Puerto Vallarta was amazing. I stayed here for literally a month a half because I just couldn’t leave! The Malecon boardwalk that extends along the ocean shore has the gorgeous sea to one side and restaurants and shopping on the other. There are artisans and street vendors selling jewelry, food and knick knacks from morning until night. The sunsets are especially beautiful.
The vacati0ners rent hotels and swim in the ocean during the day and eat out at restaurants at night while the locals swim in the green jungle river that runs under the bridge of the boardwalk that filters out into the ocean. The jungle river is pretty cool to swim in and if you swim up the river you’ll see all kinds of wildlife like birds and iguanas. I spent a couple days swimming in this jungle river and never once had anything bother me in the water. It is really a nice place to relax.
Unfortunately I almost had my purse stolen as I left it along with my clothes onshore, so be careful where you leave your stuff. As always, someone is usually watching you. Lucky for me two guys were watching my stuff, one being a protector and the other a thief, and I was alerted before my stuff was stolen by the protector. Mexico, like many other places, is full of all kinds of people. Always watch out for yourself.
The Malecon Boardwalk stretches from one beach to Playa Los Muertos where there is a seahorse sculpture. Go past the sculpture and follow the path up through the rocks to the other side of Playa Los Muertos and walk along the path with ocean to your right and mansions to your left. Lovely hike.
Going up north of Puerto Vallarta, check out Marina Vallarta where you can pick one of the large red flowers growing on the bushes alongside the marina and hand feed the iguanas! Then cruise on over to Nuevo Vallarta which has a long stretch of beach leading to a gazebo looking out over the ocean.
Take a bus up to Sayulita, a charming little pueblo magico, about 30 minutes from Puerto Vallarta, for more beautiful beach views, surfing, little shops and restaurants. Further up the northern coast is San Francisco beach, another place to catch a luxurious sunset and relax by the water all day long while the pelicans fly by. Also in this area is Punta de Mita where you can catch a boat tour to the gorgeous Marietas Islands for a couple hours (DO IT). Coming back down the coast is Bucerias, another great place to explore and watch the sunset.
Down south of Puerto Vallarta, find Mismaloya & Los Arcos National Park where you can take a boat tour to the national park and snorkel where the rocks are vibrant and colorful and the fish are friendly! Also find Boca de Tomatlan, another beautiful beach. Yelapa is also beautiful and is reachable by boat. Spend the day here and go hiking to waterfalls, then relax in a beach chair until sunset when the boat leaves again for Puerto Vallarta.
Certainly worth mentioning is San Sebastian del Oeste, a quaint and charming pueblo mágico in the mountains about 2-3 hours east of Puerto Vallarta. Take the red line bus from the Las Glorias area. This beautiful little pueblo magico has got everything you want to see for a day of magic and culture in Mexico.