7 Days in Puerto Vallarta

Trip Start Mar 22, 2008
Trip End Mar 29, 2009

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Flag of Mexico  , Pacific Coast,
Sunday, March 22, 2009

(March 22-29, 2008)

Playa Del Sol Grande Resort (Room 3104)-
 Beautiful resort with a complete "tropical" feel set back on the ocean in Banderas Bay.  Upon arrival, we were greeted with complimentary drinks (with Tequila of course!)...which was an indication of the rest of our trip.  Our room was a first-floor studio equipped with a queen size bed, fold-out sleeper sofa, dining and sitting rooms, small kitchen, 2 massive palm ceiling fans, air conditioning, and an extensive outdoor private patio.  The pool was beautiful coupled with its swim-up bar feature and infinity-edge that created the illusion of of it dropping off into the Pacific ocean.  Food around the resort was delicious (but PRICEY!!), and when combined with the various "drinks-of-the-day" it was first-class.  Be sure to try the "dirty monkey", which quickly became my favorite and consisted of Kahlua, Brandy, Pina Colada mix, and a banana.  Our favorite beach-side amigo was Fransisco, a middle-aged man who spoke English perfectly and was readily available should we have any needs. The resort, although "family friendly" was more geared towards younger couples and the 20somethings.  Our favorite adult activity was the "Tequila Volleyball".  We were sad to leave, but were impressed by the friendly and professional service, and are most definitely looking forward to a return in the future!

Taco de Marlin- awesome fish shack just down the road from the PVR airport.  VERY slow service and mostly disorganized, but a great welcoming to Puerto Vallarta and certainly worth the wait!  Had 2 marlin (smoked) tacos and 2 bottled waters for $10.    GRADE: A+

Restaurant Rio Grande- (located downtown, directly before Malecon) long-standing, family-run restaurant for over 25 years.  Very nice and knowledgeable staff made dinning an enjoyable experience.  Medium-priced (entire meal $50) that included 2 beers, 2 margaritas, homemade chips, salsa, guacamole, shrimp diablo, and fresh whole red snapper grilled to perfection!  GRADE: A+

La Bodeguia del Medio- (downtown in Malecon); Cuban restaurant and cigar specialty store specializing in authentic Cuban cigars.  Purchased a box of Cubans (Romeo Y Julieta Habanos) for $185.  An amazing cigar that is completely worth all the hype.  Staff spoke solid English, and was extremely knowledgeable.  Evening hours brought out live entertainment and tons of dancing.  Great spot to start the evening! GRADE: A

Dollar Car Rental- rented a VW Jetta, and were given by far the nicest car in the lot.  Staff was very friendly and accommodating.  Offered up great recommendations for local spots to check out.

Restaurant el Malecon- On the beach restaurant/fish market where you can enjoy eating and watching the "catch-of-the-day" being filleted while large scavenger pelicans battle for the leftover scraps.  Ate 3 Marlin tacos, 2 margaritas, 2 beers, and the large mahi-mahi fillet for $40.       GRADE: A+

The ZOO- (bar/club in downtown Malecon) crowded, but awesome dance scene where the "animals go to party" according to their signs.  Enjoyed 2-for-1 specials and got away without having to pay any cover charge.  The massive dance cage made for an interesting addition to the dance floor.      GRADE: B+

Club Hilo- (downtown Malecon) awesome and loud, fast paced dance club.  Got in free without having to pay cover and was ushered into the couple's VIP lounge directly up front.  Amazing service all night from Jose and Xavier.  Staff was very attentive without appearing too up front.  Also, keep an eye out for the Tequila girls with the whistles...lots of tequila flying around.

El Discotheque- Loud, in-your-face party club and dance scene.  Drinks are on the pricey side, but the dance floor is packed with a well-dressed scene.  We got in free of charge and saved $20 on the normal cover.  Despite the few drawbacks, the upstairs lounge was out of the subwoofer zone and offered an amazing view of the club floor below.     GRADE: B-

ATV Tour w/ Pathfinder ATV- 3 1/2 hour tour on ATVs through the villages and jungle brush of the Sierra Madras.  Definitely off-the-beaten-path style where the local villages are equivalent to parts of a 3rd World Country.  Tour guide Daniel led us through several of these rough and rugged trails reaching speeds up to 55mph.  Be prepared to get very dirty and deal with the occasional beggars at each stop.  End the tour in complete Mexican style with Tequila tasting from a local distillery.       GRADE: B+

El Rancho Charro- (sunset horseback ride) 3 hour horseback ride through the Sierra Madras.  AMAZING tour, and loved every minute of it.  Be sure to try and go with a small group as our tour guide allowed us to pick the trail we wanted to take.  The ride was for medium-advanced riders as there is slow walking and fast galloping combined.  We were lucky enough to experience the mountain climb and the expansive view offered from the top.  Was by far one of our favorite experiences in PVR.     GRADE: A++

El Rincon de Tlaquepaque- Small, but welcoming restaurant ideal for a quick bite located on a side street in the Malecon.  Had the "Birria" entree which was a meat platter served with picante sauce, guacamole, onion, and fresh tortilla.  Very cheap and worth the stop in.  GRADE: B+

PV Fishing Charters- 8 hours of deep sea fishing on a nice quality fishing boat with 3 fighting chairs, 6 fishing lines in the water, and all bait included.  Typically PVR is renowned for its Marlin fishing, but was definitely NOT the case on our trip.  We only caught 1 fish of decent size.  However, not all was a loss as we stumbled upon a school of dolphins, as well as a baby whale that was showing off by launching itself out of the water while the mother swam nearby.  GRADE:B-
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villasandcondos on

Take a look at some of these rentals on your next trip to Mexico...


villasandcondos on

Try it again...


barbaraerik on

Great Information. This will helps me whenever I visit Mexico.

Great advice on Puerto Vallarta travel deals

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