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Puerto Vallarta Basics

Puerto Vallarta

Photo: Shutterstock, UgputuLfSS

Nestled along Banderas Bay in Western Mexico, Puerto Vallarta attracts travelers who are eager for a sunny getaway and adventure vacation. Home to breathtaking beaches and postcard-perfect sunset views, Puerto Vallarta also gives visitors a taste of historic colonial Mexico. It is the perfect destination for those seeking the authentic Mexico experience without MTV-styled Spring Break antics. Made famous by the 1960s movie The Night of the Iguana, starring Deborah Kerr, Ava Gardner and Richard Burton, Puerto Vallarta has been a quiet favorite for Mexico-goers for years.

Though the hubbub (nightclubs, bars and tequila) found in many beach destinations in this country do exist, it is the quiet, gentle presence of locals and their desire to provide tourists with a feeling of “home” that brings people back year after year. Dine at some of Mexico’s finest restaurants, enjoy breathtaking sunset views on rooftop terraces, listen to world-renowned salsa bands, unearth new species at the botanical gardens or spend a morning whale watching. You can even discover secluded beaches, accessible only by boat.

Puerto Vallarta is also home to some of Mexico’s most famous artists, whose wares can be found in their personal galleries. From unique, handcrafted jewelry to hand-painted earthen pots made by the Peyote indigenous tribe, there is something for every aesthetic taste. Finally, don’t miss the easy day trips from the city, such as Sayulita, a surfer’s dream, and San Sebastian, a colonial town situated in the Sierra Madres. Whatever the stop, you are sure to experience a unique and beautiful adventure.

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