I did Puerto Vallarta last year and had a fabulous time! Puerto Vallarta has beautiful weather, great shopping, art galleries and restaurants. You'll walk down cobblestone streets in a great part of Mexico.
Where you stay depends on what you're looking for. If you're looking for the younger, partying type experience, I'd recommend staying in North Puerto Vallarta. This is where the newer resorts and airport are. Here you'll find a younger crowd and some of the all-inclusives.
Personally, I prefer a quiter experience so I would stay in Vallarta or towards Mismaloya. The inter-continental is very nice there. If you plan far enough in advance you can rent a villa, and many come with full staff.
The art galleries in P.V. are fantastic, as is the cuisine. You'll find plenty of French and Italian restauants there. Cafe des Artistes is a must see if you like fine food.
There are plenty of activities along the P.V. boardwalk. You can parasail or charter a deep-sea fishing boat. I did the boat. You can catch Marlin (depending on the season), or just do some whale-watching-fantastic! There are many shops along this boardwalk as well. The main commodity is silver and the merchants don't mind a little haggling. Be careful of something I believe called alpaca (sp?) which less expensive silver-looking jewellery. Hope you have fun!
LL has a few attractive packages to more intimate properties on the Pacific coast, such as Las Alamandas, El Careyes and Hotelito Desconocido. Acapulco is very built up, much like Miami Beach. But it depends what you're seeking.
Message Edited by disneygal on 12-05-200606:18 AM
I totally agree with Disneygal when she mentioned Las Alamandas. I came across this resort last night on L.L. and it totally blew me away.I was so impressed with it. I loved how bright and cheerful it looks with all the bright yellows and greens and it stated that the staff ratio was 10:1. how's that for service? Everything about it is perfect. I am 95% sure that is whereI am going to book for next year. The auction for it closed today, but it was only valid up until March(I think). So Luxury link..do you intend to put it on auction again for later in the year? I have fell totally in love with this resort. Has anyone been who could tell me more about it, also which room/suite did you stay in? Whenever anyone came to my house today, I could not resist showing them the photo's from the Las Alamandas website. Thank You, Luxury link for giving me the chance to find such a beautiful place!! Cheers.
I would recommend Puerto Vallarta as well. We've taken annual trips to PV -- most recently in October of this year. We stay at Casa Tres Vidas (originally found on LL and then have since booked directly and/or through LL). This place is amazing and the photos don't even scratch the surface. All 3 villas are stunning. The chef (and you get a private chef/staff for your stay) makes the MOST delicious meals. They'll even make fresh guac and salsa every morning. The concierge, Jose, is phenomenal and the views are straight out of a magazine. It is located in Conchas Chinas on the beach. You can easily walk into town along the beach or take a $5 taxi. I'm wishing I was there right now.
Hope during your trip along the coast (whch is beautiful) you take some time to drop ovr to Guadalajara for some history and culture of a historical city. All the items that you might buy on the resort towns can be found in the artst colonies surrounding the city. I recently found a very inexpensive gest hose to stay in that was a true pleasure. In a good area, close to the art colonies. Check it out. Any questions? Margot Flemming
Punta Mita is lovely with lots of new development going on in the area. Very close by, to the north, you will find the surfing village of Sayulita. There are some great shops in town, namely Pacha Mama. The owners are from Belgium and have been covered in many national magazines such as Elle and Travel and Leisure for their amazing style. Just a bit further up the road is the town of San Francisco, known by locals as San Pancho. This is a little gem of a town which has a beautiful, deep, mostly deserted beach. The town has several amazing world class restaurants, which you would never guess by the size of the town. Mar Plata is one of my favorites, along with it's sister Cafe del Mar. Right in the center of town is La Ola Rica, which has amazing tapas.
San Pancho has many lovely private homes available for rental. The area on the northernmost part of town, La Calvellinas, is particularly beautiful jungle area with several small secluded beaches. Theree is whale watching in season along with a jaguar preserve.
The town of Puerto Vallarta has much to offer as well. On my first venture into PV, I honestly was not that impressed with the town. You really have to know where to go here or you could end up in the touristy areas and not see all the beauty the area holds. There is the Zona Romantica that holds much charm as you walk throught the streets and up the steep inclines on cobbled paths. There is a wonderful restaurant and small hotel here, the Hacienda San Angel. The owner has done a marvelous job capturing the feel of a traditional hacienda. With an amazing view of the city, gardens, pools, even monogrammed linen napkins, the restaurant is a treasure. Drive further south and you will see sweeping vistas along the coastline. Le Kliff is a restaurant known for amazing sunsets, but the food is fabulous also. There is even a restaurant in town that serves the menu from Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera's wedding feast in very authentic style.
These are my favorites and if you would like further info, let me know.
Enjoy your travels!
We recently returned from a visit to El Tamarindo (about 2-1/2 hours south of PV) and also to Punta Mita Four Seasons. We much preferred the former. I know it's hard to make a Four Seasons look bad, but El Tamarindo is so wonderful in every way, and so friendly, that Punta Mita was a let-down. Have a great trip!