Today I’m having one of those moments, where I can’t stop thinking about one of my best vacations ever! Here is a list of tips that I came up with, for vacationing in Puerta Vallarta.
1) Don’t believe the hype-it is not as dangerous as many think and the prices are truly reasonable.
2) Commuting in Puerta Vallarta can be easy, you can ride the bus or flag down a taxi. One thing that locals will tell you is that you should only use yellow cabs and not to be afraid to ride the bus. Should you ride the bus, note that the back seat is most likely empty for a reason. My girlfriends and I found this out the hard way when we were propelled through the air at least a foot in the air.
3) Eat at PiPi’s restaurant in the downtown area (Centro) at least once. Their wait staff is extremely attentive, they have great mariachis, and the biggest Margarita’s you’ve ever seen! (Note PiPi’s is not to be confused with Pepe’s, which is located there as well.
4) When you exit customs in Puerto Vallarta you will be greeted by people trying to sell timeshares. Go for the presentation, they will gift you accordingly as well as pay for your taxi ride to the hotel. Just practice saying no, over and over again before you attend the presentation. The Pirate Cruise and the Beach Boy Cruise, both are excellent. You’ll probably have to pay around $30 American dollars per person for each cruise, however if you are attending the time share presentation, they may offer these for free. (Expect to pay a port entry fee when you arrive at the marina to take these cruises and to receive unlimited drinks while aboard.)
5) If you like dancing, check out “the Cuban restaurant” aka, “Bodeguita De Medio.” The dancing that goes on in that place is truly phenomenal.
6) When shopping be aware of what your money is worth. Use your debit or credit card whenever possible. (Call your financial institution to inform them that you are leaving the country, in order to avoid any holds being put on it. The great thing about doing this is that you will most likely be charged less than you think you are paying. The exchange rate can be confusing. It is very easy to assume that you are holding monopoly money instead of pesos. When all else fails, drop the zero from the back of the peso to calculate an estimate on what you are working with.
7) Watch the sunrise and set over the ocean. Get a clear spot and have your camera ready. The scenery will most likely be post card quality.
8) When taking pictures with an animal of some sort that a local may hand you, be prepared to give them a tip (money). They usually work for tips and it is considered to be rude not to tip them.
9) If you like ice cream, be sure to try “Devils Donuts” along downtown water line, they have flavors that you might not have thought possible. Some of the ones that I found most interesting were Corn and Tequila flavored ice creams. They will let you sample before you buy, if you ask.
10) Be advised that most of the locals speak English. Ask them for advice on “must do’s” while your there. The fact is, you might miss out on something really fun if you don’t.