Sunny Puerto Vallarta MexicoAuthor: diane tucker (More Trip Reviews by diane tucker)
Date of Trip: March 2012
My spouse and I chose Puerto Vallarta Mexico for our winter vacation since we live in New Jersey. We stayed in a Mayan Palace property through our timeshare. This is our fourth visit to this area so we intended to relax and kick back rather than running around every day trying to cram everything in.
First, the Mayan Palace is a resort unto itself. You can stay on this property and not leave on your vacation. There are restaurants, shops, pools, a convenience store; within a short 2 block walk, you'll find the entrance to the marina. We must admit that we had trouble finding this entrance on our first visit years ago. You need to access a small street, walk down to the end, make a left and go through iron gates(which always seem to be open). However, the first time we went down this street following the directions of a young lady we missed the entrance. This marina has multiple restaurants and shops with a beautiful view of boats coming and going. The marina became our "go to" place; we walked around the marina every day sometimes multiple times a day. We never weary of looking out over water.
Looking out over water also can be done from the Mayan Palace; there are many different options for gazing over the water or the pool areas. Chairs abound along with nicely stocked mini restaurants with a full time restaurant on one corner of the resort overlooking the water. Their open air lobby overlooks a pond with plenty of seating to enjoy the shade or read a book. The resort offers many activities a lot of which require you to deal with the activities manager. We had taken part of many of their offerings on our prior visits so we did our own thing. Bus transportation is inexpensive and you can almost anywhere on the bus.
Several times we went to the "malecon" (Mexican version of a boardwalk). We have watched this evolve from a few blocks to a large long cement walkway where you can find whatever you're looking for and fronting the water. I must caution everyone to bring plenty of sunscreen; the sun is intense and everyone needs protection via sunscreen, a hat or covering up via clothing. As it's usually hot, we normally use the sunscreen route along with a hat or visor.
There's also a fantastic "flea market" under the malecon on the north end, one you must experience. We enjoyed ourselves, we were warm and toasty without coats, gloves, scarves etc. and we can do this type of weather all year round. If you like Italian food, there is a Italian restaurant on the malecon that my husband swears makes pizza just like we had in Naples Italy several years ago. I believe it's called the Dolce Vita. There's also a small city which we reached by taking 2 buses; one of which we board in front of the center city marina. The city hosts a huge flea market; this is worth an entire day of travel. It takes about an hour by bus to get there; you can spend multiple hours while there; and then the ride home. The name of the city escapes me at the moment, but it's well known. You can ask about it wherever you're staying and we almost 100% sure they will direct you to this small Mexican city. Please don't miss the Our Lady of Guadalupe church in the center of Puerto Vallarta; it's a beauty inside and out! All in all, a nice warm place to relax and unwind.
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