As highlighted on our previous post, Puerto Vallarta is a beach resort town located in Jalisco, Mexico. Aside from the beautiful beaches and mountains surrounding the city, Puerto Vallarta offers visitors delicious authentic Mexican food, some of the best Mariachi music, fresh seafood and of course great Tequila. All of which encouraged our recent trip to Old Puerto Vallarta.
If you are a U.S citizen a valid passport is required and it is highly advisable that your passport is valid for at least six months after the date of entry to Mexico. U.S citizens do not need a visa to enter the country. For a full list of entry requirements click HERE. Once you arrive in Puerto Vallarta you should have transportation setup to your hotel. We booked with Gray Line Tours and loved their service. If you are new to Viator book through them and get $10 off click HERE.
Lets Talk Money
As we have recommended numerous of times with multiple destinations, do NOT exchange your money at the airport. You will always get paid less. Mexico uses pesos and your American dollars can go a long way in Mexico! Help yourself keep track of the conversion rates by downloading apps like XE Currency before traveling. Exchange your money through your bank (Bank of America offers this service to its members if you do it ahead of time) or at an exchange house in Mexico upon landing. Try to get the best rate possible by knowing what the current exchange rate is at.
Where To Stay
Puerto Vallarta has multiple zones to choose from. For our trip, we chose to stay in El Malecon which is known as the heart of Puerto Vallarta. This area is also referred to as “La zona Romantica” and/or “Old Vallarta”. Our goal was to really get to see Puerto Vallarta from a local standpoint vs a tourist standpoint. We were very happy with our decision as we got a great local feel for the town the whole time we were there. We highly suggest you opt for this on your next visit.
Residences by Pinnacle
The hotel is located about 3 blocks from the beach and has just about everything within walking distance. The hotel could best be described as an apartment vs a hotel room. We booked a 1 bedroom suite which had a full kitchen and terrace. Our room offered mainly mountain views but the bedroom window provided some ocean views as well.
The hotel doesn’t have restaurants or bars on the premise, but like previously mentioned, everything is within walking distance plus you can go grocery shopping on the day you arrive or have the staff do it for you prior to your arrival (you pay for the groceries plus a 25% service fee). It is also worth mentioning that the rooftop bar is in the process of obtaining it’s liquor license. Our absolutely favorite thing about the hotel was the rooftop infinity pool and beautiful views!
Where To Eat
There are many options to choose from in Old Vallarta, all you have to do is walk around and select one. Below are some of the options we tried.
Not pictured but worth the mention: as you walk around you will come across multiple taco stands, pick one and you will thank us later. Don’t forget about them or you will regret it! Also not pictured: El Mole De Jovita, Pancho’s Takos and Andale.
Joe Jack’s Fish Shack
Not as inexpensive as the rest of our experiences in Puerto Vallarta but the following options were worth the Visit:
Another great option for Mexican food. I love that they are located in the upper level because you get beautiful beach views while you eat. On some nights at 9pm, they have live Mariachi! We visited on a Sunday so we got serenaded as we ate!
We included Wing’s Army because we really enjoyed their wings and drinks! It’s a good spot to stop at during the day and have a few drinks with some bar food.
What To Do
We highly suggest taking a walk down El Malecon (pier area) as it provides many restaurant and shopping options. At night you will even be able to find bars/clubs to go party at. You can spend some time at the beach, whether it is at Olas Altas with the rest of the locals/visitors or at Playa Conchas Chinas (more upscale and secluded).
Visit Las Islas Marietas
This beauty could only be accessed with a tour operator and you must swim into the space you see below! If you are a good swimmer we suggest looking into making a day trip to Las Islas Marietas!
Private ATV Tour
We also suggest going on a private ATV ride with Xiutla Riders Ecoadventure! A private tour means you don’t have to go at anyone else pace but your own and the guys from Xiutla Riders really focus on making sure you get the most out of your experience! Thanks to them, we were able to experience areas of Puerto Vallarta many tourists miss out on. It made our trip into a memorable one! If you can, book the afternoon tour so you can catch the beautiful sunsets Puerto Vallarta offers. Also make sure to book with them directly vs a 3rd party to make sure you get the best price, tell them Suzzstravels referred you! (Link HERE) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Tours Provided:
BEER & BIKE
MALECON BY BICYCLE
PADDLE BOARD LESSONS
SURF LESSONS QUIMIXTO
SURF LESSONS LANCHAS
SURF LESSON SAYULITA
SCOOTER VALLARTA SNEAK A PEEK
ATV COMBO SIERRA MADRE-CANOPY
ATV TOUR A LA CARTE
ATV ADVANCED RANCHO LAS VEGAS
ATV INTERMEDIATE EL EDEN
ATV BEGINNER RIO CUALE
We hope our guide inspires to pay Puerto Vallarta a visit and that it assists you on your next trip here! Let us know what some of your personal highlights were. Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram on your travel pictures!
As always, safe travels!