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Puerto Vallarta Decemeber 29, 2017 - January 5, 2018

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, is not your average beach destination. Located in the Pacific Coast region of Mexico, the city straddles the Mexican states of Jalisco and Nayarit. Puerto Vallarta is a sea port and a common stop on Pacific Ocean cruises, especially those that travel roundtrip from Florida to California through the Panama Canal.

The area is surrounded by rolling hills and mountains, making it quite scenic. The Bay of Banderas forms a protected inlet that is common ground for breeding and birthing humpback whales (more on that later)! Puerto Vallarta is highly regarded as a safe and beautiful tourist destination where the locals go out of their way to make your visit fantastic. The weather in the Winter months is absolute perfection — 80’s, sunny, low humidity, and a light breeze. A perfect getaway!

Geologists commonly regard the Bay of Banderas as the original attachment point for the southern cape of the Baja Peninsula before it was rifted off the North American plate millions of years ago, forming the Gulf of California.

In December, I was fortunate enough to travel to Puerto Vallarta with my friend Philene (thanks Southwest Companion Pass)! We stayed at Paradise Village, a vacation club that Philene’s family has enjoyed for almost 15 years. The resort is beautiful and impeccably maintained; located in the prime beach area of Riveria Nayarit. The property sits on the tip of the peninsula with picture perfect views of the marina and Pacific Ocean. Our room faced the marina - perfect for early morning coffee and sunrise viewing over the mountains. The beach was steps away and stretched on for miles - ideal for a good morning walk (camera in tow, of course)!

An aerial view of the resort!
Sunrise from the balcony, mountains in the distance.
Sunrise from the beach, the sun beams were spectacular!
New Year’s Eve Party

The hotel hosted an amazing New Year’s Eve party on the beach with over 1,200 people attending. The champagne was flowing and they had amazing spreads of apps, meats, sushi, and desserts. We sat with a Mexican family at dinner and enjoyed the entertainment.

In preparation for the clock striking midnight, the staff handed out goodie bags. At first, we had no idea what was in them, then we realized it was a bag of grapes! We later found out that most Mexicans follow this ancient Spanish tradition...

“Eating 12 grapes at midnight on New Year's Eve is both a tradition and a superstition in Spain. Rare is the Spaniard who will risk poisoning their fate for the coming year by skipping the grapes, one for each month of the new year.”
We ate the grapes (here’s to twelve months of happiness!) and enjoyed fireworks from the beach! A pretty spectacular NYE!
Downtown Puerto Vallarta

After a full beach recovery day post-NYE, we headed downtown Puerto Vallarta for a day of exploring, dining, and shopping! The city is centered on The Malecon, a boardwalk area full of restaurants, shops, and great views of the ocean. We browsed the streets - buying some beautiful things (linens, purses, pewter, water colors).

The downtown area is full of beautiful flowers, Spanish design, and colorful flags.

A video of our adventures at Pepe’s...

Beach Daze

In between our outings, we spent plenty of the days relaxing on the beach or at the pool. The hotel had amazing ‘palapas’ for shade where we enjoyed plenty of Coronas and Pacificos. We also had a few animals visitors — including baby turtles hatching on the beach and iguanas sneaking up on us at the pool!

Our trip rounded out with a whale photo safari...

Checkout the video highlight reel below!

It was a fantastic vacation — a perfect combination of rest, relaxation, and adventure. Until next time!
Created By
Laura Brizgis
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