Puerto Vallarta

Our flight departed Chicago at 7:30 am on November 19, 2011. Somehow that didn’t seem like an unreasonable time when we booked it, but that meant getting up at 5:00 to be met by a taxi at 5:30. Regardless, the non-stop flight to Puerto Vallarta was uneventful. We arrived a little before noon and by one o’clock we were checked into our room at the Sheraton Buganvilias and headed to the swimming pool.

This was Pat and my fifth visit to Puerto Vallarta and our fourth time to stay at the Sheraton. It has two large swimming pools, is right on the beach, and is walking distance to downtown.

We spent the afternoon lounging poolside enjoying being out in the Mexican sunshine.

In the evening we got cleaned up and walked downtown.

Not much had changed since our last visit but we did notice that a favorite restaurant right on the beach by our hotel had gone out of business. We continued our walk along the Malicon. The Malicon is a street with a wide sidewalk right along the beach. Between the street and the ocean local artists make sand sculptures.

These artists do truly magnificent work with sand. They set donation cans nearby hoping for contributions.

We enjoyed dinner at one our favorite restaurants along the Malicon where we watched the walkers and the sunset.

Sunday November 20, 2011

Being the early riser it is my job to set our towels on beach chairs that are somewhat away from the crowded swimming pools. I then grab a cup of coffee and read my iPad until Pat wakes up. This is pretty much our routine on vacations.

We spent Sunday at the pool and plotted our adventures for the rest of the week.

This night we walked into town and had dinner at Barcelona Tapas.

Monday November 21, 2012

This was the day we signed up for a boat trip to Yelapa.

The boat ride took us past the rock formations called Los Archos.

The boat ride itself was quite enjoyable. The crew was very attentive and we had a great time.

Along the way we pasted the location where “Night of the Iguana” was filmed with Richard Burton.

On the hill above the filming location is the house where Elizabeth Taylor stayed with Richard Burton during the filming.

After about an hour trip we arrived at Yelapa.

Leaving the dock there is a 20 minute walk up winding paths to a waterfall. Along the way there are numerous occasions to spend the tourist dollars. Scarves and carved wood were very popular.

When you arrive at the falls they are quite beautiful. The water was a little too cold for Pat and me but most of our fellow travelers jumped right in and swam under the falls.

We posed for a picture with the falls in the background.

After about 45 minutes we walked back down the winding path but not to the boat dock. Instead we took a right turn and got to see a little more of this little village.

As we walked along the narrow street we periodically had to step aside to allow burrows or horses to pass.

We concluded our trek at a secluded beach that is only accessible by boat. We spent the next two hours here enjoying the swimming and sunshine.

After a morning boat ride, an uphill climb to the falls and an afternoon of sun and swimming, we boarded our boat for the trip back to our hotel. Two little travelers were obviously exhausted and their parents arranged appropriate sleeping accommodations.

The point of embarkation for all of the tours is Marina Vallarta. As we returned to our departure point the pirate ship was being made ready for the night’s dinner cruise.

That night we enjoyed dinner at our hotel.

Tuesday November 22, 2012

We spent the entire day at the beach but had a night dinner cruise scheduled for the evening. We got dressed up rather nicely.

The boat ride was about an hour and it was after dark. The lights from the city of Puerto Vallarta were spectacular.

We arrived at Las Caletas where we were met by night drums and eerie lighting. Locals were dressed in native costumes.

We were all led to an amphitheater for a 30 minute performance that included some clowning around and some Cirque d’Solie quality acrobatics.

We were then led to our tables for a buffet style dinner.

The dinner was great and we slowly made our way back to the boat for the return trip to Marina Vallarta.

Wednesday November 23, 2012

We found a favorite spot for breakfast where we went 3 of the mornings during our visit.

Again we spent the day at the pool.

Wednesday nights in Puerto Vallarta are “Gallery Tour” nights. All of the art galleries are open and generally feature a particular artist. We wandered our way through the galleries and had a good time just looking.

We enjoyed dinner at Le Bistro which is nestled next to the river at the far end of the Malicon.

Following dinner we walked back to our hotel but passed the local Domino’s Pizza on the way. This is how pizzas are delivered in Puerto Vallarta.

Thursday November 24, 2011

This was the day we signed up for the eco-cruise. This involved a boat ride out to an island where various species of Boobie birds made their homes. The boat ride was only about 40 minutes and the crew was entertaining.

Again we were pursued by dolphins and watched them cavort around our boat.

The island had a very interesting geology. The limestone was washed out into caves where you could see clear through.

Our guide was very helpful in pointing out and identifying the various species of birds on the island.

The most common bird on the island was the Blue-Footed Boobie.

Below is a nesting pair of the Boobies.

As you can see below, the rocks are stained with their discharge.

There was also a pair of pelicans.

During the afternoon, we walked about a mile away from the downtown and enjoyed wonderful facials and massages.

This was Thanksgiving Day in the United States and we got a reservation at our favorite restaurant, Café Des Artistes. We had a table under the stars in the enclosed dining area. Nice way to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Our last full day and we spent the morning poolside soaking up the rays.

In the afternoon we walked up to the Plaza Pelicanos and enjoyed facials and massages.

At night we went into town to do a little shopping and have dinner. We spotted this sign while shopping:

We went back to our pizza place for dinner and got a seat on the balcony overlooking the Malicon. Tonight, Puerto Vallarta was celebrating an independence day and there was a parade on the street below.

The pictures are blurry because the light level was so low but you can get an idea of the parade none the less.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

We spent the morning by the pool then, reluctantly
packed our bags and taxied to the airport.

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