Puerto Vallarta

Trip Start Apr 05, 2008
Trip End Mar 20, 2009

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Flag of Mexico  , Pacific Coast,
Wednesday, June 25, 2008

After an early start and smooth flights we arrive into Puerto Vallarta in the early afternoon and it's stinking hot here. The humidity is incredible, I thought we would be in for a cooling sea breeze. After being royally shafted by the taxi driver to the hotel the only propina (tip) I wanted to give him was more than I could express in Spanish. You can tell it's a tourist mecca, I spotted two Starbucks on the drive in and I'm sure that's just scraping the surface. Although it's the low season it's still incredibly busy. Needing to cool off we hit the beach where it's white sand and warm water.....going to need the aircon tonight even the pool is warm. There's loads of vendors combing the beach selling their wares, from hammocks to silver to tours, it's a bustling scene. The best ploy of the day is a small boy probably no older than five who stands in front of you with his packets of gum and looks at you with his big puppy dog eyes, you have to be incredibly mean to say no (I feel awful). The best place in the evening is down on the waterfront just before you get to the malecon where the locals sell fresh cooked corn, fruit, cold juices and crepes. It's the best spot for good cheap eats and people watching. We decide we need to go and see some of the other beaches around the area and book a tour to the Colomites for some snorkeling and a hike through the jungle like area (we want to avoid the large boats cram packed with people and amazingly the yacht trip is sold out until Thursday). As has been the pattern with our tours we are again left waiting with no guide in sight. After half an hour someone turns up only to know nothing of our booking, far from being surprised we now just roll with it. Soon enough they've sorted everything and we're on our way. Our guide Ricardo is hilarious and keeps us laughing all day. The snorkeling is incredible with crystal clear water the only annoyance is a few jellyfish stings, fortunately Ricardo has packed some vinegar so I don't have to worry about who's going to volunteer to pee on my arm! We come across a sea worm although for interest purposes I'm sure it's a sea snake. It's roasting as we hike out and we're soon wishing we still had the snorkeling to look forward to. We spend the rest of our time sorting out where we are going to head to next as we've realized, ironically, that we're actually running out of time. Mexico is a lot bigger than we had thought so we're skipping Guanjuanito, Mexico City and Puebla and are going to continue on down the coast towards Acapulco, time to check out the Love Boat port (Gareth's going for the Cliff Divers but come on who didn't watch the Love Boat ;-).
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