unique. It’s called The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, it’s located in the very center of town and it is one of the most beloved images of Puerto Vallarta. You’ll find it on the t-shirts, keychains, etc.
Malecón is a word used in Spanish-speaking countries for a stone-built embankment or esplanade along a waterfront. In Puerto Vallarta it represents a Boardwalk by the ocean. It’s a huge attraction for tourists as it has something for everyone. Also Senor Frogs is very close by and has free wi-fi, so if statues, amphitheater, etc are not your cup of tea.
One of the most romantic cliffside restaurants is located north of Puerto Vallarta it’s called Le Cliff and many many weddings are performed there.
And that’s not all, there is rain forest. They filmed Predator there in the 1987 in the area called El Eden. There is zip-lining there. Because of the rain forest Puerto Vallarta has a rainy Season May-October. However even during the rainiest time it usually rains in the night, so there will be partial or full days of sunshine. My favorite time to visit id during the rainy season. March and April the hills are a bit dry, but when the rains come in it’s lush and beautiful. (both photos below taken in the middle of the rainy season).
So when you are planning a weekend getaway, forget about Napa Valley, San Diego, Palm Springs, you’ll be in Puerto Vallarta in your hotel before 6 pm on Friday, and if your plane leaves about 4 pm, you’re back home in LA by 5:15 (2 hr time difference). Great food, all-inclusive hotels, it will probably cost you less than a weekend in Napa or San Diego. Here is some food I ate in Puerto Vallarta.
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